Lesbian Sues U.S. Army and Air Force Over Boss’ Demand She Grow Her Hair and Wear Makeup_freckle removal los angeles

Tim Teeman·15 min read
Courtesy of Kristin M. Kingrey
Courtesy of Kristin M. Kingrey

For nearly 14 years, Tech. Sgt. Kristin M. Kingrey has served her country as a member of the West Virginia Air National Guard. Now Kingrey, a 37-year-old lesbian, is suing the Army and Air Force, claiming a senior male leader said she should grow her hair, wear makeup, “and ultimately appear more feminine,” or prepare to face the negative professional consequences.

Kingrey told The Daily Beast that after the remarks were made a job she had successfully applied for was suddenly withdrawn, and the Guard also refused to hire her for a position she was qualified for, “despite her satisfactory performance as a federal employee,” as her lawsuit, filed in a federal court, states.

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When the comment was allegedly made, it was not the first time. “From 2016 to 2018, I was constantly being pulled into my seniors’ offices being told my hair was out of regs (non-regulation),” Kingrey told The Daily Beast. “It crossed a line into harassment, and I carried on my person a copy of our regulations in regards to female hair length because I was not breaking any rules.”

Kingrey, from Charleston, West Virginia, believes that sexism and homophobia are key parts of her case—she was signaled out as a woman, and a lesbian woman specifically. Hers comports to a stereotypical lesbian appearance, she says, and her boss wanted her appearance to be more conventionally “feminine.”

The lawsuit, filed on Nov. 23 last year, claims Kingrey was subject to “continued harassment, discrimination, and retaliation based upon her sex—including her sexual orientation and perceived gender nonconformity.”

The incident that sparked the lawsuit occurred after Kingrey’s senior leader, Vice Wing Commander Col. Michael Cadle, called a female lieutenant colonel and asked her to go to lunch.

Kingrey said Col. Cadle had told the female lieutenant colonel to encourage Kingrey “to grow my hair out and start wearing makeup because if I didn’t it would be detrimental to my career in the West Virginia Air National Guard. I had heard of other females with short hair having issues with people saying things, but I don’t know that progressed to the extent mine did. My hair length has nothing do with my work ethic or job performance. I should be judged on my merit. But my seniors clearly think females should not have short hair. I do not conform to what they think a female should look like. I wish I had an answer as to why this comment was made, or why this is so important to Col. Cadle.”


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