My 12-year-old is growing a man-bun – people keep attacking him in the street

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    A well-meaning 12-year-old who wanted to raise money by growing his hair extra-long has been subjected to “heartbreaking” abuse and assaults from people who object to his man-bun.

    Ben Sarak started growing his hair almost three years ago after seeing others donate to the Little Princess Trust in 2020.

    But sadly, the youngster’s hair growth journey has attracted unwanted trouble from bullies over the years.

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    Ben has suffered verbal and physical assaults for his hairstyle multiple times – even being brutally attacked by a complete stranger.

    “It’s heartbreaking for me,” his mum Natasha said. “As a mum, I was devastated. Everyone knows what a sweet boy Ben is.

    “He’s learned to laugh when he’s called a girl and walk away," she told the Manchester Evening News. "He’s kept at it, but he can’t wait to get it cut so it’s been a challenge.”

    Ben decided to start growing his hair when he was unable to get it cut due to coronavirus restrictions in 2020.

    His aim was to donate his flowing locks to the Little Princess Trust, a charity which provides real hair wigs, free of charge, to children and young people who have lost their own hair through cancer.

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    Alongside donating his hair, Ben is hoping to raise money for The Fed, a social care charity for the Greater Manchester Jewish Community.

    He chose the charity because his great grandfather Gerry was looked after at Heathlands Village Jewish care home for three years.

    Community fundraiser worker Natasha, 37, can recall the first time her son was attacked for wearing his hair in a man bun style.

    She said: “He’s always been called names. He’s got a lovely face; he’s pretty so he always gets called a girl, whether people are being mean or not. We will go into a café and he will get called madam. He’ll say, ‘I’m a boy!’

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    “The first time he was attacked was when he was walking home from school and three people caught him and were pulling on his hair, calling him a girl and pushing him around.

    “Then in St Mary’s Park in Prestwich a kid started following him around with a rock saying, ‘Are you a girl?’ and punched him in the face.

    “He’s had a couple of incidents, but you know what, he’s grown a really thick skin about it. It’s just so heartbreaking.

    “It makes me really proud because at any moment he could have asked me to book him in at the hairdresser to get it cut off, but he never did. He kept on going. I have to be strong for him in front of him and tell him he’s better than [the bullying] and that it’s okay.”

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    Ben is booked in to get his hair cut on January 21, so far raising £1,395 of his £2,000 target.

    On his fundraiser page, the youngster said: “I have been growing my hair for three years now, there have been times I have just wanted to get it cut but I kept going because I know how important this will be and I’m so proud that I made it this far.

    “I want to raise money for The Fed because my great grandpa Gerry was looked after at Heathlands Village for 3 years.

    "The staff were amazing and friendly, and we knew he was being looked after so well. I had a really close and special bond with my grandpa, so I am doing this in his honour and memory.”

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