Since the media is covering the whole Oscars slap incident, I thought this would be an appropriate time to discuss this topic. A little recap, Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars because he made a joke about Will’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair loss. Now Jada suffers from an auto-immune condition called Alopecia but I think the psychological insecurities it causes among its suffers is the same as what transwomen experience.

Before my transition like most cis-men, I experienced hair loss. It was so bad that I could see my crown and had a prominent bald spot that I could no longer hide with a comb over. A lot of transwomen experience anxiety because of hair loss and I was the same. Early on in my transition, I had tried on my own fair share of cheap wigs and every time I was worried if the wig looked fake – which it did, at least to me.

It was Boxing day, 2014 when I realized for the first time, that it didn’t matter. I was living in Asheville at the time and was estranged from my family. I was spending Christmas alone. I was not in a relationship and there wasn’t really anyone I could talk to at the time. Severe depression peaks during the holidays every year (I wish I knew that from sort of Health psychology textbook but I know that from watching the first Lethal Weapon movie). I can understand why. When everyone is with their families and friends and you are all alone, it is a very hard thing to deal with.

To get myself out of my funk I went to downtown Asheville to watch a movie. I don’t remember which movie it was but I walked around and visited a restaurant after that. I was still feeling awful seeing everyone with their families. But it was then that it dawned on me. Everyone was busy with their own lives. No-one was looking at me and my lousy wig.

Perhaps, it was an odd reaction to have but to me it was satisfying. I didn’t matter. I wasn’t attracting any attention. No-one cared about my wig other than me. I was a regular woman and that’s what I always wanted. If I didn’t draw attention to myself and stand out, I could make it through my transition. Thinking back, it was cold comfort, but it was what I needed.

Something that all transmen and women starting out on their journey should know that most people are too busy with their own lives to look at your hair or chest or body hair or anything else that makes you insecure. Unless they interact with you personally, they would probably not give you a second thought. This of course, does not apply to everyone. There are a lot of hateful people out there who may single you out for no fault of your own but hey, there are assholes everywhere and everyone cis and trans must deal with them.

Since that day, HRT filled up my bald spot a lot and I also had a hair transplant and other procedures to help with my hairline during my FFS. Strangely, though, I wear hair extensions quite often…like a lot of cis-women. Just goes to show you, although our journeys are different, deep down we are all the same.