I remember one of the first times I felt able to dip my toe into the world without any head-covering. I had just spent an empowering weekend at a NAAF conference surrounded by friends and other folks who looked like me. I made a decision, and I made it my own. I didn’t tell my friends, mostly because I have always felt that if I needed to do something – I would make it happen for myself without outside influence, and a little bit because I wasn’t 100% positive I could do it,
I woke up at 5am and took more effort than usual while getting ready. I needed to feel “extra” feminine, extra confident with my looks. All weekend I had shared elevators and space with others who were bald, and now I rode that elevator alone to the lobby. I decided to make my way to the Starbucks for morning coffee and try my hand at speaking with strangers, even if it was just a barista. My confidence waned, and my head felt heavy as I stood there looking at my feet – just waiting. I heard a man’s intake of breath and looked up to see an attractive businessman looking at me. Initially, I wondered if he was offended by my bald head, but I quickly realized it wasn’t that at all. With a knowing smile, I made my way back to the hotel where I could see Capitol Hill lit up in the distance as I stood in the street waiting for a cab. Liberation shows itself in many forms, and that day I felt empowered, liberated, and able to to see myself in a world that I had often felt was unwelcoming. It seemed fitting that the setting was in our nations capitol, a place where freedom is at its core.