Near and Dear

It's interesting how seemingly random disconnected events can effect ones daily life.

Event one: When I was in my twenties, my father was diagnosed with skin cancer on his nose. It was caught late and removing it cost him his entire nose. This was a difficult thing, but it was far better than the alternative.

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They fitted him with a prosthesis, a remarkably real appearing nose made of a special rubber like material. He attached it with medical adhesive tape.

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I remember many early mornings, seeing him carefully cut and place the tape on his nose, then carefully putting it into position on his face.

 

 My Grandfather (With Cigar), his brothers and my oldest brother, and me!

My Grandfather (With Cigar), his brothers and my oldest brother, and me!

Event two: When I first discussed being trans with my doctor, she asked me if I wanted to transition. A fact I neither hide nor discuss, is that I have the same male pattern baldness gene that my mother’s father and uncles had.

I told my doctor that, yes, I wanted to transition, but that I never could.

"Why?", she asked.

"Because I have no hair", I replied.

She gave me an expression that is best described as 'The Stink Eye' and said "There are many women who have no hair, do you think that stops them from living their lives?".

My eyes were suddenly, and finally opened to the possibility of actually being me.

I wear what is closer to a prosthetic than a wig. It's natural blond human hair, not dyed or processed. It is attached to a silk cap that is made specifically to the dimensions of my head. I attach it with the same medical adhesive my father used for his nose.

Whenever I'm cutting and carefully placing the tape on the lace, I can not help but to think of my father, and his nose, and how sometimes your connection to your parents come in unexpected ways. 

 My Dad, Dr. John Raymond Herbst with my brothers Phillip and Fredrick.

My Dad, Dr. John Raymond Herbst with my brothers Phillip and Fredrick.

My dad passed away about a decade ago. He never got to see the real me.