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By Juniper Cassaway



And then… I was me.


January 12th, 2019, I cut all my hair off. I asked my dad to sit me in his makeshift barber’s chair, the same one I've watched my brother sit in most my life. My mother watched on in slight horror while filming at my request as the dark blue hair (I dyed for the first time recently) fell from my head. As the clippers raged on and I felt the buzzing machinery transform my mane to a pile of midnight blue, I feared the outcome. I was so certain I was going to cry at the sight of my newly bald head. I’ve lived with my fro my whole life, what was I going to do without it? When my dad finished the initial shave, I raced to the nearest mirror and smiled the biggest smile I’ve ever smiled. I couldn’t stop staring. This was what I’ve been missing my entire life. No more maintaining my kinky curls, no more complaints of unruliness from my mom, no more hours of washing and styling, no more. Just me. I was eventually coaxed back to the chair so my dad could line me up. My mother told me I have a three-head.


May 25th, 2020, I officially moved everything out of my parents’ house. They were moving from Houston to Nashville. I was 5 months post-college graduation, living in that same college town. This was my first time introducing my parents to my new (and first) girlfriend. I cried in my old bedroom. My best friend helped me grieve. I pulled away from that house for the last time.


April, 13th, 2022, I had top surgery. Hospital trauma turned birthing of euphoria. A wave of assuredness from morning to post op. Even the stone cold surgeon could not break my elated beat. My body took to mental reprieve before even the physical slumber, as all pre-op, post-med memories are nonexistent. What I do know is that I came out of sedation with a nippleless chest


And then I was me.


 

Juniper Cassaway

Age 23

From Houston

Currently residing in Baton Rouge