I want to share my thoughts about wearing my Ilia costume at Comic-Con. Attached is a photo of the original character, played by Persis Khambatta in 1979's Star Trek - The Movie.
For my two days in the costume, when people looked at me, they DIDN'T see a woman with cancer, or a masculine-looking female. They saw me as normal and healthy - more than that, they saw me as beautiful and sexy! (I apologize if this sounds boastful, but the character is much-loved and I nailed the costume.)
For two days, I was stopped repeatedly and asked to pose for photos. Young, nice-looking men wanted to have their picture taken with me. Countless people told me how awesome I looked. Best of all, NO ONE thought I was sick or unusual because of my bald head! I was "normal". (I think most assumed I had shaved. I was asked how long it would take my hair to grow back, and complimented for my commitment to the character for shaving my head.)
As I drove home and back to real life as a bald woman, I felt sad in the same way I felt sad after my first NAAF conference last year when I walked around on the streets of St. Louis with lots of other bald women: sad because I was going back to being the ONLY bald woman, and therefore back to being seen as ill, or strange, or unfeminine by many people.
I hope that those of you who feel more comfortable in a wig understand that I completely respect your choice and that I want everyone to do what feels best for them. I am NOT anti-wig; unfortunately, they just didn't work out for me. But, for those of you who are "on the fence" or who have considered going "out" bald for whatever reason, I urge you to give it a try. Take baby steps and you may find, as I did, that it just gets easier and becomes who you are.
I urge this because I dream of the day when all bald women, myself included, could feel just as normal, unremarkable, and beautiful as I felt in my Ilia costume at Comic-Con. I firmly believe that this day will come, but only after there are many more bald women seen in public. The only way that will happen is if we do it.