“Coming Out” as Face Blind
What it’s like to live with a disorder that means sometimes I can’t even recognize my own family members—and why I’m not keeping it a secret any longer.
Illustration by Eron Hare | Edited by Lilly Dancyger
When there was a familiar knock on our front door around eight at night on a Friday, I knew it was my dad. But then my mom, in her oversized cat sweater and baggy jeans, removed the door chain from its lock and opened the door, revealing a tall, slender bald man with no facial hair.
“Who’s that?” I asked, in my blunt six-year-old way.
“It’s Daddy?” My mom’s voice sounded uncertain for a minute, but then she laughed. “He shaved his head!”
I had never seen my dad without his full, wavy dark brown locks before. They were unlike my mom’s pin-straight light brown long bob with face framing bangs. I looked him over. My dad was still wearing a long-sleeved red plaid shirt, blue jeans with a belt, and heavy black boots. He had a pair of sunglasses sticking out of his pocket.
“Pumpkin, I shaved my hair.” That was my dad’s voice and he always called me pumpkin, so I started laughing, equal parts nervous and relieved. “Are you excited to spend the …