I had a “best friend” at the time in elementary school that was more developed than all the rest of us. And the boys always liked her more and she got all the attention and I was so flat chested. That summer in 7th grade I came back and I actually was qualified for a bra. I remember this awful moment on the first day of school of her just going up to me and tightening my shirt around being like “oh you actually got boobs this year.” It was in front of the other girls. I think that was one of the very first times someone drew outside of like teasing. I guess that is teasing.
I think in a way I’ve always wanted to talk about my chest. Especially in terms of the trans community. What does it mean to get top surgery? What does it mean to not get top surgery? The choice to do it or to not do it doesn’t define whether or not you’re trans. I think that’s a misconception that a lot of folks have. They see it as a marker, as a step towards being “more trans.” Anyway I guess my thoughts are all over the place now because I’ve just struggled immensely with my chest and knowing or wanting to communicate.
But anyways, I guess this is a way for me to be like “I guess it’s out of my hands,” and just trusting that whatever comes from this is maybe a stepping stone to me being more public on my own as well. [And being] honest about how I don’t think I ever would’ve got top surgery had I not - no I know. I know that I would not have thought about surgery if we lived in a world where our bodies could just exist without being under the eye. Or without being looked at twice. Or if I could go to a public pool or be at a beach or just be out in the street without a shirt and it would not be odd that I have extra fat on my chest. Because that’s what it is, it’s just extra fat.
And so I struggled with that because I was also on a timeline. I’m on my mom’s insurance and I have to think “Okay, maybe I should get this now while I can semi afford it.” Financially you have to think is this something that we can afford. I just always sat in that everyday. And also being honest about how the surgery could not go well. It probably could not go well. And that was something that I was really worried about because I was like “Okay this is a modification that you’re making to your body.” It was the first time I ever went under a knife. It was the first time I was ever cosmetically doing something to myself. But you kinda want to trust the person who’s sitting across from you who’s probably done this about a hundred times or thousands. Something [is] so eerie when you make the appointment. You hope for the best.
I struggle now with looking at my chest. It's not what I want it to be. But I have to ask myself what do I want it to be. If I really step back and ask myself, it’s because this image that I have in my head is that’s been fed to me that I’ve been told this is what it should look like. This is what it should be. Your areola shouldn’t be this large because male areolas and nipples are quite small. So now that they're larger than average, I get in my head about that. It’s just been a journey because then I start to regret it. Then I start to think like I did this to myself. This is the choice that I made. And that’s just a rabbit hole within itself. That isn’t pleasant but I don’t know any people that talk about it. I don’t know anyone actually who’s shared those sentiments. I think people are relieved that they have the physical weight off of them. But I’ve had these thoughts and everyday it’s just looking in the mirror.
You know in The Princess Diary in the very beginning when she’s getting ready and it’s that umpy music and she’s in the mirror and it’s like “okay, this is as good as it’s gonna get!” I just always remember that. And I think to myself this is what it is and I go through waves. I’ve definitely gone through waves like oh no I’m okay I’m okay with this body. This is what I have, this is what it is. I can either choose to continue to just be happy with it or find ways that I can feel good about what I have now.
I don’t know if this is controversial and it might be but I'm just gonna say it. I don’t know how many trans people or just people in general would modify their bodies if they were just accepted as such. If they were just allowed to exist and be as such. If trans-ness would even be a thing or a word as opposed to just people existing as is and as opposed to this entirely different category and yeah I don’t know. So I struggle.
Before top surgery, I was like I cannot wait to have my skin just bask in the sun and just be in the water - those are the upsides of it. Or that my posture is so much better now because I don’t have the boobs that I did have. I’ve never binded. I've never done anything. It was always just warping myself and my feelings and thoughts around my clothing and it’s like “Okay, this is what I have to work with. This looks good. Now I can just have a good posture.”
I had such terrible posture. I was always pulling on my shirt. I would always get looks. And that’s always uncomfortable. I started to get in my head like is this person looking at me because of this or are they looking at me for an entirely different reason. And I would never know but if that’s what I’m focused on. It's like when you have a pimple and everyone can see it but it’s like oh I didn’t even notice that.
It’s a constant battle where it’s just like an evolution of insecurities or an ocean of trying to be okay with my body. There’s days that are good and there’s days that are not and I find moments where they can be good. When it comes to sex and you just have to there’s that vulnreable moment of revealing this thing that people can maybe be so curious about.
But yeah I am slowly very slowly trying to just love what I have. And finding solutions that I in the long run can be okay with. Like getting tattoos in the future and things that I like that I can just continue to put onto my body that I feel like can make me feel better. About what I have now.
I don’t know. Yeah. And I want more trans people to reconsider top surgery because it probably is not what they want it to be. But I also understand that comfortability and wanting to unleash themselves from literal binding from slouching from and maybe maybe like a bad scar or two is way better than like whatever they’re feeling now. To just feel good you know? So I think about that as well. I don’t see myself as either gender but more so just having to modify my body so it can be an “acceptable gender.” It's so weird. It’s the world that we live in so yeah.
And also thinking in terms of survival it’s just I can’t be at a public pool without a shirt on if I had not had top surgery. I mean I could but I don’t know how that would go. I don’t know how that would go. And I didn’t have any interest in finding out. Because of safety and feelings and just not wanting to deal with whatever could be or how bad that could get and playing it safe. And for my own sanity as well.
I think everyday I try to tell myself this is what I have. I try to tell myself this is what I have. And I only get one. I only get one body. And although over the years I’ve made modifications to it. Whether they were healthy or unhealthy I’m just so thankful that I have a body that, as I know right now is fully functioning, and I can get up and I can walk and I can run and I can move.
And if it just so happens that I’m not happy with the way it looks because it doesn’t look like what someone told me it should look like, that’s fine. I am everyday practicing to reimagine what this body is - that it is good in the way that it is and the way that it comes and what it will look like and what it has looked like it has always been good And just to make that a constant practice of reassuring myself. That this is okay. And it’s mine. It's mine and no one can take that from me.