Raising my glass to one year in my new body
Updated: Nov 29, 2019
A year ago my step-brother decided to go topless.
On the surface this doesn’t seem like a big deal. But knowing my step-brother is a transgender male ...things change.
A year ago today he took a HUGE step into becoming his authentic self by having a double mastectomy with nipple grafts.
Being transgender is no easy feat but especially in Louisville, Kentucky. I’m proud of Emerson for having the strength to be himself and letting us be a part of his journey.
It’s so special that he is our FIRST guest blog writer on his one year anniversary ;)
Raising my glass to one year in my new body
Trans men can be feminine too.
Yeah I said it, trans men don’t have to be all buff and “manly.”
I mean, I lived as a girl for the majority of my life and sometimes feminine things bring me comfort. After a long, stressful day I am going to find myself drawing up a hot bath with my favorite bath bomb.
Finding myself has been a ride, let me tell you. It’s taken a life time to be comfortable in my body. About four years ago I began a journey of losing weight. I wanted to finally know what it was like to be comfortable in my own skin. After growing up “obese,” I needed to know how to look at myself in the mirror and begin to love the body I had - with all the rolls and stretch marks. It was a process and was not an overnight venture.
I was going through a rough time mentally and I needed to keep my brain preoccupied. So I turned to working out, for the first time ever and it was...interesting. I wanted to give up more than I can describe. I was a full-time student, held a full-time job, tried to have a social life and worked out 5 days a week.
I will say it did keep my brain busy enough to not focus on things that brought on depression. It was what I needed at that point in my life and I’m so glad I did it.
About a year later I finally hit what many call “onederland” (a weight in the 100s) and I was so proud of myself. I could not remember the last time I saw a number that began with a one, it had to have been at least 10 years.
At 16 I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) and was told that losing weight would be harder for me. So overcoming that hurdle of losing almost 100 pounds was exhilarating.
I’m not saying you have to lose weight to be comfortable in your skin... I’m saying that you need to find what you need to do to be comfortable in your skin.
It just so happens that seeing the numbers for me and the way that my body changed was something that I came to realize that made me stare at myself in mirrors - in a positive way.
While I was happy with most of my body, there was a weight on my chest that really didn’t belong. I found myself binding my chest in the most uncomfortable contraption that many trans men use.
Basically imagine wearing a sports bra that is two sizes too small AND then layering another one over that. It was not comfortable, but it made me happy seeing a flat chest.
A year ago I decided to do myself a favor and get my top surgery - a double mastectomy with nipple grafts to be exact.
Leaving me a 25.5 inch continuous scar across my chest and to my back. Probably the best thing money has bought me.
Coming to terms with being transgender was something that took me a very long time. I was always the black sheep and was never comfortable with my body. So when I began to feel good in smaller sizes, I began to feel uncomfortable all over again. Feeling alone in all those feelings was probably the hardest part, but I needed to figure out who I was by myself before I could begin expressing it to others.
Becoming who I am today has not been a smooth ride, and I honestly still struggle with how to present myself to others. Some of the very things that I strongly associate - are things that are associated with me being born a girl.
How do I talk to new friends about my past who only know me as a guy? Or when a coworker is talking about birth control pills that make her feel as if she’s on an emotional rollercoaster, and I have to hold back saying “girl, I understand” or saying “full disclosure, I’m trans.”
Just because I’m part of the community doesn’t mean I know everything. Truthfully I just go on my merry way avoiding the thought of awkward situations until they come up.
We live in a world today with vast diversity.
No one person looks the same. Really we have idea what the person next to us has really been through.
Be kind to one another — but most importantly, be kind to yourself.
Break the norms that society has put on all of us: love your rolls, stretch marks, femininity and masculinity.
You are your own best advocate.
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