I’ve been searching for a while for a way to describe how I feel about my breasts. For a while now, I’ve felt somewhat apologetic about my lack of hatred for them. I’ve never hated them in the way that so many other trans men – or even butches – do. No, I don’t hate them, I have received great pleasure through them. They provided sustenance for my newborn daughter. Though it’s true that when they appeared during adolescence, it felt as though everything was turning against me, as an adult, I came to a place of peace with them. I even liked having them for a while, as obvious signs of my butch and female identity.
Until that wasn’t my identity any longer.
So what do I feel now?
I don’t like how they look. No, I hate how they look under my clothes. I don’t mind them bared, but I don’t walk around bare breasted that often, sadly. In my day to day life, under t-shirts and polos, button downs and tank tops, they aren’t working for me any more. I wince at their reflection in the mirror and I’ve deletes selfies that seemed to emphasize them too much.
So what has changed? Is this true dysphoria or am I adopting this sense of rejection from the outside. Am I pushing them a way because of my transition, because I feel I’m expected to?
I still don’t hate them, I don’t loathe my body as it is or has been but i feel like it doesn’t fit me as well as it could. sometimes when we feel that way, we go on diets, or work out more or go in for cosmetic surgery. Is it just vanity to want these ever-more-sagging blobs of fat removed? Maybe it is, but more and more I feel that my path forward leads through top surgery.
And still, I feel a bit guilty about that. It seems that I should be more emotionally damaged about my female chest, that the existence of my breasts should be driving me harder. I don’t bind because it’s too inconvenient and uncomfortable. I’d love to have them be less prominent and more controlled but I haven’t wanted it enough to bind, so why does surgery look like such an appealing prospect? I feel guilty that I am not suffering the kind of pain that others do, the pain that leads them to bind and damage their bodies in the pursuit of the physical profile they need to feel whole.
But really the overriding feeling I have about my breasts is indifference. Maybe I’m distancing myself from them because I’ve already made the decision somewhere in my mind, to have them removed.
Maybe its just that they’ve done their jobs and it’s time to retire them. I’m feeling so dispassionate about them that it’s a bit concerning. Shouldn’t I be feeling more about this?
I think about two of my closest friends and how strongly they feel about top surgery. These are people who identify as genderqueer and they are as unhappy with their chests as any trans men I’ve heard from. And the stories I’ve read about trans men and the torment they suffered because their breasts and the huge sense of relief they felt once they’d gotten through top surgery.
Will I feel that? Will I have a sense of relief, of homecoming into the body I intentionally construct from the one I was born into? Can one feel great relief from indifference? I’m not there yet, perhaps I’ll feel something more by the time I get there.
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