11 Days of Trans Visibility: 1. We Don’t All Hate Our Bodies (and shouldn’t have to)

Aaron Phoenix
Mar 21 · 4 min read

International Transgender Day of Visibility is March 31st. At times it feels like all efforts of trans visibility are about mourning the dead. Trans Day of Remembrance was previously the only day recognized in the LGBTQ+ community that centered trans people.

TDOV, however, is a day to celebrate our lives and triumphs, to reflect on the personal journeys behind and ahead of each of us, and to encourage each other to live in our truths (or hang in there if we can’t just yet).

I’m an almost-thirty, out and proud, genderqueer/genderfluid/non-binary — whichever you prefer to call it —Chicano trans man. For me, every day is a trans day of visibility, and that is an immense privilege — one I am determined not to take for granted, as I remind myself that not everyone is safe or supported enough to be visible. I hope that my work contributes to the cultural shift where we eventually find that’s no longer the case.

In the days leading up to and following TDOV I’ll share 11 glimpses into my life that break commonly held stereotypes, that are raw and real, with moments of laughter and joy and triumph, not just pain and struggle and conflict.

Life is full of beautiful dualities. I’m one of them. You are too — maybe not in the same way(s), but definitely in your own.

11 Days of Visibility; Day 1/11:
We don’t all hate our bodies (and we shouldn’t have to)

My body and I have had a long, complicated relationship.

There have been days I argued with it, pleaded with it, cursed it, starved it, harmed it, neglected it. Days when it didn’t feel like my own. Days it has caused me so much physical pain I thought I would literally lose my sanity, so much mental pain I wanted to rip it off.

Then there were days I confronted it, forgave it, reconciled with it.

We made compromises. Lightened up a bit. Explored some things, with less judgment. Got to know each other. Got to know other people.
(Plenty of them.)

Now, most days, I love my body.

I respect it more. I nourish it, listen to it (usually), and am patient with it (after all, I have and do put it thru hell).

My body is not a trap, or a place in which I am trapped. It is not repulsive, or shameful. It is not a joke.

If I share with you what things I’ve done to alter my body — hormones, surgeries, tattoos— it comes with a level of trust. Don’t abuse it.

My body is fierce. It is colorful. It is resilient.

I have no desire to look like a person who is not trans. I don’t owe anyone a promise to alter my body to make it look more like yours, any more than you owe it to the world to look like someone you’re not.

I also don’t owe anyone an explanation for any ways in which I do choose to alter it. If I decide my privacy trumps your curiosity, respect that.

My body is under no obligation to make sense to you.

My body is beautiful. My body is sexy, not despite its appearance, its parts, or its scars, but because of them. My body is neither male nor female, it is both female and male; it is exquisite. My body is capable of unimaginable things. Yes, that’s a sexual reference — but not exclusively.

Being next to my body is a privilege, not a favor.

Granting access to my body is my right.
Experiencing my body — all its pulses and tremors, tricks and techniques, ins and outs — Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine — liberating my body of the expectation that it doesn’t deserve touch, lust, and appreciation — is my freedom.

My body is not perfect, but neither am I. I’ve changed, it’s changed — some ways by choice, some by nature’s will. It’s customized now, one of a kind, priceless, complete with all its memories and perspectives.

My body was an investment, a commitment. A bit of a gamble, where the odds weren’t in my favor but I got lucky anyway.

And I wouldn’t trade it back for anything.

Day 2: “Boy Clothes”
Day 3: Vanity
Day 4: A Genderfluid Queer’s Ode to Straight Boys
Day 5: It’s Not A Self-Esteem Thing
Day 6: El Día de Los Muertos, de Los Vivos
Day 7: Overcoming Your Cis Pronoun Anxiety
Day 8: I’m Not Gender-Confused, Society Is
Day 9: Trans Triumph is a Thing Too — Not Just Trans Trauma

Aaron Phoenix

Written by

Trans/Chicano Genderf*cker, activist, history addict. Obsession w/ oppression, imperialism, & subversion thereof. Host, LIVE gay talk show: ‘It’s Happening Out!

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