The first time I ever touched someone else’s
breasts, it was like discovering
the seven wonders of the sexual world.
The great pyramid of “God this shit is awesome.”
Sometimes people ask me
when I knew I was queer. I’m pretty sure I knew
before I touched the boob, but after the boob, oh
after the boob, everything was made clear to me.
One boob, two boob, big boob, small boob
to hold them in my hands or mouth
or feel them pressed
against my chest.
I am a certified boob enthusiast!
I love the back arch, the small sigh. Touching
these bodies almost makes me believe in God because
I don’t trust nature to create anything this good. But
I also know that most gods punish more than they forgive, and
my own body feels more like a guillotine than a gift.
Sometimes people ask me when I knew I was
transgender. They ask me if I feel like I was born
in the wrong body. As if gender is that simple. As
if my body is a pair of handcuffs chaining me to
housewife, to mother, to woman.
I am not trapped in my body. I am trapped
in other people’s perceptions of my body.
My body is something I can only love from afar, a
mistress I can only caress in secret; it is death
by way of choking. I have no air to even call for help.
I tell myself that top surgery is expensive;
it’s dangerous, the backaches from binding aren’t
really all that bad. Besides, I love boobs on other people;
why can’t I just love my own? But when I tell people my name,
they still use the wrong one. I say “not girl,” and they
give me back “woman, lady, she.” I say “not woman,”
they say “silly girl, it is not up to you to decide.”
And I don’t want to hate my body for this.
My body is not wrong. The way
people talk about my body is wrong.
But my body is the only thing I can change.
My best friend asks me why I want top surgery,
a voluntary double mastectomy. He asks
me why I would want to cut off a perfectly Healthy body part.
I tell him it is not Healthy to feel unsafe in my body.
This chest feels like a misplaced sex organ.
If you had a penis growing from your
elbow, you’d probably want to cut it off. People
would come up to you and talk to you about your elbow penis.
They would never let you be anything more than your body.
I am more than my body, but
these days, I can only love my chest like a good cry.
When my friend says I am a burial ground, my life becomes a
constant funeral, and I can’t be happy with all of
these ghosts living inside me. So stop calling me diseased. Stop
looking at my body and chaining me to whoever
you think it makes me. I was not born into the wrong body.
I was born into a world that does not know what my Body means.There may be small errors in this transcript.