With the change of seasons I noticed myself starting to angst over the thought of another summer wearing a sweaty binder. A titillating thought: as this will be the last summer I have boy tits before chest surgery in October, why not bust out of the binary and give them the flamboyant good-boobye they deserve?! They are, after all, a beautiful part of my body that I love and want to celebrate.
So if I love my boy tits, why chop them off?
The easiest way I can explain is to tell you about the turquoise green corduroy pants that I wore ever day in my early 20s. I don’t even remember where I found them. Certainly not in a shop, I used to hate shopping. The clothes I liked never fit my body shape. Plus the shop assistants used to be weird with me because I was frequently shopping in the “wrong” gender section. Clothes just sort of found me and I’d wear them day in, day out, until I stumbled upon the next outfit. So, the corduroy pants lived on me for several years. First they were a little too long. I was terrible at sewing so after I tried taking them up, they became a little too short. They had 2 pleats at the top which looked awful (it was no longer the 80s) so I used to wear long shirts over the top to hide them.
I didn’t particularly like the pants, but they worked. They clothed me and kept me warm. The pockets fit a lot of handy things. We went on adventures and had the best and worst times together. We climbed trees together. Wrote poetry. Rode across Australia on a bicycle. Protested uranium mines and logging of old growth forests. They comforted me through the heartbreak of being secretly in love with my best friend (actually, three best friends in a row!). With all this history and familiarity I was very fond of the pants, even though they didn’t fit me very well.
A few years later, for the first time instead of battling the stores or the whims of the clothes that found me, I saved up and had a friend custom make me a pair of pants. They were brown pin striped pants fitted at the top and slightly belled at the bottom with very cute quirky pockets. I LOVED them! I felt so good in them! They fit me perfectly. I felt like me in them. (Well “me” back then – how my fashion has changed – femme transformation!). So I lovingly gave away the corduroy pants to someone who liked them better than I had. I didn’t feel any malice towards them, even though I wish I’d realised sooner I could have the pin striped pants.
Similarly, it’s not that I hate my boy tits. They’ve given me a lot of pleasure. We’ve had some great times together. They’ve cushioned my heart from many blows. They’ve buoyantly helped me stay afloat when I may otherwise have drowned. I love playing silly games with them like pretending they’re puppets talking with each other, or bouncing them up and down until they slap each other on the back like old men at the bar. Every single moment of the last 37 years they’ve stayed loyally by my side (or at my front as it were).
And so I love them. Yet I don’t particularly like them. I feel self conscious about them, although more so in clothing than naked. I’ve felt betrayed by them on many occasions, although I know it’s not their fault that this gender confused world mis-read me because of them. Some days it’s like I’m wearing someone else’s chest, and even though it’s a gorgeous chest, it’s doesn’t really feel like mine.
This sense of loving and not liking my chest may seem like a contradiction, but only if viewed through a cisgendered (non-trans) lens. From a trans* perspective, it’s very normal (and not necessarily even a bad thing) to have conflicting feelings about my body. And in fact many non-trans people have differing feelings about their bodies too, it’s just they’re not accused of being confused or gender dysphoric as a result.
Like the pin striped pants, there’s a chest that would fit me better, and that’s the one I will co-create with the surgeon in October. If I could give away my boy tits like I did my corduroy pants, I would, because I’m sure they’d look lovely on some other boy or girl or genderqueer.
(Please note: just because I have a less-commonly-told relationship with my chest, it doesn’t mean that I am more radical or evolved than trans people who have more animosity towards their bodies. EVERY way a trans* person feels about their body is totally valid. I’m sharing my experience to expand the array of ideas about trans* bodies.)
So, this summer is my boy tits’ farewell tour and I intend on giving them the decadent finale they deserve. I’m in the process of designing my BTFSC (Boy Tit Finale Summer Collection). I’ve been experimenting with outfits fashioned from raiding my partner’s closet and thrift store tugs of war with old ladies. At the heart of the collection will be a sumptuous assortment of open blouses crafted to showcase slithers of sexy boy tit hugged to my heart with belts, stockings or colourful duct tape (folded over so I don’t get an accidental waxing). Yes, summer be warned: these boy tits are intent on causing a total eclipse this season.
Outfit in Photo: thanks to Chanelle for letting me raid her closet for this fur shrug and polka dot belt.
 For those of you not familiar with trans* stuff, a binder is something that hugs my boy tits to my chest so they are a little flatter.
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