Visible Bodies: Transgender Narratives Retold

San Diego is helping rewrite the way stories about transgender people are told, through an exhibit of more than 30 portraits of people in the local transgender community.

BY Advocate.com Editors

August 05 2013 5:00 AM ET

Liam
The best advice I've ever gotten came to me when I first came out and began pursing transition. Somebody told me, "Don't worry about transitioning to become a man, or a woman; focus on transitioning to be yourself, or whoever you need to be."

As a queer, oversensitive, transsexual living with chronic pain, mental illness, and generally struggling to find balance, I think of this often. Navigating this world in a body that I have taken active steps to be more comfortable in, being viewed by the world and living as a man is really just “close enough.” I can't honestly say that my gender is male; it's close enough to male to make my life manageable. When I find that beautiful safe space where I can be myself, I don't have to think about this dissonance anymore.

In my day to day interactions, I can't hide the fact that I'm queer. From the way I walk, talk, move, and dress, it's obvious. I'm learning to love my fierce femme while working toward a career that stresses professional appearance. Right now, this balance is important to me. I still can't explain my gender, even to myself, but I am so happy with it.

Every day I get to play with my visibility, my boundaries, and my expression, while being able to challenge people's assumptions of what my gender and sexual orientations are.

I am living by the mantra of: Top in the streets, bottom in the sheets.

Liam, age 22
Assigned Sex: female
Gender Identity: gender non-conforming transman/femme male
Pronouns: he/him/his

Tags: Transgender

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