Trans Joy: Shoulders and standing tall
In the run up to Smutathon 2020, we published Endo Stories – a series of powerful posts where guest writers shared their experiences of living with endometriosis. This year we’re fundraising for two awesome charities who support trans folks, so we wanted to pass the mic to trans people to share their experiences. However, we wanted to flip the script on trans people being asked to perform their pain over and over again to prove that they deserve human rights.
Instead, we want to celebrate trans joy and gender euphoria. We’ve teamed up with Quenby Creatives, whose Trans Joy series highlights the positive side of trans experiences to bring some balance to trans discourses.
We’re kicking things off with a post from our very own Quinn Rhodes. Quinn is a queer, trans, and disabled sex writer. He’s a sex nerd with vaginismus who writes about his vagina anxiety, mental illness, and adventures in learning to fuck without fucking up. Quinn can usually be found wearing stomp-on-the-patriarchy boots and blogging about sex at On Queer Street.
Shoulders and standing tall
My shoulders feel like boy’s shoulders.
In some ways that’s silly: my whole body is a guy’s body, because I am a guy. Even my tits are guy’s tits; my cunt is a guy’s cunt. Just because my body means I’m read as a woman, nothing about it is my body is female.
But my shoulders feel like boy’s shoulders.
They aren’t even that broad. I’m not sure anyone would look at me and notice my shoulders. But when I was figuring out my gender, my shoulders were the first thing I felt gender euphoria about. Gender euphoria that made me grin and giggle and feel so right that it felt like my heart was bursting.
Since stepping into my transness, I find it easier to love myself. It sounds cliché, but for the first time I feel like I can stand tall – confident and sure of myself. When I look at myself in the mirror nowadays I stand up straighter. I stop trying to make myself smaller and let myself take up space.
My shoulders look strong when I look in the mirror. I square them slightly, pulling myself up and shaking off the self-hatred that tells me that I’m wrong and broken. As I look at myself, I can feel myself filling out and standing taller. Confidence floods my body. My stance changes – maybe becoming more masculine; my body feeling more right, just by changing how I stand.
I feel stronger.
Gender euphoria is magical. It’s the feeling of rightness running through my body, the feeling that in that moment I could do absolutely anything. For me, it starts with squaring my shoulders and feeling the strength and power in my own body. That joy feels so powerful that sometimes I’m scared of it: it feels so right that I wonder whether I’m allowed to feel this good.
My shoulders make me feel strong. They make me feel powerful. I feel the muscles move under my skin, stretching out as I pull myself up. I stand tall physically, but I also stand solid in my gender. No matter what other people might think when they look at me, I am a man. The rightness reverberates through my body and I can’t stop myself smiling.
My shoulders bring me so much gender euphoria; they help me stand tall.
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