6.20.2010

Hard Lesson #1: The Bra

It's true tomboys, no matter how much you protest your mother will still take you out and buy you a bra. I have traumatic memories of the girls and ladies clothing department of the Sears. Every year in August or September my mom would load us into the car and take us to the mall to buy clothes for the upcoming school year. Every year it was the same argument, until last year when I finally came out as trans to my mom.

Bra shopping was definitely one of the most traumatizing experiences of my life and having to go into the ladies delicates department of any store is nearly as terrifying as using a public washroom. Ladies clothes don't fit right, they're too tight, too stretchy, too lacy, frilly, glittery, pastel, all in all just too feminine. My mom had this rule, I don't know where she got it form but the rule was that until your tit could hold a pencil you didn't need a bra. Well I was so lucky that I didn't meet those criteria until I was ten. Yep. Ten years old before I had to be humiliated by the appearance of breasts large enough to hold a pencil, go to a store with my mom and buy a bra from a woman who at first glance thought I was a boy, and then wear it to school only to be taunted and teased.

I don't remember the gory details of how I came to own my first bra and if I really felt like I needed to remember it would take some serious drug induced regressive hypnotherapy to find that repressed nightmare.

I can't really tell you how self conscious I have been about my breasts.  Since the time I knew they were coming, I prayed they wouldn't get too big, you see the family is pretty chesty. I sort of ended up middle of the road: tits not enormously big but not small enough that I could pass easily as a guy, or play sports comfortably. I never enjoyed my breasts in a sexual way, and to this day my chest is an off limits space for my partner. I can't explain to you the complicated mess of emotions that I felt when someone tried to arouse me by touching my boobs. Panic, hate, guilt, nausea, describe a few feelings but it was deeper than that and something I can't put my finger on. It has been difficult for my partner and I to navigate the psychological influence physical parts of me have had on our relationship. The most important thing for us is to talk about it. Neither of us are mind readers and so no matter how difficult or awkward the situation we have to be honest and talk and take risks even when we feel most vulnerable.

Bras are awesome, on a sexy woman, in a Victoria's secret catalogue, or on the floor next to the bed. Not on my body. Ever. When I decided to transition I discovered this little thing called a binder and the best place to get them is an online medical supply store called Underworks. I bought two compression shirts from them and the moment I put one on I felt like a whole new guy. When I saw myself in the mirror for the first time I couldn't sop smiling. I had a chest that resembled the one I had always wanted. I stood up straight and decided that I would never ever wear a bra again. I began wearing them every day; to school, out in public, around the house. My girlfriend commented on how much taller I was. I was standing up straighter, more confident, more relaxed.

In two weeks I have a consultation appointment with a surgeon to have a bilateral mastectomy and male chest contouring procedure. I am hoping that at this time he will give me a surgery date and I will know for sure when I will be free of boobs forever! I am hoping that I will have the surgery before the end of this year but there are no guarantees in the land of medicine so all I can do is cross my fingers and hope for the best. 

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