I dunno man
It doesn’t make me feel better, or
Safer in the world, or
More at home in my body
To see scars all over the internet
As if that is somehow
What it means to be a trans man.
Personally, my scars change
All the time. They are thick, they are tight.
They are textured, and they are riddled with
Ingrown hairs and I have
Absolutely no sensation except for
All the weird bad ones that come in waves.
I hope that perhaps I wasn’t sewn back too tight, but that
I’m still healing.
Recently I went to the ocean and bobbed in the waves.
My scars reacted drastically to the sea water, it was amazing.
They relaxed, they soothed.
My sixth months from surgery mark couldn’t have come too soon.
I don’t want to be defined
By the scarring on my chest. I am not proud to have
More or less scars, I’m not going to run around shirtless
Because having massive double-mastectomy scars
Outs you, until it doesn’t. Until the lines fade white, until the hair
Covers instead of getting trapped inside.
I think my perspective on my scars
Just as much as my scars do, and I think
It’s really weird
How much pressure I am under
To love them, despite the fact
That my scars are simply a means to an end, and
A beginning —
To say that this is somehow
My identity, that I am proud
To have scars, that I am proud
To have had surgery– I don’t think that’s fair
For anyone, and I don’t think
Anyone “needs” to hear that their
Scars will make their life better, what made my life better
Is the ability to move through the world
As a man.
When my shirt comes off, I am outed.
I don’t see how this is something
That I should be encouraging, and yet
Every single thing about my life, and my perspective
Has changed since top surgery. I went on a 180 and now I’m feeling
Like I’m back where I started, and yet
I’m always, always healing. Progress is
Not something that comes lightly, and I think
Perhaps I need to spend
More time in the salt, and less time
On the internet, where inflamed minds stalk
As if scars are somehow proof
Of something more than purchase.
I flip flop between coming to terms with the fact
That my top surgery was medically warranted, and how
My insurance covered it, and how
Everything about my life has improved since the operation, while also
Being scarred from the whole experience.