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

Will change

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.

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