L O V E U F O R U
In recent years body positivity has been a large topic of conversation. People are now discussing the impact of the media and how Photoshop impacts how we see ourselves. This is great, we are moving in the right direction, it’s not perfect, but it’s a positive shift. Younger people are not believing everything they see on social media and in magazines and it’s great to see people speaking out and being more positive about their bodies. However, most of the bodies we are seeing are those of cisgender (meaning, not transgender) people. Trans voices are often lost or forgotten about completely. Just as cisgender people, particularly women, are held to such high standards of what the “perfect body” looks like, trans people also feel the pressure to live up to these ideals when they are already struggling with the fact that their body doesn’t fit that of their true gender. In many ways, trans people will have the same message we are hearing from cisgender body positivity activists of loving their body the way it is. But in other ways we have a very different experience with body positivity, which has a huge deal to do with dysphoria (the feeling that our bodies don’t match our gender).
For me, body positivity is about being myself and being free in my body. Dressing more masculine and presenting as male helped, however I still felt a disconnect with my body. It wasn’t until maybe 2 years into my medical transition, being on T (testosterone) that this started to improve. The typical ideals we see in relation to men in the media is tall, lean and muscular, however this will never be a possibility for me. I’m short, that is my genetics and I just have to deal with that (at least I can still buy my shoes in the youth section for a fraction of the price ??)
I often feel sad that my body will never be free of scars, I will always have that fear of people asking what my scars are from or them outing me, but I am at peace within myself now. I still have a long way to go to reach my ideal body, but it’s a work in progress and I’m here to enjoy the ride.
We know that some of these topics are difficult to talk about and can be very triggering. If you feel affected in any way by any of these features, please reach out to one of the following for support:
Student Wellbeing Services
Student Counselling Services
Riccarton Medical Centre
The Galashiels Health Centre (GP): Currie Road, Galashiels TD1 2UA, Phone: 01896 661366
Y-Talk Orkney (counselling services)
LGBT Youth Scotland
Heriot-Watt LGBT+ Society: find us on Social Media or email is firstname.lastname@example.org for access to our Discord server!