I used to avoid any and all pools and beaches as much as I possibly could because I’ve never felt comfortable with my body, or with any of the bathing suits I ever owned. For some reason I’ve always felt more vulnerable in a bathing suit than I ever have in any lingerie or even when I’m completely naked. I think it mostly has to do with how public swimming tend to be, and how unsure I feel about my safety with being nonbinary and queer amongst cishet people and their families while we’re all showing a little more skin than usual.
Generally speaking, I tend to draw a lot of glares in those sort of environments. There’s very little I can wear outside of swim trunks and a t-shirt that doesn’t garner me a lot of attention for how I look. Especially if I dare to even think of putting on a bikini or cute one-piece. In past experiences I’ve been intimidated out of changing rooms, scowled at by angry parents who’re unhappy about my queer visibility around their kids, and even called slurs and threatened with harm over how I’m dressed. But I’ve decided that this year is going to be different because I’m taking a radical self-love approach and saying fuck it!
It’s a big shift for me, because I actually haven’t been taking a lot of selfies or nudes at all lately due to feeling not so great in my body, in large part due to the negative self-perception I have thanks to how I’m perceived, and this treated, by others. I don’t tend to feel “sexy” or even good looking very often, despite how much I love taking nudes and lewds.
That’s why sharing these are such a big fucking deal for me. I don’t see myself as attractive in this body, but a friend of mine took some really adorable pictures of me while we were out camping last weekend and I think that the first big step to challenging that harmful self-image I have is to look at myself through my partner’s eyes. Because I’m getting a LOT of great sex from some pretty cool people, which means they gotta be seeing something in me that I’m not.
Time for unapologetic gayness from here on out. No more shame about existing publicly, or dressing in ways that feel empowering, comfortable, and affirming to me. No more hiding from summer activities out of fear for how the cishets might react to my presence around them.
I’ve spent the last year in isolation and anxiety over Covid, fearful of dying, or of my partners, lovers, or friends dying of this virus. That shit is enlightening when it comes to showing you how fleeting all of this is. Before that, I experienced many years with another form of isolation as I did my best to avoid transphobic harassment and abuses by allowing myself to be alienated and self-segregated in my home most of the time. Staying in simply felt safer, and it kept me from all the pain and trauma of communal abuse and violence. I’m feeling pretty goddamn done with all that shit, though.
I’m not hiding away anymore.
Here I am rocking my fat, hairy, flamboyant, and fabulous as fuck queer bod at the beaches around Lake Diefenbaker, and Douglas National Park, in Saskatchewan. Fuck you if you don’t like it.
For some further reading on my recent efforts around radical self-love and acceptance toward various aspects of my body and identity check out: