Community Voices: Trans. Chains Off. Shirt Unbuttoned. This Is Who I Am.

Editor’s note: dapperQ’s Community Voices is a platform for and by the community to share stories, opinions, and essays. We embrace diverse points-of-view and welcome you to join the discussion in the comments section below, on Twitter, or by pitching your own pieces for publication via [email protected]. The following is photo shoot with commentary by dapper Editor Ryley Rubin Pogensky that addresses a very important conversation: Not all transgender people want or have access to gender affirming surgery, and that does not make these individuals less trans and does not mean that society should not accept their gender simply because of the narrow, limiting definitions we have assigned to gender. Check out Ryley’s powerful words and images.

I wanted to show a pre op body. Trans bodies are holy and sacred but in the media we often aren’t shown topless until we have had surgeries that match the gender roles society has imposed on our cis counterparts. While I love my body I do often feel chained down by perceptions people may have if they notice a chest that isn’t entirely flat. There is pride in who I am, but there is also fear, and of course dysmorphia that finds itself creeping into my subconscious. Chains off. Shirt unbuttoned. This is who I am.”

Photos by @rosemarysbabee

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