The geography of a trans body

I’m tired of having the wrong body.
Or rather, I’m tired of being bound by the idea of having the wrong body.

Who is the jury, the judge? Who decides what the right body is? The scales are always tipped in their favor anyway; the game is rigged, the results drawn. There’s no winning.

I’m tired of running. I’m tired of holding myself up against the world. I’m tired of looking in the mirror and not recognizing myself.

What is a man, what is a woman? The prism through which I’ve learnt to see the world slipped, shattered. What are bodies but happy accidents in alchemy? Under the epidermis, the dermis, the subcutaneous tissue, fasciae, muscle, bone, orderly. Slice me and I will bleed just like you. I want just as deeply, ache and love like I hold my beating heart in my hands. I want to be happy. I want to stop being tired.

For the longest time revulsion and self-negation brought me comfort, but self-negation leaves you hungry, leaves you empty. I’m tired of swallowing my discomfort. I’m tired of looking away from the eyes of the world. I’m tired of holding myself like an apology; I’m tired of the apologies spilling from every word dripping down my mouth. 

I’m still far from love – the journey from negation to self-affirmation isn’t easy; it isn’t easy to teach yourself the language of holding truce, but I’m learning to hold peace in my body, with gentle hands, gentle eyes, gentle words. I’m making amends to myself. I’m learning to make space for joy- gender euphoria, I’ve found, is a much better compass than misery.

The world is at war with trans bodies – and we are drowning in trans grief, in loss. In honouring the memories of our kin, I want to live ferociously, live without guilt, without shame. Here is the revolution: it begins at home, in love. Audre Lorde said that caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, is an act of political warfare. I’m throwing out what doesn’t serve me. I reject cis-heteronormative doctrines, narratives – one belief, one assumption at a time. We hold the power of self-identification. No authority, no lover, no friend, no family can ever take away that immanent, inalienable right. They can outlaw, misrepresent, oppress, repress, pathologize, analyze and try and fail to define us, but they will never break us, our spirit, our beauty, our stories, our histories. There is no wrong way to have a body. There is no wrong way to participate in gender. 

Eventually, I will get where I want to be. Eventually, I will be my first and best lover. This is how I want the long winter of my days to give way to spring, to growth. This body is a trans body, is the right body, is a beautiful body. I’m making myself a home; I’m opening the windows and letting in the light.


Aish (they/them) is a non-binary trans and gay medical student, poet and occasional writer. Political(ly leftist, intersectional feminist) and opinionated, but always willing to learn.