LIFESTYLE
01/10/2015 14:55 BST | Updated 01/10/2015 15:59 BST

This Trans Woman Wants #FreeTheNipple To Include All Bodies, Not Just Cis Women

Meet Courtney Demone, a trans woman who is currently undergoing hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

She is starting to grow breasts and, as a result, experiencing first-hand some of the double standards between men and women.

Recently, when Demone was sunbathing topless in the garden, her roommate asked: “Since you’re a girl now, does that mean I’m not allowed to look at you shirtless anymore?”

And that sparked a growing curiosity - not to mention confusion - around the politics of women's bodies.

A photo posted by Courtney Demone (@courtdemone) on

In a poignant article for Mashable, Demone challenges not only the censorship of the female form but the narrow definitions of femininity explored by the #FreeTheNipple movement.

Announcing the launch of her campaign #DoIHaveBoobsNow?, Demone asked, ironically: "At what point in my breast development do I need to start covering my nipples?"

"When people start to consistently see me as a woman, my privilege to be comfortably topless in public will be gone for good," she added. "We can challenge that."

While she recognises the effectiveness of the #FreeTheNipple campaign, she insists there is a long way to go. The aim of her campaign is to "free all bodies from silencing, oppression, and censorship", by encouraging others to use social media - the very platforms accused of censorship - to post and share stories of how society treats their bodies.

"#FreeTheNipple has demonstrated the sexism, hyper-sexualization and absurdity behind society’s scandalization of women’s nipples in a way everyone can clearly observe and understand," she wrote.

"However, it has also failed to recognize that baring her nipples doesn’t mean freedom for every woman. To further explore those ideas and examine these same issues through the experiences of people with different bodies, #FreeTheNipple needs to be pushed beyond narrow definitions of femininity."

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Demone says that while she is "remarkably privileged for a trans person", she has started to notice double standards between male and female identity.

"Since coming out as a woman," she says. "I’ve slowly watched my cisgender male privilege evaporate."

She adds: "It's my femininity, not my being transgender, that has brought about much of this privilege loss, and it's misogyny that robs women of these privileges."

Demone is not the first trans woman who recognise the double standards of censorship.

Earlier this year, Seranine posted a topless photo to Instagram after 200 days of HRT and the site removed it.

"It's official, kids! Instagram took down my topless pic, so the debate's over, my nipple is too female to be seen bare. I guess this means I really AM a girl after all," she wrote. "It's a beautiful day for cultural misogyny, far too beautiful to look back on history to a time when men, too, had to keep their nipples under wraps."