Loving yourself as a trans person in a world that teaches you to hate or judge everything trans is such a rebellious act. In fact, loving yourself when you in some way fall outside the perfect beauty standards of Western culture is. I was once so embedded with self-loathing and internal prejudice that I thought it was perfectly normal and understandable that I wasn't desirable because I was trans. I thought that having sex with the body that I had was disgusting and that my body was something to be ashamed of.
And this fear isn't unfounded - we see it everywhere. In Ace Ventura to popular pop songs where the plot is usually that some guy is interested in or has sex with a trans person and is so disgusted or humiliated in the process. Too many times have trans people been portrayed in such a negative way and positive representation of trans people is hard to come by.
The problem is that trans people are rarely consulted on our own issues. We are not involved in script writing, production, as cast or in any way at all. So what happens is that we see jokes, tropes, phrases and language that trans people would never stand for. We see a representation that gives the wrong idea and sends the wrong message - Even when there are documentaries made the focus is primarily on genitals and bodies rather than the social situations and injustice trans people face. What this does is create a cycle of misrepresentation and portrays trans people as bodies that need to be fixed with medical interventions in order to be respected in society. As long as we conform to the right type of bodies, society might just be able to tolerate us. But not really.
So when it comes down to loving yourself in all your wonderful diversity and complexity of expression, it is really fucking hard. Because we keep portraying a narrow, non-intersectional and often downright harmful narrative through film and media.
I cannot stress it enough how important it is to have trans people involved in all steps of a process, because the reality is that trans people are underrepresented, misunderstood, discriminated against and murdered. It is therefore a huge responsibility that I don't think people understand. You literally have the power to shift opinions or enforce those who cause us harm.
Nothing about us without us.
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