Saturday, August 11, 2007

Beach Boy

Tomorrow I'm going to Trans on the Sands, an event sponsored by the Gender Identity Project, at Coney Island from 11-5. Click the link for info/directions if any of y'all are in the NYC area.

I'm looking forward to a day at the beach, for sure- especially since it will be precisely one year and three days since I had my chest surgery, which means shirtless shenanigans for sure! I've been really good about following the recommended no-direct-sunlight-for-a-year guidelines around my scars. The first time I took my shirt off in the great outdoors was two weeks ago when I jumped in a river for about a half hour, at 5pm, with SPF 45 slathered all over myself. I still intend to slather my skin and especially my scars in SPF 45 tomorrow, and reapply frequently, but it's nice to feel like I'm out of the probationary period.

This beach event is a great idea, based on the principle of safety in numbers- there are plenty of folks who can't be safe and relaxed at the beach in the beachwear of their choosing, and that's pretty crappy. It reminds me of one way in which transphobia can skew more negatively towards transwomen. Before last year I wasn't particularly happy wearing my double-layered sports bra beach outfit, but I didn't feel that unsafe. I was still a visibly gender variant female, but I've seen transwomen get so much more abuse along the lines of "Aah, dude in a bikini!"

I feel safe and fine going to the beach anytime (particularly now, with the passing privilege my transition status gives me) but I'm going to Trans on the Sands tomorrow because everyone should be able to be safe at the beach. If I can contribute to that by sprawling my pasty self out on the sand, then excellent.

Not to mention, I'm totally thrilled about my first shirtless beach excursion ever. I'm looking forward to jumping in the ocean, gross though the water at Coney Island is. Swimming without breasts is a whole new thing, and I'm wicked excited about it. I intend to try to figure out whether I'm less buoyant post-transition...I think yes, since I've got less fat and more muscle, thanks to surgery and T, but maybe it won't be significant enough to matter.