In celebration of trans bodies — An ode to joy
There are things that transcend words, such as looking in the mirror and knowing that the person looking back at you is you. Most people take it for granted, hell, I used to before I lost my hair and I am just rediscovering. Its that confident smile, that joy of simply going “yup, this is me”. This is the state of mind trans people get to, hopefully, if they transition, that feeling of completeness and knowing that this is exactly who they are. Theirs is the body beautiful, theirs is a place in the world singular to them that no-one else can take away. Being trans is not for anyone else, it is a deeply personal and internal state of existence, yet at the same time highly public and out there to the world. For all the slings and arrows we face, being trans is a celebration of the inner us, a veritable symphony of joy that we are who we know we are.
There comes a point in most trans peoples lives that tips over from knowing to doing, that making that step from the comfort of the daily rhythm to the beat of our own drum becomes too inescapable. Over the line we go into a great beyond that is barely touched by the media. Our bodies are taboo, fetishized for gratification and walking clothes horses on the runway. We cover up, hide in the shadows, and only if we epitomise what society expects do we see the light of day. We are succulents waiting to be plucked and adored, then if we wilt in the heat discarded back into the shadows from whence we came.
We intersect every race, every creed, every colour. Be it hijab or bikini, scrubs or ball gowns, fatigues or suits, we exist within and around the world. Our bodies morph and grow, develop and mature. From lithe saplings in the discos of youth to mature oaks whom soliloquies are sung as we age into the stars. Those who medicalise grapple with medication, face the scalpel with honest face, our privilege writ in scar and bone. Our bodies, medicalised or now, embrace life’s beauty, making up a living harmony to gender’s broad pantheon.
Yet, many of trans folk exist in the shadow of society’s dirge, chained to what you expect us to be. You whip us on the line, expecting us to sing what ever tune will make you content. Yet, like Jean Valjean we are ever looking for ways to escape the purgatory you set for us. The binary bounds may suit so many, but our hymns sing from a different sheet. Our lamentations are but high notes for the press, our broken bodies tympany for life’s orchestra. Instead of plain song exalting the virtue of gender expression, trans folk sing requiems for those stolen before their time.
Our bodies are not lamentations, our resistance is only a war cry because we cannot live free. Our place should be in the kitchen, the tank, the bank, the train right next to you. This is the clarion call of freedom that spills forth. We seek not the lamentation of our women or men or non-binary folk, for our bodies are glorious manifestations of life. Infinite diversity in infinite combinations. An ode to the joy of living. A song sung every time we look in the mirror knowing that is who we are. We are high notes in the symphony of life, adding texture and colour, ours are the bodies beautiful in all their manifestations, and our ode is an ode for us all.