Today’s reflection on body image and self-care comes to us from Drake Jones.
hello, and may my words find you safe and well! my name is drake, and i’m a biracial, genderqueer trans person in my mid-twenties. i work to support prisoners, and to expand trans* folks’ access to gender affirming health care and legal support. to stay involved in these struggles, i’m learning to take better care of my body and mind.
i’ve learned to seek out opportunities to delight my senses: e.g., stretching, massage, hugs, warm baths, scented candles and oils, tasty foods, soft blankets, good music, riding my bike or tossing a frisbee. activities like this help me feel connected to my body, and remind me that we all deserve to feel good.
i’ve also focused on body image. after my transition, i felt ashamed because society doesn’t seem to value trans* bodies. through reading and discussing other trans folks’ ideas about resisting cis normativity, i started working through that shame. i have a unique body, and nowadays i love that! i like being a hairy person with curvy hips, smile lines, plenty of scars, (often) painted nails and a lovely tattoo. while internalized transphobia still impacts me, day-to-day i keep growing more comfortable with, and excited about, how my body looks.
my next challenge to accept my unique mind. recently, the lack of resources for those who (like myself) struggle with madness (mental health) has caused a lot of stress and instability in my life. i remind myself i am not alone. i find much more strength, resilience, healing, and encouragement when i reach out within my communities to ask for help and support. i think reaching out is key to building a sustainable movement for trans* liberation.