Archives for posts with tag: beauty

Another Trans person killed themselves last week. That’s another Trans person who died because of our society. Another Trans person to add to the thousands already dead. Another name to be read out on this years Trans day of Remembrance.
She wrote a suicide note. In it she talks about how she felt was ignored, and actively suppressed by her parents. That they tried to do something about it, because they thought there was something wrong with her identifying as Trans. Because, even in this time of greater Trans visibility, society still believes there’s something wrong with being Trans.
We are still seen as less than whole, not quite women, halfway men.

If you pass then things might be better, that is until the media out you, or someone finds out. Then suddenly you’re worse than if you were visibly Trans.
Go take a look at some of the articles about Laverne Cox, or Andreja Pejic, or Amiyah Scott. Take a look at the comments, that is if they haven’t been disabled because of the hate speech directed to these women because they also happen to be Trans.
I don’t know a single Trans person that hasn’t faced physical or mental abuse from another human. I don’t know a single other Trans person that hasn’t, at some point, been shamed, or attacked, or humiliated, for who they are, and how they chose to identify.

In her suicide note Leelah says

I’m never going to transition successfully, even when I move out. I’m never going to be happy with the way I look or sound. I’m never going to have enough friends to satisfy me. I’m never going to have enough love to satisfy me. I’m never going to find a man who loves me. I’m never going to be happy.
Either I live the rest of my life as a lonely man who wishes he were a woman or I live my life as a lonelier woman who hates herself. There’s no winning. There’s no way out. I’m sad enough already, I don’t need my life to get any worse. People say “it gets better” but that isn’t true in my case. It gets worse. Each day I get worse.

This is a wake up call for all of us. This is a person saying they give up. At 17 years old they’ve had enough. At 17.
I can’t think of a more damning indictment of society than this.

You can say that maybe she was wrong, that it does get better, but honestly, sometimes it doesn’t.
Imagine being denied your identity but the people that are supposed to be the one set of people that you’re told will love you no matter what.
Then imagine those people take you to more people, people in positions of power and authority that you don’t have the strength to fight against, because you’re a child, and they tell you you’re wrong, and that what you feel is wrong.
Imagine being told that, time after time, by the people that are supposed to be on your side, that are supposed to be there, to comfort, support and help you.

And then there’s society. Leelah writes about how she’ll never be happy with the way she looks and sounds. That she’ll never find a man who’ll love her.
We live in an society where misogyny is commonplace, and deeply ingrained. Ideals of beauty are fucked up, and seep into pretty much all aspects of life. I know, from experience how invasive and damaging this is.
I know I don’t conform to the beauty standards society places on women, and I know once people find out that I’m Trans it’ll be worse, because then I’ll be seen as “not even an actual woman” (and I quote that as a real thing someone said to me) and thus at best I wouldn’t really get it, and at worst why would I anyhow because I used to be a man, so how could it possibly affect me?
I think from reading other stuff I’ve written, you know how I feel about the way society’s dating attitudes towards Trans women affect us, but these transmisogynic attitudes are so insidious that even at 17 they’d filtered down, and added to the hopelessness that comes across so strongly in Leela’s suicide note.

When you have no hope, how can things possibly get better? When society, parents, the world, all say You are Wrong, and you have no way of challenging that, what can you do?

She ends here note asking that her death has to mean something, that we need to fix society, and she’s right.
We all need to start talking about this, because it’s our duty to, as the ones still here.
Yes, it’s hard, and finding the words is difficult. Talking about things like suicide, and death is complicated, and often upsetting. Trying to fix society, change attitudes, and stop things like this from happening may seem like the equivalent of trying to move a mountain with your bare hands.
That shouldn’t be a reason to not talk about these things though. Not having the words to know what to say isn’t a good enough reason, either for us, or for the people that have died.
We have to start a dialogue about this, as the people still here, and as the people this directly affects, we have to speak for our dead. We have to let them speak through our words and actions, with the dignity and respect they deserved whilst they were still alive.

We need to find the words to do this, because they no longer can.

These are some useful resources, if this has affected you, or you know someone that might need a lifeline..

Trans Lifeline A US/Canadian helpline, for Trans identifying people in times of crisis.

Switchboard A UK based helpline and support service for LGBTQ identifying people.


There’s this thing, and it keeps coming up, and it’s kind of a problem. It affects us all, and is expected of us all, at various points of our lives, despite it being virtually unobtainable.
I am of course talking about perfection.

It’s almost a cliche, the perfect relationship, the perfect date, the perfect job, the perfect body. There are countless guides, books, websites and gurus out there vying for our attention, all with the solution to how we could achieve this divine goal, and countless people reading, absorbing and devouring this information.

I could go on about why they do this, why we do this. We could get all analytical, break it down, and think how lucky we are not to be fooled by this perfection scam. We could do this dear readers, but we’re not going to.

Instead, let’s look at the perfect body. (Shush now at the back, don’t think I can’t hear you…)
Say you could change something about your body. It wouldn’t cost anything, it would be painless, quick and have no risk of fucking up. What would you change?

If you say nothing then I would have to ask, have you genuinely never felt the desire to change something about your body in your entire life?
Is it possible for someone to never, even slightly, ever feel any pressure in regards to their personal body shape, from the countless glossy magazines, airbrushed photos and brutal put-downs of anything different?
I honestly don’t think it is.
I am a strong person. I love my body, its shape, its quirks, its scars, and the way it is so definitely my body, with my experience, and my life, written all over it.
But I still feel that pressure. If it was easy, I’d get a nose job, I’d have smaller feet, maybe I’d do something about my brow, even though it’s only me that notices it.

This pressure is there, and I feel it. I don’t conform, I am a woman, and I am something more besides, yet I’m made to feel like something less.
Our expectations of what someone should look like is based on this perfect image that we’re spoon feed through everything around us, and it erodes us, and makes us fear imperfection.

Here’s what I know. The things I’d change about myself are the things people have said they love about me. I see my face and see all its flaws, I see scars, I see a nose that’s too big, and eyes that are too squishy. (My mouth, that’s pretty fine, just so you know).
The people that have loved me though, they don’t see that. My friends that love me now, they don’t see it either. What they see, as far as they’re concerned, is perfection.
I know, beauty, beholder, eye, you’ve heard it all before, but thing is, it’s true. It’s why we have this problem in the first place. What we judge as beauty, what we judge as perfection is so unique, and it’s also so easily influenced, both in a good and bad way.

So this is my mantra. This is what I try and say every time I feel my perception of beauty and perfection becoming tainted by something I don’t want to taint it.

Perfection isn’t something to be strived for, the very idea of perfection is flawed and broken, no, perfection is something to be ran from with all our might.

We need to grab each others hands, and run headlong into those so called flaws, those supposed imperfections, because they are very often the things that make us unique, the things that make people fall in love with us, the things that will, given time, make us mighty and proud.

Freiya Benson

Writer & Photographer.

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