By the time I got to the last two years of high school, most of people in my main circle of friends were all about tattoos. I guess that’s normal when you spend most of your time with the punk and indie underground kids. I had a few tattoos that I wanted too, but I never went through with anything. Throughout high school, college, and my post college years, I was stopped from getting tattoos by one single question, “if I was a woman, would I want this on my body?” Of course, I didn’t know back then that I was actually a woman the whole time, but now that I do know this and I live my life in line with that, I can answer that question.
You’d think that if, even back in high school, I was holding back getting a tattoo just in case I ever decided to transition, I’d have figured all this out sooner, but, apparently, you’d be wrong. Anyway, that’s a story for another day. I had other reasons for not getting a tattoo, but this was the one I could never get around.
A few months after I accepted transition into my life, I started kicking around an idea for a tattoo. It was based on three different ideas that were all related to me and how I live my life. The idea started with the transgender symbol–a reminder to always live openly trans and be proud of who I am, never stop fighting for trans equality. From there, I replaced the circle in the middle with a heart; always show love and compassion, no matter what. Never let anger and bitterness be what controls me. I opened up one side of the heart to represent an open heart that allows others in. Finally, as a reminder that I’m more than just trans and I should never let being trans control my life, “26.2.” Among a whole list of other things that I am, I am a marathon addict.
I bounced the idea around in my head for almost a year and a half trying to figure out exactly how I wanted it styled until my friend Kayla helped me get the design perfect. She even kept making minor revisions for me right up until I met the tattoo artist.
Getting the tattoo certainly hurt, but it was no worse than getting a face full of lasers, something I do every 5-6 weeks. The worst part was actually waiting over three hours because the tattoo shop we went to doesn’t do appointments on Saturdays.
So, I now have the transgender symbol tattooed on my inner left wrist. It’s a very visible tattoo, but the trans symbol isn’t immediately obvious and, even then, if you don’t know the symbol you won’t pick it up at all. Either way, I’m fairly certain that having a visible transgender tattoo automatically makes you trans as fuck–how I live my life–for the rest of your life.
I wasn’t alone in getting my tattoo, my wife got her second tattoo, “miles to go” written on the side of her rib cage.