To Empower One's Self Performance Statement:

 My body is my own. My choices regarding my body, are mine alone. 

Medical professionals, insurance companies, public news media, advertising, religious organizations, and "well-intentioned" strangers would like to convince me otherwise. As a transgender person, you're taught to tolerate great discomfort and to expect to have your privacy invaded often. This is the world we live in. 

The choice to transition has been the most personal decision of my life, but the process of getting through it, has been a frustrating, cumbersome, group-activity full of quasi-professionals and uninformed health workers. The social aspects of transition can be equally complicated and uncomfortable. The road to top-surgery- a choice made by some, but not all trans men, often requires several years of preparation, including extensive consultation with doctors, insurance companies, psychiatrists, and other individuals that have some stake in the dictation of your body. This performance of physically altering and re-making my body, deciding that I have a choice in the structure of my chest, is an ultimate act of body positivity. By sanding and wearing down this life-size plaster cast of my pre-op torso, I am slowly making peace with what I have, and reminding myself that I can be in control.

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