Were you aware that in New York City a woman can be topless anywhere a man can be shirtless? I only found this out this year thanks to Moira Johnston (video above).
Did you know that there is a group in New York of a group of friends, and friends of friends, and friends of friends of friends, and complete strangers, who love good books and sunny days and enjoying both while topless. They are called The Outdoor Co-ed Topless Pulp Fiction Appreciation Society.
I'm thrilled to live in a city that allows women this same basic human right and freedom that men enjoy. Growing up I could not understand why it was ok for a guy to walk around shirtless but it was frown upon for a woman to do the same.
Recently on two separate occasion from two different individual I've been told that some of my friends on Facebook have asked other friends of mine on Facebook "What's the deal with Adrian posting all these shirtless photos of himself on the internet lately?"
If you follow me on Instagram and/or on Facebook you know that this year I've not been shy about posting one or two...ok, at least 28 photos of myself shirtless.
That being a fact I find it amusing that my taking shirtless photos of myself and then posting them on the internet is a topic of discussion while I'm not in the room. Out of all the things we could be discussing I never thought folks would be talking about my shirtless state. Now that I'm aware of this, I would like to direct your attention, to a less superficial topic - that of "Awareness" and "Intention."
Anyone who really knows me can tell you that if someone is talking to me about an issue they may be having with someone, I always ask:
a) Is the person in question Aware of his or her actions?
b) Has he or she made his Intentions known?
Let's take my shirtlessness as an example since it's a fun topic. To my knowledge, some folks on Facebook have seen my shirtless pics and have asked other people "what's the deal with all the shirtless Adrian Pics?' Which we could translate to "is Adrian aware that he's been posting A LOT of pictures of himself shirtless and also what are his intentions by doing so?
It's almost the equivalent of asking the above topless ladies why are they shirtless out in public in New York City. The short answer is, because they can. Why be ashamed of the human body?
For me personally there are also a couple of other factors for posting shirtless pics of myself.
For as long as I can remember I was never treated as an extremely sexy person, or a very ugly person. I wasn't very masculine but neither very feminine. Some people would find me funny while other's couldn't stand me. I was called stupid as many times as I was told I was smart.
I was mistaken with my mother when I would answer the phone at an early age before puberty had changed my voice. I still remember the boys in 7th grade gym class snickering and making sly comments to my face about how my legs were so smooth compared to their already hairy masculine legs. And I still, to this day, read comments about how my jawline, arms and hands are not feminine enough for me to pass as a "real woman" when I crossdress.
For as long as I can remember I've always been an inbetweener.
Thus, I find that many of my actions in life are often scrutinized and my intentions questioned. I know from getting numerous emails over the years that many of our GenderFun readers understand what it's like to be scrutinized, made fun of, discriminated against, and ridiculed, simply because they crossdress, are trans, gay, or have at one point or another in their lives felt like an outsider.
I believe a healthy dose of scepticism is healthy in life even if it's in regards to silly topics of conversation such as why someone would post shirtless pictures of themselves on the internet. There are many folks who take what they see at face value, and then there are other folks who like to dig deeper into why some people do what they do.
Take for example a show that I watched earlier this year on the History channel where they posed the question "Does the Statue of Liberty represent more than just American freedom?" The show is called Brad Meltzer's Decoded and it has a team who investigates and explores claims involving the infamous Illuminati and connections between the statue and the number seven.
If people are going to scrutinize a symbol of freedom don't be surprised when you share a part of your life on Facebook and people start talking.
I believe Intention is a powerful thing. As many of you know it took plenty of work and determination to transform my body to it's current state. It involved two major factors, quitting smoking and going sober, which many folks struggle with on a daily basis. For me personally when I see a photo of my shirtless state it acts as a reminder of what I'm capable of doing when I set my mind to it. And I believe that if little ol me can make changes in my life then so can many many other folks make changes in their lives.
At the end of the day I'm a spiritual being having a human experience. A photo of my naked torso says to me, here is the vehicle that carries me through this terrestrial plane right now. The body is forever changing like our planet. It is constantly shedding dead cells and creating new ones.
I'm aware of my body and I intend to use it for as long as I have it. I hope you do the same with yours. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own. Share it with the world if you're so inclined, use it as a reminder to all that although the body is temporal your essence, that which carries the purest of your intentions, is infinite.