My FIRST time wearing a Bikini at the Beach
Summer is definitely here! Summer means ice cream, BBQs in the park, sunbathing, heat and humidity so intense it causes "swamp butt," and for a select few it means BIKINI SEASON. If you follow me on Instagram you know I enjoy spending a large part of my Summer time sunbathing on my roof deck, a park, and of course the beach. If you've seen my Instagram stories I'm usually sporting shorts and a bra when partaking in my vitamin D intake. What made this past Monday different, you ask? While some of you were getting your free Slurpee at 7-Eleven I found myself alone at a NYC beach wearing a bikini. A first for me. I've been to a beach alone but never in a bikini. How was my experience you ask? Oh, let me tell you.
First of all, let me say this, the sun and the breeze felt AMAZING on my skin. Prior to starting hormones in 2018 I never wore speedos so I never felt the sun's heat and cool breeze "down there" in public. I can see why some folks prefer to go nude at the beach. The less you wear the better it feels. My butt cheeks and inner thighs were extremely happy. You may ask, being gender non-confirming did I feel weird wearing a bikini at a beach? That's a complicated answer.
Bikinis are gender specific. When you stop and think about what a bikini IS you find that a bikini is basically a bra and panties designed to be worn in public. One of the differences between a bikini and a speedo is that a speedo doesn't have a top piece that accompanies it. The fact that we socially condition females to cover their top and we do not do the same for males is a whole other conversation to be had. Of course if you are lucky enough like I am to live in a state such as New York, where it is perfectly legal for females to be topless wherever males are, then you start to realize the ridiculousness of "forcing" females to wear a bikini top. Bikinis have been around for 76 years, so why is it that so many folks, regardless of the sex they were assigned at birth, stop themselves from wearing a bikini in public?
I understand that wearing a bikini is a big deal, even a GOAL for many folks including trans women. And I don't mean to minimize a trans woman, or any woman's experience, being that I don't consider myself a woman of any kind, but for ME wearing a bikini at the beach was NEVER a real goal. If you bring up my post from 2017 I will simply deny ever writing it ;-)
For me wearing a bikini for the first time at the beach, now in 2022, simply FELT RIGHT. I'm slowly starting to get comfortable with the fact that my body is not just aging (I'm 43 years old) but it is starting to look a bit more "feminine" in the eyes of others. So I find myself asking myself, "why, if at all, should I feel ashamed about my "trans" body?" To that I ask "why should ANYONE feel ashamed of their bodies when they are lucky enough to have a body?"
We in most places on Earth, as a culture, condition females to cover their tops. We don't do this for "boys." So naturally I ask myself "why do I wear a bikini top at that beach? If you have ever been at the receiving end of the "Male Gaze" you know why. Some would argue that it is the Male Gaze that nudges parents to have their young girls cover their chest as young as five years old at the beach. It's worth noting that at age five boys and girls chests are for the most part indistinguishable. So why have a girl cover her chest in the form of a bikini?
Wearing a bikini may bring some issues to the surface so let's just say that regardless of your body type, your age, or sex assigned at birth, if you feel like wearing a bikini is right for you, DO IT Sure, some folks will give you stares, but they will NOT, and CANNOT diminish how GOOD it feels to have most of your body exposed to our LIFE giving Sun.