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The Breast—Friend of Foe?

11 Dec Posted by in • Genderqueer | Comments Off on The Breast—Friend of Foe?
The Breast—Friend of Foe?

Being genderqueer it pretty much goes without saying that my breasts are a huge problem for my psyche.  I can appreciate the feminine qualities I possess, and I do like breasts, mine included; well the idea of them anyway. I know I wouldn’t want to be without them completely, I just don’t appreciate their size and inability to be hidden when I am feeling a little more androgynous.

Because I loathe the enormous heavy pendulous beings on my chest, I do everything in my power to pretend they are not there.  I squish them in a too small bra, I turn my back on my own wife when I dress, I look up in the shower while I wash them and I never ever look at them in the mirror. Since I am female my breasts don’t look weird to everyone else I suppose, but they are all I focus on when I stand in front of a mirror.  In clothes they seem smaller, more easily controlled; nude they seem all encompassing and gross.

I am resentful of my breasts.  They keep me from dressing how I feel inside, from being able to accurately express who I am.  And even if the rest of the world had no clue what I was expressing, or even cared to try, I would know I was right.  None of how I feel can be represented properly having to wear the clothes I have to. The size of my breasts have confined me to a steel belted radial bra clamped so tight my breasts wrap around my sides and come out the back.  I have no other womanly curves to me. I have small straight hips, an undefined waist, and broad shoulders. I am not sure who pieced me together, but they surely need to be fired.

And while I have spent most of my adult life trying to poke fun at my breasts or ignore them, my attempt to deny my breasts their place on my chest may have cost me dearly. This past week I ended up with what I hope is an infection in my right breast.  It forced me to acknowledge their existence.  It was so painful and swollen and discolored I knew I’d have to address the problem with a doctor during the week.  In researching possible remedies for the pain and swelling, I typed my symptoms into the computer.  Inflammatory Breast Cancer came back again and again. This sudden shock caused me to evaluate my breasts a little more.  The more I looked, the more things I saw that didn’t look right. How could I have not noticed the very visible changes in size, shape and thickness? I don’t look in the mirror, that’s how.

Today was the third day in a row that I had a diagnostic test performed on my breasts.  And while what I thought was infection seems to be resolving, the rest that doesn’t seem right is apparently a view shared by others.  I am hoping for a good outcome, no matter what it may be, but I learned a great lesson this week.

Your body may not fit you but it still needs to be taken care of.

Echo Brooks (pseudonym) is a 40+ genderqueer writer. Read her/his/other blog at

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