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location:  Body Art  >  Tattoo  >  Backpiece

I have long wanted a backpiece that was a tribal-type representation of the three gender symbols to connect my past, present, and future. I tried for a couple years to draw something meaningful that incorporated everything I was thinking in my head, but nothing ever came to me. Then, like all good tattoos, one day it did. I got this tattoo, my fourth, in February 2005.

I never thought I would get a word tattooed on me, and now I have three, each completing their respective circle. I wanted to pick words that I associate with the three aspects of sexed and gendered self: my past as a female-born person, my transition from female to male, and my present/future as a male. I choose patience because that is the one inborn aspect of myself I associate with being female, and it is a traditionally-female characteristic. I choose strength for the male symbol to represent the physical and mental strength I have gained. Finally, I choose freedom to complete the trans symbol because that is exactly what transitioning has been for me...the ultimate of all freedoms.

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