No, I Am Not Showing You My Transition Before-And-After Pictures, And Here's Why
Whatever a trans person has done to become who they are now deserves to be celebrated, not because of the difference they've created, but because of the strength of their character, their will to survive, and their determination to become who they need to be in a world that makes that really hard.
Hi! My name's Samantha, I'm transgender, and I've been on hormone replacement therapy for four years.
You might be wondering what I looked like before I transitioned. But I'm not gonna line up a comparison for you! And here's why.
Every trans person is beautiful all the time, no matter where they're at with their bodies and identity. Still, trans people are often commodified by comparing pics of how they looked in the past and now. We should celebrate every victory in trans folks' lives, no question, but the before-and-after narrative overlooks some really important stuff.
Trans joy doesn't necessarily have anything to do with transition or how different you look now compared to what you looked like before. Worse, reducing yourself to a binary comparison so you're easier to understand constitutes yourself by the image other people have of you.
We are more than the way we've changed. And we matter in the here and now, not because of where we came from, but because of who we are. Emphasizing binary change as an essential part of being trans does us all a disservice, because it maintains the idea that as trans folks, we're somehow different in our human bodies than everyone else. And we are, for sure — heck, I think we're all utterly magical and definitely strong as all get-out. But, insofar as being human goes, we're just like everyone else. So I don't think we should define ourselves on the basis of difference.