My complicated journey to finding my breasts

Breasts are complicated. Guys are into boobs there’s no doubt about it. So are lesbian women I discovered. Women are often judged by their breasts. This is nothing new.

What is new, to me, is having breasts. I started HRT a little over a year ago. Since then my breast development has been subtle but steady. I spent the first several months excitedly waiting to see what my boobs were going to be like once they grew in. But, I had an issue. I am very much overweight. I had so-called man boobs most of my life. This was by design mostly as I needed to fit into the bras I was secretly wearing when nobody was around.

I lived a very unhealthy lifestyle for many years trying to find a balance between exercising enough to stay sorta fit while remaining fatty enough to maintain those man boobs. I knew if I ever transitioned someday I would want the fatty tissue there to help out. So far it’s not gone as planned.

The first several months I couldn’t even tell I was growing. I could feel the stretching, burning and itching often described with breast development. I would secretly, and discretely, ask my female associates if this was normal to get an idea of what I was getting into. This, unfortunately got me into trouble at work thus I started to withdraw from breast discussions, even from those safely taking place online among friends.

Fear is a powerful emotion. Once it gets a hold of us it can be nearly impossible to break free from it’s grip. I realized that fear of talking about breasts had extended into other areas of my psyche the day a trans friend of mine showed me her fake boobs and I cringed, became quite squeamish and left the room in disgust. I nearly made a scene. It was terrible.

I didn’t start to really notice good development until this summer, almost a whole year into HRT. By then I had started to come to terms with the reality I was going to have boobs as a part of my life. A few months ago this led me to have a very awkward conversation with my female family members about breast cancer. Fortunately said disease does not run in our family therefore I am less concerned than I was before.

Yesterday I had my first experience of breast shame. All my life I’d see girls pulling up their shirts to cover their boobs whenever guys were around. I suspected this had to do with them no wanting to be ogled by men in social settings. My stomach was hurting more than normal and my bra became unbearably uncomfortable to wear. So I snuck into the bathroom, removed said garment then returned to my desk. I was very self aware my breasts were noticeably present the remainder of the day. This left me very uncomfortable for the rest of the work shift. I had never felt so exposed before in my life. It was raining outside so my nipples were also very hard, a relatively new sensation for me as well. This compounded the shame I felt as my male co-worker was visibly uncomfortable sitting next to me.

This was the first time in my life my breasts had embarrassed me in public. Before that moment I just took them for granted. Now I am more aware of how important it is to take care of my girls as they are going to be a fixture of my life going forward. I said my relationship with them is complicated. Despite the shame I felt, underneath it all was a subtle twinge of joy knowing they were finally “real” enough to get a guys attention. That secretly felt good. My mom told me most woman hate having boobs. I am not sure if that is true or not but I can tell you what I am learning about having them. They certainly change things in ways I wasn’t quite prepared for. Despite it all, I am quite thrilled my girls have finally decided to join the party.

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Stephanie Bri

A transgender writer who also does podcasts and videos.