Transsexual viewpoint on GoTopless Day '09

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National Go-Topless Day brings cheers and jeers in New York City

Female protesters shed their shirts and undergarments on August 23 for National Go-Topless Day, a nationwide protest by women who want the legal right to go shirtless in public — the same right that men have now.

While New York City’s protest got the most attention, ironically, New York is the only state in the country that does allow women to go topless in public, the result of a 1992 court ruling. But that didn’t stop protesters from stripping down for the cause of equality.

Now I’ve always said that just because men can go shirtless doesn’t mean they should, and most of us have seen plenty of examples in our lifetime of why many of them should not.

But as a trans man who spent the first half of my life covering up and the last 12+ years digesting the fact that I no longer have to do so, the whole double standard in this area for men and women seems completely ridiculous.

A week before my chest surgery, I no doubt would have been arrested for losing my linens in public. A week later, it was all perfectly legal.

I was the same person, with the same body configuration that I had all my life — minus the breasts. And, curiously enough, that made all the difference.

Our culture’s sexualization of the female breast is interesting and absurd, but I was only able to see that in the context of before and after. I invite you to my blog, Tranifesto, to read some additional discussion about, and personal experience with, this topic.

What’s your take on National Go-Topless Day?
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