Yesterday I posted a picture of my torso wearing just my new bra on my very public Tumblr (I’m battlematron for those curious) and before I even pushed the “publish” button I could hear the voices of my Dear Concerned Loved Ones saying things along the lines of, “You shouldn’t put this kind of image up, it’ll be there when a future employer Googles your name, you can never take down a picture, etc. etc. etc.” Which is very sweet and all but something that I entirely disagree with.
Accompanying this image is the following:
- The fear that a potential employer will see you doing drunk/high things
- The fear that a potential employer will see you in a sexual context
Well I wasn’t drunk or high when I took that picture and while I am topless it really isn’t a sexual picture. Taken within the context of the post it’s a picture about being proud of and happy in my body which is something that trans people are almost never allowed to be. I put up the picture to share my joy with my friends and my community because sometimes joy is best experienced when it’s shared. I also put it up because I want people to see a trans person happy in their body and not just fellow trans people but cis people as well because I believe it’s important for all of us to see depictions of trans people experiencing comfort with their bodies. If an employer sees this picture within its context and still feels it’s inappropriate or worthy of concern then their issue probably isn’t with what I’m (not) wearing but rather with the whole trans thing. And what if I end up in this situation? Well to be honest I’d really rather not work for someone who is uncomfortable with my trans identity. I recognize that this is a position of privilege but I can’t deny the fact that I’m a fairly employable person who can probably turn down a job that I don’t feel safe in.
Of course the previous paragraph was built around the picture being seen in its context of trans body pride but what if it’s taken out of that context? What if it’s reblogged or posted off Tumblr without the caption?Even here I don’t really see a problem because who the fuck will recognize me when I’m at a job interview wearing a top and, you know, having a face? If you’re going to identify me from that picture you’ve probably seen me topless and if you’ve already seen me topless then, well, why are you interviewing me for this job?
At some point the argument will be made that by taking off my shirt and posing in my bra I’m opening up myself to being sexualized by other people. To be honest I don’t really see how I can control or even be responsible for other people being attracted to me. If someone is going to take this image of me and sexualize it then it’s going to happen and it probably won’t impact anyone besides that one person jerking it to my pretty bra. What am I supposed to do- never enter into situation which might allow myself to be found sexually appealing to someone? Besides the fact that that’s really, really, really not my responsibility there’s also the fact that that’s basically impossible. I could dress in my most “unsexy” lumpy woolen shapeless clothing and there would still be that one person with a sexual fetish for babes wearing lumpy woolen shapeless clothing (I mean really, have you seen the lists of fetishes on Fetlife? There’s like ninety thousand or something.)
And yes, you are allowed to leave comments telling me what a babe I am.