I have two tattoos. Nothing all that exciting about that news. But how they came to be is directly related to where I am now. Both are tribal designs with one of them specifically being a sort of dragon.
But the reason I got both has a ridiculously stupid premise. I knew I was possibly Trans early enough in my life but had a very Catholic and West Of Scotland approach to it. I pushed all of that awareness down, shot it in the head and poured concrete over it.
And then I hit on the idea that a tattoo would help me “Man Up”. I was still pretty reserved in my approach. I got the smallest tattoo that I actually liked. So far, so good. I had a tattoo. That, at the time, seemed pretty manly. Yay for me!
Lasted about a year and thoughts about possibly being Trans hadn’t really dissipated so I had an Eureka moment. Another tattoo would totally fix it. So I picked out a similarly sized tribal dragon for my other arm. Surely that would balance me out and all would be well with the world?
But the 4 inch design I chose didn’t suit the tattooist at all. He doubled it in size and put the transfer on my arm. And like a total pussy, despite being alarmed by it’s eventual half arm size, I just let him. I didn’t want to look like a sissy. After all, that was the point of the whole endeavour. To literally be able to appear like a man.
But despite all of that I have no regrets. My tattoos are neither particularly male or female. And they are part of me and proof of who I was. I never want to forget him. He brought me the friends that have held me up, my longest memories are still his and it was he that brought me into the world, no matter how scared he may have been.
Back then was just a kind of reverse Drag though. At the time I genuinely believed appearing more male was going to be the answer. Clearly it was not. I still happened. But would I still feel as sure if it hadn’t. I don’t think so. It had to happen for me to get here. So I’m a little fond of the boy who put himself through all of that for me. I do actually miss him from time to time. If you look at me hard enough though, he’s smiling back at you. Always. We’re just both a little happier.