Before I start this let me clarify that I was assigned female at birth. Let me also say that I do not agree with my birth assigned gender. At this point in my life I still have female sex characteristics but I present in a masculine and androgynous way. This article will not go into my gender identity because it is a topic that is not safe for me to discuss on a public platform at this time. From this point forward I will refer to my breast tissue as my "chest" because that is the term that I am most comfortable using to describe that area of my body.

Before I hit puberty I had perfect posture and rode horses. This was a time in my life where I had never been touched by a training bra or any other form of pain around my rib cage. About a year into riding horses I got into a really bad accident on one of the horses and quit for good, this was one of the biggest mistakes of my life because I miss it often. Three years later I was home sick from school and my mom made me wear a pastel pink training bra because it was "that time". I was terrified and felt sicker than I did before. The next day when I went back to school I immediately started getting bullied. Both girls and boys would pop the back of my bra, point out my chest, and much more. Ever since then my chest has been covered and my posture has gone to shit.

The past three years I have only worn "regular" bras when the pain in my shoulders, back, and ribs becomes unbearable. Every single day I wear compression sports bras or binders to cover my increasingly large chest that I inherited from my biological fathers side of the family. I've never identified with my chest nor have I ever wanted it. Each day I can feel my shoulders moving forward, my ribs caving in, and the knots in my back growing. The pain is unbearable. My insurance, like most, doesn't cover top surgery. Hell, my insurance doesn't even cover chiropractic care. I would give anything for top surgery and I would love to have my joints cracked professionally on a weekly basis as well.

Why not wear a regular bra? Well, because then my chest sticks out and I look like someone I'm not. Even with a binder on or a sports bra I already look too feminine; so a regular bra screams "I'm a chick".

At this point I have two options: tape and surgery. Two days ago I bought tape to try and help flatten my chest and censor myself for the rest of the world because god forbid someone sees a nipple through a shirt. The tape that I bought is made for people like me, people with chest dysphoria. This tape will also release the tension in areas of my body where I feel pain so I won't have to "wear" anything. Eventually I will get surgery. Not soon enough… Never soon enough. But it will happen. The day I get top surgery is the day that I will be free from pain- mentally, emotionally, and physically.

My chest is full of tissue just like yours. I don't like mine and you may love yours or hate yours. Either way, why am I forced to cover mine? The amount of physical pain that I feel is unreal. Hopefully the tape will help for now… But seriously, what's the big deal with censorship? Why do I have to cover my chest other than because I don't like it?