Expression is Survival. Three short, simple words that have come to mean so much to me personally and many others. I pondered upon this phrase for a while- even so as I am sitting here writing this. To me, Expression is quite literally survival. Expressing yourself as who you really are is incredibly important- whether that be through your clothes, your makeup, or dyeing your hair.
For the first 14 years of my life, I kept who I really was bottled up within me because of those around me. I was raised being told to “be myself,” yet whenever I tried to I seemed to be looked down upon and made fun of for what others saw as strange. It made me feel like I was doing something wrong, like I was coloring outside the lines.
However now, at the age of 17, I do what may be considered coloring outside the lines every single day. I wear what I want without reflecting on what other people may think of me because my own opinion of myself overrules what anyone my have to say. If I wanna wear traditionally masculine clothes, I’ll do it. If I wanna slap a streak of Blue Ruin poser paste in my hair, I’ll do it. What changed in me?
When I was 15, I realized there was something different about me from most others that would later on cause me have a sort of awakening. Nearing the end of my freshmen year in high school, I came out as FtM (Female to Male) transgender. Living in a household that is not accepting, I did not have the tools around me in order to express myself and live the life I was meant to. This took a major toll on my mental health and caused me to stay in a dark corner for what felt like forever. However, one day I decided to spontaneously dye my hair. It was the first tool I had access to that helped me feel more myself. I instantly became obsessed.
Almost 3 years later, I feel like I’m in the best place I could possibly be in with my situation. No, not everything is perfect. But I am able to express myself through my partially blue hair and my own style of clothing, which in the long run helps me survive.
Written by Milo
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