Gabrielle Bellot on Reclaiming Her Womanhood

Landscape of Las Terrenas, Samana Peninsula, Dominican Republic (Photo by Reinhard Dirscherl/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

After being rejected by a flirtatious acquaintance, Gabrielle Bellot examines her pain and trepidations, realizing that years after transitioning, she needs to stop allowing others to define her and dictate what’s considered worthy of love. Read this intimate and moving essay at Medium.

Yet I do not always feel whole.

What does it mean when your body cannot be one simple thing, whenever you want it to be? What does it mean when your womanhood, ever in question, terra incognita, is itself in rolling, roiling tumult?

Transitioning has taught me that a body can encompass far more than we are usually taught, that there are many architectures of bodies a gender may possess. Some days, I stand, naked, in front a mirror and feel happy, understanding why someone might desire to hold a body like mine in the calm harbour of their arms; on other days, I tilt like a sailor who has not learnt the language of the waves, and feel, despite my self-acceptance, a sharp, funneling frustration.

Perhaps this afflictive uncertainty can be redefined. Uncertainty can ground us, sometimes. We need arrogance in one hand and doubt in the other; we fail ourselves, fall into too zealous a body theology, with too great an imbalance of either.

Read the essay