I’m getting my first tattoo on Tuesday, and crossing my fingers that I’ll be able to make it through a 5 hour session on my first attempt. I’ve posted some sketches of what will be a stunning cosmic fairy on my right forearm. I’m looking forward to it adding some permanence to my alt-girl resume.
Current Alt-Girl Resume Entries
I got my first piercings a few months ago, but given they’re the standard earlobe piercing they didn’t have as much of an impact on my sense of self as I think there will be after Tuesday. Occupying that space of someone who wants to almost perfectly fit into the traditional cis femme box with just a bit of a queer twist, earlobe piercings were necessary, but not sufficient. I feel a lot better after having them done but they feel more utilitarian than expressive.
My hair is another matter. As someone who came out later in life, it unfortunately was the recipient of some of the worst impacts of testosterone poisoning. I’m very pleased that HRT has caused some regrowth but it’s probably still going to need some transplant treatment as some point. All that aside though, I recently got a very vibrant and very queer styling session done and I really love it. One of my e-besties referred to the look as ‘Psychedelic Strawberry’ and hearing that phrase sparked a tremendous amount of joy for me.
It was the first bit of self-care that dropped some ink onto the canvas of myself, and it is one of the first acts of self-expression that really made me feel as though I’m out of the proverbial closet. It’s one thing to make the requisite social media post, but another, especially in a pandemic to really feel like you’re actually transitioning.
The hair colour is not as permanent as the tattoo will be of course, which is why I’m so excited to have it done. Much like Cortez burning his ships, it’s a commitment to the intentions of Ivy never going back into any closet, anywhere.
Something very positive has shifted recently, owing to recent experiences involving psychedelics, touching grass, and some opportunities for excessive gratitude. Continuing the grass metaphor, I have a chronic problem with a tendency to observe that of others rather than tend to my own. It’s both exciting and harrowing to go from tech worker, to cannabis celebrity, to cannabis expert, to cannabis executive to the big question mark that best describes where I am now. In that journey, I’ve come into contact with a lot of impressive people, and I think it’s just human nature to invite comparisons, envy, et al.
When all you’ve got is a blank canvas, that can be really depressing. You ask yourself silly questions. Why don’t I have tall mountains like his painting? Why don’t I have a beautiful tropical vista like her painting? Pointless comparisons, because your paints and brushes aren’t the same as theirs. Your art teacher is someone completely different. Comparisons, though, that our Instagram societal ethos invites.
Now that I’ve applied the first few ink drops to my canvas, with many more to come, I’m far less interested in the paintings of others. It’s really a relief, because I hate being like this. It is very much not who I am, and having eternal pick-me energy is not an attractive look. This ink is very much physical now, but will soon turn to the less tangible. It’s a process has needed to happen for a long time, but could never begin so long as I wasn’t looking where my brush strokes landed.
Way back in the ancient times of another gender, I actually wanted to go into arts programs rather than computing science. It’s with some serendipitous timing that the rise of NFT’s and generative art coincides with my personal journey. It’s a prime opportunity to blend this inherent ability of being good at being on the computer with the creativity I now feel bursting forth.
I’m incredibly happy that this process can really start now, as I feel like my painting has been hanging in that ethereal art gallery for a long time. It’s been hyped a lot, and I no longer have that feeling of being late for an appointment. Instead, I have innate knowledge now that it will be worth the wait to those who have been patiently sitting on the equally ethereal gallery bench, waiting for those first ink drops to take shape.