“You make such a better guy…”

I have heard it a number of times recently. You are such a better looking guy than you were a woman… or some such thing.

It stings.

As a woman, I struggled with body image issues. I still do. But as a woman, It took a lot for me to be convinced that I was beautiful. I had curves that sung out the hotness of pinup and burlesque. I was a size 16/18, stood 5’11”, and I had a high forehead. I was very self-conscious of my looks. And yet, amidst all of that, I found my beauty.

It was reflected in the eyes of the people I loved. It was buried in the images shot of me, once I worked past the folds in my belly that were considered unwanted by the porn industry I found my niche in. The niche called “chunky girls.” Even the terminology for my body shape was one that had a derogatory edge. And yet, there I was, a beautiful creature who was smokin’ hot.

Hips that called out for you to dig your nails in. Breasts that made you ache for your lips to explore every inch. Hair that needed to be pulled back. Thighs that were strong enough to wrap tightly around you, pull you in, pull you in.

And yet, here I sit, 210 pounds (20-30 pounds heavier than I was), a crop of acne broken out on my forehead, oh so sexy with an ear infection inflaming one side of my head… being told that I am sexier looking now than I was then.

It stings because it infers, in my heart, that the fears of the woman I was were true. That I was not beautiful. That I was deluding myself.

I stare at images of myself from before my transition and scream out NO. I was beautiful! I was not wrong in the long struggle to self-acceptance in the shape I was to find the amazing goddess within.

I was beautiful before, and I am beautiful now.

And so are you.

No matter what folks said before, no matter what shape you are now.

I have amazing eyes. I have kissable lips. My smile, and moreso my smirk, can melt hearts. My shoulders are wide, and my hips can still sway in a way that will lure you in.

I am not the shape that I was. But both have beauty, are beauty, and I am sick of hearing the two be compared. You are a more beautiful man. You were a more beautiful woman- how could you have done that to yourself? It’s hard to see you as having ever been a woman.




Lee Harrington

Lee Harrington is an internationally known sexuality, relationships, and personal authenticity educator. Having taught in all 50 states and in 6 countries, he brings a combination of playful engagement and thoughtful academic dialogue to a broad audience. An award-winning author and editor on gender, sexual, and sacred experience, his books include “Traversing Gender: Understanding Transgender Journeys,” and "Sacred Kink: The Eightfold Paths of BDSM and Beyond," among many other titles. He has been blogging online since 1998, and been teaching worldwide since 2001. Welcome to his world, and your chance to expand your mind and heart alike.


  1. Lee , thank you so much for your inspirational views on body image. May love surround you all the days of your life. And for what it is worth, as a hetero guy I thought you looked great as a woman.

  2. Interesting.

    I had a very vivid dream about you a couple of weeks back. I walked in a room where you were teaching some class and mostly I just remember looking at you and thinking you were about the sexiest person in the world.

  3. Thank you for speaking out and up! Too often it seems people seem to be obsessed with both body image and gender… People have their preconceived notion as to what a beautiful woman or handsome man should look like. It is tiresome.

    How about seeing a beautiful person for who they authentic and perfectly imperfect? How I wish society could see how I see, love how I love… we would all be a more peaceful and loving with less violence.

    A girl can dream right?

  4. I knew you on both sides of the transition. You were not deluding yourself: you were *totally* hot. You still are.

    FWIW, I can’t imagine anyone gaining or losing hotness by transitioning: hot is hot, no matter what package it arrives in,


  5. You DO have amazing eyes, especially. 🙂

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