From an incredibly young age, I had this enormous desire to go shirtless. My two younger brothers would run around during the summer, swimsuits on and chests bare, while I was constrained to a tight polka dot one-piece. (It even had a bow attached on the back near my behind, which, ya know, didn't help.) And when we'd watch Disney movies, I'd find myself jealous of Aladdin, of his ability to wear a vest wide open with nothing underneath. But because of my gender - because girls weren't allowed to - I kept these thoughts to myself, instead walking the thin line of 90's tomboy to get as close as I could to the real thing.
Then, after nearly three decades of those teeny-tiny secret thoughts, I had top surgery last year. And it was the most cherished gift I've ever given myself. You could not wipe the smile off my face for months. And now, I get to run around in the swim trunks during the Summer time, my chest flat and (you guessed it!) bare. Little-Me-Watching-Aladdin would be thrilled.