Today’s Simple Pleasure: Painting My Toenails

As a trans-masculine non-binary person, I’ve become uncomfortable with wearing makeup. Makeup falls under the “performing femininity” aspect of self for me, although I very much believe it is not tied into this for many people and that people of all genders can wear makeup and be valid in their gender without contradiction. The closer I came to acknowledging I was non-binary, the more wearing foundation, in particular, felt like applying a coat of paint in order to conceal myself. Since coming out, as an added bonus, my skincare routine has been on point now that every blemish is visible.

My toenails, however, are another story. For whatever reason, having nail polish on them feels like an aspect of hygiene to me. I’ve mostly opted for a clear coat as of late, but I did sport non-binary colors during Pride month. For today’s simple pleasure, I decided to go with the traditional six color Pride flag, covering half of my big toenail in red and half in orange so they all fit.

I experience abrupt moments at times where I realize I’ve absorbed an advanced knowledge of a topic without the history and groundwork necessary for a basic or full understanding. Most of the flags for the queer community with which I am familiar denote different aspects of the particular group which they are representing through the array of colors on the flag. The yellow on the non-binary flag, for example, represents those whose gender does not conform to the binary, while the black stands for people who do not experience a sense of gender (see more here). I foolishly made the assumption this was the case for the original Pride flag (developed by Gilbert Baker) as well, only to learn this week that the colors represent different aspects of pride and wellness, such as healing, sunshine and nature. At least I know now!

My toenails are currently a rainbow of happiness. Wearing these colors, even if most people aren’t going to see my toes, is bringing me light on this dreary, rainy day. What adding brightness to your day?

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