Trans guys grow up looking in the mirror and often hating their reflection.
What should be pecs are breasts, and many long to ease their dysphoria by use of hormone treatment and surgery.
But ultimately, it’s a lot of hard work for anyone to get a body they’re proud of – whether it’s through physical changes or mental ones.
These trans guys, from across the world, have posed shirtless to show off their body confidence.
And not only that, they’ve got advice for how to do it too:
Sam, 23, Sweden
Sam’s recently had surgery and feels ‘amazing’.
‘I gained more muscles and a deeper voice, hair on my face etc,’ he told Gay Star News. ‘I feel amazing!’
While he’s taking a break from the gym as he’s recovering, he’s planning on making exercise a habit to better his health.
Kyle, 23, New York
‘Self-confidence was one of my biggest challenges growing up,’ Kyle said. ‘I never would have thought I’d be where I am right now and I couldn’t be more proud.’
He added: ‘As for fitness I stress consistency and healthy eating! I believe that with those two things no matter what your body goal is you’ll achieve it!’
Kyle says he now feels ‘extremely confident’ in his skin.
Kaiden, 25, Pennsylvania
‘I have become very confident in my body since getting top surgery in November 2017,’ Kaiden said.
‘Prior to getting that surgery, I was battling my dysphoria on an every day basis as my dysphoria mainly centered around my chest.
‘I do a lot of physical activity to stay active and in shape, with a lot of cardio to lean myself out to have plenty of definition.
‘I play a lot of softball and that is my main source of working out. It keeps me active and is something I really enjoy doing!’
Alex, 28, Toronto
‘To be honest growing up in a body that I couldn’t connect to was scary, living as a stranger or even more so a captive in my own body,’ Alex told Gay Star News.
‘I suffered from depression and dysphoria from a very young age, and became increasingly frustrated that no one could understand why I was so incredibly sad.
‘I remember the days still of saying “I want to be a boy”.’
He added: ‘Today I feel the most comfortable I have ever felt in all my years. To have that weight come off you, physically and mentally, my life had started for the first time.
‘At least that’s how it feels for me.
‘I was never able to look at myself in the mirror, and to be able to see my reflection now show what I feel on the inside and the outside, it’s an incredible feeling.
‘I was my biggest obstacle. It took several years to get where I am today, and I believe it was due to lack of self love, and respect.
‘I had to accept myself before I could be where I am today and couldn’t be happier!
‘Body dysphoria isn’t a joke, I still suffer from it today but the difference from prior to transitioning and now is… I am me.’
Sebastian, 29, Brooklyn
‘To be transparent, [my body confidence] changes everyday,’ Sebastian, who also goes by Alkaline Sunboi on YouTube.
‘Some days I wake up feeling invincible and my most authentic self/ Other days I have to push myself out of bed and speak affirmatively about all of the characteristics that makes me unique and worthy of self love.
‘My goals helps me to feel good about my body, through daily acts towards those aspirations i.e. eating clean, walking or working out, studying and keeping happy, productive, and genuine people around me who affirm and support both my physical and professional goals.’
He added: ‘Prior to starting testosterone in 2010 and prior to receiving top surgery in 2014, dysphoria kept me from keeping jobs due to anxiety about not passing and being outed.
‘I wore thick winter sweaters in the summer to hide my chest before surgery, which caused me to pass out on several occasions. In 2016 I received my hysterectomy to have my estrogen levels reduced as well as dysphoria. Despite nearly dying twice last year due to post hysterectomy complications, right here right now and in this moment I couldn’t feel any more alive, any more whole.’
Liam, 21, Pittsburgh
‘I’m absolutely in love with my body,’ he told GSN.
‘It’s like a complete 180. I used to shower in the dark because I was so shamed of my body and who I saw in the mirror.
‘I honestly never ever ever thought I would look in the mirror one day and like what I see, let alone love it.’
Matias, 23, Argentina
The truth is that when I felt dysphoria, I just felt wrong,’ he said.
‘When I started my treatment, my life changed completely. I am very happy.’
Dustin, 23, Florida
‘[I’m] 19 months on testosterone and couldn’t be happier,’ Dustin said.
‘Although I’m pre-op for surgery, I have been working super hard on muscle mass gains and have began in making my body what I want it to be.’
He added: ‘I never wanna go back. I feel like I’ve always been Dustin. The mirror just didn’t reflect that for the longest.’