December 31, 2018

Am I Pretty, Still?

Matthew Urquhart


A lot of my childhood memories consist of pink floral bed sheets, sticky purple nail polish and plastic silver jewellery from ‘Girl Stuff’ magazines. Family always said I was “pretty” and every time I heard it, it put a big smile on my face. As I grew older slowly those colours were replaced with reds and dark greens and navy blue, and the feminine objects were replaced with what I perceived as masculine ones.
I am now 16 and continuing my transition as male but I partly miss that feeling of being “pretty”. Although my days are mostly filled with the worry of toxic masculinity I’ve learned to let go and accept those small feminine things I used to enjoy. I can still wear feminine nail polish and wear feminine jewellery and although I haven’t worn a dress in 10 years, they do look tempting on a warm day.
Overall this self-portrait shows me in acceptance of those colours and words and feelings. In a world of dysphoria, I can turn feelings of “pretty” into euphoria and although I know in my heart and soul that I am male and always will be, enjoying those feminine things is acceptable too.


Self portrait
Watercolour paint and fine liner on card
10cm X 15cm

My paintings are usually connected with mental health and my feelings/experiences with being a young transgender person.