EPISODE #109

More Boobs

EPISODE #109

More Boobs

This episode is the second in our two-parter on boobs. But the person in today’s story prefers the word “chest.” Sage Forbes Gray identifies as genderqueer, and wasn’t thrilled as a teen when her breasts suddenly went from a AAA cup to a C.

Sage experimented with binding her breasts to have a flatter chest, and spent years performing in drag as her alter ego, 80s rockstar extraordinaire Jason Sparks.

Sage-Jason-1Sage-Jason-2

Then, Sage became a mom, and her feelings about her chest shifted.

Producer Abigail Keel brings us the story.

How have YOU seen your life through your boobs?
Have your feelings about them changed over time? Give us the scoop(s)!

Photo credit for images of Jason Sparks: Heywood Wakefield

Our sponsors for this episode are Aeroflow breastpumps, Madison Reed (CODE: LONGSHORT), Yogi Teas, Sunbasket, and Tweed Wolf. Use the promo codes at checkout for a special discount.

25 thoughts on “EPISODE #109: More Boobs

  1. I didn’t start thinking much about my boobs until I was done breastfeeding 2 kids and suddenly I had no feeling left in my nipples. I was so sad about it that I went out and got them pierced and was able to get back about 70% of the feeling! They also started pointing out again which was awesome! And my piercings are super pretty! I highly recommend :-)

  2. Thank you for this story. I can’t begin to express how meaningful this was to me. Every story is beautiful, but this one just hit me at my core.
    Thank you!

  3. Great episode! Loved Sage evolution in how she felt about her breasts. I totally related to her experience as a young girl going from an A cup in 6th grade, to a C cup by 8th, and a D cup by the end of high school. I also have the stretch marks to prove it. LOL I love the diversity of stories and experiences on the show. As a working mother of 2 girls, and 2 step kids I relate to so many stories, and also learn so much about the experiences of other mommy’s. Keep up the great work :)

  4. Ohh, I listened to this episode last night and the timing could not have been better. Between developing breasts well ahead of most peers (D cup by early 9th grade and eventually an F cup) and anorexia, my relationship with my curves has always been fraught. More recently, add to that 2 pregnancy losses and many rounds of fertility treatments. I’m now just shy of 14 weeks and have fallen in love with the belly that popped out two weeks ago. The two times when I’ve had myself a solid happy-cry have been sitting on my couch, picturing myself breastfeeding and last night when I pinched a nipple and some liquid came out.

    I am surprised that I have not struggled (yet) with my new body shape, given my history of trying to make it conform to something it isn’t and feeling ashamed when it didn’t. I suppose because it feels like visible reassurance of what is going on out of sight.

  5. LST and Sage, I just wanted to thank you so much for this episode. I have had a fraught relationship with my breasts/body/gender and it was incredibly meaningful to hear someone else’s experience with these complicated feelings. While I don’t have children (yet? still not clear on where I’ll end up), it was really refreshing to hear a genderqueer perspective on parenthood and pregnancy. Thank you, thank you!!

  6. Thank you Sage for sharing your journey! I love the snow, but was dissapointed that the reporter didn’t do any research into the genetic condition of XXY that was brought up in the show. XXY causes Kleinfelter syndrome which is not intersex. It actually means that you are genetically male with male genitalia. I’m a genetic counselor and felt like a quick google could have helped present accurate information for your audience. I was also concerned about the woman who had breast cancer in her 20s and hope she sought genetic counseling to better understand her personal and family history. You should have a genetics show!

    1. Hi Allie,
      Thanks so much for your comment! Feel free to send a pitch about genetics to the show any time at hello [at] longestshortesttime.com.

      To your point about XXY – I’d like to offer some clarification. Our comments in the show were meant to reflect what Sage, as a preteen, was thinking. Our intention was not to spread misinformation about XXY or intersex conditions. My research about XXY and Klinefelter syndrome led me to believe that it can induce some female secondary sexual characteristics – like less body hair and breast growth. That’s what I was referring to with the phrase “characteristics of both sexes”. If you’ve got a recommendation for a great resource on Klinefelter, I’d love to include it in the post for this episode with a clarifying statement. Thanks so much! — LST producer

    2. Yes thank you, I was going to make this comment myself. It sounded like the moderator was essentially trying to equate XXY and intersex. I’m not a genetic counselor, but I know that “intersex” doesn’t specify any genetic combination and was bothered that this seemed to be the suggestion.

  7. Thank you so much for this episode. Sage’s experiences SO closely mirror mine. I’m currently 13 months postpartum, still breastfeeding, still loving it more than I ever thought I would. I, too, found surprising connection at a breastfeeding support group filled with cis women whose partners were cis men.

  8. Oh boobs. When I was a kid, I totally didn’t want them. I’m pretty darn gender conforming (j’adore dresses), but when the other girls were like “oooh, I can’t wait to get breasts! I can’t wait to get my period!” and I just thought, why? Both things are inconvenient – they limit what you can do and require special equipment (underwire bras and maxipads). I wanted none of it. So of course, at age 11, I was the first girl in my class to get my period. I also got boobs then, but they were small – a not-quite-A. Since they were so small, I didn’t wear a bra until some kids I was babysitting for (of all things) suggested I might want to consider it. Yep, nothing like an 8 year old telling you you’re swinging a little too freely. Because although my boobs are small (I like to believe I willed them to be that way), they sag. And all my life, I’ve been reading and hearing jokes about old women and their sagging boobs. Hallmark has cards depicting cartoon old women with boobs that point floor-ward and some kind of snarky “humor” about being old. Except my boobs showed up on the scene saggy and pointing floor-ward. As a teen, I would pour over books in the book store that described the various options for boob lifts. Of course, I never did it (unnecessary surgery and all). But I also never really came to peace with my socially-unacceptable mammaries. Whenever my friends (who talk proudly about their “perfect” boobs) want to skinny dip, or sit in a sauna, I always “have my period”. There’s no way I’m exposing my exactly imperfect boobs to them and random strangers. Even now, I don’t like my husband to see me bra-less. He tells me I’m beautiful and that he loves my boobs, but I don’t buy it and after 25 years together with my boobs, I still feel like the 11 year old who would generally rather skip the whole boob thing and go climb a tree.

  9. This was fascinating to me. I completely related to teenage Sage, but I actually had the exact opposite experience with pregnancy. Giving birth to my daughter ‘broke’ my brain open to a whole bunch of things I’d been trying to avoid, and set me more clearly on a path to more binary transition than I’d ever considered before. Thanks for being so open with your story, Sage. Definitely thanks to LST for delving into non traditional parenting with care and respect, too.

  10. Just listened to this episode this morning and loved it. Brought me back to middle school when my boobs went from little nubs to C overnight. I was so self conscious about them, and maybe ashamed, i refused to go bra shopping and continued wearing undershirts. I remember these 2 boys in ny math class called me “twin towers” and one time drew a picture of me running with black eyes. I still see this image in my head so clearly. My boobs kept growing and I was a DD by junior year of high school. I’m 5’2, mind you! I’ve never fully embraced them. Was and still am self conscious about them, but would never consider surgery. I nursed my first daughter until she was 3 and they didn’t change much after that. Stayed DD. I’m nursing my 7 month old now and I feel like they’ve actually gotten bigger. I love them for what they can do, but I feel like they are just all I see!

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