Transition feature image

My Transition: A Very Important Announcement


For the longest time I've hid behind the pretense that I was a middle-aged bald male with yellow teeth, worn-out jeans and a strong belt to hold in my gut. Sadly, I cannot maintain this illusion, no matter how attractive, any longer.

This world has worn me down and I can no longer live the lie I have crafted for myself.

This post is my "coming out" notice. I am not, and probably never was the man described above, at least not on the inside.

My friends, I hope you'll be sensitive to my awkward situation and understand the confusion I feel and will support me in this delicate and difficult time.

And a difficult time it has been. Truly, my spirits were sagging, droopy, and in gravity's unrelenting grasp. Then I realized the lie I had been living, that my body was not as I saw myself from the inside. That realization alone was a breakthrough moment, like a bright, warm uplifting light from Heaven. And so, dear friends, I have earnestly begun my difficult transition…

…from a belt to suspenders (or braces, for any Brits out there).

The truth is, my ass has been disappearing for several years, and the belt simply didn't cut the mustard anymore. I haven't gained any weight, in fact I've lost about ten pounds in the last couple months through exercise and cutting out many starchy foods, like french fries, stray kittens, and neighborhood children.

Don't get me wrong, at a few days short of sixty, I'm still a pudgy, doughy, humongous monstrosity, just a pudgy, doughy, humongous monstrosity that's not any fatter than yesterday.

The benefit of such an appearance is that I'm essentially invisible. I'm the guy everyone ignores, like an ugly tree in the forest, a toilet paper roll with a crushed cardboard tube, or a discarded McDonalds wrapper blowing past the bum encampment in front of City Hall.

So, suspenders it is.

It's actually a good look for me. It makes me look like a lumberjack; an old, tired, over-the-hill lumberjack who's eaten all the younger lumberjacks and is bound up like Hunter Biden after a two-week meth bender. But still…

Wearing suspenders is a bit tricky at first. You have to find the right tension.

Too loose and the pants hang low and tend to billow in the wind, like Marilyn Monroe standing on a vent – if Marilyn Monroe was a man and the vent was the exhaust port of a Harrier executing a vertical takeoff. (NOTE: people come here for the rich content, and stay for the poor analogies).

Too tight and you feel like you've been pushed off a tall building with a Bungie-cord tied to your pants and you've gotten hooked on a flag pole so you're hanging there with your weight crushing your walnuts and because of that you're screaming for help but no one can hear you but dogs.

When adjusted just right, you feel a calming coziness, like you are a Christmas present wrapped in flannel and elastic, wearing a comfortable strait-jacket and waiting in the exam room for the nurse to come and change your colostomy bag. (NOTE: the best poor analogies are oddly specific and include a poop reference).

I don't ask that you accept my new Trans-Suspender lifestyle, I simply ask that you not judge me until you've walked a mile suspended in my pants…

Preferably when I'm not wearing them…

About the Author


Topdog is Steve Merryman, a graphic designer (retired), and illustrator. Living in the woods, Steve can often be found working on portrait commissions. In his spare time he paints, writes, shoots guns, cuts trees, hikes with his dogs, savors a beer or two, and searches for the perfect cheeseburger. He studiously avoids social media and is occasionally without pants.