This pre-op transgender man’s shirtless Instagram photos have gone viral

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A trans man’s topless photos of his taped-up pre-surgery chest have gone viral.

Colter Alexander, a 24-year old from Denver, Colorado, posted the pictures on Instagram to change the narrative around trans people.

It’s a move that some people may find shocking when paired with the overused narrative of ‘trans people hating their bodies until they are able to physically transition’ (if they choose to).

(Instagram/Colter Alexander)
(Instagram/Colter Alexander)

But Colter explained: “I’ve learned to love parts of myself I may have never discovered before,” reported Yahoo Style.

“There’s a lot going on upstairs all the time but when you have to battle yourself every day, you learn a new appreciation for loving yourself.”

Life was difficult for Colter before he realised that he was trans.

“The more I looked in the mirror, the more depressed I became,” he recalled.

And a process as important and life-changing as transitioning is not something that happens overnight, he said – neither mentally nor physically.

“Change is always hard and different and confusing and frustrating, but most importantly, change takes time,” he wrote on Instagram.

Colter uses this platform to spread positivity and inspire other trans people to find comfort within themselves, no matter what stage of transition they are at.

He often uses hashtags on his photos like #thisiswhattranslookslike and #transisbeautiful.

He said he wants to celebrate the “beauty” of physically transitioning that comes from no longer feeling as though he is “trapped in this weird bird cage that curves wrong,” reported Yahoo Style.

A number of young trans people have reached out to Colter, thanking him for being so open about his journey.

He responded to them, saying: “Give yourself the credit of making it as far as you’ve already come and trust that you’ll stay on a path you’re meant to be.”

Colter is already undergoing hormone treatment, and is planning on having top surgery later this year (a procedure designed to give him a more ‘masculine’ contoured chest).

Until then, Colter will continue to bind his chest with tape to keep it flat and have a body that is a truer reflection of how he feels inside.

He will also carry on taking testosterone to encourage more of the desired physical changes that a lot of transmasculine people want.

He is an avid fitness and healthy living enthusiast, often pairing his photos with inspirational captions directed towards self-improvement and being the best version of yourself.

Colter advocates for self-care when it comes to mental health, stating that it’s important for him to “keep a full schedule to keep my mind off my anxiety and not get caught up on things that make my blood boil”.

This is especially poignant when looking at the unfortunate correlation between trans people who are unhappy within themselves and poor mental health (mostly due to intolerant people in their lives who make it harder for trans individuals to accept their own trans identities).

Colter’s response to this is strikingly positive.

“Y’all, get out and enjoy today start putting your mind & body first be good to your temple.. Remember, it’s your home for the rest of your life.”