What does your tattoo signify to you?

Last week, my daughter and I got new tattoos. She designed hers two weeks ago, I loved it, and I asked for a modified version for me. Since she was visiting from southern California last week, we found ourselves under Aaron‘s needle at Zebra tattoo in Berkeley on Thursday, walking out with new ink in time to go to grandma’s for dinner. (She hates tattoos.)

My first tattoo

Most people are surprised to find out I already had a tattoo. Clean-cut white guy with no sense of style, very polite, very little cussing, worked for a bank… that guy has a tat? But yeah, it’s tiny and one color and in a place that’s often covered up. So.

Anyway. Emma modified her drawing to my specifications, and Aaron redrew it to make it more tattooey (for skin instead of paper).

It’s on my left forearm, so a lot bigger and more visible than the first.

Emma’s tattoo was the medical symbol of a staff with a snake wrapped around it, but she changed the snake to a rattlesnake and added the words Don’t Tread On Me. I decided a quill (for writing of course) suited me better, though I kept the rattler. The color pattern on the snake is blue-pink-white-pink-blue, repeated; this is the pattern of the trans flag. (As you know if you’ve read my blog much, I am the proud father of a trans woman.) While I don’t think of my writing as venomous, I do want it to have bite, and the rattler reminds me not to be timid in my writing.

Do you have one or more tattoos? Do they have significance beyond aesthetic appeal? Let me know in the comments.

1 thought on “What does your tattoo signify to you?”

  1. I am going to get my first tattoo this year. It’s the word Fearlessness in Sanskrit. I’ve always wanted to get a tattoo but had never found one that I felt I would love for the rest of my life, until now. After the last couple of years I’ve had, I feel like this is the right tattoo for me.
    The second tattoo will hopefully happen a few months after my first one. They represent the tiles that Gaudí designed for the walkways in Barcelona and Reus. The ones in Reus, my hometown, are pink and the ones in Barcelona are blue. There are 3 of them and together they make the full picture. Gaudí is my favorite architect of all time and Reus was and always be the home that I miss.
    The third tattoo will probably la rosa de Reus (the rose of Reus), it’s the rose on our flag.

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