Sabrina Torres’ fascination with tattoos began early.

“I was probably fifteen or sixteen the first time I knew I wanted to get one eventually,” she said. “This is something I had wanted to since, pretty much I understood that it was a thing.”

“Originally, I think I saw some older girls who had them, and I thought they were really cool, and that their tattoos were really cool,” she added. “Also in my head they were always to mark something important. When I was younger, I used to do Irish step dancing, and I always said if I went to World Championships, I'd get a tattoo… That never actually happened.”

When she did finally get her first tattoo, though, it was in response to something important. “I have two tattoos,” she explained. “The first one is on my arm—the phrase 'I am significant.' I got that one the same month that I publicly came out. I was very afraid of all the decisions I was making. I was getting divorced. I was coming out of the closet. There was a lot going on, and it was in part so that I didn't turn back.”

Explaining the tattoo a little further, she added, “I hadn't known for a very long time that what I wanted mattered. I didn't think that what I wanted was as important of living up to what my family wanted, what my religion taught me. I thought all those things came first. It was the first time in my life that I was doing something that was just for me to be happy. A part of me was very afraid that I would take an easy route at some point when it got too hard, and I wanted the actual reminder on my skin that what I wanted mattered.”

The second tattoo builds on that. “I knew that I wanted one when my divorce actually came through… The tattoo itself is a bird cage with the bird sitting on top of it. It has lily of the valley in its beak. That flower represents a return to happiness. The whole idea behind it was that I was the bird, and I was free for the first time—not just from a bad marriage but from all these ideas that kept me from being who I wanted to be.”

Sabrina thinks that many people in the LGBT community get tattoos for reasons like hers, or to mark important milestones in the development of their identity, and she feels like there’s more openness to tattoos in our community because we value self-expression and are used to being other than ‘the norm.’

“We are already a bit different, and so maybe we are a little more open to having a visual display on us that might be setting us apart.” At least on a personal level, too, she reflected, “My tattoos are very much tied to my identity as a lesbian. I don't know that I would say that that's the case for everybody, but I think that individuality is a big part of tattoo culture and gay culture. Those things just match up well.”





Photo courtesy of Red Bull

Red Bull Unlocked Nashville

Keep reading Show less
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville

Rumble Boxing Gulch, Nashville

Keep reading Show less

Post-Covid travel planning

Who would have thought that we would have to get through a pandemic in order to appreciate the small things we have, such as the ability to simply pack our bags and hit the road?

For two years, there’s been nothing left for us travel junkies to do but sit at home and try to find new destinations that we will conquer once we defeat what appears to be the biggest villain of the 21st century. But once that happens, hold your bags tight because we will be up for some of the most interesting travel experiences. Take a look at some ideas for your post-COVID traveling plans:

Keep reading Show less