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Author Topic: very confused
PeachPlumPear
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For a long time I've been unsure about my sexuality; I've always felt like there was something "different" about me. I am extremely interested in LGBT issues, films, politics, etc, despite the fact that I am in "straight" relationships. For a while, because I identified with the gay community, I thought I was a lesbian, but I found that sexual interaction with women didn't really do anything for me. I have been in straight relationships, too, and I don't really feel like I fit into those quite right either. I finally figured out that I most identify with gay men. I am turned on more by homosexual men and gay sex scenes than I am by anything involving women or straight men. This really confuses me, because I realize that I am a woman, which gay men are not attracted to. Obvious, I know, but my point is, I feel like a gay man trapped in a woman's body, and I have no idea what to do about it ; I've never heard of a situation like mine.

[ 06-02-2008, 11:53 PM: Message edited by: PeachPlumPear ]

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PeachPlumPear
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I now realize that this might sound more like a post for the Orientation and Identity board, but some elements of the confusion I'm dealing with seem more apropriate here.

Sexuality aside;
I have never been a feminine girl. I remember being a young child, 4 or 5, and regularly stuffing my underwear with a sock, and dressing like a boy. I've always kept my hair short, from the time I was really young. I feel like I should be an affeminate male, as opposed to the somewhat boyish female that I've always been.

[ 06-03-2008, 01:40 AM: Message edited by: PeachPlumPear ]

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Heather
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Actually, it does sound like more of a gender issue to me. Given, there are intersections with gender and orientation -- since we define sexual orientation as being about gender, so our own gender identity is part of that equation -- but since it seems your primary issue is gender, that seems the best place to start.

You know, a good deal of heterosexual women -- Camille Paglia among them -- finds homoeroticism between men to be very exciting and arousing. You're hardly alone in that. As well, when a person is transgender or genderqueer, it tends to sort of expand what sexual orientation is. For instance, there are plenty of MTF (male-to-female) transwomen who identify as lesbian. While if we only went by biological sex, we'd say that's actually a straight man we're talking about, since that person identifies as female, and what their gender (rather than their sex) is is only something they can speak to and define, we don't really get to second-guess that as an outsider. Make sense?

So, it's perfectly possible that you could be a transman who is heterosexual. I know all of this can seem dizzying, but that's kind of what happens when we try and make very complex things in the world -- gender and sexuality -- very simple and put great, diverse things into a few little boxes. [Smile]

Sounds to me like addressing your gender dysphoria is something you'll want to put first before getting to orientation. That doesn't mean, by the by, that if you want to date whoever you want to while you work through that that you can't, and if it's gay or bisexual men you want to date, doing so through the lens of being or feeling like a gay male yourself, you get to do that.

Do you have any resources for dealing with the gender issue right now: any venues for counseling or support?

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PeachPlumPear
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Thanks for the support.

As far as resources go, I see a psychologist and a psychiatrist regularly, but I have never felt comfortable opening up to them about it. As awful as this sounds, I feel like they would judge me for it, or not understand. Are all psychologists well-versed in gender issues, or is it a specialized thing?

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Heather
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There absolutely are therapists who specialize in gender issues and dysphoria, and you may want to seek one out.

But plenty who don't make this a specialty or specific arena of their practice still have sensitivities and will handle it well. If you're not comfortable talking about it with the therapist you see, I think it's fine to trust your instincts there. You want someone where it does feel comfortable. Might you be comfortable enough to at least ask for a referral?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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PeachPlumPear
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I'm not sure how comfortable I'd feel asking for a referral, and even if I asked for one, I'm not sure how I'd feel explaining to my parents why I needed to see another doctor.
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Well, you certainly have to option of finding someone through a different channel and getting support privately.

If you want to give me a better idea of where you're at, I'd be happy to help you look for support services where you are.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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