Hello! A while back, I began to dabble into my sexual orientation and gender identity, having to listen and help my friends who all seemed to be coming out at once to me. After some time of attempting to shove it under the carpet and just help them, I finally realized I couldn't. This is when I really began to pay attention to transsexuality. I've always felt like a boy, just another one of the guys, laying back and rockin' it, and this just felt right to me the more I learned about it. However, when I told my school consoler, one who had been helping my friends come out, she told me to talk to my therapist, that he could answer it for me.
I mentioned it. He laughed and said no, I wasn't, and dropped it there.
So, I dropped it as well, moving on with my life and accepting what he had deemed. Though, now, about three-fourths a year gone by, the feeling has come back. I've drove back through everything, finding out even more about being FTM. I discovered it really wasn't as uncommon and freaky as I thought to still be attracted to men, despite being transgendered.
I managed to buy a simple, men's compression shirt from the local sports store but, after trying it on at home and seeing it didn't really hold me down as much as I would like, I decided I needed something better (I should probably mention somewhere in here I am sixteen, driving on my own). Last night, I found some old stomach compression tanks my grandmother had bought me a few years back. They still fit, but I never wore them due to their riding up. So, I cut one of the elastic bands out, putting on the other top before fixing it to wear I could mark it for sewing, crafting my own compression shirt that is both comfortable to wear, easy to breath in, and discreetly made.
Now, here's the problem. I would like to eventually do many things: purchase a better compression shirt, get a bit more FTM friendly wardrobe, and come out to my mom.
My father was diagnosed with colon cancer when I was in fifth grade. Now, in sophomore year, a week and a half ago, he passed away. I'm sorry if it sounds like I'm whining, here. I really try not to, but I feel like this part needs a backstory. He tried to hide his homophobia when he found out my closest friends were gay, but both he and my mom would repeatedly ask me if I was gay, myself keep denying it. But, now that I have admitted to myself (at least, for now. 40 years from now, who knows what I'll think), I'm scared to come out more than ever. Towards the end, when he was on hospice and just before, he would curse out homosexuals at any moment it came up. I would ask him to stop, telling him that some of my friends were gay, but he wouldn't. He would only get more upset. To come out now would almost seem like an insult to him, I think. My mother has several gay friends, and has always said she would be okay with me being gay, but what if I told her I was a transexual, still attracted to men? I'm scared she would be upset with me, that everything would change between us and go sour. I'm scared that my Dad would look down to us from wherever he is and be furious with me. And, really, I don't know what to do on that part yet.
Though, I still want to express myself. My school is very accepting of any and all orientations, many gay females (all girl's school) attending. Though, I have yet to find a single transFTM (I'm still not sure what terminology I should use, sorry). Would they kick me out? And, if they did that, it'd be even a worse problem with my mother. I've changed my clothing a bit, moving into straight leg pants and graphic tees, throwing over a button down plaid shirt or hoodie, but my mom's already warning me that when I reach a point of dressing too much like a guy, she's stopping it.
So, what should I do? I feel just right when I'm binding in my homemade shirt, hair pinned up and short, vans on, but, as far as binding outside of my room, late at night, how can I show myself without upsetting everyone? I have one friend I told this to, but she seems to have forgotten all about it, sinking into her own sex drive and girl friend, not bothering to call me by the name I asked to be called by, using female pronouns when talking about me.
I'm sorry for typing so much, though, if someone can please give me some advice on what to do. I'm at a loss, and I just don't know what to do here. Sorry, too, if I seem like I'm whining! Gah, this is terrible.
Posts: 1 | From: Memphis, Tennessee | Registered: Oct 2011
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Hey, don't worry about typing too much, this is a place for talking!
Also, it really is okay to feel upset and express that sadness - nobody is going to think you are 'whining'. These are very serious issues here, and it must be extremely hard on you, and I think 'whining' is when people delibrately complain about tiny things to annoy other people, if you know what I mean? You really aren't doing that. You are upset, and I think anyone would be in your situation.
Moving on to the big stuff: Wow, what an unsupportive therapist! What he should have said (and your counsellor should have said this too):
'Are you a transman? I cannot answer that for you. Nobody can label anybody's gender (though lots of people will, unfortunately) except the person who's gender it is."
You're absolutely right that being a gay woman and being a transman (or a FTM transgender person, if you prefer to identify yourself that way) are not related to each other in any way at all.
You don't have to come out at all if you do not want to. People who are cisgender as opposed to transgender dress in all kinds of clothes. Too, folks with breast fat can bind for many different reasons - for instance, I didn't like society's view of my breast fat as a constantly sexual thing - so I bound, even though I was gendered as more femme. Some people just don't think having tissue there suits them - so they bind, even if they identify as women at the time. For the time being, you could just tell your mum that you simply feel comfortable in the clothes you're in (true).
Friends do tend to forget sometimes - especially if they used to know you as different things in reguards to names and pronouns. It might be a good idea for you to find a LGBT community in which you have an outlet to be yourself. I also strongly recommend a trans-friendly therapist. It may be possible that a Scarleteen volunteer could help you with this.
It might be good to have a talk with your mom about this at some point, what do you think? Perhap reassuring her that you are still you, and finding out what her concerns are and adressing them would help you both? She may have heard that all trangender people have surgery, for instance, when that isn't true. Perhaps showing her some trans-friendly pamphlets which address myths about trangender people could help?
Remember that your dad loves you, and loving someone mean accepting who they are. He will want you to be happy. People often get confused when they are very ill and say things that they wouldn't normally say. Being gay isn't linked to being transgender as we know, so he might accept you faster than you think. I know it's difficult as you cannot talk to him directly, but he would want you to be happy. Sometimes people are afraid of LGBT people until they actually realise that they aren't these weird, alien people - they are somebody so familiar to them, someone they already love. And that often changes everything.
Would your school kick you out? I don't know. Are they a private school? Any gender policy in the school handbook? Any teacher you could talk to about this? If they are accepting of all orientations, it doesn't seem that likely they would kick you out, but I really wouldn't advise you to take my word for it, I could well be talking through my hat.
Posts: 170 | From: UK | Registered: Mar 2011
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Agent; sorry I forgot about your question about the school. As far as I'm aware, single-sex school tend to be about sex, not gender. Sex is whether we have a vulva or a penis, not whether we identify or present ourselves men, women or any other gender. The only possibly trouble I can see arising is possibly if you started to take hormones to present another way. Everyone has their own mixes of testosterone and estrogen so there are no 'masculine' hormones. However, our culture has rigid ideas about what a man or a woman is "supposed" to look like, as I'm sure you know. So if you did choose to take any kind of hormones, the school may take issue, depending on how they define sex.
So, apart from that, I think as long as you don't change your sex (via gential surgery) whilst you're still in school, I can't see them having a problem - unless you break any rules about uniform if they have one. As bump on a log said, it might be a good idea to investigate, choose a trans-friendly teacher carefully, if you can.
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