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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Gender Issues » Figuring out my gender identity?

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Author Topic: Figuring out my gender identity?
Pyramus
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Okay, here goes... I'm a biological female who has been questioning their gender identity for about two/three years now, and I really could use some advice in that area. I've been reading a lot about what it means to be genderqueer, and while I feel that term applies to me quite well a small part of me still believes I might be a transsexual male or possibly just another confused teenager. I just 'don't feel trans enough', which I've read is actually quite a normal feeling for trans people to have, but it might just as well mean that I'm not actually trans at all.

I never really questioned my gender when I was younger – I was a het female, simple as that, and I never really gave a second thought to it. Although, thinking of it now, there was a time when I was probably somewhere between eight and ten years old and completely fascinated by the idea of transsexuality and crossdressing, especially male-to-female. My Mum had let me watch 'Priscilla, Queen of the desert' and I remember thinking after seeing that film that I wished I were male, so I would be able to crossdress as a female. I abandoned that idea pretty soon because I thought it was quite silly and had no idea there was such a thing as a 'non-binary gender identity'.

I don't think I payed much thought to it again until about three years ago, when somebody on a forum I frequented at the time said something about identifying as 'genderqueer'. I had no idea what that meant and looked it up, and when I read about it I felt kind of like I'd felt when I first realized 'lesbian' isn't just a word, it's something people can actually be. It was this sort of aha!-moment, a kind of epiphany that apparently there were other possibilities than just 'male' and 'female'. Since then I've been thinking about how much that applies to me – on and off for a while, but for the last six months or so it has been on my mind pretty much permanently.

Before I knew there was such a thing as genderqueer I never even thought of it, I just assumed I was female, but now I'm really getting less and less sure by the second. Whenever I see blokes my age I get this feeling of gut-wrenching envy, a sort of anger at them for being male when I'm not. I've never been too happy with my breasts anyway (I used to want them to be bigger because it made the girls around me jealous and I thought it would make me look more appealing, but now I just really wish they weren't there) and the idea of having them surgically removed seems increbily appealing. As for my genitals – well, I've never really liked them anyway, and I can't imagine having using them for any sexual purpose. Sure, I masturbate, but never on bare skin and I never, EVER put anything other than a tampon in there. In my fantasies, sexual or not, I'm always male. I don't think I've been female in them for at least three years. I'm extremely envious of folks with facial hair, but also chest hair and this afternoon I realized I wished I had hairier arms. In other words; all things that come with being a biological male.

Tl;dr version: I bascially want to be male, no real doubt about that. But the thing is that I've always been very girly. I played with dolls, I like make-up and dressing up, and until a few months ago I didn't even own an actual pair of trousers – I always wore skirts. And I wish I could still be doing so, but I got so sick and tired of seeing myself in the mirror like that, so girly and all. I feel like I somehow have to make the outside match the inside by dressing more boyishly. And in a way it works, because the male and female parts are more evened out this way. But in another way it feels like it's the opposite of what it should be. On the outside I look like a boyish girl, while I feel like a girlish boy on the inside. I just wish I could dress elaborately and wear my make-up and still be considered a boy, in stead of giving all that up and still be viewed as female.

I love androgyny, and I don't mind questioning my gender all that much. I think breaking out of the gender binary is a great thing. I just wish I could do so in a male body.

(God, I hope this made any sense at all. I've been staring at this page for so long it's more or less become gibberish to me, but I really do hope someone can give me some helpful advice or at least some unattached feedback.)

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You tell your soul, "Just kill some time".

Posts: 2 | From: The Netherlands | Registered: May 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Stephanie_1
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You know, the only person in the world that can decide what's right for you IS you. And a lot of that really does come in with finding where you feel you sit best. That means everything from how you talk, dress and act to how you talk with others about who you are and how you as an individual identify every aspect of yourself.

One thing I will say is that things like playing with dolls can be seen as girly, but they're really not (and girly is defined by the people around, it's not really real and evenly defined across all social groups). In the same, whether a person wears make-up may be seen as a gender linked thing, but doesn't have to be and shouldn't. So however you're comfortable identifying, and what you do physically as far as dress, makeup, etc is totally up to you.

You may find you'll need to let people know (for instance a pronoun you feel comfortable with people using, or if you'd rather they use non-gender-specified ones) etc, and that's totally okay too. Be who you are how you feel most comfortable. [Smile]

[ 05-08-2011, 01:49 AM: Message edited by: Stephanie_1 ]

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"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

Posts: 3429 | From: Pennsylvania | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pyramus
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I'd love to let people know, but for me that's were the main problem lies. My parents are quite open and they have no problem with transsexuality whatsoever, but they don't understand or 'believe in' non-binary genders. I tried to talk to my Mum about it once, but she just couldn't understand and believes that identifying as something outside the gender binary stems from quite simply not knowing where you belong in any aspect of life. Now I love my Mum a lot and she gives me great advice, but she also has a way of making me feel like none of my problems are real. And sure, I overreact sometimes, but she makes me feel as if it's impossible for me to actually feel bad. And while I can talk about a lot of things with her, I never talk about the things that really matter to me because I'd hate to have her think I'm just attentionwhoring.

She really makes me feel like, I don't know, like I'm not as good as her, that I should just suck it up beacuse that's what she does.

Okay, sorry, I'm totally getting sidetracked here. As for the playing with dolls/make-up/etc. statement, I did actually mean that in relation to other people. If I had always behaved boyish (whatever that may mean exactly) I'm quite sure the people around me would have no problem with my deciding to live as the oppostite gender. But because they've always seen me as very girly I doubt they'll understand - and my Mum, I'm sure, will think it's just a whim. And I know myself, I'll be making myself unhappy for years just trying to get her to believe me.

I just don't think the people around me would understand that I want be male most of all, but don't want to abandon the feminine aspects of my personality. I guess I should just talk to them rather than presume they'll think certain things, because I always do that and it never works, but I feel so mixed up that I wouldn't even know what point I'm trying to bring across.

Posts: 2 | From: The Netherlands | Registered: May 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
bump on a log
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I'm female-bodied but genderqueer leaning transmale, and a lot of what you say is familiar to me.

quote:
Originally posted by Pyramus:
I just don't think the people around me would understand that I want be male most of all, but don't want to abandon the feminine aspects of my personality.

Perhaps, as you suggest, just ... say that to them? I'm hardly one to talk, because I have similar problems with my mother to the ones you describe, but perhaps if you just charge ahead and say what you've been saying here? The people you know may have problems accepting non-binary gender but after all you're just figuring it out yourself too. The difference is that you have that visceral sense of what you are, whereas they just have to take your word for it. If they don't, keep repeating it and maybe eventually they will? I would suggest, though, saying that this is how you feel right now and that things can change, because believe me, they can, gender can swing through a whole bunch of stuff, even if it feels like this right now is permanent. People may think you just don't know what you're talking about if you explain that gender identity can change, but they'll think they were right all along if your gender identity changes a few years down the pike and you didn't say you were allowing for the possiblity that it might.
Posts: 170 | From: UK | Registered: Mar 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Star Burton
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It sounds a lot like you are female to me. You're not transsexual, because you haven't had the surgery; sex applies to the physical, gender the "soul". That being said, it sounds like you yearn to be male, but not have to fit into the male stereotype you were raised on.
I often identified with the males around that age, too, but I never wanted a penis; in fact, the physical difference never really came into my thought process (later I would find out I was demisexual). I just identified with a lot of the things they did, and their thought process appealed to me more than the complicated drama-llama females I was surrounded by.
I say you should look into becoming a transgender; or at least hormones (but do your homework first!)

Posts: 9 | From: Behind you! | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
September
Scarleteen Volunteer
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Star Burton, can you please refrain from bumping up old posts? This post is nearly a year old and the original poster hasn't been around in a while, so there is really no point in bringing it back up.

Too, there is a lot of generalizing going on in your reply, as well as some plain old misunderstandings of terminology with regards to the terms transsexual and transgender. I would encourage you to educate yourself some more on this topic before you give advice to others. While it's always okay to share your own experience, it is not okay to make blanket statements about other people or groups of people, or to misrepresent other groups.

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Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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