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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Gender Issues » confused about gender identity (possible a mtf)

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Author Topic: confused about gender identity (possible a mtf)
Thedarkestsong
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Okay over the last few years I've started to have doubts about my identifying as a cisgender male. I've always known I was different from other males but could never understand why until I began to question my gender and sexuality. As a child I was what you could call a princess boy up until around the time I my little sister was born when I became harry potter mad. My gender never gave my cause for concern untiln I was 13 when these doubts began.

I could really appreciate some more info and I have a few question

for starters do all trans people know from an early age and can someone be trans if they don't?

also whenever I came across info on transwomen they always seem so femme what about butch or genderqueer mtfs ?

I think that's about it for now thank you for reading this

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moonlight bouncing off water
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Hey Thedarkestsong,

The boards are currently on break, but I thought I'd send you a quick response to let you know that someone saw this.

Trans people figure out that they are are trans at all different points, not just in early childhood. You don't have to have known it forever for it to be true. (In the same way that not all gay people know it from the age of 5).

And there absolutely are butch and genderqueer mtf people and a whole bunch of other ways of being mtf too. Everyone's experience of gender is different and in the same way that not all cis women are femme, not all trans women are either. What you're seeing in this info is a stereotype. And as is true of all stereotypes, there are some people who fit the stereotype, but many who do not.

Here's a link to "Genderpalooza: a sex and gender primer" to tide you over until the boards are off break:

http://www.scarleteen.com/article/body/genderpalooza_a_sex_gender_primer

and another link you may find helpful
http://www.scarleteen.com/article/boyfriend/boys_will_be_boys_or_not_straight_talk_about_gender

--------------------
~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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Thedarkestsong
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(for starters I just want to apologize for starting this thread while the board was supposed to be close, my bad)

Thank you for your response moonlight bouncing off water. it did help a great deal.
I also enjoyed those articles thank you for them.

But you mention that there are butch and genderqueer mtf people could perhaps link me to where I might find some more information on trans women who do identify in these ways ?
Thank you

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Robin Lee
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Hi Thedarkestsong,

Don't worry about having started the thread while we were on break. [Smile]

While a lot of trans women do identify strongly as feminine, and take on the physical characteristics that are associated with femininity, many do not. The tendency towards being very femme is rooted in history, as for a long time that was what trans women had to do in order to be taken seriously by the medical comunity; so for those interested in transition surgery or other medical or psychological help, well, they had to look and act femme. There's not quite the same pressure these days to do that.

It sounds like you're looking for information about and representations of people who are living in a way that you're interested in living. One of the best ways to learn more about trans people and their gender expression, and to figure out what you want for yourself, is to talk to other trans people. Have you been able to connect with any trans people online (I'm hoping some people here will chime in with their experiences)?

It sounds like you know what your gender is, but are looking for validation from others. Gender is always going to play out in different ways for different people.

What do you feel like you most need right now to figure out what you want regarding your gender?

--------------------
Robin

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Thedarkestsong
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Hello Robin Lee

this is actually my first time trying to talk to people about my gender identity so I have not spoken to a trans woman before.

As for what I would need to do yo figure out my gender identity, I would largely like to experiment with different gender expressions but I still live with my parents and I am underage. I can't tell them about these things as there both rather Conservative and while my mother is accepting of gay people my father is not and their both very ignorant of trans issues.

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WesLuck
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Off-hand comment: I thought one needed a password to post during the break period - I guess there was an electronic glitch or something. [Smile]
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Robin Lee
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HI Thedarkestsong,

When it comes to gender expression, there really is no right or wrong way to be. It's a challenge, though, to figure out what we want when we live in spaces where we're not free to be ourselves.

I think you may find these advice columns about gender expression to be helpful in seeing just how varied it can be.


http://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/do_these_pants_make_me_look_trans

http://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/help_i_think_im_trapped_in_the_wrong_body

You haven't really said here what sorts of things make you feel unclear about your gender. Would you like to speak to that some?

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Robin

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Thedarkestsong
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Thank You for those two links Robin Lee

Okay then as to why I feel unclear about my gender there are quiet a few things that have happened over the course of growing up that made me feel this way. For starts as a child I was effeminate and would always play with girls toys and all my role models would be women and never men and I still look up to and have more of a connection with women today.

As I got older I got much more masculine and had male friends. But around the age of 13 I began to think I might be bisexual or gay. It was a little while after this that I began to question my gender but I would also deny it. The inner conversation would go something like this 'I'm not trans because trans women feel trapped in their male bodies and I don't ...do I?'

Another thing that was happening as I went through puberty was I began to feel much more angry and was far more easy to snap then I was as a child, I think this could have been due to my hormones but I have a feeling it could do with not actually liking the body I'm in.

Another thing was that as a teenager I cared very little about my appearance until recently when I began to contemplate the idea of trying to pass as female something which excites me a lot.

Another thing was that I began reading this graphic novel about two transgender children, one of whom is an mtf. There are scenes in the story of her refusing to get her cut and starting to wear a headband in private. I couldn't really get way at the time but I felt somehow connected to everything she was going to and started growing my hair long and wearing a girls headband in private. Wearing the headband began to help me feel much calmer as a person and much more relaxed.

The last thing is that recently I had a falling out with a friend and we stopped speaking. I was very upset and angry and I began to contemplate the idea of wearing female cloths to calm myself down after all wearing the headband made me feel better.

But still keep having doubts like for instance 'what if I'm making some mistake'but I'm starting to think this is unlikely and 'what will my family do if I actually do this'

Thank you reading all this I know it's a lot to take in.

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Heather
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quote:
But still keep having doubts like for instance 'what if I'm making some mistake'but I'm starting to think this is unlikely and 'what will my family do if I actually do this'
It sounds to me, Thedarkestsong, like you might be thinking about a change to how you identify your gender or present it as something you have to sign some sort of lifetime contract to.

In other words, it sounds like you might be putting some extra stress and pressure on yourself to have to commit to something forever and ever that you don't actually have to. How we identify and present is something that, if it turns out to be fluid for us, or change over time, gets to. We get to change our minds if and when that does happen. We don't have to sign on to a gender or gender identity for life.

Know what I mean?

--------------------
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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Heather
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Also, I wanted to make sure you knew about this awesome organization in Ireland. I've done some work with them myself before, and I can't say enough good things about them: http://www.belongto.org/

--------------------
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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Thedarkestsong
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Thank you for the link to the Irish group. I didn't know about them.

I think I know what you mean. Your saying that if I choose to change my gender expression that I can go back on that choice and I can decide to change it again?

By fluid do you mean that my gender identity has the possibility of 'changing' over time ?

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Heather
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That -- both of those -- were exactly what I meant.

Really, *all* of our identity, all aspects of who we are are things that can tend to be very fluid throughout a lifetime. How fluid any of them are is individual.

But just like we get to change, say, what we want to do with our lives, or feel different about our identity based on any shifts or changes there, the same goes with gender.

So, really, we can't make "mistakes" when it comes to how we identify our gender. If we identify in the way we feel our gender is at any time honestly, and based on what feels like a best fit for us, even if later down the road, something else feels better, the way we identified ourselves before still wasn't a mistake. It was just who we were then. [Smile]

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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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Thedarkestsong
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Thank you I never thought of it like that.
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Heather
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Sure thing. And I'm happy to keep talking if you'd like, too. [Smile]

--------------------
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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Thedarkestsong
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One thing i would like to talk about is HRT. From what I've read some of the side effects are permanent. For example, breast growth(unless I was to have surgery)and possible sterility.

I know I would need to be on hormones for a while for these things to happen and even to get HRT I would need a whole load of therapy before that but I have heard one or two stories about people who stop their therapy after breast growth and later have their new breasts removed.

So What if I start HRT and realize I'm making a mess of things?

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Heather
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In order to get to HRT, you'd be evaluated by a professional who'd help you be sure you did want to start to transition with hormones, including that some of the irreversible effects were things you were really okay with.

So, I'd say that worrying about a step much further down the road is, at this point, investing a lot of emotional energy -- and maybe creating some extra stress -- that doesn't personally strike me as sound. Kind of like me, for existence, as only a peri-monopausal person worrying about if I'll do any hormone therapy and what that will be like (or what health issues I might have because of it later) when I'm nowhere close to even having to make those kinds of decisions.

Know what I mean?

--------------------
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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Thedarkestsong
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Thank you, [Smile]
Your right I am getting ahead of myself here.

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Heather
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All of us can only manage so much at one time. [Smile]

--------------------
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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Cricket
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In response to your earlier question about the existence of butch or genderqueer MtFs, I'm aware of at least one blog devoted to nothing but that area of expression: http://mtfbutches.tumblr.com It has lots of Q&A sort of information that you might find useful as well as photos submitted by folks who identify as both butch and MtF. Note: every so often someone posts a photo that contains a degree of nudity, so if that sort of thing would make you uncomfortable, tread carefully. It's not a porn blog, but people do use the space to submit personal photos of many types and reflect on their relationships with their bodies.

http://genderfork.com/ also has lots of photos and self-reflections on gender identity, plus if you make an account they now have forums where you could possibly meet some people in different places on the gender spectrum and get support on figuring out how you feel about your own gender.

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Thedarkestsong
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thank you for those links Cricket
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Cricket
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You're welcome! I'm glad you found them interesting. =)
I keep a pretty big collection of gender-related websites bookmarked on my computer, so if you're looking for resources on any other gender-related topic, let me know and I'll see what I have.

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