T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 38446
posted 05-14-2008 09:34 PM
Well I'm usually pretty long on my words so I wil try my best to make this as quick as possible. For the last 5 years, I have identified myself as a lesbian. This has caused a bit of hysteria within my relious/military family, but it has been dealt with fairly well. However once I actually got into the "gay lifestyle" (that is, going to gay hangouts and clubs etc) I realized that how I felt was NOT the was that other lesbians felt. I've always seen myself, not as a homosexual female, but as a heterosexual male who just so happened to look like a girl. This idea cannot even begin to make its way into my family life and I have only recently discussed this with my girlfriend/fiance. She was completely against the thought of it at first, but after we sat down and I explained everyhthing to her, she began to understand and she now is fully supportive of me trying to figure this out. The problem is: I can't. I dress like a girl when I'm with family and I dress like a guy when I by myself or with close friends, but when I'm with her, I get a bit more self-concious. It's almost as if she's taken a strange science experiment approach to understanding the things I do. The main point is that I'm a male on my own, a female with family and some confused gender-squished kid with my girlfriend. *This isn't the truely strange part. I have never had any hormones at all, but I'm completely capable of growing full facial hair. It started in middle school (just barely) and I just shaved almost regularly in high school. She also knows about this and it really just adds to her scientific analysis of me.* I really don't know what's going on right now. I feel like an oddity of nature with my mother shunning me, and my fiance examining me. If anyone has any clue I'd love to know, thanks. ~Tyh
Member # 3
posted 05-14-2008 09:54 PM
One thing that's entirely possible, given the facial hair as well as your feelings is that you have an intersex condition known as CAH, or Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia. A person with CAH might also have a deeper voice, an enlarged clitoris, or irregular or absent menstruation.
Mind, no one needs a physical/biological explanation or reason for gender dysphoria or to have their gender not "match" their biological sex -- these feelings are valid even among XXs and XYs -- but it is common for intersex people to, understandably, not feel like they fit a binary system of gender, since they don't. So, just something to look at if you haven't. And in the case you are intersex, that doesn't make you a freak of nature: in the realm of all intersex possibilities, it's estimated that anywhere from every one on 2,000 to one in every 20,000 people are not XX or XY. And having facial hair isn't about not having hormones. We all have hormones. But it might be about having a different combination or different levels than others. I don't mean to play your girlfriend in saying that, either. When it comes to her, you can ask not to be dissected. Anyone can ask a partner to just accept something rather than to pull it apart, and partners should respect that, especially when that treatment is hurtful. But with your partner, you should be able to be who you are, whoever that may be. In terms of your family, that's usually a stickier wicket. Lots of genderqueer and transgender people will have families never accept them, sadly, and for those who do, it tends to be something that takes a lot of time. Some people handle that by simply separating from family until they can get a grip, others will try and work it out with their family. How do you feel about that? Do you feel like working for family acceptance is something you have energy and the emotional wherewithal for right now? Or would you prefer to have that be on hold, and put your efforts into finding more acceptance and freedom of expression in your more elective relationships first?
Member # 38446
posted 05-15-2008 03:58 PM
CAH? How does testing for that work? I would feel a bit strange walking into my doctor's office and asking her to test me for CAH or possibly being intersexed? In case you're wondering why this would be a big deal, my mother works with my doctor and it's a big office family
. I can talk to my girlfriend about not dissecting me. It's just a sensitive subject for me to talk about. I may have made it worse when I actually grew a full mustache and then she became a bit obessed. I will definitely bring this up and see how it works when I'm not under the microscope. As for family, I may be in the "never accepting" type. I may just leave them out of this and hope no one notices and work on figuring out who or what I am first. [ 05-15-2008, 05:21 PM: Message edited by: Tyhboi ]
Member # 3
posted 05-16-2008 10:54 AM
Here's some info on CAH testing for you:
http://www.caresfoundation.org/news_letter/winter-04-05_page_1.htm In terms of how to approach a healthcare provider, it'd be really common, given beauty standards, for many women to be troubled by thick facial hair. So, while you aren't -- and good on you: I have to say that one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen in my life was bearded and totally owned it -- stating that you are, and that you read about this, might be an easy in where you wouldn't have to address gender identity issues with a doctor when you did not want to. And given the dynamic of your family with all this, it's entirely possible your mother would support you looking into that, even if it was for the wrong reasons. In terms of all of this and your family, it's totally valid to leave them out while you do what you need to do for yourself. You can obviously revisit approaching this with them at times you feel strong, but you're going to change the way you are, and in some way, the ball is in their court when it comes to catching up with you and developing an acceptance or not. And again, for some families, that can -- unfortunately -- take a very long time. But stranger things have certainly happened in the world. You might also find this link helpful and supportive: http://www.transfamily.org/