Donate Now
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile | directory login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Gender Issues » Gender Identity Confusion

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Gender Identity Confusion
Araulia
Neophyte
Member # 46244

Icon 5 posted      Profile for Araulia     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Where to begin...

Anyways, biologically I'm 100% male, but about 2 years ago I started questioning my gender identity, shortly after I started questioning my sexuality.

I'm currently 15 (I turn 16 in April, yay) and I'm fairly certain that I'm bi/pansexual. I think that the issues with being confused about my sexuality had a lot to do with me being confused about my gender.

For a few years now I've been wondering what it would be like to have been born as a girl. Sometimes I wish I was. I tend to relate more with female characters then male one in books movies and video games. I do a lot of ballroom dancing and I've always been slightly uncomfortable when leading, following is so much better. I play D&D, I do some narrative role-play and the odd rpg. I play almost exclusively as a girl. The idea of having sex as a guy has never really appealed to me, whenever I fantasize about sex or anything of the sort I always imagine myself as a girl. I seriously considered going as a flapper (a young woman/teenager of the 1920's/1930's) for a cabaret ball. In the end I didn't go due to not having the right hair (or a wig) to pull it off (or the right tone of voice for that matter) A friend did help me with the costume though and when I tried it on it felt, different, more comfortable then the jeans and the t-shirt I normally wear, it's hard to find the rights words. That was the first (and so far only) time that I've ever cross-dressed, I've considered doing it before but haven't been able to due to not having access to anything that would fit me and parents totally not approving.

I've talked to my parents about it a bit(more about my sexuality than my gender). Whenever it gets mentioned to my dad he's just like whatever and doesn't stay on the topic for very long. My mom brings up the topic more often then I do. She doesn't understand why anyone would take hormones or get a sex change operation and she says things like, "Are you sure it not just a maturity issue?" I don't think it is but...

All that being said, I'm not particularly feminine and I have this irrational fear that it'll turn out that I am a guy after all. That would make things a lot easier in someways but it scares me because confusing as it may be I feel that it is part of who I am and I don't want it to change suddenly like that.

Sorry for making you read through all of that. If anything is hard to read or understand it's probably because I did this rather late at night -is tired-

So, am I transgender? gender queer? ...normal..?

Thank you

--------------------
"I don't know whether to be proud, flattered, amused or severely annoyed."

Posts: 7 | From: California | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"I'm not particularly feminine" and statements like it tend to be of limited value to us, I think. Mostly because what "feminine" means is usually either a) based on one (usually arbitrary, and often not without agenda) construction of femininity or b) could mean anything, if we're basing that on how everyone experiences and defines it for themselves, which tends to vary so widely.

By many standards, I'm not either, and while I don't identify as femme, I was sexed female at birth and identify as a woman. Know what I mean?

So, instead of going that route, how about if we talk about your own feelings and what, so far, feels like your own sense of gender and gender identity instead?

Maybe we can start by talking just about what words, when you choose them for yourself, do feel comfortable for you in terms of your gender?

--------------------
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

Posts: 67933 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Araulia
Neophyte
Member # 46244

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Araulia     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Heather:
So, instead of going that route, how about if we talk about your own feelings and what, so far, feels like your own sense of gender and gender identity instead?

Maybe we can start by talking just about what words, when you choose them for yourself, do feel comfortable for you in terms of your gender

Well, if it was from a purely biological/physical perspective then I wouldn't have any problems referring to myself or having others think of me as male, because, well, that's the truth (if they thought of me biologically as a girl then I'd advise them to see an eye doctor but I wouldn't have any problems with it). Once we get beyond that we start to run into a few problems.

I don't think of myself a male, if I did I'd feel like I'd be lying to myself.

I'm more comfortable with thinking of myself as a girl. The previously mentioned irrational fear I have is the only issue I have with thinking of myself as a girl.

If I had to chose between male androgynous (is that the correct word?) and female, I'd chose female.

One of my friends who's a girl made a comment about how almost all of her friends at school were guys and she kinda referred to me as a girl. I believe the exact phrase was, "All of my friends that go to this school are boys, except for you maybe." It made me feel happier [Smile]

Is that what you meant?

[ 03-18-2010, 08:45 PM: Message edited by: Araulia ]

--------------------
"I don't know whether to be proud, flattered, amused or severely annoyed."

Posts: 7 | From: California | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Gender isn't biological: gender is a social construct. It's sex that is biological, and for plenty of people their biological sex doesn't feel like a "match" for their gender.

I hear you saying that your gender, to you, feels female and you'd feel most comfortable identifying yourself as female. You get to do that, absolutely.

It sounds like while your father isn't ready to deal with that, your mother actually might be more receptive. Do you feel able to talk to her more and ask for some support in this?

--------------------
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

Posts: 67933 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Araulia
Neophyte
Member # 46244

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Araulia     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Heather:
Gender isn't biological: gender is a social construct. It's sex that is biological, and for plenty of people their biological sex doesn't feel like a "match" for their gender.

Sorry about that, In that first paragraph I wasn't talking about gender at all, just my biological sex.

quote:
I hear you saying that your gender, to you, feels female and you'd feel most comfortable identifying yourself as female. You get to do that, absolutely.

It sounds like while your father isn't ready to deal with that, your mother actually might be more receptive. Do you feel able to talk to her more and ask for some support in this?

When I said that my dad doesn't stay on the topic for very long I didn't mean that he changes the subject, he just doesn't seem to care either way. At most he's only ever made one or two comments on the subject. There's always the chance that he'd just laugh for a short while, ask me if I was serious, and then support me. But I don't really know. Would that be the same as him not being ready to deal with it. (sorry if that paragraph didn't make much sense)

Based on what my mom has said in the past I'm not too sure about talking to her. The comment she made about not understand why anyone would take hormones or go through surgery kind of worries me. Do you think I should still talk to her?

[ 03-18-2010, 10:46 PM: Message edited by: Araulia ]

--------------------
"I don't know whether to be proud, flattered, amused or severely annoyed."

Posts: 7 | From: California | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It sounds to me like your sense is that she'd not be supportive: I'd trust your feelings on this far more than mine, since mine were based in one sentence about her from you, who I also have just heard from for the first time.

That said, do you want help finding someone to talk with about your gender identify besides us? We can talk about it some more, for sure, but we can also help you find someone in-person to talk with if you'd like.

I'd also be happy to suggest some books and other reading for you, too.

--------------------
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

Posts: 67933 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Araulia
Neophyte
Member # 46244

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Araulia     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Further reading would be great. I've talked with two close friends, I'm probably going to talk with one or two other friends that I trust. I plan on telling my parents eventually, I just need more time to work op the courage to do so and to wait for a time when they aren't so stressed out [Frown]

Being able to talk to someone else in person would be great. I'd like to talk with my friends a bit more but if at all possible it would be very helpful to talk with someone else about my gender identity.

Further reading would also be appreciated, thanks for all your help so far.

--------------------
"I don't know whether to be proud, flattered, amused or severely annoyed."

Posts: 7 | From: California | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Okay. Per finding someone to talk to, are you comfortable passing me your zip code?

In terms of reading, if you haven't read any gender theory at all before, I think Kate Bornstein's "My Gender Workbook" is a fantastic place to start. There's also a book that's for parents, but I think older children could benefit a lot from it too, especially if they want family support, or want a book to share with parents, and that's "The Transgender Child" by Stephanie A. Brill and Rachel Pepper.

"Transparent: Love, Family, and Living the T with Transgender Teenagers" by Cris Beam is also good. If you can rent any video, "Transgeneration" is something else I'd suggest (I think Netflix has it on demand, too, if you have that service).

--------------------
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

Posts: 67933 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Araulia
Neophyte
Member # 46244

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Araulia     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I could probably pass you my zip code, in a message though would be a better idea.

Before I do though, what sort of a person would I be meeting, a counselor or a psychologist, someone who is transgender...?

There might be a bit of an issue with transportation and where to meet but I guess I'd discuss that with them.

--------------------
"I don't know whether to be proud, flattered, amused or severely annoyed."

Posts: 7 | From: California | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It would depend on what's available in your area.

Some options include a trans-friendly therapist or counselor, a support group for people with questions or who are in transition (which would include other trans people), a youth group, etc.

If you want to send that zip, you can email that here: http://www.scarleteen.com/contact

--------------------
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

Posts: 67933 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Araulia
Neophyte
Member # 46244

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Araulia     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, my sister found out a few nights ago(damn firefox browser not closing fast enough) and we talked about it some. She was confused about it at first but she was fine with it. I made her promise not not tell the rest of the family but Mom heard us talking and she followed me around pestering me about it until she finally guessed, "Are you going to have a sex change operation?" which isn't necessarily true but I did tell her that I was questioning my gender and that I didn't identify as male. I'm not sure if she has told my father yet or not.

I don't think she really understands it. It did go so much better than expected but we haven't mentioned it at all since then.

I sent you a message with my zip code just give me a heads up if you don't receive it

--------------------
"I don't know whether to be proud, flattered, amused or severely annoyed."

Posts: 7 | From: California | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I did get your email: I'll take a look for you tomorrow and get back.

It sucks to have someone find out before you're ready to tell them, but that's great that she handled it well. In terms of your mother, if you can by any means get your hands on a copy of The Transgender Child, I think it';d be great. You can read it for yourself first, but if you like it, I think it'd be so great to get into your mother's hands.

--------------------
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

Posts: 67933 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Araulia
Neophyte
Member # 46244

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Araulia     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
About putting me in contact with someone, my mom talked to my dad about it and apparently they are going to schedule an appointment with a therapist who has worked with transgender teens in the past. This would all be done about two weeks from now as I will be out of the country for a few weeks starting Saturday

You can continue searching if you wish but since I'm already going to be meeting with someone...

--------------------
"I don't know whether to be proud, flattered, amused or severely annoyed."

Posts: 7 | From: California | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
That's great to hear!

Let us know how that works for you. If it doesn't, and you want some more in-person support, I'll go ahead and do more looking.

--------------------
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

Posts: 67933 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3