Accepting my sexuality

Questions and discussion about your sexuality and how it's a part of who you are as a person.
Theansweris42
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Theansweris42 »

Thank you, it's really comforting to hear that someone who I trust thinks that despite everything you know about me. Maybe one day in a few years I'll come here to thank you once again and say that you were right and that you all helped me become a better and happier person 😊
My friend once thinks that it's really important for everyone to have relationships during high school to learn how to behave in them (I don't agree with that, if someone doesn't want to have a relationship the only thing they're going learn from having one is probably just that they don't like it). But what if this in a way applies to friendships and by not having many now I'm missing on some "skills" that it'll be too late to learn later and I'll never be a good enough friend to have healthy relationships even if I meet people I fit in with?
But overall, this all surprisingly worries me much less than some time ago, maybe it just took time for some things and your advice to sink in. I haven't been much to school lately but now I started bringing things to read there, I decided that there's no point in trying not to look like a weird lonely book nerd when everybody already see me as that, I may as well embrace it.

I also wanted to talk about something more practical for once.
Since I got a short haircut about a year ago, people sometimes think I'm a boy. I don't mind that at all - I could be any other gender and look exactly the same and also in a way I like it, I'm not sure why, maybe it's the chance to be perceived without those many prejudices that come with being a women in this society or I just find it exciting to have more diversity in my life and enjoy the feeling of " rebelling" against society, if that makes sense. The problem is that for some unknown reason it started happening much more often lately and with that consequently come much more negative reactions - I was threatened with beating and rape and twice yelled at in just the past week by random people, and you can probably imagine that I can't handle these situations well. (After just this briefest taste of how terribly people can act I can't even begin to imagine how  hard it must be for all trans or otherswise gender noncomforming people, my heart goes out to all of you!)
Also all of those incidents thankfully happened when I was alone but I don't know what might happen if someone assumes that I'm a boy when I'm with my family or other people, most would be probably fine but maybe not everyone.
So I was thinking if there might be something small I could change that would make others see me as a girl? I don't even wear clothes that would be read as inherently masculine anymore because it wasn't met with positive responses, but apparently no makeup and hoodies/sweaters still aren't enough.
On the one hand I don't want to add to the stereotype that women should look a certain way and be feminine enough but on the other hand I don't want to "passively claim" trans/nonbinary identity when I don't identify like that and am afraid that if some people assume I'm not a women and then find out otherwise they might be less likely to ask/assume that with other people, if that makes sense. I know that it's not like my appearance or actions have any impact on the society but I want to do what's right for my own conscience.
And also I would love to hear if you have any ideas what to tell people who keep apologising for misgendendering me, because just "it's okay, I don't mind at all" doesn't really work and many are really unreasonably troubled by it.
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Carly »

Hey 42 -- For what it's worth, I think you are a very self-aware person who has clear interest in learning more about themselves and others both interpersonally and intrapersonally. Though there may be some experiences you might not have that others will in high school, I think it would be very hard for you to severely miss out on the emotional development for how willing to learn and ask questions you are. Learning how to be in relationships, friends or otherwise, is lifelong and not linear by any means.

As for your questions about gender, I'm noticing you're feeling the need to take more responsibility for what it is ultimately up to other people. On how to look more feminine, I'm not sure if that's a question we could answer in a way that gives concreate steps or tips, especially for safety. To me, this comes down to trying to meet others' expectations of how gender presentation should look. Accurately predicting what will set them off, especially if you don't know them, is incredibly difficult. I think the same could be said for worrying that you are passively claiming a gender identity - you aren't responsible for what others assume about you. I know that it feels like you are, as you are the one making the choices about how you look... but that is merely you existing. Additionally, if you're assuring people who misgender you that you're not offended and they are still troubled that they might have, that's on them and their discomfort. I'm not saying that there isn't anything you can do about other people in any of these situations and I'm not trying to downplay the real threat of your safety in the situation where strangers harassed you. But what I do want you to see is that you are not actually responsible to be the person who changes in these situations. Does that resonate at all?
Theansweris42
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Theansweris42 »

Thank you so much, your kind words really help easy some worries

It makes a lot of sense that I'm not - in the true sense of the word - responsible for feelings and actions of others. You are probably right that there is no exact easy way to fulfill everyone's expectations of how people of certain gender should look like, but not being able to control something is always scary for me, so I still feel like I should change something. I can't be in the middle ground - look how I do, be called whatever people call me - without getting unwanted attention, being perceived as a certain gender while not fitting into those tight imagenery boxes created by society is not something many people, for most of whom it's much more important than for me, are granted after all.
But even if I wasn't scared speechless I can't stop rude people on the street to explain them everything. I should probably stop worrying about all this then, but as much as I'm trying to tell myself that it was just a unhappy drunk man probably taking on me his frustration from other parts of his life, it scared me and some insults hurt more than they should.
Another thing that led me to talking about it here is that my nonbinary classmate has already voiced slight disapproval of me regarding this, but he didn't want to elaborate on this so I don't understand why he feels like that. I know so little about this problematic and the last thing I want to is hurting anybody with my ignorance, so I would love to hear opinions of other nonbinary/trans people - how do you feel about all that? If you knew me personally would you feel that I as a women looking/being perceived as a boy is harmful to you/the community? (Or maybe you think that the whole problem is totally stupid or irrelevant?)

If it turns out not to be harmful it's probably just up to me if I prefer short hair and conflicts when I use public toilets or otherwise. There's also my fear of what might my parents think, but after some thought I don't really see a reason why they should be angry with me for other's reactions.

I don't know why I'm overthinking something this basic so much, it's like when my life's mainly fine my brain still needs something to think in circles about... This is also quite tricky as terms like gender or society are so abstract for me, I know so little and I don't know if I'm trying to prove something to myself or others or what, but I'm sometimes so fixed on doing the "right thing"...
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by nicole »

Hi Theansweris42,

I hope it's okay that I'm jumping in here. I haven't responded to your thread before so I apologize if this is out of place or if I am missing some important details in my response. I understand your concerns, I really do. I know that gender and its existence in society is incredibly complex. Gender expression and presentation is different for everyone, and there is no right or wrong way to experiment with them. While I am cisgender and I do not want to speak for nonbinary or trans people, I do know that my friends who are nonbinary/trans have always encouraged me to try out whatever my heart desires. This is your life, so do whatever makes you feel good, as long as you are being safe.

I do want to emphasize Carly's point that you do not have any responsibility to change yourself due to how other people perceive you and react to you, especially in regards to your gender expression and presentation. If anything, repeating this in your mind as some type of mantra could possibly help with alleviating your worries.

Please let me know if this helps in any way!
Theansweris42
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Theansweris42 »

Hi and thank you!
There's no need to apologise
(I know this thread is so long, chaotic and full of many different unrelated topics. I hope that if there's anything I could change regarding how I use this place, you won't hesitate to tell me, because I understand my use of the. boards isn't entirely usual and I don't want to cause trouble or negative feelings to anyone)

Thanks to everyone for your input, I feel much better about about the whole issue already. I guess I was just unnecessarily focused on those few scary encounters. I have never given my appearance much thought in terms of gender expression and I don't want to do that now either. Besides it's probably good for me to learn some emotional resilience by getting into uncomfortable situations in public. I just want to try asking that classmate to explain more why me being perceived as a boy might be harmful. And if there's anyone else here who has thoughts on this I'd love to hear them too!

I also want to thank you all (plus selfishly boast a little...) because things I've learned here (plus one quote from V. Woolf :) ) really helped me in a big conversation with one of our teachers regarding different relationship models, young people and sexuality in general. I haven't expected it but in the end he said he really changed his mind for (at least in my opinion) the better. I know it's nothing groundbreaking, but it makes me really happy that there will hopefully be some students that will feel better thanks to him. And who knows, he might hold this new stance and even spread between other school staff.
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Elise »

Hi there Theansweris42, I’m so glad to hear you were able to have a really engaging conversation with your teacher and it sounds like change his mind on an issue through conversation, well done! That can be a stressful situation to be in and a skill that can be tricky to develop and sounds like you handled it very well 😊 Which Virginia Woolf quote was the one that inspired you?

I’m not sure what I’d speculate to be the reason your friend would think that your gender presentation being more ambiguous than obviously feminine would be problematic. However if you do choose to open up that discussion with them and would like you talk about what they say here, you are very welcome too. That said, if you’d also rather not bring it up with them, that is also okay, sometimes you can get the sense that the conversation would not be constructive or the other person isn’t in a place to have it, and you’ll be better placed to get a sense for how things are from where you stand.
Theansweris42
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Theansweris42 »

The quote is "Society is everything and society is nothing. Society is the most powerful concoction in the world and society has no existence whatsoever." (It's from Orlando, my favourite book by her out of those I've read so far, I love the style and it deals really interestingly with the topic of gender)

Sorry for taking to long to answer. After seeming quite good for a while my life, or at least my perception of it has become miserable and hopeless, again. I'm so tired of this cycle, in a few weeks I'll laught at myself for feeling and acting like this but then it'll take just one small problem to make me feel like there's no way out again... I so desperately want to talk to someone about some things that happened, but there's noone in my life and when I tried to put it into writing to post here I for some reason wasn't able to put together a single sentance. But that should be good, some of those things shouldn't probably be here anyway and also that's what I've always wanted, to not complain so much to everyone, I just thought it'd feel better.
I know I do it a lot but I still want to thank you, I often remember those kind things people here told me and sometimes it feels like they're the only thing keeping me from giving up and even though I sometimes want to give up I don't wanna do it by disrespecting or letting down you or those ideas that this place represents to me, if that makes sense
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Michaela »

Hi 42,

That is a beautiful quote and I'm glad you shared it-- I added it to a list of favorite quotes of mine!

Feeling like you've made progress just to feel like you are back in the same place again can be exhausting and disheartening, but there is always a path forward. I hear you because vocalizing the struggles we are facing is no small task and can be one of the most challenging to do. You know that we are always here to help when you do feel like you can put it into words. But, I want to offer you another tool if you are not quite there. Do you have any hobbies you enjoy like drawing, painting, photography, etc.? Sometimes leaning into those creative outlets to portray what is going on visually and without words can help you to make sense of your feelings by putting them out into the world in a way that opens up some mental space. Does that sound like something that could be beneficial to you?

Also, there is a difference between complaining and seeking help or understanding. Most of your posts that I have read have come from a perspective of wanting to understand or figure something out to improve your life or a situation. That shows a desire for growth and a profound sense of self-reflection that you should take pride in.

Finally, there is no need to thank us because that is the whole reason we are here. Maybe if it is too hard to talk about the things that are troubling you at the moment you could speak about what those things are that have stuck with you or that you like to return to for comfort or direction in times that you are feeling low.
Theansweris42
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Theansweris42 »

Thank you so much for your validation and great ideas <3 I don't know why has it taken me three days to force myself to look again what I've written and read your reply, maybe it was shame or guilt, but as always your kind words showed me there's nothing to be afraid of.

I'll start with your last suggestion.
I still remember the first time long ago when I found this site when googling something like "is my vagina normal" and that it's not in fact vagina but vulva and that it definitely is normal were the first out of many things I learned here :D From the beginning I was blown away by how amazing all the content and people here are and how much time and energy someone devoted to creating something where everyone can get not only meaningful information but also real helo and support, and this deep admiration hasn't left me ever since. I also remember the first time I used message boards and was very nervous and Heather's kind and fast response. I often remember quote from Startrack that Sam has shared with me "It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness." or when she recommended me some great videos about mental health.
I'll never forget the time Heather has explained me why they don't see seeking attention as bad and that they don't think I'm selfish. Another thing that stuck with me were Sofi's philosophical thoughts about good and bad. And out of those many kind words by all of you here I often remember how you said that you believe I'll be able to become an independent adult one days or when Heather said that they think I can be a good friend. And I could go on and on, all those articles, media recommendations, questions and answers, those few times I had the courage to use the chat, reading other people's post etc. all of this has made my life much better.
(Thank you, it really felt good to remember some of those things and write it down :) )

I'm really grateful for having a place where I can share something like this. I realized I haven't had a proper nice conversation with anyone for so long, I got some trouble at school so I'm trying to avoid talking with teachers, classmates mostly ignore me, the atmosphere at home is terrible again, I fell out with my only closer friend... I just feel so disconnected from the world sometimes... I haven't done anything good for someone else in a long time, there's noone who'd want my help or even presence. And if I'm not making anyone's life better and just worse I can't help thinking that there's no point in my existence anymore... but I shouldn't get into that here. It's just so confusing and sometimes I don't know what to believe anymore, sometimes I can be totally fine the whole day and then spend the whole night crying and I don't know which is real...But no matter how bad I feel I found out I still want to live, even when I don't think I deserve it, I just don't want to live like this... But I don't know how (or don't want to?) change. I've even for the first time ever changed my mind and looked up how does the school counselor work, only to find out he was fired a week ago and there's no substitute. And my mum has found some therapist for me, but it's against my will and it only scares me because she is her friend and she studied it but doesn't do therapy officially, but she won't be free until February thankfully.
Well I guess this falls into the category of complaining, I hope it's okay. And sorry if the second part is chaotic, I wrote the first one yesterday and Im quite tired now
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Sam W »

Hi Theansweris42,

I'm glad that Star Trek quote stuck with you! Before I address anything else, I want to say that if your mom tries to get you to see her friend as a substitute for an actual therapist, resist that as much as possible. It is INCREDIBLY unethical to take on a family friend as a client. If you want to talk about finding another source of mental healthcare instead, that's certainly something we can help you brainstorm (and hopefully your school will get a new counselor as soon as they can).

As for those other feelings, I think something that's really, really important to remember is that we are more than what we do (or don't do) for others. If you've never looked into it, I recommend the work of Devon Price, who writes a lot about challenging the idea that to be of value you have to be productive and "useful" in some way all the time: https://www.instagram.com/drdevonprice/. We may have touched on this in the past, but reading work by disabled authors can also help combat those feelings, because they actively push back on the belief that we're only worth as much as we do for others.
Theansweris42
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Theansweris42 »

Sorry for the negativity in those last posts, it was just combination of some things that happened and PMS that made me feel so low and act like that. I know I get like this every time but it still somehow catches me unprepared. As for the therapist I don't have much of a choice because I already had to promise to my mum I'll go there and who knows, it might be better than nothing, but I doubt I'd be able to talk about anything personal anyway, I also need to go there because another doctor refused to treat me anymore if I don't visit a psychologist but it's impossible to find anyone else and my parent's won't let me anyway.
Thank you for the recommendation. Unfortunately I don't have Instagram so I wasn't able to look at the link so I'm not sure if there was anything specific you wanted to share with me, but I found some of their work in other places and it was quite enjoyable and eye-opening reading, I guess you wanted me to read something like this (https://devonprice.medium.com/im-not-an ... 165c884ea5).
I think in my case it definitely is some kind of a defence mechanism to show that "I'm not bad and selfish, that I just can't be when I want to do good things, everyone has to see that..." But I don't know if I'm so desperately trying to prove it to others or to myself.
But it's also about the connection, it's a way of communicating with people and the world. Doing something beyond the scope of my personal life, something someone might remember, something I myself see as right or meaningful, something that makes a change... I love and crave knowing that somewhere someone might smile, laugh, feel accepted, free, needed, cared for or just better in any way because of me - because of my own initiative. It might sound incredibly selfish, but having that kind of connection with someone feels really empowering, exciting and just plain good to me. And I'm not talking just about some big actions with enormous impact, I've never had the courage or chance to do those, but also small daily things like giving a compliment, helping with homework, cheering someone up with a funny video etc. I didn't stop doing those things altogether, but I really miss having people who want me to be part of their lives.
I know I'm probably overromantisizing this but I think it's still better to try to connect with the world somehow than just giving up and becoming resentful of everything and everyone. But I admit it's hard sometimes to not be like that when noone except my closest family remembered my birthday and they just said that they didn't get me anything because they didn't know what, I've never given my birthday much importance, but it's still hurts a little...
(Why I'm saying this it that I wanted to ask what do you think I should tell my friend in case she remembers and feels bad about forgetting about it, so she wouldn't feel guilty? "It's okay, I don't care about birthdays anyway" just made her angry the last time)
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Michaela »

Hi theansweris42,

First of all, I do want to reiterate Sam's post about the therapist that it is unethical for them to see you in that capacity. However, if you have no other choice than to go see this person then make sure you tell them that you were forced to go and get their help to intervene in the situation or possibly help you find another person to see. I know that Sam mentioned discussing other ways to get mental health care so I'll leave this open for her to respond or others with some suggestions.

What you wrote doesn't sound crazy to me because humans are social creatures and that means we do have a need for connection with others. Whether that is through conversations, spending time with others, or showing interest in each other (like through birthdays) we all have that desire. It can take some time to find your people and nurture those relationships, but they are out there. Are there any activities/hobbies/passions that you enjoy that you might be able to meet people with shared interests through?

In terms of the birthday situation, since it sounds like you want to be somewhat honest with her about what you are feeling you could say something like "It's okay but I would love to spend some time with you. How about we hang out sometime this week?" You could even frame it as a belated birthday thing. You could also say "It's okay, there's always next year" and then even suggest something fun to do next year to show that birthdays are important to you. You could even say something like "Yeah, it was a pretty quiet birthday which was a little sad but how about we think of something fun for next year."

You mentioned wanting to feel close to others. Is this friend someone you could see yourself developing a deeper friendship with to feel that connection you were talking about?
Theansweris42
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Theansweris42 »

Sorry, I'll reply to your questions in depth later as I don't have much time right now, because my parents have suddenly started checking and controlling things like what I wear or do on the internet again (and it'll probably get even worse when they find out about some things from school). So I'll probably stop coming here for a while. I know I'm terribly overcautious, but it would make me really nervous if I wasn't.
But I also have one (and probably the first purely sex ed, lol) question - is it normal that taking out tampons hurts (that it makes it almost impossible to do it) or is it because they're too small/too big or I'm taking them out too soon/too late or something else? I've used them just couple of times when it was absolutely necessary and only mini size. Putting it in isn't much of a problem (but I might be doing it wrong somehow). I feel quite ashamed I'm that old but still don't know even those basics...

Anyway, I hope your Halloween raffle goes well and thank you so much for making (not only my) life less scary! :)
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Heather »

I'm really sorry to hear that about your parents. You do what you need to do for yourself, and I continue to have my heart set on a different and independent life for you sooner rather than later.

Taking them out can hurt for a couple reasons. If they aren't very full, they can still be a bit dry, even though they're inside the vaginal canal. Things tend to be drier in there during periods, weird as that might sound.

That given, if the vaginal opening is drier, that can cause discomfort, too, so using a little lube first can help with that kind of ouch from tampons.

Another possibility is that when you are taking it out, it is catching on the inside rim of the vaginal opening. Again, lube can help, there, as can just going slow as you take them out. Placing a finger on the vaginal opening while you do might help, too.
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
Theansweris42
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Theansweris42 »

Hi and thank you! It's such a relief to be able to ask those kinds of questions and be met with understanding and reliable answers!

(Btw, I got registered to a local public library and can use their computers and therefore have some unsupervised Internet time :), I have no idea why I haven't thought about it sooner. And I was also offered to earn some money from time to time by playing and providing music accompaniment at some of their events, it's not much, but I'm really happy about it :D)

Anyway, I have another topic I'd like to talk/vent about. It's not a big deal but I'd like to share some thoughts. About a month ago I talked with some of you about how I'm sometimes getting into uncomfortable situations because people assume I'm a boy, probably because of my short hair. I had been quite okay with it since then until it happend several times when I was with my family and you can imagine that they weren't happy about it. To be fair, their reaction could have been way worse but since then I've been hearing things like "you could have been such a beautiful girl if you wanted", "don't expect people to like you if you look like a man", "what have we done wrong that you want to rebel so much?", "I hope you aren't trans/nb or something, are you?" etc. quite often. I haven't care about it much, or at least tried not to, but now my mum went from words to action and said she won't let me go to a hairdresser anymore, that it's expensive is a fair point but she didn't have to add those other reasons. She says I have to keep my hair long, learn how to wear make up and get dress and high heels until the graduation ball (I have no idea why it's such a big deal for everyone...). I don't know what might happen if I resist and am not sure if I'll find the courage to do that.
I wrote at the beginning that it's not a big deal for me, but I guess that is some way it is when I'm thinking about it so much, but I don't understand why and don't like it. It wouldn't definitely hurt me to learn to act more "womenly" according to their expectations, but it might hurt both me and others if I keep getting into conflicts because of that.
I was thinking why am I much more focused on my appearance lately, because I've never been like that. Because of some health issues I haven't been able to do as much sport as I was used to - which was quite a lot, and I deeply miss it. So maybe if I can't "demonstrate" to others and myself, toughness and strength (which might seem quite funny as I'm quite tiny) physically like I was used to (and I admit that also liked to), I subconsciously want to do it by dressing, speaking or acting a certain way. I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing or what to make of it.
It's kind of hard to effectively talk about it with my parents when they're "accusing" me of something that doesn't make any sense to me. I'm not trying to look like a boy nor am I trying to (not)look like a girl. I'm not trying to be or look like anything, or at least I think so. It's just that I'm more comfortable not having to care about who "should" go first into the door, if I'm perfectly shaved or if I'm being "meek enough". I don't know how it feel for other people, or how it would/should feel in general to take my appearance as somehow related to gender, but I don't think I feel any connection between that and it's therefore hard for me to understand some people's arguments and questions.
Honestly whenever I tried thinking about what being a women even means for me it was just an uncomfortable search in a void, maybe I grow up not knowing that even is something I could think about or I lack the terms and framework to do that. Most of my teenage life I've felt like some "traitor to womenhood" because I couldn't do some things "the right way", until I learned here and on other places that I can't even do those things wrong because there is no right way, I'm just doing them *my way*.

Well, this is a chaotic collection of thoughts rather than a question. I'm not asking for advice regarding my family, it's easy for me to blame everything on them but I know I can't and am trying not to. But if anyone has any thoughts, thinks I'm thinking about it the right/wrong way, or anything else, everything is appreciated. And also maybe some ideas how to let go and get over the discomfort of overgrown hair, since I got used to having it really short I find it quite distracting and uncomfortable when it grows longer.

Anyway, I also hope that those of you in the US are holding up okay, the elections time must be really stressful
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Sexual identity and orientation: Figuring it out
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Siân »

Hi 42!

So glad you've found the resources at the public library - and will have a bit of money of your own too!

Massive UGH to your parents trying to control how you act and dress. I do get why this might feel like a big deal. Even if you wanted to wear dresses and heels and make up and have long hair, being forced to do it is having a huge amount of your personal freedom - and expression taken away. What you wear is just another facet of "your body, your choice", and you're being told you don't have a choice. That's not okay to me.

I hear you saying that it might not hurt you to conform, but honestly, I don't think that being controlled like that is good for anyone - you included.

I really relate to the way's you're talking about your expression of your gender too. It's funny how when one of the ways we express ourself is taken away - like sport - we look for other ways to express similar things. I had some injuries this year (now healing) that stopped me doing all my sports and also felt really weird not being able to feel strong! I don't think that anything you've told us here takes away from you being a woman - and personally I cheer when people make more space in those gender boxes by saying "I feel like a girl AND I want to have short hair and open the door for the boys". It sounds like your family aren't willing to hear those things. I'm sorry.

Short hair growing out can be a total pain. Two things that helped me were wearing it swept back from the face (using clips or product) and, if you can get away with it, just trimming at the back of the neck (possible to DIY or get a friend to help with). You might be able to make the argument that it's so you get a better shape as everything on the top of your head has time to catch up since this is legitimately one way to grow hair out (to get more of a bob vs a mullet), but you're best placed to judge how your family will take that.
Theansweris42
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Theansweris42 »

Thank you so much for the validation, advice and sharing your experience - I hope you're able to do all  the things you enjoy soon!

That's a great idea about trimming the hair at the back. My mum doesn't approve but I'm gonna try it anyway because it is starting to drive me crazy.
Beside the discomfort it also bugs me that I have to give up my short hair because it was probably the only thing I was able to do for myself despite disapproval of other people. And I know I'm being petty but I also don't want to hear all those people saying that they knew all along that I'll admit they were right and go back to having long hair...
I wish I could be brave like many other people are  in standing up for themselves, but right now I don't want to risk any serious disagreement with my parents because they have some of my meds and they might refuse to give them to me (it's nothing important, it just helps with some pain) and I'm often too stupidly proud to even ask for them so I really don't want to have to beg for them... I hate my body for making me such an easy subject of being controlled and I hate myself for allowing that to happen...

Anyway, enough of complaining. I have another partly philosophical question.
Some people say that things like fashion style/opinions/choices or basically anything they don't like about the other person, isn't valid because they're just being swayed by other people's opinion/styles etc.
While I see this just as an evasive way of invalidating people's experiences (because isn't this how we become ourselves - by meeting people getting to know them and then keeping and cultivating just those of their opinions and other things we like?), it has led me to another question - how can I tell apart liking someone and wanting to be like that person?
For example when someone catches my eye, how do I know if it's because I want to form an relationship with them or because I admire (envy?) their style or confidence for instance? Maybe there isn't a clear line but I feel like there should be.
It's way way better than it used to be but I still tend to question and overthink my sexual orientation from time to time and I can't stop thinking what i I liked some people I thought I was attracted to just as role-models of some kind? Because I've noticed that when I'm interested in someone I often tend to unconsciously "imitate" them by having the same interests, behaving like them, wanting to look similar etc. Similarly my whole childhood I was always interested only in book characters that were men and found most od of the other boring. That's one reason why I haven't even though about questioning my sexuality for a long time but now I'm wondering whether I just wanted to be (like) those characters (as they were mostly the typical strong, brave, chivalrous kind of hero with a sad backstory).
Sorry it's so long again and I hope it makes at least some sense. In short. what I'm thinking about is if there is some clear difference and a way of distinguishing between wanting to be with people and wanting to become these people.
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by nicole »

Hi! I hope it's okay that I'm stepping in here. Honestly, it is super messed up that they can hold your medication from you so you don't cut your hair...I am really sorry that this is going on. I remember how my parents would "threaten" to hold things back from me so I don't go against their wishes. It's the worst and again, I'm sorry. I wish I could just tell you, "fuck it" and just do it, but I know that parents will be parents.

Also, as for being "swayed" by other people's opinions or styles, I agree with you entirely--I think it's totally unfair for people to judge others for getting inspired by other people. The whole purpose of subcultures is to encourage each other to try new things and learn from each other. With that being said, you bring up an interesting question. My friends and I always joke about similar situations--we see someone who looks cool and we're like "do I want to be them or be with them?" Honestly, I don't even know if I know the answer to that question, it really just depends on how you really feel about this person. Sometimes people really do confuse admiration for a crush, or vice versa. Also, I do want to mention that there are more types of crushes than just a romantic one! Personally, I would just wait it out and see if this was just infatuation. I think time will certainly tell in this situation.

I also grew up with the same mindset that you're currently trying to figure out. Sexuality can be ever-changing and fluid. Many people find qualities in fictional characters that they want their future partners to have. Many people also find qualities that they want to have. You're definitely not alone in this. It's difficult to form a clear answer to your question, but we do have an article that I think you could benefit from reading from! I'll link here: Scarleteen Mix #9: Crushing It!. It also has some nice music choices that could help ease your thoughts a bit. I hope it helps, take care!
Theansweris42
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Theansweris42 »

Thank you, it really does help!

You're absolutely right. Reading your answer I realized that the problem is that I'm looking at it from other people's point of view. I'm trying to answer questions people would ask when trying to invalidate someone's sexual orientation not question I need to know how to answer in order to see my feelings as valid. It makes a lot of sense that there isn't a clear way to distinguishing those things and I love the idea of many different kinds of crushes because I think it's impossible to describe all those complicated and complex ways our brains work and the feelings that stem from that in a few words in a way that would apply to everyone's experience.
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Mo »

These things really are complicated!!! Sometimes I find it helpful to try and accept that there aren't always easy answers to questions like "do I have a crush on this person or do I want to be like them?" even though I'm a person who often wants to have those concrete answers. In all honesty, I think a big difference between where I'm at now and where I was when I was first questioning things like my gender and sexuality in my early 20s is that at the time, I was so worried and upset about not having clear answers to those big questions, and now I know that some of those questions may never have clear answers, and that's okay!
You definitely don't need all the answers for your feelings to be valid. :)
Theansweris42
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Theansweris42 »

Thank you! I have to learn to accept that some questions can be left unanswered, because other people and I myself will always ask more and more and even if I find some answers they might apply just to the one specific situation and trying to force other situations to fit it might make it just more complicated.
I think it's way better than it used to be but letting go of that kind of overthinking is still easier said than done for me. What has helped me when comparing my present feelings with those in the past in order to find some "proof",  was realising that I couldn't even know I like certain things/people/opinions when I didn't know it's possible or that they exist back then. For example (because I like metaphors way too much) if a person who knows only vanilla and chocolate ice cream was asked which flavour they like the most they'd pick one of those even if they both tasted meh to them just because they don't know that something else for example a strawberry sorbet exists, which they might like way more.

Anyway, I have a bit weird question and I know this probably isn't the right place for it but I need to at least ask for the sake of my peace of mind. Do you think it's possible to have something like an subconscious memory (probably not exactly a trauma, just unpleasant memories recurring just in the form of feelings without the actual memory, if that makes sense?) from something you don't actually remember at all because of drinking too much for example?
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by nicole »

Hi! Yeah, you have your whole life to figure everything out! It's not worth it to find the answers to everything when every day exposes you to situations that help you learn and grow. I understand what you mean though and it's entirely valid, but again, you have so much time to experience new things. It's important to try to not get ahead of yourself!

As for your question, I think it is definitely possible for these memories to occur and our subconscious to be working despite getting blackout drunk. From my own experience while growing up and experimenting with alcohol, when I would drink too much and have difficulties remembering what I said or did, sometimes it would come back to me at a later time. I am not sure if this answers your question, but I hope sharing my experience helps. With that being said, did you recently experience something harmful when under the influence? If so, we are here to listen and provide the proper resources to support you. Please take care.
Theansweris42
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Theansweris42 »

Thank you!
Even if I knew how I don't think there's much to talk about, its a bit complicated, it's been some time and I haven't even think about it until I heard some rumours but I still think that rumours is all they are. But I've learned my lesson and even if it's not true the terrible shame that I've even let that happen and that I let things like this happen repeatedly, is quite deserved punishment on itself...

Anyway, this is a bit connected but it doesn't probably matter. I quite desperately need advice on how to politely answer when a teacher or someone in a similar position asks me things like if there's something troubling me because they think I look sad/in pain. It has happened several times both in person and over sms and I never now how to react. I don't understand why those people even care about this when I'm not causing anyone any trouble. And I feel like no matter how I respond even if not at all it'll always be suspicious... I don't know, especially the last case really scares me, I don't want or need that kind od attention nor their help. Im now scared to go anywhere. Even if I was okay before now I absolutely won't be able to act normally around this person when I now know everything I do is analysed...
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Carly »

Hey 42 -- I remember you talking about this issue of feeling uncomfortable when a teacher asks about how you're feeling before. I think the first thing to keep in mind here is that they're likely checking in because they care about you, not because they think you're causing trouble. I can't speak for your school I suppose, but here in the US it's becoming more of an expectation that teachers talk to students who seem withdrawn or sad because reaching out has the potential to prevent mental health emergencies and other dangerous situations. Even though it is likely good intentioned, you're absolutely allowed to feel scrutinized or over-analyzed by these people in your life. My advice to you is to state your boundaries firmly and directly when you're asked about it. Perhaps something like "Thanks for checking in. I appreciate your concern, but I'm not feeling sad and I don't need help with anything right now. If I do need support or help with something, I know that I can reach out."
Theansweris42
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Theansweris42 »

Thank you, your advice really helped me in the moment!

I don't know why it stressed me out so much, I should be grateful that some people care about me when they don't have to I guess (even though I suspect that in the case of those particular teachers it was more about my successes at some extracurricular activities and the benefits they get from those than a concern about my mental health, lol...)
I don't know why at the same time I crave someone's attention and care but when it's offered to me I overreact and panic...

With those teachers at school that I was talking about some time ago it's has been okay since then (apart from one who contacted my parents without telling me anything...)

But on Sunday it was the conductor of an orchestra I play in and I don't know if there are any specific guidelines about (not)contacting parents of those over 18 in the music school and also what's probably really making me so nervous is that I don't know at all what might or might not happened with him in the situation I mentioned two posts ago...
And I'm afraid that because I haven't responded to his next messages he might want to talk about it when we meet in person... I don't know what it is about most older people what makes it so hard for me to talk with them even when they are really kind and are trying to help...

What I hate about all those teachers and schoolmates asking about my mental health the most is that it feels like I just don't fit in the way I am. Most times when people ask if I'm okay I'm not even feeling exceptionally bad and I think I'm not trying to appear troubled or anything to get attention either, it's just that I'm not very cheery and talkative all the time. It's probably who I am and I don't think I can ever change that.  And I'm afraid that it'll be like this forever that just by being myself like that I'll create problems and raise attention and worry... It's like I wasn't born to or didn't learn to be a functional part of this society...
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