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Questioning my gender

Discussion in 'Gender Identity and Expression' started by blueclouds, Apr 9, 2020.

  1. blueclouds

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    So this is probably going to be really long and I’m absolutely terrified to post this, but I’d really appreciate it if someone could read it through.

    I’m afab, and up until recently I’ve never questioned anything. I guess I never really felt the need to, because I never knew it was even possible to question my gender, and just accepted that I’m a girl. Recently, I’ve been thinking maybe I could be something else and it’s really stressing me out.

    When I was a little kid, I always chose to play a male character in video games and pretend games if I could, and I’ve always dressed pretty masculinely, and I know that’s just gender expression, but in the last few months I’ve been feeling uncomfortable looking and being perceived as a girl and I can’t help but wonder if maybe I’m not just a tomboy?

    A while ago I was introduced to the trans community, and I had a bit of an aha moment when I realized that maybe I can relate to some trans people’s experiences. However, I never really related to being “stuck in the wrong body”. I am definitely uncomfortable with a female body and certain parts of my body that make me look feminine, and I’ve wanted to look like a boy for a long time, but since I don’t feel like I desperately need to risk harm to get rid of my female body parts, or freak out every time I see myself, it feels like I don’t feel uncomfortable enough in my body to say that I could be trans. I do wish I had a flat chest and in general a male body, and when I look in the mirror and am reminded that I’m female it doesn’t feel great, but I don’t feel any sort of crippling dysphoria and I don’t even know if what I’m feeling is anything like dysphoria. I do know that everyone feels a different level of dysphoria, but I can’t shake the feeling that if what I’m feeling is dysphoria, it’s not enough. If I could turn into a guy permanently right now, I’d do it, but I can’t figure out if that’s just because I’ve always been a pretty tomboyish person.

    I do already dress like a guy, I have short hair, and I’m lucky to be built like a cereal box and have a masculine face. I keep wondering if maybe I’m just a masculine girl? It’s just all so confusing, because what masculine girl wants to be seen completely as male and get rid of her female parts?

    I don’t like calling myself a girl, and it definitely feels right when I refer to myself with male pronouns and a male name (in private, I haven’t told anyone about this), but I keep thinking that maybe it seems right because it’s better than before, but not completely right? When I look at myself in the mirror, it’s not like I feel any sort of innate sense of gender, but when I tell myself “I’m a boy” it feels significantly better than “I’m a girl”. It feels weird, but I think it’s a good weird? It’s not really a type of weird that I’ve ever felt before, so I have nothing to compare it against. I think maybe part of my issue is that I just can’t accept that something’s actually going on? I don’t feel right saying I’m a boy, not because it doesn’t feel right for me, but because I don’t look enough like one to claim to be one and I feel like I’m intruding on this community that I might not be a part of. I know I want to look like and be a boy, but since want to be and an actual state of being are different, I don’t know what to think.

    It doesn’t feel nice when I see old pictures of myself from before I cut my hair short, or hear my birth name, but maybe I’m just blowing what I’m feeling out of proportion. It just seems sketchy for me to start feeling like I could be trans all of a sudden, you know? It’s like as soon as I realized it was possible, I subconsciously decided that I’m going to try to invade this community and trick myself into thinking I’m feeling dysphoric (or whatever I’ve been feeling). I also doubt myself because when someone says something that relates to me being female, sometimes I don’t freak out and sometimes it kinda hurts. I’ve never liked directly being referred to as a girl, or when I’m in a group, it’s always uncomfortable when someone refers to my group as “girls” or “ladies”, but it’s gotten so much worse recently. I had a dream last night that someone kept insisting that I’m a girl and will never be anything but a girl, and I told them that I’m a boy. I woke up still sad that anyone would say that, as ridiculous as it sounds.

    This is weird, but when I look in a mirror that just shows my face I’m mostly fine with it, because my face looks pretty androgynous/masculine, but when I look at the rest of myself I just feel kind of sad and disappointed that I look like this, and when I focus on certain parts of myself that look feminine I get uncomfortable and get this urge to do something about that part. I don’t have a binder and I only have women’s clothes, which still make me a little uncomfortable even though they look similar to the ones you’d find in the men’s section. I haven’t had a haircut in a little too long, and even though you could definitely find quite a few guys with my haircut, it feels too feminine.

    I don’t know how to ask my parents to help me work this out. They’re not religious or anything, but with all this quarantine stuff I can’t go shopping for men’s clothes or get a haircut or see a gender therapist or anything that might help, and I’m scared to tell them how I’m feeling. I’m still a teenager, so I can’t order a binder or any clothes or anything myself and there’s really no way I could without telling someone. I think they’d be supportive, but I’m their only “daughter” and I think I’ll disappoint them, my mom especially. How am I supposed to tell her I could be a boy when she didn’t even consider boy names for me because she specifically hoped I wasn’t a boy? It kinda hurts to think that she so desperately wanted a daughter and she might not be able to have one anymore. What am I supposed to say, “hey mom, you know how you told me you really didn’t want me to be a boy? Well, do I have some news for you!” And what if it ends up being a phase or the wrong decision for me? I can’t imagine that happening, but last year I couldn’t imagine being transgender. I know my mom is already at least a little upset by how little I’m into conventionally feminine things, and I don’t want to tell her that I’m not even a feminine thing anymore. I mean, I’m definitely getting ahead of myself, but all this is seriously taking over my life and I can’t focus on anything.

    On top of all that, I don’t know how this is going to affect my place on the school wrestling team and at my karate dojo. I’ll be categorized as a girl, and I don’t know how I’ll feel about that.

    I’m not going to say this is all probably nothing, but it might just be a phase and I’m scared of that happening. Any advice would be so appreciated. I really have no one to talk to, including my friends. I’ve tried dropping hints that I’m questioning things, but no one’s getting it and I’m so scared that they might dismiss this. Thank you so much for reading this through, if anyone has any idea on what could be going on it would mean so much to me.

    If my name is relevant, I think I’m going by Caleb right now, just to test out some male names to see if it’s any better than my birth name. :slight_smile:
     
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  2. Laurennnn

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    Hi Caleb! Sorry if this response is really late :slight_smile: Love your name, btw!
    I have no experience with questioning my gender, so I have no idea if this advice is at all helpful, but hopefully it does something.
    I think that in the media, trans people are often represented as having crippling dysmorphia and absolutely hating their birth-assigned gender. I think that's true for some people - but that might also just be a generalization about trans people. Everyone's story is different! I think it's honestly not that common for a person to out of the blue just become completely sure that their sexuality or gender is not what they thought it was, and I think everyone experiences what you're feeling in some way or another.
    You don't have to be completely sure! No one is rushing you - take some time to experiment and figure out what makes you feel best as a person. You might not be/have been horribly uncomfortable as a female, but that doesn't mean that you aren't valid. You know yourself.
    If you feel better as a man, it doesn't matter how you feel/felt as a girl. All that matters is you end up comfortable and happy.
    Hopefully this advice was helpful - good luck!
     
  3. 17Bee19

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    I too haven't ever wanted to be anything other than my birth gender, but I hope I can help. I think you should do what makes you more comfortable and happy. If you prefer he/him pronouns, then use those. It sounds as though you aren't extremely dysphoric, but you are a little unhappy being identified as a woman. Give it a little time. Most people, despite the media, have a period of confusion and denial before accepting who they are.

    If I was in your shoes, I would seriously consider identifying with being a male or not identifying with any gender. Maybe even both.
     
  4. ChescaC

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    Caleb,
    First off, Welcome!
    Secondly, taking those first steps into a transition(Whether to Non-Binary or full gender transition) is scary. But it does sound like you have things somewhat well in order.
    But I do understand how you can be terrified about bringing up this with your parents, when I came out to my mother I apologised because I'd not be able to do the things she had planned for me. But she was understanding. I know it seems daunting, but let your parents know you need to talk to them about something important. Something that you know you need to do for you. Explain things to them.

    I know that's not the best help, but it's what I can offer up.
     
  5. blueclouds

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    Hi! Oh my gosh, this is so late, I completely forgot my log-in info and I gave up on trying to figure it out for a while, but thank you so much, even though it’s been a while I really needed to hear that.

    I feel like I’m a little closer to figuring out what works for me? I’m not in any rush, I know that won’t help anything.

    I talked to my parents about everything and I think they’re trying to accept it, which I’m really grateful for. When we talked, my mom brought up that maybe I’ve been consuming content of some sort that’s influencing me into thinking like this? I guess it makes sense, because this is all very sudden and I didn’t really feel like this a while ago (or at least not as acutely?), but I don’t know what I’ve been watching or reading that would make me think I’m a boy.

    I’m still pretty confused about stuff, but I think I know that I don’t really identify with being female? Thank you all so much, I don’t know what I would have done without forums like this.

    -Caleb :slight_smile:
     
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  6. CeJay

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    Hi
    I went through the same thing. I recently came out as a transboy, and though I am happy with my choice I still feel what your describing and I feel fake. I use they/them and he/him pronouns to make myself feel better but that doesn't really work it doesn't help that I refer to myself as a girl in my head but rage when someone calls by deadname and she/her pronouns.
    I also have trouble with my thoughts and feelings towards gender because I have autism so that also make me feel like I'm not valid
     
  7. Clara7

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    Hey Caleb,

    My story is extremely similar to yours except I’m amab. For me, a few months ago the thought just came into my head that my gender might not be male and since then I’ve realised how often parts of my life were me trying to ‘express’ that. I’m glad your parents seem to be accepting it well, it gives me hope for when I tell mine which I have been terrified to do because I still get those feelings of ‘what if I’m making it all up?’ A comparison I recently heard was that it’s like wearing your shoes on the wrong feet. You can sit down for a while and it won’t hurt so much (aka doing things that distract you) but when you get up again it still hurts. As for consuming media that might make you think that way - I had a similar thought and just from googling (so idk how trustworthy it is) people have said that that isn’t a thing that happens; your gender identity wouldn’t be influenced to this degree.
    Sorry for the massive ramble, I was kinda expressing some of my built up thoughts as well I guess .
    Hope I could help a bit anyway!

    -Clara
     
  8. Xyalous

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    I've had about the same experience. I never wanted to hurt myself or anything of the sort, more of like a strong desire to be more masculine and have manly features and referring to myself online as male even though I was very unsure of it.
    I also felt bad for my parents, they wanted a boy and a girl and were content to get just that and I felt really bad my mom never got the girly girl she wanted. But even just presenting myself as male and coming out to close friends has made me feel happier, so I very much feel I am a trans man.
    Remember not to compare yourself too harshly to other peoples struggles, do what makes you feel right, play around with the idea, and even if you find out being trans isn't *you* then that's perfectly fine. Life is complicated and we all are learning and growing as people :]
     
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