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Am I transgendered?

Question:

All throughout high school, when I was alone in my room, sometimes I would steal some of my brothers clothes and I would tape my chest and put on the clothes. If I had longer hair at the time, I would tie it up and wear a hat in a way that it would make me look like I had short hair. And then I would stand and stare at myself in the mirror. Sometimes I would drop my voice and start talking really low just to hear what I sounded like. Sometimes I would go to school in those clothes to see what that would be like, even though I had long hair, and a chest, and talked in a higher voice. I don’t hate being a girl. I don’t mind it. Sometimes I even like it. But then I think about how I felt standing in front of the mirror. And I think about how a lot of the time I wish that I was a guy. And sometimes I feel like I was even meant to be a guy and not a girl. But I was born a girl. And I lived my entire life as a girl. When I found out that people could change from female to male, or male to female, I was beyond intrigued. I would spend hours on YouTube watching videos about people’s transitions, and sometimes I still do. I don’t know if I am transgendered, I really don’t. Because sometimes I feel like I’m okay being a girl, and sometimes I don’t. But I do know that even if I was, I would not be okay doing anything about it. Not right now at least. I’m confused, I have been confused for a long time, and I am reaching a point where I just need to know. I don’t have anyone to talk to about this, and I am confused.

Answer:

You chose a great place to reach out to! Ask Trevor is always happy to hear from you. It’s very natural to be curious about gender identity. It’s part of what makes you, you! You seem very self-aware and open to learning more about yourself. That openness will help you to discover the most comfortable way to express yourself and develop a deeper understanding/appreciation of who you are.

You don’t need to rush to label yourself. Each one of us is still evolving so if you’re not ready to define your gender identity, you don’t need to. You’ve already begun to consider your emotions and I encourage you to continue exploring your true feelings. Many transgender people are most comfortable expressing themselves as the gender opposite of the gender they were born. Another emotion some transgender people feel is discomfort with their gender-specific body parts. It’s normal for many people to feel truly themselves as another gender. Remember, the way you self-identify is most important, but it may be helpful to have a discussion about your gender identity with someone you trust. Consider the support system you have in your life and whether you have a parent, relative or friend you could talk to.

I can understand your feelings of confusion and the significance of finding an answer, but unfortunately I can’t tell you whether or not you are transgender. No one can. This is an answer that you’re going to need to come to yourself, but not without some help! As you consider your gender identity, it may be helpful to seek more information. Your curiosity about transgender people and sex changes is a great start. GLAAD offers great transgender resources and videos sharing the stories of real people. Check out their site here (http://www.glaad.org/transgender#resources). The Gender Book is another great resource that is a colorful exploration of the complexities of gender and gender identity. Check it out here (http://issuu.com/thegenderbook/docs/the_gender_book?e=0).The feelings you shared are not black or white so I don’t want to convince you one way or another. Taking a look at some of these resources could help you think through your own feelings. Even if you decide that you’re not transgender, you’ll have a better understanding and appreciation for transgender people. The Trevor Project also offers TrevorSpace, a safe social network where you can connect with a virtual LGBTQ community. Visit www.trevorspace.org to meet people with similar questions or people who have found their own answers. Thanks for opening up to us at Ask Trevor; we will always be here to hear you out!