Welcome to Ask Trevor

Welcome to Ask Trevor
Ask Trevor is an online, non-time sensitive question and answer resource for young people with questions surrounding sexual orientation and gender identity. Browse the published letters or submit your own letter.

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I Want To Dress Like Boy

Question:

Hello There (again),
It’s been about 6-7 months since I came out. I feel better than before. My humor and music keeps me going, oh…and Ellen.
In my previous letter, I addressed an issue between my mother and how she feels about my sexuality. Now she’s feeling okay with it, still believes that a man and a woman should be together. But she’s doesn’t let her beliefs get the best of her.

But there’s one more problem: that is appearance. Because I’m proud of who I am as a gay woman, I want to present myself how I see fit. That bothers my mother. I’m not talking rainbows everywhere. The only thing that shows gay pride is my rainbow bracelet.

I’m talking how I dress. I wear blazers, cardigans, collared shirts, ties, suspenders, trousers etc. The preppy look. I love it. But when we shop, I have to buy stuff my parents want. Let’s say I only want to get a pair of oxfords, I would have to get a skirt or something girly to make it seem like I’m not going to dress like a boy. I then give the girly stuff to my sister. My parents caught on quickly. They can’t stand when I dress like a boy, but my style is feminine masculinity. So it’s not completely dressing like a man. You can still tell I’m a female which is the look I’m going for.

Another problem is my hair. I want a pixie cut, not too short. This is a huge deal for my parents. I want to cut my hair. I have wanted to for many years. When I bring up the subject, here is their response:

- It’s hard to maintain
- People are going to confuse you with a boy
- You’re a female, your hair is your glory, cut it and you no longer identify yourself as a female.

It’s hard to explain how badly I want a haircut. I don’t like how long my hair is. I literally pull it out with my hands sometimes. God I hate it! I’m on the verge of getting my father’s razor and shaving it all off. What do I do?
-Tori

Letter submitted by:

Answer:

Tori,

Before we talk about your desire to take more control over your style of dress, first let me congratulate you on your first 7  months of living “out,” beginning to express yourself for who you truly are!  Its encouraging to hear that, while it sounds like there are still some hurdles to overcome, your family is in the initial stages of accepting you as you are.  That’s such a huge accomplishment, and you should take a moment to reflect on that fact before looking forward to the future growth that you’re destined to experience. You are special and you are an important voice to your family, friends and community. There’s no doubt in my mind that your ability to come out will be an inspiration to numerous others now and throughout your life. So take the time to reflect on your positive progress so far!

You should be allowed to wear what you want and live how you wish to live. However, right now, you are under your parent’s authority which enables them to have a lot of control over the situation. You will have a few more years of living with them, so perhaps (you know your situation better than me) you should take a slower approach to changing your style of dress.  Just as your parents are slowly accepting your sexuality, it will take time for them to accept how you’d like to express it.  They may not agree with you on every aspect of your sexual expression, but the fact that they’ve made at least this amount of progress is encouraging.  Once you’re older and purchasing your own clothes, you’ll be able to dress as you choose. In the mean time, find ways to express yourself through your style of dress as much as you can while still respecting your parents and letting them adapt over time.

Write us back if you ever have any questions or concerns in the future. We are more than happy to write back! We are here beside you, no matter what. Should you ever need a listening ear or support and encouragement, don’t hesitate to reach out to us on the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386. We also have some other great resources as well, such as Trevor Chat (http://www.thetrevorproject.org/chat) where you can chat in real-time, confidentially, with a trained volunteer. We also have our own social network, which is a great opportunity to connect with other youth, ages 13-24, who are either LGBT or allies. It’s called Trevor Space (https://www.trevorspace.org/) and you’ll likely find other teens who are experiencing similar situations. All of these resources are free, confidential and available to you, so take advantage of them! And most importantly, remember that setbacks, as well as advances, are normal occurrences in our lives. Remember that tomorrow is a brand new day. And remember that you are special and inspiring just as you are. Take care of yourself!