Hi my name is Caroline. I’m 16 and I’m confused about myself. Ever since I was 5 or 6, I hated dressing like a girl, playing like a girl, being a girl. I always dressed in boy clothes, shopped in the boys’ section. My mom was completely okay with me dressing and being whoever I wanted to be. I dressed like a boy from 1st grade until 5th grade but at the beginning of 6th grade, I started dressing like a girl so I would fit in and so I wouldn’t get made fun of. All my life I got mistaken with being a boy and I always felt so embarrassed when someone asked if I was “their son”. That’s another reason I began dressing like a girl. After a few months in 6th grade, I got really tired of wearing girly clothes so I began dressing boyish again. Throughout middle school, my clothes became less and less of boy clothes but very masculine clothes like t-shirts, soccer shorts, and blue jeans. When I hit high school, I dressed like a girl again and I still do. But when I wear button up shirts and pants and t-shirts, I feel much more comfortable. I feel happy actually. When I wear girl clothes, most of the time I feel miserable. Sometimes I’ll be happy with myself but then my mood just drops and I put on a t-shirt and shorts… I also recently cut off all of my hair so that makes me look even more like a boy. I just don’t know what to do.
I’m also confused about liking girls. I like when I make girls happy and I do find them attractive at times. Like their bodies and the way they smile and the way they think… they’re just so complex and deep minded… well I guess “we’re” so complex considering I’m a girl. I like guys too and I’m more sexually attracted to them than women… Just please help me…I really don’t know what to do and I don’t have anyone else to talk to about this stuff….
I want to sort of try and date a girl but I don’t know if I’d be comfortable or not…
P.S. I used to cut myself last year for about 6-7 months but I have stopped.. but I do often stop and think about doing it again…
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Thank you for reaching out to Ask Trevor in your time of need. I can tell you are a self assured and brave person. It can be difficult to dress in a way that you feel most comfortable without fear of being judged for who you are. Being comfortable in your own skin is an important part of figuring out who we really are as we grow individually and sexually.
There is no rush to figure all this out. It is natural to feel an attraction towards both sexes. It sounds like you’re really good at looking at your feelings and trying to ascertain where you fit in. Attractions and desires are what lead us to name our sexual orientation. Take your time and don’t try to define yourself for anyone but you. This is your life, and your choice to decide if you are lesbian, bisexual, or heterosexual. Many people redefine how they label themselves more than once throughout their life. If you decide you are more attracted to women than men or you decide you are attracted to both the beauty is it’s your decision to choose.
You may want to check out www.bisexuality.org ; their Q&A section is great, and under the “reference” link, the “other material on bisexuality” is really helpful. Remember that you have a community of LGBTQ friends and allies in The Trevor Project. TrevorSpace, The Trevor Project’s online community for LGBTQ youth, offers friends at your fingertips. You can also find support through online via TrevorChat, found at http://www.thetrevorproject.org/chat, or through our lifeline, which you can dial at 1-866-488-7386.