So, I know that this site probably has a dozen or more letters in exactly like my own, but I’m hoping for maybe some advice personally. I don’t feel like a heterosexual, cisgender girl, as family and friends would probably rather I be. I don’t know how I see myself though. Sure, I an picture myself wearing dresses and being pretty, and I enjoy the thought of people thinking of me as pretty, feminine, etc. But, I’m not even sure if I want to be ‘female.’ I also like the idea of being a boy. Sure, I still want to wear makeup and like the color pink, but I also just want to feel comfortable, and I’m not sure I feel comfortable as female.
This being said, I’m also not sure of my sexuality. I believe that gender identity or sexual orientation shouldn’t matter in a romantic relationship, so whether someone is/identifies as male or female, it doesn’t matter to me, but I can’t actually picture myself in a sexual relationship. I have no problem with sex, and it isn’t as if I don’t think about sex, I just don’t picture myself ever having a sexual relationship.
In addition, I come from a Christian home, and the last time I discussed the idea of liking girls, or maybe being bisexual, with my parents, they told me I was only confused because of my own past experiences with men in my life. They also said that while they’d still love me no matter what decisions I make, but identifying as any gender identity other than the one I was born with would be a sin, and I don’t want to make them angry or upset if I make a decision other than what they believe.
Do you have any tips for the way I should handle things, and make these decisions?
You’re correct that we often receive questions about gender identity and sexual orientation. It’s completely normal to have questions because these areas are very complex. Each person’s feelings and experiences with these topics are unique. People also experience different pressures including religion or the opinion of your friends and family. I can understand wanting to hear advice on how to handle your questions and I’m happy to talk about some of your options.
Your opinion towards gender identity and sexual orientation in a relationship shows your openness. Love doesn’t have to equal sex. You can have strong, meaningful relationships with friends or partners that don’t necessarily involve sex. There are many different types of sexuality that exist across a huge spectrum. I think it could be helpful to take a look at the varying types of sexual orientation from asexuality to bisexuality. Even if you decide none of these labels suit you, you’ll gain a better understanding and appreciation for others.
You seem comfortable having this discussion internally as well as with me. Do you have any close friends or family that would be open to having a conversation about gender identity or sexual orientation? These are complicated topics and it can take time to understand your true feelings. It can be very helpful to have a support system to work with while you’re exploring your identity. There are also resources you can use to connect with peers that share similar questions and experiences. Feel free to check out the social networking site TrevorSpace (www.trevorspace.org) to talk with LGBTQ youth and their allies.
I can imagine this is complicated for your parents too. As parents, I’m sure they believe they understand you completely and know what’s best for you. Even supportive parents like yours may need some time to accept your true gender identity and sexual orientation. The Christian religion can be considered less accepting of the LGBTQ community, but you could also use religion to help you on this journey. Faith can give you hope and a sense of community. Take a look at http://www.gaychurch.org/ for a welcoming Christian support system.
You also made a great point when you said you want to feel comfortable. Being yourself should make you feel comfortable. You’re brave to dive into this journey and I’m glad you started here! Thanks for reaching out to Ask Trevor.
With love and support,