Hello. My name is Jimmy. I’m a fifteen-year-old transgender. At least I thought so. I used to identify myself as a guy, but I didn’t come out. I thought that I was trans, but then I met this boy. He seems to like me. This has never happened before. Even as a girl, I’m fat, ugly, and zit covered. Nobody has ever liked me, but for whatever reason this boy seems like he does. He’s a freshman, the grade below me, but we’re the same age and in the same Ag Mechanics (Welding) class. He flirts with me, says hi when we see each other in the hall or waits for me at the corner so we can walk to Ag Mechanics together and always holds the door open for me. This is an entirely new experience for me since I don’t even have any friends. I think I like this guy, too. He’s obviously quite sweet towards me and very nice. I’m not one to talk about physical attractiveness, but he is kind of cute. But, I’m trans. I feel like a guy, but I think I like this boy. If he does like me, how would I tell him? I believe he is straight. I’ve never talked to him about it, but I can’t see him being gay or bi. I’ve never really liked another person like this before and I have no idea what to do.
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Hi Jimmy! Thanks so much for writing and sharing your story with us. The short answer is yes. It is possible to be bisexual and transgender, but let’s take this one step at a time, by first addressing your biological sex (what your doctor assigned to you at birth), which is female and your gender identity (which is how you feel on the inside), which is male. And as you read this, I also want you to open up the following page in another tab or window: http://www.thetrevorproject.org/pages/spectrum Here you’ll see that both of these elements (or identities) can be fluid and aren’t necessarily fixed. It’s also important to note that your sexuality aka your sexual orientation (who you are attracted to) is distinct and separate from your biological sex or gender identity. It’s a lot to take in, but hopefully that chart will help a bit as you think about this further. While thinking about this further, remember that you don’t have to “come out” or declare yourself as one way or another.
In trying to understand your sexuality, it might help to remember that sexual orientation involves emotional, romantic as well as physical feelings and attraction for people of both genders (bisexual), people of the same gender (lesbian and gay), and people of the opposite gender (heterosexual or gay). It can also help to think about who all you’ve had crushes on and who you fantasize or think about being with – girls, boys or both. Let me ask a few questions that may help you further decipher your current situation with this guy. It appears that he likes you or has a crush on you and that you feel the same way. Are you emotionally and physically attracted to him? It seems like he is a gentleman – a nice guy that treats you well. With that in mind, perhaps see where things go between the two of you. My advice would be to not over-think things or let your identity get in the way of this friendship and potential relationship. You deserve to try new things and to have new experiences, and I encourage you to see what can happen with this friend.
In terms of telling him that you’re trans, I would encourage you to hold off on this for now, but that choice is up to you. Have you told your family this? Before doing so, make sure that you gauge their responses. Some families and communities are more supportive than others and the last thing I would want for you is to be in an unsafe or unsupportive place. In determining whether or not to come out as trans, it can help to ask yourself some questions like: What does it feel like keeping this part of your life a secret? Does it cause you a lot of stress worrying about someone finding out that your trans? Are you worried that if you told your family or this guy that you’d be unsafe physically or emotionally? If you told your parents, are you concerned that they might kick you out of the house? If you decided to tell them and they did kick you out, it would be important to have a safety plan, meaning a safe place where you could live and continue to go to school and a way to support yourself financially. Some people decide to wait until they are living away from home and are financially independent before telling members of their family about their sexual orientation/gender identity. If you feel now is the right time, that’s absolutely fine. What is most important is that you are comfortable and safe. So think about this before “coming out” to your family or this guy as trans. Also in regards to being trans, I want to share the following resource with you: http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/storage/advfy/documents/transgender.pdf – check it out when you can.
Lastly, I want to remind you that we have so many resources available to you at Trevor. Like TrevorSpace, a safe and secure online social network to connect with other LGBTQ teens (https://www.trevorspace.org/). We also have TrevorChat, where you can chat with a trained volunteer in real-time (http://www.thetrevorproject.org/pages/get-help-now) and it’s available 7 days a week from 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Pacific / 3:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Eastern. And it sounds like you’re in a good place right now, but we all go through tough times and it’s easy to feel depressed or discouraged. If you are ever feeling like you may harm yourself or find yourself even contemplating suicide, please make sure you call our Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386. And share that with anyone else who might need it as well! Remember to keep your head up and to take things day by day, Jimmy! Stay in touch with us!