Ask Trevor

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What am I?

Question:

When my mother was pregnant with me she was given a steroid that prevented me from being born prematurely. This probably saved my life, but I find myself wondering if that is why I sometimes wish that i was born male. I have never felt uncomfortable with my body parts but I wish that I could act like guy and have it be acceptable. The worst part about the whole thing is that it is inconsistent. Sometimes I am attracted to females, but only in a sexual way; at the same time I feel romantically attracted to males, but the thought of sex with guys is disgusting. Then, other times I feel entirely heterosexual. Is this something that is normal? Am I bisexual, heterosexual, or both? Am I transgender? I am very confused.

Letter submitted by:

Answer:

Hello,

Thank you for writing and sharing your story with us. That’s very interesting… not certain if steroids can play a role in gender identity, but if you’re interested in finding out more about the effects of steroids when taken during pregnancy, you should discuss it further with an M.D.

Please know that you’re not alone in feeling confused about figuring out your sexual orientation, you will eventually reach a place of understanding after exploring your thoughts and feelings some more.  There’s a great Q&A article that was published by The New York Times, “When Teenagers Question Their Sexuality (2009),” in which Psychiatrist, Dr. Jeffrey Fishberger of the Trevor Project responds to readers’ questions regarding their sexual orientation and coming out. You may find this article to be helpful in your path to self-discovery.  In the article Dr. Fishberger states: 

“In trying to understand sexual orientation, it can help a person to think about who he or she has crushes on and fantasizes about being with. A person doesn’t necessarily need to have a “full” sexual experience in order to understand his or her sexual orientation. The time to explore such issues varies from individual to individual.”

Visit this link to read more of this article:  http://consults.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/29/when-teenagers-question-their-sexuality/

In response to your feelings of wishing you were born a male, many people experience confusion regarding gender identity.  Like figuring your sexual orientation, it may take some time to discover which gender you identify with more.  It’s wonderful that you feel comfortable in your body!  PFLAG has great resources for LGBTQ persons and their family and friends.  To learn more about receiving support in a local chapter near you or receiving education materials, visit their website: http://community.pflag.org/page.aspx?pid=803.  

It can also be extremely helpful to talk to peers and adults who are accepting and supportive. To chat with other young people like yourself, visit the Trevor Project’s social networking site, Trevor Space: www.TrevorSpace.org.  It can provide you with some support from your peers. Please don’t hesitate to call the Trevor lifeline at 1-866-4-U-TREVOR, 24 hours 7 days a week, if you need to talk and feel free to write back anytime with any more questions you may have.  Take care.

Trevor Staff