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Questioning my Gender. Is this just a phase? (Maybe a TW? Just talks a lil about body stuff)

Ok, so, long post. For the past few years I have gone through constant phases of being uncomfortable with my gender, but the past year, especially lately, its gotten worse and I'm becoming a little distressed (nothing major? idk, I'll explain later). This might take a me a bit to get out, I'm not the best at writing out my thoughts. Sorry if none of this makes sense.

 

A little BG info: I'm AFAB (assigned female at birth), only attracted to women- but do not connect with the label 'lesbian',  and have been full on questioning my gender for around 2-3 years, had general thoughts from around 9-10? Idk, I can't remember a lot of my childhood.

 

I was never one of those kids who was outright "I want to be a boy!" or "I'm not a girl, I'm a boy", instead I had more casual sort of thoughts about my gender, like, "I wish I was a boy." or being more attracted to 'boy's' toys/clothes/games etc, which I personally think are pretty common behaviours for a lot of children. I still did typical 'girl' things, but always considered myself a typical tomboy. Otherwise, I can't really remember a lot of my childhood, oops.

 

Ever since they grew in, I've never liked my hips or my chest, and that's where things start to get complicated for me and where I confuse myself. I hate my hips and my chest, I want them to be flatter/have less of a shape. However, I don't know if this is because they're feminine features, or if I simply just don't like them. I often wear clothes that flatten out my hips and feel uncomfortable with clothes that show off my chest. I get really happy whenever I purchase clothes targeted to men and have constantly considered purchasing a binder. But again, I don't know if that's simply because I like them, or because it validated the gender I think I want to be.

 

I've also always hated my name, hated my hands (they're too dainty and small and feminine), and hated my voice. Despite my voice being quite low, all things considered, it's too feminine and I've always wanted it to be deeper and more masculine. But again, I don't know if that's a "I'm uncomfortable with my gender thing," or "I don't like this particular aspect of myself." I always gravitate to men's voices and have the thought of "I really want to sound like him" and get upset at the fact I know I won't ever sound that way, because I'm not a man.

 

I've also had the constant BG thought of "If I was a dude, my name would be ______" and have had it since about the age of 12, if not earlier. But lately it's become more serious and I've gone as far as actually choosing a name that I would use if I transitioned. I've also been imagining myself in situations where I would be called by he/him pronouns and with the chosen name, and the thought of it makes me really happy. 

 

Now to explain how I've been distressed lately. I've always felt kind of disconnected from my body - I brushed it off as being depressed or trying to find other things to explain it, but I'm not sure of anything anymore - but I've always kind of just accepted the fact that I was born female and that's how the world perceives me, whether I like it or not, I was raised as a girl thus that's the way I'm seen. Recently though, it hit me really hard that when I get older, I'll still be female, I wont hit 20 and then suddenly go "poof" and turn into a dude. I don't know if that makes sense, it doesn't really to me, but that's the only way I can explain how I feel. But this realisation has really amplified a lot of things that have kind of just lingered under the surface and I've been trying to convince myself that it's just a phase, but doing that really upsets me. I really feel like I might be a dude, but I'm scared that I'm just convincing myself for whatever reason and that I'm not actually feeling this way but just making up

 

TL;DR

I've been going through a long period where idk if I'm actually hating my assigned gender or just myself in general. I'm scared that I'm just making things up and that my feelings aren't real because they don't match up exactly to a lot of FTM people I follow. 

 

For the record, even though the thought makes me uncomfortable, IDK if I'll do anything until I'm able to move out (consulting counsellor, properly experimenting with gender), which I really hate, but I'm terrified of what my family and friends would think. I already had a period last year where I completely isolated myself because I wanted to sort this stuff out. I didn't, obviously because I'm making this post. I was just wondering if anyone had a similar experience and how it turned out/if anyone had any advice.

 

I'm also really sorry if none of this made sense, it doesn't really make sense to me either.

 

Thanks

(Also, I just want to set the record straight, for anyone who reads this and gets the wrong idea (which I doubt anyone will, I'd just rather be safe than sorry) I'm not at risk or anything, I'm just confused and stressed out)

 

 

Re: Questioning my Gender. Is this just a phase? (Maybe a TW? Just talks a lil about body stuff)

Hi there @whatevermannn, welcome to the RO forum! 

 

Thank you for sharing your experience with us  - gender is confusing at the best of times, and it sounds like you've had a particularly hard time working through all it means to be AFAB while feeling more connected to typical expressions of the male gender. 

Your question about whether you're disliking parts of you, of parts of being female, is a tricky one! Gender is such an individual experience, and there isn't an easy answer. But there is support out there to help you work through your identity - being happy with who you are, and working on a positive relationship with yourself is so important Heart

 

We have quite a bit of info and resources on gender over here, including some stories from young people working this stuff out. 

 

A good place to check out as well, is The Gender Centre. 

Another great place is QLife. They have a phone and webchat service from 3pm  

 

There are a few others on the forum who can hopefully offer some more insight and support!- 

@N1ghtW1ng @redhead @WheresMySquishy  @Esperanza67  @letitgo 

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I'm leaving ReachOut on the 5th of June Smiley Sad Say goodbye here

Re: Questioning my Gender. Is this just a phase? (Maybe a TW? Just talks a lil about body stuff)

@whatevermann hi

Gender can be really confusing and I get you. (I consider myself FTM and I've been on hormones 6 months). Everyone's journey of self discovery is different. I didn't start questioning my gender until I was 21.

I think it's courageous of you to open up on here. Is there anyone you've told about this. You don't have to go through this alone.
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A little less victim a little more victory
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Re: Questioning my Gender. Is this just a phase? (Maybe a TW? Just talks a lil about body stuff)

Hey @whatevermannn, I echo @gina-RO's welcome to RO! I am also AFAB. I'm not sure what's the best advice I can give you, so I'll tell you a bit of my story with finding my gender identity and see if it's something you can relate to (does that make sense?):

Despite being AFAB, but growing up I would often wear boys type clothing and became interested in Lego and other boys toys thanks to my brother (why do certain toys have to be restricted to be played by only one gender? I don't know man). My mother was a tomboy herself and so that was the main reason I would dress up in dress up in boys type clothing (think Billie Eilish but minus the chains and designer clothing haha). To this day, despite being the eldest of my family, I would receive "hand me downs" from my brother because his clothing was comfortable, had better shapes, had nice designs you wouldn't find in female clothing. I also kinda hated how a lot of female clothing was pretty revealing and "slimming". I liked the baggier and less revealing types of clothing in mens clothing - it was much more comfortable to wear, you know?

I also, unlike other females, liked my small chest. I hated wearing bras and would sometimes wear baggier t-shirts so that I wouldn't have to wear a bra but at the same time not having to show anything revealing, you know? I also liked my deep voice. But at the same time, I liked wearing dresses and skirts and putting on makeup.

Now this might sound like I might be queer (identifying as both a boy and a girl), but I feel like that term doesn't really accurately describe me, as every time I would look into a mirror, all I would see is a girl. I just liked having a small chest, wearing boys clothes, and have similar interests as my brother.

So if I was not queer, but also not fully a girl, then what was I? As you can probably tell, I had quite an identity crisis. So I've decided to picture three gender pronouns in my head (he, she and they) and see which ones I feel the most strongly attracted to. It was both "she" and "they". Since I couldn't decide which one was more accurate, I decided to go with both and, I don't know how to best describe this, but it felt like realising this lifted something heavy off my chest (like relief? I don't know). So now, I officially identify as both "she" and "they".

To answer your question on whether you're disliking parts of you, of parts of being female, I think there's no one, correct answer. It can be either. It can be both! But I do strongly believe that whichever answer you choose, will be the correct one.

I'm not sure how much my story will be helpful to you, but since I don't really know what else to say, I thought might as well tell everything I know about it, you know? Let me know what you think of this Smiley Happy (apologies for the long post!)

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Hope is just around the corner; you think it's not there when you first look straight ahead, but it actually is when you turn around

Re: Questioning my Gender. Is this just a phase? (Maybe a TW? Just talks a lil about body stuff)

Thank you so much for your reply.
I'll definitely be checking out the resources you linked, so thank you very much for linking them 😊 I appreciate any bit of help I can get

Re: Questioning my Gender. Is this just a phase? (Maybe a TW? Just talks a lil about body stuff)

Hey, congrats on finding that out! Thanks for sharing a bit of your story 😊

I haven't told anyone else, not many people I know are very supportive of this kind of thing. I do plan to reach out to other resources I have available to me c:

Re: Questioning my Gender. Is this just a phase? (Maybe a TW? Just talks a lil about body stuff)

Thank you so much for your reply! It actually does help quite a bit hearing about others' experiences and makes my feelings feel a little less abnormal.

I sort of tried out that pronoun thing you mentioned and I felt pretty drawn towards 'he' but I'll have to have a proper sit down and really consider it.

Thank you for the advice and for sharing your personal experience, it really helped 😊

Re: Questioning my Gender. Is this just a phase? (Maybe a TW? Just talks a lil about body stuff)

Hi @whatevermannn! I don't really have any suggestions but I went through a similar experience. I was also assigned female at birth but I have always been a tomboy and had similar thoughts to you. I was bullied a lot about it in school along with my not-very-feminine features and I kind of started obsessing about it and worrying about what other people thought of how I looked and acted. It made me really withdrawn and lowered my self-esteem. I didn't like my body or my name, for example. I still have moments where I don't like parts about myself but I don't find myself obsessing over the same things like I used to before. I'm kind of disappointed that I spent so much time focusing on and trying to change how I looked instead of doing things I enjoyed or were more fulfilling now that I think about it. I think people actually care less about our appearance than we think they do.

You don't have to decide anything right away. It can be a really confusing thing to experience. I knew a girl who wanted to be a boy but then decided that she would rather be a tomboy and keep some feminine traits, for example. One of my friends is also genderfluid. Gender can be on a spectrum or multidimensional and all that matters is how you feel about it, not what anyone else thinks.

Re: Questioning my Gender. Is this just a phase? (Maybe a TW? Just talks a lil about body stuff)

Hey @whatevermannn, just quickly checking in to see how you've been going over the past few days!

I think that finding your gender identity is a lot of trial and error, as well as experimentation. You've mentioned that you wanted to purchase a binder, why not give it go and see if it's something you're comfortable with?

I also second @WheresMySquishy's point about all that matters with gender is how YOU feel about it, not what anyone else thinks. At the beginning stages of finding my gender identity, I was stressing A LOT about which labels I belonged to. But after having a session with QLife (who are FANTASTIC by the way - they are some of the nicest and non-judgmental people you'll ever meet), I realised it's up to me who I should define myself, not labels or others.
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Hope is just around the corner; you think it's not there when you first look straight ahead, but it actually is when you turn around

Re: Questioning my Gender. Is this just a phase? (Maybe a TW? Just talks a lil about body stuff)

Hey @WhereMySquishy, thank you for your reply!
I'm so sorry that you had to go through that, no one deserves to be judged for things out of their control. I hope you're ok!
I think worrying about others' opinions is something I really need to get a hold of. I was lucky enough to have never really been bullied, but I have always been very self-concious about the way I'm perceived. You're right about letting people's opinions get in the way of things that I enjoy and I think thats one of the main reasons I haven't properly experimented or whatever.
It is a pretty confusing experience, but one step at a time right?
Thanks for your help, I hope you're well!