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Hi everyone. I’m completely new here and to be honest I’m a bit anxious posting anything at all, but I figured I’d try going out of my comfort zone a bit. I’m here because I’m extremely confused about my gender identity. I’m AFAB, and when I was a young kid (pre-puberty) I never really thought about my gender at all. When I hit puberty, I didn’t necessarily like it, but I didn’t hate it either since I realized it was something that was bound to happen since it happened to my older siblings. It’s only really been since middle school that I’ve started questioning my gender (I’m almost a senior in high school now). It was in middle school that I met some other transgender kids in my grade and I’d occasionally question if I was like them. For a long while now I’ve had this gnawing feeling that I “want” to be a boy or that I should be one, but every time thoughts like that would enter my brain I’d panic and shove them away and not think about them. I feel the most comfortable wearing more “masculine” clothing (but it’s very hard for me to do that since I’m barely 5’1 and nothing in the men’s section seems to fit me). I’ve also always hated how short I am and from very young on I wanted to be the tallest in the family (I ended up being the shortest). For years now I’ve wanted to get my hair cut super short into a more “boyish/androgynous” look, but my parents won’t allow it because they want me to look “like a woman”. Anyway, It’s only really been recently (given the whole quarantine and me having a lot more time to myself) that I’ve started giving those gender-related thoughts more attention. Recently I’ve been dealing with back and forth discourse in my mind where I’ve “come to the conclusion” many times that I am a trans man, but then I’ll think “no that’s not right, I must be non-binary since I don’t constantly have top/bottom dysphoria!” and then I’ll have a panic attack thinking about what my family would say if I came out, and I try hard to convince myself that I’m just “being silly/going through a phase/overthinking it”. Honestly I’m just quite stuck and don’t know what to do. I’ve already talked to my mom about it and she’s extremely sad and confused and I feel very guilty and awful for making her feel that way. I told my therapist and she recommended I go find a website like this one to help me cope while she tries to help me find a gender therapist. Sorry for this being so long, I just wanted to provide a good amount of detail. I guess my main questions are, is it possible to not have known you were trans from a very young age? Is it possible to have dysphoria that fluctuates pretty randomly? How do you deal with guilt that you’re being a burden on your loved ones? Am I just going through some phase? Thanks in advance to anyone that can try and help me ❤️
Soooooo this is gonna be a very long post, so bear with me. I absolutely s u c k at decision making and always have done, so this post is gonna be biiiig. I had the same issue trying to figure out my orientation until I had to stop myself and say "you're obviously bi stop doubting yourself". I know that nobody can tell me who I am, I know I'm the only person who can define who I am. I think I just need some advice and support on how to explore this more and how to understand. Buuuut that being said, if anyone reads this and thinks they know what my gender is... Please tell me. For context: I'm AFAB and 16 years old. There are reasons I think I'm cis. There are reasons I think i'm non binary - specifically agender maybe? There are reasons I think I'm ftm. I even question whether I'm genderfluid at times - but I know that's a matter of me confusing gender expression with identity. Reasons I could be ftm: As a kid I always looked up to male characters over female characters. This could just be a result of the movies being written in a misogynistic way where male characters have more depth and importance to the story. I always wanted to be the characters: Simba (The Lion King), Kovu (The Lion King 2), Scamp (Lady and the Tramp 2), Diego (Go Diego Go - spin off series from Dora), Bolt (Bolt the Superdog) and Dumbo (from... Dumbo.) When playing make believe I would often play as a male character as well. My choice of character was often "I'm a boy dog!" for some reason or other. This could have been the influence of male characters, I may have thought that being male mean a character is stronger and more influential due to them being portrayed that way in media. However it could also be due to me just wanting to be male, but never realising that fact. I think I have dysphoria? I'd never thought that much about my body. But I asked myself "do I really want a female chest and genitals?". And the my answer is no. For my chest at least, I can't figure out how I feel about genital. I don't want a uterus for sure, and I hate the possibility of ever being able to get pregnant, it makes me want to literally tear my uterus out. The more I think about it, the more I realise I don't really want female organs. The redeeming quality is the pleasure that can be received (TMI, I know, but it's an important factor to consider), the idea of pleasure and instinctive desire can overthrow what might be dysphoria, causing me to think I don't feel bottom dysphoria (when I think I do?). But I don't know if that's to say I want male organs. I'd prefer male organs. If I think about it in this current moment, yes I'd prefer to have male organs. When I started puberty I never touched my chest or genitals. Which is odd, because you're meant to do that in order to check them for issues such as signs of cancer. It was almost as if I ignored their existence. I didn't even look at them really. The only thing that snapped me out of this was when I got a boyfriend, I finally became 'comfortable' with these parts of my body and am now able to touch them. When I was very young, I only had male friends. I don't know if this is a factor or not, but it's something to think about I guess. When I was a little older, I hated all things 'girly'. I refused anything I deemed 'girly' no matter what, I HATED my purple bedroom, I wanted it to be yellow or green or orange. It's still purple though, I just got used to it and kind of conformed to it... I also wanted to wear boys clothes as a kid, I never got round to it in my childhood - but I have some men's clothes now, from thrift stores. When I bought them I didn't consider the gender of them, I just thought they were cool clothes. In the past, and I guess in the present to, I've seen groups of guys and thought 'I wish my friendships were like that'. I know this doesn't dictate my gender identity, but I feel that groups of guys act differently (I'm normally in mixed gender friend groups) and I've always wanted to be like that. When a guy talks to me as if I were another dude, I feel really validated and happy. But that might just be a feeling of happiness that I get from somebody wanting to be friends with me. This is a weird analogy for it, but my Animal Crossing character's male. I don't want to make my character female, it doesn't feel right, I want him to be male. My character definitely represents me, so I guess that says something? I've also never understood why I'm not satisfied with my body. I have the typical female body that's portrayed in media to be the ideal. I'm slim (depending on my mental health, when I'm doing badly I eat a lot and I get chubby, which I don't mind) especially in my waist, I have quite a flat belly, and I just have what lots of people would consider a pretty ideal female body I guess? But I couldn't understand why I wasn't satisfied with it. It took me this long to realise that the reason might be that I don't want a FEMALE body. I'm sometimes unsatisfied with it when I get chubby, not because I dislike being chubby, but because I think it makes me look pregnant which I cannot stand at all. I hate that so much, but when I know there's no possibility of me being pregnant, I don't mind the chub. I don't know if this is a matter of dysphoria, or just a matter of not wanting to be pregnant in general. I'v tried binding recently with a cut up pair of leggings and tights, it was good. I felt like they didn't make me flat enough but it was still good. Reasons I could just be a very confused cis girl: I never felt what I think is dysphoria until recently. It didn't naturally occur until I asked myself "do I want to be female". I'd never felt dysphoric before at all. I've felt confident in feminine clothing before as well! I've worn a hyper-feminine, somewhat revealing swimsuit to the pool before (about 2 year ago, i was inappropriate for my age yes, but I can't go back on it now) and I felt amazing in it. I don't know if I'd feel amazing in it now. Maybe I felt amazing in it because I knew I looked good? I may have not looked the way I truly felt inside, but I still looked good nevertheless. I had a sort of 'kawaii' harajuku girl phase more recently. However I've recently heard that other trans men have had this phase before sooooo???Again, I was dressing hyper feminine and I felt good, but again this could have been because I knew the style/ composition of my outfits was good. I was basically trying to be Belle Delphine constantly. I also had a phase where I reallyyyyy wanted big boobs. I'm a size c, and I felt okay about my size until my bf started teasing me for it (yehh I know he shouldn't have done that, I talked about it with him and it wasn't that he didn't like them, he just thought it was funny - TMI I know) and it started an insecurity. I tried putting certain herbs/ spices that were said to help on my food and everything, but it didn't really change them at all. If I wanted bigger boobs then surely I can't be trans?? But I only wanted them because I wanted to make my boyfriend happy (he doesn't want me to change for him - I was stupid for thinking that, he's lovely I promise, he just makes childish jokes) and it was more of a societal pressure I guess. Also, further than early childhood (more 'tweenhood' and early teens) I've really looked up to/ related to/ wanted to be female characters and people too. There's: Cat Valentine (Victorious) and Fluttershy (My Little Pony). I still project onto character now, not in the same way of 'wanting to be them' of course - there's: Haru (Beastars), Legoshi (Beastars), Izuku Midoriya (BNHA). And there's people I look up to - Imelda Staunton and Helena Bonham Carter. They're my inspirations as an actor (I hate the word actress, it shouldn't be a gendered word). I also do musical theatre and I just can't imagine how hard it'll be having to transition whilst trying to keep a career in theatre... I know that doesn't make me cis, but I'm just scared of the struggle and I don't know if I can face it. I do love singing male theatre songs, but I've only ever performed female songs. My voice isn't quite low enough to sing the lowest parts of male songs. For anyone interested, I'm a mezzo-alto, I normally stay in the alto or mezzo-soprano harmony groups when doing ensemble. I can sing soprano at a push though! Just a fun fact lol That's all I can really think of now? I'll make more edits or replies if I have more thoughts. Thank you so much for reading, and if you could help me out I'd be so grateful! I was going to make a section on why I might be non binary, but it overlaps with the reasons why I might be ftm. The main reason I could be nb is because I hatehatehatehatehate the societal concept of gender .... But yeah!! Thanks, and byeeeeeeeee!!