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I'm not sure what I am


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I really don't know if I belong here or not and I'm pretty confused about what I am or what condition I may have.


So my sex at birth is Male and growing up and throughout my life, I never really had any issues with this. Nothing really felt wrong with being a boy and even though most of the other boys I knew were into sports and cars and all that stuff, the fact that I wasn't into that didn't make me question anything. That hasn't changed to this day, where I feel pretty confident and good about my body as an adult in my late twenties.


My friends have been a pretty healthy mix of boys and girls throughout my life and I've always felt like I do well among either group. I've had some girls tell me in the past that once they got to know me, they realized that I'm more feminine than most guys but not in obvious ways or through my body language, more like very subtle things about the way I think or act or the things I notice, etc. But then most guys will say that I'm very much a typical guy (though I think hetero guys are less observant of these traits).


So here's where I get confused. For my entire life, since I was very little, I have had some type of sexual attraction to the idea of being a girl. I quite vividly remember being about 5 years old, laying in bed at night and imagining that my penis was transforming into a vagina. When I got older I would see voluptuous girls and get turned on because I wanted to become them and I still very much enjoy sexual fantasies that involve me turning into a woman. If I ever watch straight porn, then I picture myself as the woman and sometimes become envious that they get to experience penetration with a vagina. I frequently fantasize about growing out breasts as well, or having much wider hips than I actually do, etc.


I should also mention that I'm bi, I mostly prefer being with men and I enjoy being on the receiving end during sex, partly because it makes me feel like I'm in the woman's place.


The fact that this is all sexual is what really confuses the heck out of me. When I'm not -excited-, I don't think about having a more female body. That physical aspect of it all seems to be directly linked to my arousal mechanisms. I can only assume that this is wildly different than what an actual trans person goes through because for them it seems to not be a purely sexual thing like it mostly seems for me.


However, there are some other things that I feel are worth note and that feel more in line with typical experiences I've read about from trans people:

- In general, I really like it when other girls view me as one of the girls. Even though I mostly don't act that feminine, I find myself wanting to be one of the gal pals and I DEFINITELY want the girls who I meet to assume that I'm not going to be chasing after them and that they can trust me like they can trust their other girl friends. (When I was in freshman year of university, all my girl friends called me by the female variation of my first name). I also relish in the fact that I can achieve this by telling girls that I'm gay (easier than saying I'm bi and explaining I mostly like men) and that being into men means I can relate to girls in ways that my straight guy friends cannot.

- As a kid, I have some vague memories of seeing girls my age with toy makeup bags and things of that nature and being very fascinated by it and kind of wanting my own stuff like that

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Well I'm still in my confusion/discovery part of myself so I am hesitant to lay a label on anyone.  I can see you feel a lot like I do/did in my earlier years.  Born male and being attracted to females was a big thing for me because I felt female inside but played my male role my entire life.   I'm going toward transitioning to female just now at age 52, in the early stages still, though I am still only attracted to women even though I am becoming one myself.

Having a strong sexual connection to your confusion is not uncommon.  It is a sexual change you desire it sounds like.  Going from one sex to the other is a sexual change and it is not unreasonable to feel sexual stimulation when contemplating it or acting on it.  JMO

Saying that you are bisexual reinforces this to me.

All I can suggest is what I was told and that is to try and see a gender therapist and see what he/she says.  I can tell you it was the best thing I have ever done for myself.

I have meaning and I am valid.  Not broken or need to be fixed. 

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I agree with ShawnaLeigh, you should see a gender therapist to help you figure things out.

I do recommend a gender therapist, as I've been seeing a regular therapist for several years, but still have many open questions.  Its a question of focus, rather than competence....

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I'll add yet another affirmation to the benefits of a competent and experienced gender therapist.  The first gender therapist may not feel like the right fit, as well, so keep in mind that you're free to discontinue at any time and try working with another.


A resource that I found helpful is How to Understand Your Gender, A Practical Guide for Exploring Who You Are (Alex Iantaffi and Meg-John Barker, 2017).  Lots of exercises that will get you thinking about many different aspects of gender.  


Finally, don't expect your gender therapist to listen for awhile, and then pronounce you to be a particular gender orientation. That's for you to work at and arrive at an informed opinion....which may, over time, adjust.  You'll find, reading over the many stories here in the Forums, that many of us have done just that during our journeys.


Good luck and best wishes!



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On 11/13/2019 at 4:07 PM, Astrid said:

Finally, don't expect your gender therapist to listen for awhile, and then pronounce you to be a particular gender orientation. That's for you to work at and arrive at an informed opinion....which may, over time, adjust.  You'll find, reading over the many stories here in the Forums, that many of us have done just that during our journeys.


I went into gender therapy was this hope and expectation to be honest.  I wanted to be told what I am, not to try and figure it out on my own.  But I find as I live with this change and progression towards the person I want to be I am seeing a change in my mind and the way I see myself and what I want for myself.  My therapist is simply helping me understand each phase and step I am taking on my own.  Giving information and encouragement to be who I am.  Reinforcement that I am valid and what I feel and want is not wrong but instead a normal part of becoming who you are.  Sheading one life for another but incorporating both the old and new together to be a well balance person.

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8 hours ago, ShawnaLeigh said:

My therapist is simply helping me understand each phase and step I am taking on my own.  Giving information and encouragement to be who I am.  Reinforcement that I am valid and what I feel and want is not wrong but instead a normal part of becoming who you are. 

Yes!  That defines the essence of a good and helpful gender therapist! And, that reinforcement that "I am valid" is so important amidst all the negativity we might be tempted to start to believe.  Doesn't may it easy, but it is easier.


Thanks for those insightful thoughts!



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