My gender identity has been something I've had a lot of thought and confusion about for some time. Now that I'm racing headlong towards 30, I feel like it's got to be time to do something about it rather than just pushing it down again, like I've been doing all my life. I was born male, and I have an overwhelming urge to be feminine, to be a girl. Not a snowflake, but a snowdrift inside.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (26 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
I've been procrastinating over writing this question for a while, so bear with me if I explain something in a clumsy or inelegant way, or it's a bit of a ramble - it's a difficult topic for me to write about, not knowing a lot of the terminology.
I'm in my late 20s and I was born male. I've always felt like there's been something "different" about my gender identity - for as long as I can remember, I've been really uncomfortable with taking on the masculine gender role. It doesn't feel right to me. I feel awkward, shy, stilted - like I'm pretending to be a man. This isn't something new - I've pretty much always felt this way to a greater or a lesser extent. I've been very good over the years at pushing it down periodically, at denying it to myself. The feeling comes and goes, but it's always in there somewhere. A small data point that might be relevant: in environments where my physical sex isn't clear, like online, I'm assumed to be female most of the time. Most of my good friends over the years have been female - I just find girls so much easier to identify with and get close to.
So - to try and explain where I'm going with this, when I think of myself as a young woman, my perception of myself changes almost completely. I feel proud and excited to be me, I feel flowing and confident and self-assured. My self-esteem gets such a boost just from the thought of it. It's the strangest thing - femininity feels like the right thing for me, even though I was born and I've always lived as a man. I even have a female name that I imagine myself being called someday, Emily. The thought of that being my name, of people addressing me as Emily, as 'she,' as 'her,' even silly and small things like having my email address changed to that at work, fills me with confidence and joy and excitement.
I don't usually find women attractive in the way a man 'should.' When I see a woman I find pretty and appealing to look at, it's because I love what she's wearing or the way she's wearing it, or she's got wonderful hair, or she's done her nails just-so and I feel more jealous than anything! I want to be like her rather than to be with her. I want to be pretty and cute, I want to be carefree, I want to be glitzy and fun-loving and glamorous and fabulous, I just want to be feminine. I feel a bit cheated out of being able to express myself properly, having been born male. I want to be seen as 'one of the girls,' if that makes sense.
The idea of 'transition' frightens me. I don't think I want to change things 'down there,' I'm ambivalent about that whole area, I just don't think about it a lot. I want to be a girl, but I don't want to go for years of expensive, complicated surgery or anything like that. That's one of the biggest things that confuses me about this whole thing. I don't want it to be a medical matter, or to involve doctors and drugs and surgery, that scares the hell out of me. I want it to be a matter for me and for my identity.
So, to make this a question (or a lot of questions!) rather than just chatfilter - what am I? I've heard and done research on the word 'genderqueer,' but that covers such a multitude of different things that it's hard to do a lot of reading on the topic without going down a rabbit hole of random Tumblr pages and blogs. Am I 'trans,' if I feel feminine, if I want to be feminine but don't actually want my bits replaced? Does it even matter what label I am? How do I stop denying what feels like my real gender and start expressing it, without shocking those around me? How do I work up to asking those who are close to me to see me as female?
For what it's worth, I live in quite a conservative area (although I have a few large cities within reasonable reach) and my family are not the most LGBT friendly people in the world. I don't know what they'd do if I showed them this post and asked for their thoughts, but it wouldn't be pretty. Luckily, I live quite a long way from them, so I can start to explore this kind of thing in relative peace away from them. But, what starting points would you give to someone who is looking to begin exploring and expressing their female gender, in a safe space - whether online resources or real-world?
I have an email address if anyone would like to mail me privately or wants me to clarify or explain anything, because this is anon so I can't post any followups: email@example.com