I can’t figure myself out. I question myself everyday 24/7. Am I a dude? I’m out as a tomboy and I dress in boy shirts. My dad keeps saying that I need to start dressing more like a girl, but for some reason I just can’t. I feel so weird when I have to wear a dress or skirt or anything girly. My mom really doesn’t care how I dress, but my dad is the problem. So what do I do? I’m only 14. I’m in middle school, 8th grade, and I sometimes feel attracted to some of my girl friends.
Thank you for reaching out to the Trevor Project. It takes a lot of courage to seek help and we are very glad you did. The way you feel is completely normal. Questioning your sexual identity and orientation is very common among young people. It is also very natural. Determining your sexual identity is a process that can take some time, but you shouldn’t feel rushed to make any definite decisions.
Admitting that you feel attracted to some of your girl friends is a great first step in figuring out who you are and becoming comfortable with who you are. In trying to understand your identity, it may help to think about how you are more comfortable expressing yourself. Transgender people feel that the gender to which they were born does not fit them. Transsexual people are those who choose to medically transition to the gender that is right for them. Cross-dressers are people who like to wear the clothes of another gender but who don’t identify as another gender. You may find yourself identifying with one or more of these definitions pretty strongly or with none of them at all. You shouldn’t feel pressured to label yourself. You may want to think about how you feel more comfortable expressing yourself. You may feel more comfortable as a gender other than the gender you were born or feel you would be more truly yourself in another gender. People who are transgender may feel these emotions. In trying to discover your sexual orientation it may help to think about whom you have crushes on or who you fantasize about- girls, boys, or both.
It is important to keep a strong support system in these times. Whether it is a parent, a sibling, a teacher, or a friend you should find someone you trust who you can talk to and ask questions to while you are still trying to figure yourself out. This PFLAG brochure is a great resource that may help you in further understanding your sexual identity and orientation. You can always talk to someone and ask questions at TrevorSpace. It’s the Trevor Project’s safe, online social networking site for LGBTQ young people ages 13-24. It’s a great supportive community where you can connect with others who may have had or are having the same questions that you’re having about your sexuality/gender identity. If you ever feel too overwhelmed don’t hesitate to call the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7386) and talk with a Trevor lifeline counselor about what you are feeling and experiencing. Thank you for reaching out to the Trevor Project, and remember we are always here for you! Keep your head up!