Err, I’m extremely curious about my gender, to say the least. I don’t know how better else to put it really. I’ve been researching for the past two years, trying to find out a definitive way to say that I’m one or the other, but I honestly don’t know. Could I get some guidance on the way to go? It’s like I feel I may be trans potentially, but another part of me tells me it’s just a phase that’ll blow over.
Thanks for your letter.
It turns out, you’re struggling with a question common to lots of people — both trans and otherwise – and, unfortunately, the answer isn’t always straightforward. Sure, there are a lot of people who know very early that their gender identity doesn’t match their assigned gender, but there are at least as many people for whom gender identity is either ambiguous or quite fluid. Some may identify as male for a span of time, and then come to feel more female (or vice versa). Others may simply not be certain how they identify. It sounds as though this may be what you’re experiencing now.
There’s really no test for gender identity. There are no clear-cut genetic markers or other biological signs that have been discovered to clarify who you are. It all depends on how you feel, and clarifying how you feel may take some time. But this isn’t a race, although the uncertainty may make you feel like it is. It’s not clear from your letter how old you are, but for many, finally establishing a transgender identity isn’t something that happens in adolescence. It’s something that emerges in adulthood, when your body and brain have matured to a point where you have a better sense of who you are as a complete person.
So, I guess my suggestion is that you take your time and not get too wound up in answering this important question right away. It’s good that you’re researching the topic, but if you don’t get the conclusive answer that you’re looking for, don’t let yourself get overwhelmed with frustration. You might also think about looking for a counselor or therapist that could help guild your self-exploration. He or she won’t be able to tell you what your gender identity is either, but may be able to help you along in your journey of self-discovery.
It’s great, Garland, that you’re actually delving into the feelings you’re having and exploring your uncertainties rather than burying them in denial. That takes courage, but is bound to lead to much greater happiness in the future.
Good luck, and take care.