you can call me P.J. I am 19 years old and I am currently having some problems with what to do with my family. Even though I am biologically a male, I do not quite feel like that. I can say that there are two sides inside me; one side is male and is very happy about it, whereas the other side is female and is having problems with accepting the facts. Actually I have personally overcome the problems with being “trapped in a body” I do not feel comfortable with. I am now feeling quite lucky and happy to be able to feel both sides. What bothers me is how “this” affects my life and particularly my family. I feel very lucky to have such a great family, because they love me (and my two sisters) so much. But they cannot seem to understand my situation clearly and I do not expect them to do so. Hell even I cannot understand it! Anyway, coming to the point; I did not want them to find out that I was secretly wearing some female clothing but they accidently did and I cannot express enough how ashamed and sad I felt at that time for being -broken and not normal-. That first happened two years ago and since then I was able to keep doing it secretly. Did I try not to do it? Yeah, I did but it just did not work. I could not stop it because it was not something I choose to do but it was something I needed to do. And when I am talking about it, I do not mean doing it just because it was giving me pleasure but because it was comforting me; it was making me relax with the idea that I am complete, that I am how I am supposed to be, wish to be. It was just making me happy. But my parents found out that I was still doing it and we went to see doctors… Even though I knew that I was not -normal, as society calls it- I knew I had nothing wrong with me. I never told them that I want to be a woman and refused to talk to them about this topic even though they tried to talk to me, because I knew they would not leave it at that point and try to “cure” me. And I really did not want them to feel like their son was not “normal”. But my refusing to communicate led us to see doctors. First we went to a place called Institute of Behaviour or something like that to see a psychologist. Unlike what I was expecting, he understood my situation, gave me support and did not tell my family that I want to be a woman, instead told them that I was totally normal. It was a huge relief for my parents and I was very happy to see that, but it lasted only a week. One week later mom found a piece of female underwear and was horrified in panic again. We then went to see another doctor to see if my hormones were normal; after that we went to see another psychologist and at the end, they both said it is nothing to be afraid of and will be gone later and is normal because I am a teenager. Well, I know it will not be gone, and to be honest I do not want it to be gone. I am happy the way I am, even if it means I will not marry and will have to live and die alone, but isn’t it more important that I can be happy with who I am and how I live? I just cannot stand seeing my family so sad. Just today mom told me how since we went to see doctors she and my father stopped the car on their way back home and hugged each other and cried almost every single day, so that they would not reflect their sadness to me. Now, I cannot let this happen to my family, I just feel so sad about it. She said if I get rid of this “illness”, they will be happy again. What should I do? Should I try one more time to be “normal” and try to forget everything, how I feel? Or should I lie to them and say it is over even though it is not?
One of the biggest reasons why my family is so much concerned is that next year I will go abroad to study my university and they want to send me without any problems. I did not try to convince them that I am normal, because even if I magically happen to convince them at some point they would say it is ok for them the way I am, they would be lying and I would know that it is not ok. I know I will never really come out and try to blend in the society trying to be a female but I know that when I come home; I will be who I want to be, I will be happy. I want express how I feel about it with this sentence I wrote before: “Even though I will be a “normal man” in greys and blacks outside; when I come home, I will be painting a world full of colour, full of happines and full of joy; I will be myself.” On one hand, I am dreaming of a world like this, on the other I am faced to decide what to say to my family. Can you help me out how to figure this out?
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We’re so glad that you reached out to Ask Trevor with your questions and we also want to commend you for your courage in writing to us. Deciding how to address your gender identity with your parents can be tricky and scary, so we’re glad that you are asking for guidance and support as you go through this process. We are also so happy to hear that you already know that there is nothing wrong with you at all and that you are happy the way that you are!
We are also very glad to hear that the first psychologist you went to see respected your confidentiality and also gave you the support that you deserve. If you decide to see another mental health professional, it’s important that you find someone who makes you feel comfortable, understood, and supported. You asked whether you should tell your parents about your feelings or hide them. We can’t tell you what you should do, but there are many things you may want to consider before making a decision like this. What is it like to keep this part of you a secret from your family? Are you concerned about your physical safety if you were to tell them? Are you concerned about your emotional wellbeing if you tell your parents? Are you concerned about continuing to get financial support from them if you tell them how you are feeling? Sometimes people wait until they are living away from home before coming out to their families about their gender identity. If you decide to talk with them now, that is fine, but it is also okay to wait until later in life. What is most important is that you stay safe and that you are comfortable with who you are. The thoughts and feelings you are having are completely normal, as is some of the confusion you are experiencing about what to do.
Whether you decide you want to talk with your parents about how you are feeling or not, there are many resources available to you. You may find the Human Rights Campaign resources for coming out helpful: http://www.hrc.org/files/documents/ComingOut_ResourceGuide.pdf. Additionally, if your parents have questions, PFLAG is a really great resource: www. Pflag.org. The website http://www.genderspectrum.org/ may also have some information that you find useful. Finally, remember that the Trevor Project is always here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Feel free to write again, log on to TrevorChat, or call the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386 if you need any more advice or want to talk. You are not alone!
The Trevor Project
None is answering my question. Did I do something wrong?
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