I am 17 and soon to be 18. I am biologically female, but I don’t fit the gender. I’d consider myself androgynous; I feel like a mixture of male and female and sometimes something else. I’d like to start taking Testosterone, but my mom doesn’t know anything about me not being female. My mom is super cool, but she has her flaws just like everyone else. Her flaws being that she is skeptical of certain things and she doesn’t take people’s bull. When I was questioning if I was bisexual or not and I told her that I could possibly be, she didn’t believe me. She thought bisexuality was bull and that I was just going through a phase. (We don’t have this problem anymore, I’m panromantic and she’s taken strides to learn more about my sexual orientation). However, I’m worried she’ll have the same reaction this time and it’ll cause a huge rift between us, because this is incredibly important to me, but I’ve kept it hidden. So, I’m wondering how I should talk to her about this to where she’d understand how important this is to me, and how IT IS NOT A PHASE.
I’ve felt uncomfortable in my body and gender role for years and years, I’ve even switched between the little sister and little brother when I played house as a child. About a year and a half ago, I found out about other genders besides male and female. And I made the realization that I was genderqueer after much deliberation. I have put a lot of thought into this, and this is the most important decision I have ever been so certain about in my life.
This is causing me a lot of emotional havoc. I’m very frustrated and anxious and I don’t know how long it’ll take me to just break down. I just want to tell my mom so I can start doing something about this. I’m just really worried she won’t take me seriously.
Thank you so much for your letter. It takes a lot of courage to come out as bisexual as a teenager and then to come out again with your androgynous identity. Everything that you were feeling about your mom and your own sexuality and attractions are okay. Sexuality is a difficult topic for many people to talk about and you’ve handled your own identity with pride. It is normal to feel scared and uncertain about how your family and friends will react to your living more of your own personal identity in a public way. But you are taking some great steps in being who you really feel and believe you are.
It is important to note that your sexuality is a very personal piece of who you are and involves emotional, romantic as well as all of your physical feelings and attractions. It might be helpful for you to browse this website: http://www.genderspectrum.org/ for some great information on trans-issues for both yourself, but your mother as well. The organization, Parents & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (http://pflag.org), can also be a great resource for you and your mom as you both begin to understand your identity. Just like you, your mother is going to have to learn and change her perceptions and it is important that you are both there for each other during that process, which includes keeping an open line of communications between you both. Finally, http://www.transyouthequality.org/ has a multitude of resources for both you and your mom for the coming days, months and years, including a long list of resources and information about your health needs.
Finally, The Trevor Project is always here, 24/7. We have a great resource for you too: TrevorSpace! It is a social networking site for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth ages 13 through 24 and their friends and allies and can be found at http://trevorspace.org. Lastly, if you ever need someone to talk to, day or night, the Trevor lifeline is available to you, free and confidential 24/7 at 1-866-4-U-Trevor. Thank you again for your letter and know that we are always here for you.