Dear Trevor, I'm confused and lonely. Ever since I was little I hated my personal appearance. I know it sounds stupid, but if I looked at a picture of myself too long I got embarassed and shameful and just wanted to die. I've always been really shameful about myself. I don't even touch my genitals. It grosses me out. I, well, I think I want to be a girl. If I could take a pill that would make me be born a girl I would do it. But I can't. And if I transitioned, my parents and friends would know about it and they might not like me anymore. I've been feeling really empty lately. For along time I stopped myself from crying by hurting myself a little, but even that wouldn't work anymore. I cried a lot over the past few days, and I felt ashamed and pathetic everytime. But now I can't even do that. I just feel dead inside, and I want it to stop. I just want to be normal, I'm not strong enough for this kind of thing. I'm not good at talking about feelings, I just bury them. Is there anyway to just make them go away? I can't keep going like this. I'm miserable and I hate myself. I can't use the phone because someone might overhear me. I keep having to hit myself so I don't cry. I don't think I'd commit suicide, because I don't have anything to OD on, hanging sounds painful, cutting my wrists might not do it right and I don't have a gun. But I think about it a lot. And I think about death too. I fantasize about something killing me a lot. I just want to be happy again. I can't take much more of this.
Hi Joe, Thank you for the letter. Reaching out for help takes a great deal of courage. We are glad you could trust us. From your letter, your body image seems to be generating a lot of anxiety and stress for you. You also mention some questions regarding your gender identity. Joe, you have done nothing wrong. There is nothing to be ashamed about here. Everyday, people are bombarded with images of the "perfect man" , the "perfect woman". These images are often highly manipulated. The are not real. BUt, many people develop negative self-images based on these images of perfection. WHatever is beneath your sadness and self criticism, there are people that understand, people who can help. On http://www.transyouth.com/I%20think%20I%20may%20transgender.pdf, you’ll find the brochure, “I Think I Might Be Transgender…Now What Do I Do?” PFLAG’s (Parents, Families & Friends Of Lesbians & Gays) “Be Yourself: Questions for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth” at http://www.pflag.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Be_Yourself_TT.pdf can be of further help as you try to understand your sexual orientation/gender identity. Remember that there's no rush to figure this out. Trevorspace, at www.trevorspace.org, is the Trevor Project's safe, online social networking site for LGBTQ young people ages 13 to 24 their friends and allies. It's a great supportive community where you can connect with others who might have had or are having the same questions that you’re having about your sexuality/gender identity. ALthough it may be painful, talking will help reduce the stress. Do you have a tursted adult, a teacher, or a close relative with whom you can confide? IF not, you could try contacting the closest PFLAG chapter to find some support. UNfortunately, those feelings will not go away. Those feelings are communicating to you. Something feels out of sorts. It is OK to express thsoe feelings. Finding supportive communities will help. Joe, if you ever need someone to listen, you can always call the Trevor lifeline at 1-866-4-U-Trevor, 24 hours 7 days a week. We are here when you need us.