I think I am wrong. So wrong I want to take my life. I don't know why it is. It's like I'm lesbian, gay, bi and transgender, and I don't know what to do! I made the mistake of cutting my balls off 3 months ago and now I'm really disappointed with how I look. The thing about it is I'm upset, upset with life and upset with casually masturbating all the time to men, women, animals, children in some cases, and I don't know why it is. Even my mother inhabits my thoughts. Do I commit suicide for my own sake?? Please help.
Appreciated, it's a really good service.
First of all, wow. I can't imagine how hard it must've been for you to write this, but thank you for coming forward with it. I think you have brought up some very important questions that are never talked about, but really we as a society would be better for if we did.
Here at Trevor it's known that we support someone's right to be attracted to whoever they want, but that is generally meant and taken in the context of being gay. However, attraction is not limited to a binary of only men or only women. The things people can be attracted to are pretty much unlimited, and many of them are considered far less socially acceptable than homosexuality, often leaving people who feel them with no one to talk to.
But before we go into that, let me assure you that no, this does not mean you should feel suicidal or feel obligated to feel suicidal! And I think it is very important that you find someone trusted who you can talk to on a regular basis about this. Ideally, in this case, a psychologist. Psychologists are trained to think about the complexities of sexual attraction beyond the norm, and such a person might be able to comfortably help you. I understand you might fear telling even a trusted friend about your feels due to the possible reactions, so if that is something you are worried about, please do whatever you can to see a psychologist who you can talk to about everything. The Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists (215-222-2800, website www.aglp.org ) can help you find someone in your area who is more likely to be sympathetic to and familiar with the complexities of your situation.
I want to start by addressing your sexual attractions, because I think that might be the hardest one for you to find solid advice on.
I believe when worrying about these subjects, one of the first questions you need to confront is fantasy versus reality. It's extremely common to indulge in fantasies that would be socially unacceptable actions! For example, violent movies or video games are full of acts that are celebrated on screen but in reality are things we would never act on and would probably be very uncomfortable with. The only reason sexual fantasies are any different is because in our society, sex is a very uncomfortable subject for a lot of people, and often seen as 'worse'. This is why almost any level of gore and violence will only get a rating of R in theatres, while any sex scene displaying genitalia will be rated NC-17 or higher. Despite the fact, of course, that people viewing movies are probably a lot more likely to be intimately familiar with both genitalia and sex itself than they are graphic murder and violence.
In short, sexual fantasy is not worse than any other kind of fantasy. I do not believe you can be condemned for what you fantasize about while masturbating any more than anyone should be condemned for what sorts of movies they enjoy! Your mind should be a safe place for you to explore aspects of yourself, not a prison of shame or self loathing. I believe many people probably fantasize about things they would never act on, either because the act would be unacceptable or because they know the reality would not be as appealing as the fantasy. If what you are experiencing is purely fantasy, my only concern is that come to accept and understand yourself. Please remember that fantasy does not determine reality ever! It does not make anything true, including whatever you fear about yourself. That is the beauty of it.
If you feel your fantasies are just a stepping stone toward action, I must encourage you even more to see a psychologist so that you can discuss that in more detail. The complexities of each situation are extremely deep and do much for me to cover in one response. Obviously, sex with a minor is unacceptable, sex with your mother probably unacceptable to her, and sex with animals potentially dangerous. However, that does not mean the solution to your problem is to close yourself off or ignore your feelings. You will find the greatest happiness with yourself by understanding. Hatred and hurt are caused by ignorance, even when we direct them at ourselves. Here at Trevor I hear from many questioning young people who consider suicide because of how ignorant the world is of their feelings, and because of how much they themselves do not know what to do. You have already shown great bravery in even asking for help with this first step. Whether your fantasies are purely fantasy or a desired reality, I strongly encourage you to do research on these topics, and to see a psychologist who can help you learn about yourself in more depth than I can. You can use SAMHSA (http://store.samhsa.gov/mhlocato) to locate mental health services in your area. Support groups may also be available. There is an excellent article in Psychology Today on unwanted thoughts (http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200910/forbidden-thinking), and it might put you at ease to understand how common it is for people to be plagued by thoughts they would rather not have. And if you decide you want to be rid of your fantasies, there are methods to work on changing or getting rid of them. A psychologist would be far better suited to walk you through these, but to get you started I would suggest carefully examining the fantasies and trying to understand the reasons for them. In doing so you may either become more comfortable with them or through understanding what makes those thoughts so attractive, find new thoughts that fulfill similar needs to replace them with.
Now I'd like to talk about your self image and questioning status.
By 'I cut my balls off', I take that to mean you began the process of SRS. You say you are upset with your appearance, but is it just your appearance or do you think you wanted to keep male genitalia after all? I think you are going through a difficult and confusing time in your life, so it is no surprise you are upset! I think you would probably be upset even if SRS was a very simple process, and not an extremely complex one that not only reforms your physical body but also your place in the world and how others see you. Please remember that it's okay to be emotional and afraid and tired and hurt. By owning up to those feelings I believe you will stand a much better chance of moving past them. But however you look now, however you looked in the past or will look in the future, you are still yourself. That person deserves a wonderful life, to be comfortable in a body, whether it is male or female or anywhere in between. You clearly want to take the steps to make that body comfortable for yourself, please don't give up on it now.
Regardless of whether your unhappiness is simply with the surgery itself or regret over changing your body, I think the TS Roadmap ( http://www.tsroadmap.com/index.html ) would be an excellent site for you. It charts every aspect of transition and is written by those with personal experience. All of them want you to be just as happy with your body as I do. Even though we may not know each other and may never speak again, these people, like me, do genuinely care. You are not alone in this. I would like you to read the page on self acceptance ( http://www.tsroadmap.com/mental/accept.html ) because that is something you can work on without any more changes one way or another, and I believe in the long run it is much more important than anything physical you can do. There is also an entire section on physical appearance ( http://www.tsroadmap.com/physical/index.html ) that may prove helpful in transforming your body.
Finally, and I think I say this in every letter I write but it is perhaps the most important message I have - You don't have to decide what you are now. What's wrong with being lesbian, gay, bi, and transgender all at once? No one in this world can tell you that is wrong for you except for yourself. If you are unhappy not knowing what to label yourself, then I suggest thinking long and hard about where the lines of your attraction are, and ignoring the labels you know. Don't think about "I can't be gay because I like x" or "I can't be a lesbian because I am y". Just make a list of what you are sure you are attracted to, what you are sure you are not, and what things you aren't sure about. The things on that list might change, but at least for the moment you will have some assurance of where your sexual attraction lies. If the resulting list doesn't fit under any of the labels you know, I suggest you either don't worry about it, or make up a new label to suit yourself, or pick an existing label and qualify it "I'm a lesbian who sometimes likes boys" or any other apparent contradictions are perfectly acceptable. It's your sexuality and you can call it whatever you want.
Thank you for writing, Kansas. I really hope that you find within yourself what you need to move forward. What I have seen from you is great bravery and great fear, and I know you can use one to overcome the other.
In my thoughts,