29 March 2005

I want to become a guy. Can you give me advices?

I am 14 and want to become a guy. I have for 2 years now and I’m becoming suicidal and depressed about it. Can you please give me some advice on how to carry out my dream? And how to tell my mom? – Niki

Équipe -Pose ta question!-

Hi Niki,

Thanks for writing, and sorry it’s taken so long to reply to your email.

I understand that it can be very difficult to have everyone around you think and act like you’re a girl when you’ve discovered that you are a guy. This is especially true when you make the discovery that you do not identify to the gender you were assigned when your body is changing, due to puberty. It can be extremely confusing, upsetting, and isolating.

As far as advice on how to carry out your dream: I’d say the first step is to try to figure out what you mean when you say that you ‘want to become a guy’, because there are lots of different ways to be a guy.

For example, some people who are classified female at birth who look very masculine may decide that by changing their name, and asking people to use male pronouns, they are ‘guy enough’. Others decide to take testosterone in order to help the masculinisation process – testosterone promotes the growth of facial and body hair, deepens the voice, and much more. Still others want the top surgery, or choose one of several genital surgeries that are available for people who are female-to-male (FTM). For more information on the options available, try visiting the transition roadmap website.

You can also visit this website for further information on transitionning in the UK.

More and more, youth 14 years old and older are able to access hormone-blockers (which could stop the feminizing process of puberty), and sometimes even male hormones, though often this is only with the parents consent, and though the majority of clinics and doctors prefer to wait until people reach 18 before prescribing these.

As far as telling your mom, you’re the only one who knows your own situation, so only you can figure out how and when it’s best to tell her. Some people feel the need to tell their parents at the earliest possible opportunity. Some write letters, some do it in person. Others like to carefully plot out all the details, and have on hand books, articles, or web resources to help answer their parent’s questions if they have them.

Although you can never predict what your mom’s reaction will be, it’s possible to get an indication of how she will react by how she has behaved in other situations. Does your mom have any friends or relatives that are Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or Trans? How does she react when these subjects come up on the news? In general, how is your relationship with your mom? Is she supportive of you? It can be a very difficult process, and there is so much to consider, when you are deciding what to do about this. For example, you may have to balance your need for her support (especially if, as you mentioned, you are feeling suicidal and depressed) with the possibility that she might not be accepting. If it doesn’t go well with your family, do you have another place to go? If you don’t have another place, and you think she might kick you out, it might be a good idea to seek out your support from other places, and wait a bit to tell her. Are there any other people around you, relatives, or teachers at school, that you trust enough to confide in?

If you decide that it’s not the right time to talk to your mom or other support people, perhaps you could tell them that you are feeling depressed and suicidal, and would like to talk to the school counsellor or a therapist. Though they may not know anything about the particular issues you are confronting, they may be able to help you come up with a plan to feel better as you continue along your path to becoming who you know yourself to be.

Feel free to write again if you want to talk more about any of the stuff that’s coming up for you.


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