I am transmasculine, very in touch with feminity and comfortable with she/her pronouns. I don't know what to think...
Hi. September 2021 I realized I was trans (ftm) now I feel very in touch with feminity and I am comfortable with she/her pronouns and being called a girl, but at the same time I still want to be a boy. Feeling masculine just feels so right somtimes and I don’t know what to think. For the past year a half I have been comfortable quietly being trans (only a few people know, not my parents). I don’t know what to think now.
We are very sorry for the delay in response. Thank you for reaching out. I can’t tell you what to think, only you have the answers, but I will offer some stuff that might help you recognize them for yourself.
You shared how you’re transmasc but you’ve been realizing that you’re not against being feminine and being referred to as a girl with she/her pronouns. In fact, you would like to be able to keep in touch with femininity while still being masculine. You also seem to be doubting whether you are trans at all considering this realization, plus the fact that you have been okay with living without being open and out about your gender identity.
First, let’s acknowledge how our self-expression plays a big role in how others treat us and understand us. It’s completely normal to want to be seen as normal and uncomplicated. When discovering areas of our identity that could appear as challenging and more difficult for others to understand, it’s okay to be worried about that and to keep these kinds of personal things to ourselves until whenever we’re ready—if ever.
Your gender identity is about you, and you are a complex person. Don’t be discouraged when you find something that seems contradictory or unusual. It could be that you simply don’t have a name for it yet. Crafting a name for something as fluid as an identity isn’t easy, especially if the reality of those identities defies traditional beliefs.
Gender aims to dictate the kind of role we take in our relationships, our character, and the things we should care about, while our language shapes and reflects the way we think about those things. The rigid binaries we uphold in our mind usually ends up restricting and excluding many different kinds of realities and possibilities, whereas creating new words and terms allows people to be plural and live closer to what feels right to them.
The term “transmasculine,” for example, is pretty recent. It’s supposed to help create space for people who have a masculine-aligned identity and expression yet have also embraced their assigned-female status to an extent. What does this even mean and who decides what that looks like? Nowadays it’s used more like an umbrella term for trans people with a masculine-leaning/ masculine-aligned gender identity. This shows how the definition itself is fluid and changes over time and across communities. So maybe some relevant questions to ask is, does Mimi recognize himself among the possibilities of transmasculine at this point in time? Does it feel like her community?
Some transmasc people feel comfortable wearing makeup or dresses only when around other trans or gender-variant people, or use different terms to describe their gender depending on who they’re speaking to. Some don’t start redefining their gender until they’re much older.
There are still many other terms you can try out as well, such as bigender, genderfluid, genderqueer/ gender-variant, and many more.
My colleague talks about this in a previous response:
“With that being said, some people prefer to only use one term or the other, it’s only a matter of how you perceive your identity in relation to these definitions. I can’t tell you if you’re non-binary or only trans, but what I can tell you is that you have the possibility to identify yourself with the term that speaks to you the most. You could identify as non-binary if you think this is the term that best represents you, or you could identify as trans (as an umbrella term or as a trans guy) or you could identify as a trans non-binary person. If you want, you can explore the different non-binary identities.” —Émilie
This next one is by and about a transmasc/bigender creator who decided to share where he is on his gender journey: Nate by ND Stevenson
Ultimately, how we define ourselves should be up to us. Feeling like you’re incorrect or incomplete with your assigned gender is trans enough.
Identities consist of a lot of moving parts, people are constantly growing and developing. Becoming ourself means there will come times where it feels like we’ve hit a wall in the middle of the road. I’ve learned to recognize this feeling as a sign for having a decision to make, like the wall is actually a fork or a door. And this is what the journey is all about—getting to decide who we are for ourselves.
Last thing is in regards to revealing your gender to your parents or the public. The idea of “coming out” can be confusing and stressful. It’s like introducing myself as a new person when I’m not, or needing to justify my changes in style and pronouns. You can just do things at your own pace. Some people throw a “gender reveal” party for themselves, others only share when asked. It doesn’t speak to how well they’ve figured out their own gender identity… there’s no endgame here.
I won’t assume why you chose to keep this info private for this long. If it’s for reasons related to your safety though, I advise you to find and contact LGBTQIA+ community organizations (online and/or in-person) and talk to them about your situation before disclosing anything to your parents.
The Trevor Project is also a great resource for learning about what makes a good “ally” (for if you ever decide to share your gender identity to any more of the people in your life), as well as to help connect with gender-variant peers and spaces. We live in a cis-centric world which can feel alienating to those who don’t fit that mold. Immersing yourself into spaces with folks who resemble you may help in feeling more secure in all forms of your gender expression.
I hope I interpreted your question well and this response is helpful to any extent. If I had to summarize my message: slow down and make room for your feelings. Wasn’t it exciting to find out what it’s like feeling masculine? Our thoughts don’t have to be the judge for everything.
Please take care and try to reach out like this whenever you need support.
Zed from AlterHéros