#gender expression
#gender identity
27 April 2022

I’m 99% sure I’m ftm, but at the same time, sometimes I don’t mind being feminine, but I hate being seen as feminine other times...

I’m 99% sure I’m ftm, but at the same time, sometimes I don’t mind being feminine, but I hate being seen as feminine other times, I know I don’t have to give myself a label, but I feel like a label would make me feel better I guess? I also think I’m too young to be choosing stuff but I feel like a boy, so I really don’t know what to do
Gabrielle (Elle/Iel)
Hi Eli! 🙂
Thanks for reaching out to AlterHeros with your question! From what you’re writing it seems like you think you might be a trans man, but aren’t sure since you sometimes don’t mind being feminine. You also think you would feel better finding a label for yourself, even though you know it’s not a necessity. On the other hand, you feel like you’re too young to make a definite choice. This situation looks like it’s really confusing for you! Hopefully we can reflect on it a little bit together.
You said that you feel pretty sure you’re a trans man, but are doubting it because sometimes you don’t mind being “feminine”. First, what does femininity represent for you? When you say that sometimes you hate being perceived as feminine, what does that mean to you? Femininity has been and is still widely devalued in society, which can impact the way we feel when associated with it. How do you feel about being feminine when alone? I know that for me, a good indicator that I was non-binary was that feeling feminine sometimes was uncomfortable even on my own!
Also, femininity can refer to your gender identity, which is your internal sense of your own gender, as well as to your gender expression, which is the physical manifestation of gender through external signals such as clothes, hairstyle, voice, body shape etc. Here are a few question that you could ask yourself : When thinking about femininity/masculinity in terms of your gender identity, how does it make you feel? When thinking about femininity/masculinity in terms of your gender expression, how does it make you feel?
Because gender identity and expression are different things, a person could identify as a woman and have a completely masculine gender expression, such as dressing in “masculine” clothing, having short hair etc. On the other side, a person could identify as a man and have a completely feminine gender expression! Playing with your gender expression could help you figure out how you feel presenting certain ways in different contexts, and therefore getting to know your gender identity better. Even if it might sound counterintuitive at first, you can be a feminine trans man, have you ever heard of Gotmik, the first trans man contestant on Drag Race?
The second part of your question involves feeling a need for a label, whilst feeling too young to choose. I get that sometimes the uncertainty can be tough to deal with! However, our identities evolve throughout our whole lives ! You can absolutely use a certain label to define your gender identity now, and switch to a different one later. Some people also choose a label that implies the moving, undefined character of gender, such as genderqueer, genderfluid, or agender.
However, some things like the changes our bodies go through at puberty are somewhat more permanent. That being said, a lot of young people feel like they need more time to figure things out, just like you! In that sense, hormone blockers can be a temporary way of delaying the changes happening to a young person’s body until they know themselves better. They are usually taken for up to two years and basically hit the pause button on puberty. That way, when you are older, you can resume your puberty as it was going, meaning according to your sex assigned at birth, or opt for hormone replacement therapy if you’d want to undergo a more typical male puberty. If that’s something you’d be curious to know more about, the best would be to talk to a healthcare professional.
If you would like to discuss these things in person, you can always reach out to Project 10, which is a Montreal-based LGBTQ+ youth group. They offer many different services such as counseling, support groups, online meet ups and free gender gear (binders, packers, etc.).
You can also check-out these two previously answered questions on related topics :
Hopefully my answer can help you along your self-discovery journey. Don’t hesitate to reach out for anything else!
Best wishes,
Gab (They/Them)