Am I androgynous or transsexual?

Hi Donna,

First, our apologies for having waited so long to give you an answer.

You are writing to us that you are questioning if you are androgynous or transsexual. You feel that you are not stereotypically female, you want to say you are male, and you want to look masculine, but without having a penis.

Generally, the concept of transsexuality means that you are strongly identifying yourself with the other sex, meaning that, as a woman, you would like to become a man. But a lot of people who are going through that process don't go as far as having an operation to change their genitals. The reasons are multiple : money, fears about the operation itself, limits of the operation, but for some people it will be simply that changing their day-to-day appearance is necessary.

On the other hand, you might be always playing « in between » the two genders, somewhere near androgyny. In the end, you don't have to label yourself with any word if it doesn't make you comfortable! Labels are just labels. They are often inaccurate and can’t describe “exactly” who you feel you are as a person. For example, what would you call a woman who enjoys being a woman, but binds her chest because she prefers the way this looks as opposed to wearing a bra that attracts the eye to the chest area? Perhaps she dislikes her breasts. Perhaps she just prefers to play with the idea of androgyny. With binding, you are always free to go between showing off your womanly shape, or hiding it temporarily. It’s like women who wear padded bras on occasion, rather than going through the process of getting a breast enlargement, which is permanent and can cause complications.

Only you can really figure out if you are transsexual or not. It is also OK not to be 100% sure at the beginning of the process. A lot of people need time to question themselves. Feel free to reach out in your community to all the resources that you could have access to, support groups, friends, etc.

Good luck !

François for AlterHeros

About François Paquette

Impliqué au sein d’AlterHéros depuis 2004, François fait partie du conseil d’administration depuis 2005, à titre de vice-président puis de directeur de l’intervention. Il occupe ce poste de mai 2005 à mai 2007, puis de novembre 2007 à maintenant. Diplômé de l’UQAM en sexologie et de l’Université McGill en travail social, il a été employé dans de nombreuses organisations communautaires allosexuelles montréalaises, telles que la CJMLH et le REJAQ, en plus de travailler dans différents endroits du réseau de la santé.