I am confused about my sexuality and my possible gender…


Hello Jake, and thank you for your question

Being confused or unsure about sexuality is perfectly normal, because our societies that unfortunately, mostly represent the majority and emits representative messages and advice attached to this.

Media, including film and television, religions and ingrained societal beliefs; have really pushed these values- gender roles: of a man is one way (though, rugged, dominant, powerful) and a woman is another way (soft, shy, accepting, weak). These are social expectations. We have attached these male and female values to sexuality, many values and conceived notions that the queer community has been breaking and/or making fun of for years (dressing in wild colors, hair montage, body piercing, drag-queen shows, same-sex kissing in public). People in today’s society who believe more in sciences than religion are changing their perceived notions of expected female and male characteristics… but this has been slow and tedious to change, even if today’s [so called, modern] society is dependent on education, science and technology.. there is still a huge resistance to women working in the construction business or as truck drivers. Men who stay home to care for young children (father homemakers) are still quite rare. In Canada, it has been a long battle for equal rights, including gay marriage, gay couples able to adopt children and life partners being recognized as next of kin in issues related to taxes, insurance, medical issues and death benefits. Also teens who act or look different are still used today as easy targets by bullies in high schools.

Humans are creatures of habit, we like to organize and classify (male, female, heterosexual, homosexual, two-spirited, bi-sexual…) the thing is that the reality of human sexuality is quite different, human sexuality is a lot more complex than that. Words like transexual, transgendered, pansexual, asexual, genderqueer, Intersexuality, third-gender, and more have become present to future classify different (as the medical community liked to call it: “conditions”) different forms of sexual aspects and behaviors. The word “different” often being referenced as something bad, or wrong just because it is not within the majority. Most non-heterosexual people and queer community organizations recognize that sexuality is more complex than just these simple categories or labels.

That some people fall in-between these categories or are not part of these categories at all.

In your question you have named some of the things you are feeling – that is good because you have identified points of your sexuality that give you pleasure, that you think you would like or that you have doubts about.. This is the first step in determining your ‘sexual identity’ and ‘sexual life’. You mention, you are attracted to woman, but that you would like to be the woman in a sexual relationship. My understanding is that you are in love with the female esthetics of a woman. Media, TV, entertainment, advertising is quite strong at stereotypes and society has pressured us to believe in hetero-normative idealisms this has influenced a lot of men, even homosexual men like the ‘typed’ characterizations of a feminine woman like: soft skin, smooth & soft feature, make-up, perfume, less or no body hair, etc. Furthermore in some people this hetero-normative has effected their sexual lives so much that people that are bi-sexual or gay never have same sex relationships because they have the false belief that being a heterosexual is better.

You also say that you enjoy cross-dressing, this explains what you have said about wanting to feel like a woman even if you are happy being a man. This overwhelming liking of esthetics is very prevalent in the North American culture it has led to some men to being metrosexuals (caring about ethics and their appearance) some teens and young adults especially those who do not identify as heterosexual, started being ‘gender bender’ dressing or expressing themselves in ways that are gender neutral or that confuse other people other people around them. It is important not to confuse gender expression or non-expression with a gender identity. You may be happy in your body as a man, but you do have the right to express your gender the way you want too and no one has the right to harass or tease you because of this. (These kind of anti-harassment clauses ‘about expression’ will shortly be included in large city high school anti-bullying campaigns and policies)

You explained you fanticise about being a woman, and how it would feel for a man to be with you sexually. This could be interpreted as a simple fantasy which is part of a healthy ‘sexual life’, but it could also indicate that you have some needs towards being a woman.

There is a big difference between fantasy and the reality of taking the steps to changing your gender. People who change their gender and take hormones and sometimes get reconstructive surgery, feel they are not the gender their bodies represent, these people have a deep and continued feeling they are living someone else life, they are not comfortable in their bodies. For those reading this article, who really feel they are not the gender their bodies represent; should consult a trans support group or a psychologist recommended by a transgender community group like

www.ftmi.org

www.gires.org.uk

www.ifge.org

and many others, search the internet for the groups closest to your location.

In Canada resources exist in large cities

www.vch.ca/transhealth/

www.the519.org/programs/trans/index.shtml

www.cttq.org

Psychological counseling is necessary to affirm self-identity and to help navigate through information to help people attain their true gender. Many options are available once you seek help from a community or support group.

The most important is to listen to yourself carefully, turn-off the noise and images from media and society that are effecting how you think and feel about yourself, (or what society believes is right or wrong) Take your own path. A person who truly lives their sexuality, what ever form that may be, are usually people who have a very satisfying, fulfilled and happy life. Sexuality is one of those important parts in person’s life, whether it is for fantasy, pleasure or reproduction.

Thanks for writing

J-P, for AlterHeros


About JP Duc

JP has over 10 years of experience working with GLBTIQ youth organizations. He has been also a dedicated volunteer for over 16 major events including conferences & social functions for the gay community in Montreal. He also has done studies in creative arts, audio-visual and communication.

I enjoy challenging myself to find interesting ways of transmitting unbiased and practical information/solutions to common problems teenagers, and gay people face concerning sexuality. Seeing feedback from our visitors in the guestbook proves to me that a need exists for AlterHeros services and the thousands of volunteer hours that go into this organisation are appreciated by people from all over the world.

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