I dislike my guy parts but like hanging out with guys, doing guy things

Hey Zach,

Thanks for writing in to us at AlterHéros. From your post, it sounds as though you are pretty confused about some of the feelings you're having. First of all, rest assured that at your age, it's completely normal to start wondering about your attraction to the opposite and same sex. Many people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual etc… really started questioning their feelings of attraction when they were teenagers. This is not to say for sure that you're gay, just that feeling confused is not unusual during your teen years.

So there seems to be two issues here: 1) You like hanging out with guys and doing guy things (so you're comfortable in these situations) but you hate your actual guy parts; and 2) You like guys but you're not sure if you do in a gay way (i.e. romantically and sexually). Let's start off with the first issue. You mentioned the word, “transgender” in your post. Most people who identify as transgender feel that the physical gender of their body does not fit with the gender they feel personally inside. So a person born with a guy's body feels like he's actually a girl, he can say that he's transgendered. Same thing with a person born with a girl's body: if she feels like a guy on the inside, she would identify as transgendered too. Notably, being transgender does not mean you like to hang out with a certain gender of people. Just like straight individuals, people tend to hang out with whichever gender they like. Same thing goes for liking to do guy things. Many women like to do guy things even if they don't identify as male, so the company you keep and the guy things you like to do don't necessarily indicate how you feel inside.

That being said, you didn't mention whether or not you felt more feminine inside, just that you didn't like your guy parts. Do you dislike your guy parts because you feel more female on the inside, or do you just feel like you don't want to have parts that identify you as male? If you feel more feminine than masculine, then it could mean that you're transgendered. If you don't feel any desire to identify as guy or girl, it could mean that you're agendered or gender queer. Whichever the case, it's important to start trying to figure out how you feel. Ask yourself why you dislike your guy parts and whether or not it's something that you wish that you could change. You might not know the answer to these questions right away but the more you try to figure out your feelings, the sooner you'll be able to understand them.

Now when it comes to your second question about knowing whether or not you like guys in a gay way, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Do you feel attracted to guys in a physical way?

2. Could see yourself in a relationship with another guy if you knew that you wouldn't be judged by your family/friends/society?

3. Do you often fantasize about guys when you masturbate?

4. Have you ever had a crush on a guy?

5. Do other guys who talk about hooking up with girls make you feel awkward or uncomfortable because you don't feel that girls are very attractive?

These are just a few questions that can help you sort through your feelings. If you answered “yes” or “maybe” to the majority of them, it could mean that you have an attraction for men. Whether or not it is an exclusive attraction is still to be determined. Like your gender identity, your sexual orientation is something you will need to think about as well. It might help you to talk to someone as well if you feel like you need to voice out your feelings. Gay Online is an chat website that is open from 7-11pm on Monday and Sunday nights (http://www.caeoquebec.org/gay-online.html). You'll be able to talk to someone privately and confidentially about your feelings without being judged.

Figuring out your gender identity and sexual orientation is a pretty tricky thing that takes a lot of time and patience. Keep asking yourself the questions above and with time and more experience interacting with your peers, you'll be able to figure out how you feel and how you wish to identify. Until then, please feel free to write us again for more help or to give us an update. Good luck on your journey!


K-Wo for AlterHéros

About Kay Wo

Kay holds a master degree in sexology. She has also been involved in public speaking to youth on fighting homophobia in schools, as well as working with youth living with HIV. Kay volunteers also for CAEO Québec (Gay Line, Gay Online and SILK).

Since I joined the AlterHéros team, I have greatly enjoyed my time as an “Tell the expert” expert. Not only do I enjoy writing up tid bits of advice to inquiring minds, I feel that I have gained a lot from hearing about the problems and inquiries of individuals from all different walks of life. This has afforded me to think outside the box, outside of my own context and to expand my understanding of people, sexuality and a wide range of other subjects. This monthly challenge has benefited me in many ways and I have always appreciated how easily it fits in to my schedule. Not only that, but the staff have always been friendly and flexible concerning my needs.

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