21 August 2010

I don't like calling myself a lesbian, and I want to remove my breasts

What am I?
I’m 23, female I have a girlfriend we have been together for 3 years that makes a lesbian right? but, i do not feel comfortable saying that i am a lesbian, i don’t like when people points and says you’re a lesbian because i don’t really feel like a lesbian. It feels weird to say “i am a female” and i know for sure i don’t want to be a man, people usually mistakes me for a boy but i have a big breast that makes me look like a woman, i would like to get chest surgery because I’ve always wanted to get rid of my boobs i don’t like them at all. I love my vagina. I love, love women but I often have sexual dreams about men but i don’t think i can be with one. I like the idea of looking like girlyboy or a boyishgirl but i don’t know why I’ve always think that way i feel really confused i don’t fit in,i don’t like the idea of being a lesbian just because i was born a female and like females or being a FTM just because i want to get rid of my boobs and wanna look boyish, Please help meee!!

Evelyn Kuang

Hey Lilianna,

Thanks of submitting your question to Alterheros. It sounds like you’re going through an identity crisis, which is a very challenging situation to work through. However, there are a lot of misconceptions and assumptions that underlie the concept of a person having an identity. But I have a few things to share with you that hopefully will help you sort out your situation.

First off, identity is what you make it. It is but an amalgamation of attributes that you have, acquire and choose throughout your life that uniquely make you. There are many parts to an identity, and oftentimes dual identities that people choose to have. Take it as you wish, and use identity merely as a label or concept that can help you – OR, just leave it be if it stresses you out, or puts undue pressure upon you. Either way is perfectly healthy and normal. What matters is making sure you use it in a way that grounds you, and gives you mental and emotional strength.

Secondly, sexuality is a fluid, non-static state created by society and the people who live in it. Your sexuality is what you choose it to be, and no one else has the right to tell you what or who you are. There are no such things as neat categories into which people fall into. For example, just because you are a female who likes males, does not mean you like to be girly and feminine. Or perhaps you are a male who is attracted to males but dislikes anal sex. Note that I chose these examples precisely because they are similar to ones you mention (quote below) and are similarly based on social stereotypes that people automatically but mistakenly assume about people. However, you don’t know a person until you really get to know them – everything else is just superficial assumptions. And even when you think someone is “clear cut, predictable and straightforward,” chances are you just don’t know everything about them. That’s what makes every person unique, and it frankly, makes the world more interesting.

In reference to the sexual dreams you are having about men – they do not necessarily mean anything. Dreams do not always reflect reality, they are actually neurons randomly firing off in our brains. Nightmares and intense dreams are more often a sign of stress than anything else. Safe to say, don’t read too much into these dreams.

One last little thought nugget: what defines a woman? really it is difficult to say this for certain. There is no list of attributes that define a woman. If you try and think of a list, it is virtually impossible to account for many exceptions. For example, you might say a woman is defined by having a reproductive system, and breasts. Well, what if she had her breasts removed because of breast cancer? Or perhaps she has a hysterectomy and can no longer reproduce. Does that make her less of a woman? Or, perhaps a very obese man has breasts- does that make him a woman? No. the answer is it does not necessarily. Now think of this concept in terms of all other physical, mental, emotional and personal attributes one might associate with what a ‘woman’ is, and I guarantee you we can find many exceptions to the case. So, wanting your breasts gone, wanting to look ‘boyish” really, can mean as little, or as much as you like in terms of your identity (or lack thereof) as a female, woman, lesbian, FTM, etc. Once again, use it to your advantage but don’t get bogged down in semantics and stereotypes.

You are also thinking you might be transgender because you don’t want to have breasts. Gender dysphoria usually goes a bit beyond what you are feeling. You say you love your other female parts. Generally speaking, someone who would think about transition, would probably dislike their body on the whole, as they are in the wrong gender’s biological body.

I hope that has helped you somewhat, please don’t hesitate to ask should you have any more questions.

For Alterheros,