7 mai 2010

I don't want to keep being everyone's poster-boy

So, I have been really confused about what I want in terms of my gender identity. When I look in the mirror I don’t want to see «handsome» or anything male about myself. I really enjoy being a guy and I know this because I couldn’t imagine life without my penis. I’m guessing you can call me genderqueer or androgynous, but how do I know if this is what I really want? I’ve already taken steps to look more female. I do my eyebrows, shave my body, wear makeup, and now I’m letting my hair grow. I feel really confident but my ultimate goal would be to pass as an actual girl from the face. My mom and dad are not giving me their approval anytime soon – I’ve done so much to be everyone’s «poster child», and now I just want to break free from the boy everyone thinks I am. Any advice?

Philip Borden

Hi Steven, Thanks for coming to us with your question and I'm sorry it's taken us so long to get back to you. I'll try to advise you to the best of my ability.

There are some aspects to your question that seem to be somewhat contradictory. You say that when you look in the mirror you “don't want to see anything male” about yourself but you also say that you “really enjoy being a guy” and you know this because you couldn't imagine life without your penis. Is having a penis the only quality that you would equate to being “a guy” or are there other male characteristics that you would prefer to hold on to as well? I ask this because many transgender people who identify as female decide to keep their penis for personal as well as practical reasons. These individuals would not consider themselves as “guys” despite having a penis.

You say that your ultimate goal would be to have your face passable as a girl's. I'm not sure what you look like but if you're already wearing make-up and finding that this isn't quite getting you there then the next step would likely involve some sort of facial reconstruction. It's understandable why your parents might not approve of such a drastic procedure of any sort, for any reason, if not medically necessary. Are your parents supportive of your sexuality? If so, you are one of the lucky ones and if you do ultimately decide that you need to live as a woman, it's more than likely that they will learn to accept you this way.

Of course there are many colors of the rainbow of gender identity. Shaving your body hair, growing your hair long and doing up your face might put you more towards the feminine side of things or make you androgynous but why do you feel it's so necessary to label your gender identity? You say that you want to break free of the “poster child” boy everyone thinks you are but why do you feel it's necessary to become another archetype? My advice would be to forget about all the labels and just allow yourself to look the way that makes you feel most comfortable.

I hope that you've found my response helpful. Please feel free to write us back with any other questions you may have or to follow up.


Philip for AlterHéros