18 septembre 2009

I want to be a boy, but I don't want my parents to throw me out!

So my problem is this: I want to be a boy. But my mom and dad seem to be completely disgusted by gays, lesbians, bisexuals, or transexuals. I’ve tried to give them hints. Even though I hang out with mostly girls, a have a few guy friends who don’t care that I’m biologically female. I’ve even told my parents I want to be a boy! All my parents said was that it was just a phase. They may be right, because I’ve only been feeling this way for a few years. But puberty hit and now I think I’m depressed. I don’t want to talk to anyone so I stay in my room where I can live as a boy. Well, I have an idea of what I should do, but I can’t support myself if my parents decide to throw me out. Thanks for your time.


Dear Natsuda,

I really commend you for coming forward with this question, and I think you are doing the right thing in being honest with yourself about these tricky issues.

I am concerned that you mentioned you are depressed. Are you eating and sleeping normally? Are you able to concentrate on your schoolwork? Do you feel like crying a lot? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, I think the first thing you need to do is find a counselor, teacher or community worker who you can trust with this issue. I think you will probably need to talk about it a great deal more before you make up your mind with an action plan. Support is paramount, and your main priority should be your mental health.

Being a 13 year old is tricky business. On the one hand, you are still very dependent on your parents for everything that you need but at the same time you are developing quickly and starting to figure out your own identity. If you truly believe that your parents will ‘throw you out’ as you say, I am going to advise you to wait before you inform them of your desires to become a boy. In the meantime, I would say it wouldn’t be a bad thing to ‘experiment’. You could perhaps start to slowly express masculinity in small, cumulative ways to ensure that nothing is a shock. Gradual changes in clothing, haircuts etc may be just the ticket for you to feel more free during this period where you are still dependent. It would also allow you to develop the type of persona you feel more comfortable with amongst your friends. Those who are your real friends will accept you just the way you are.

Remember that your feelings are in no way wrong, and that they represent that you may indeed be transgendered – an identity held by hundreds of thousands of people all over the planet. Be proud of who you are, and remember that all teenagers are going through a journey of discovery (however difficult or different) at the same time as you are. You need each other’s friendship and support!

You can always write to us here at Alterheros, but I strongly advise you to speak to a school counselor, nurse or whoever you feel you can be open with so that you will not feel alone where you live.

Good luck, keep in touch and keep up in school!

Dr. S