8 février 2009

My brother came out as a transgender, and his situation seems similar to mine

My brother recently found out he is transgender and came out to my family a while ago. Ever since he did, his situation sounds similar to mine, though I have never cross-dressed like he has. I really wish i was a girl, and I masturbate at the thought of myself becoming a girl. Sometimes as a girl with another man. I don’t know how to be a guy, and almost have to «study» my friends to see how I’m supposed to act. I feel like I’m stealing everyone else’s personalities and building my own. I try to make bets with friends of mine where if I lose I have to dress like a girl, and I loved it when some girls I know painted my nails. Even when I was little I wanted long hair but couldn’t. I have been accepted by everyone, dating very cute girls, but was only turned on when I imagined myself as them. At night I can only ask myself one question – who am I? Am I transgendered or just have a different situation than some people?

Dee Gamme

Hello Daniel,

It sounds as though you really enjoy doing ‘girl’ things, such as having your nails painted by your female friends. You are young, and at an age where exploration and experimentation is very common.

At this point, it is very hard to say if you are transgender, or simply «different» than most people, as you put it.

Wanting to dress like a girl, or feeling more at ease doing things your female counterparts do, isn’t so strange. We have always had a term for girls who like to dress or act like boys, or who feel more comfortable around boys. TOMBOY. Why nobody has come up with an equal version for boys who are in touch with their feminine side, I’ll never know! In that respect, I don’t think there is anything wrong with the thoughts you are having. Perhaps society has decided that a male who feels more comfortable doing ‘girlish things’ (let’s call him a TOMGIRL for the sake of discussion) is somehow less of a man. So we are taught to feel shameful if our maleness doesn’t match the maleness of our peers.

Boys who like ballet, or baking, or shopping aren’t necessarily gay (as some people would think), nor transgendered. An individual can be one but not the other.

In your case, you might not yet have enough information to understand whether you are trans, or simply «different». Probably your best bet would be to talk to your brother. (S)He might be able to share some useful information with you, with the same – if not more – value than any doctor or therapist’s info. Even if he has cross-dressed and you have not, there are different degrees of transgenderism and he might have some insight to share, which could help you understand your own unique situation.

There is one thing you can try to do as a game or an exercise. If you stand in front of a mirror, naked, what, or WHO do you see? Is that a girl staring back at you? Does she have female parts or male parts? Or is she made up of a variety of parts from both genders? If you feel the parts you are born with somehow don’t «fit» the person you feel you are inside, it might be an indication that you are, possibly, trans. Do you feel disgust at your own male body? Try to mentally picture each male attribute being replaced with female attributes, one by one, until you are satisfied with the virtual ‘you’. Who is this You?

If you aren’t particularly revolted by your own maleness, you might be somewhat ‘trans-minded’, and not necessarily transsexual. There are all sorts of words and variations on what makes someone trans and what does not. If you take a look at this link, I’m sure it will shed some light on certain differences between being transgender and being transsexual: http://www.gaiaonline.com/forum/extended-discussion/transgender-issues-not-just-men-in-dresses/t.20212143/

There are people who consider themselves to be gender-queer and/or transgender, but are completely happy in the body they were assigned at birth. This is what i mean by being trans-minded. For such people, cross-dressing may not even be appealing. Surgeries might not be necessary. It is more a state of mind than an outward appearance or way of acting. Before deciding that you are transgender, think of these things, and see where you feel you fit in best. Anyways, gender and sexuality isn’t about fitting into a category. It can remain vague, even if it might confuse outsiders who seek defined guidelines of what makes someone a man or a woman.

I hope this has shed a bit of light, and don’t be shy if you have more questions!

Dee, for Alterheros