What does it mean that I feel like different genders?

I was born a girl. I look like a boy. I sometimes feel like a different variation of gender. I don't know what to say if someone asks my gender. I just get really confused and usually say my birth gender.

Katie Leikam
Katie Leikam
LGBTQIA affirming LCSW in Decatur GA

Hi, as an affirming gender therapist I like to let people know that like sexuality, gender is a spectrum too.  It's possible to look like a girl and feel more like a boy, just as it's possible to feel halfway between a boy and a girl, or anywhere else on a horizontal line with two points between it.  Some people use different pronouns or words to express their gender and that's okay.  It's up to you to find out what is most comfortable.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Lauren Ostrowski, MA, LPC, NCC, DCC, CCTP
Lauren Ostrowski, MA, LPC, NCC, DCC, CCTP
I tailor my therapeutic approach to each client's strengths and goals

If you're feeling like your gender is different than the gender you are born with, and there are many different terms to help describe that. Gender is actually looked at on a spectrum. Transgender is just one of those terms, but looking at the information here may help: http://www.transequality.org/about-transgender. I'm not saying that you should use the term transgender to describe yourself because that may not accurately describe what you are experiencing, but I'm just trying to point you to some more resources.

As for what to say to someone who asks your gender, that becomes a question with a lot of different parts. This is probably something that would be best talked out with someone else who you trust. I don't know whether that is your family, friends, and mental health professional, and member of the clergy, or someone else. There are many different things than you could say and they are all related to how much you already to share with other people about how you feel regarding your gender.

Generally, I would suggest it would be important to become comfortable with how you feel yourself and possibly tell some people whom you really trust first. Also consider that once you tell someone something, it's not possible to undo it, so if you tell someone, they may tell someone else. Then there is also the matter of people having very different reactions related to different genders and not everyone will be supportive. I hope that you are able to surround yourself with some people who are willing to understand and work through this with you so that you have some ideas how to react if you come across someone who does not understand.

Please remember that there is always someone to talk with.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal, as if you want to hurt or kill yourself or someone else, or are in crisis, call 800-273-8255, call 911, or proceed to your local emergency room.
Vivian D. Echevarria Guzman, MSC, LPC, NCC
Vivian D. Echevarria Guzman, MSC, LPC, NCC
Bilingual Licensed Professional Counselor

I agree with Sherry, it is OK to give the answer that you feel most familiar with.  The most important part is not who people think you are, but that you know who you are.  Read about gender identity and fluidity.  Discovering the answer is a process, don't rush it to comply with others either way.  If you feel that this is a constant issue that keeps you awake and keeps you from enjoying your life, consider going to a therapist to discuss your feelings and concerns. 

¿Qué significa que yo me sienta como diferentes géneros?

Nací como niña. Me veo como niño.  A veces siento como una variación diferente de género.  No sé qué decirle a otros cuando pregunta que soy.  Me siento confuso y solo digo mi genero de nacimiento. 

Estoy de acuerdo con Sherry, está bien dar la respuesta que se sienta más cómoda.  La parte más importante no es quien las otras personas piensen que eres, sino quien tú piensas que eres.  Lee sobre el tema de identidad de género y fluidez de género.  Descubrir tu género puede ser un proceso, no lo apresures para complacer a otras personas.  Si sientes que este tema te esta quitando el sueno y te impide disfrutar tu vida, habla con tu consejero sobre tus sentimientos y preocupaciones.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room. La información provista es para propósito general basado en información mínima, no constituye aviso medico. Esta información tampoco constituye una comunicación directa con un consejero o terapista y no crea una relación entre cliente y terapeuta o desarrolla ningún privilegio. Si tiene pensamientos suicidas o está en crisis puede llamar al 911 o visitar su sala de emergencias mas cercana.
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

It is ok to tell someone who is casually asking about your gender, what is written on your birth certificate. 

Measure the significance of your answer to the significance of the person who is asking you the question.

In addition, you are stating the simple truth, so there's nothing wrong with stating what is on your birth certificate.

Do you understand the reason of why people are asking about your gender?

It is not a common question, so I wonder about the context in which this happens.

The whole field of gender identity is extremely popular now.

Popular usually means people are swept into a trend just because it is in the air, not because they've given the time and seriousness to thoughtfully consider if the trend has anything to do with them personally.

Keep open minded to who you are, including if you are truly a different gender than the one you're born into.

It is a very complicated question and lately people, especially teens, are answering it much more rapidly than seems possible to fully consider.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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