I want to be a boy but I can't because of my religion

I was born a girl, but I want to be a boy. Because of my religion I can't tell my family. I know they won't accept me. What do I do?

Keyonne Spencer, MS, LPC
Keyonne Spencer, MS, LPC
Enriching the lives of couples, individuals and families.

Chances are your family already knows, they are probably just waiting on confirmation from you to say it. A parent knows their child. 

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.
Steve Termath, MA, LPCC, NCC
Steve Termath, MA, LPCC, NCC
Let's regain control! Comfort zones can be the breeding grounds of failure.

Spirituality for those in the LGBTQ community can be one of the more difficult roads. Unfortunately, many unjustly ostracize members of the LGBTQ community away from faith and spirituality. I believe that folks can embrace the identity that is genuine to them, and still maintain their spiritual beliefs! Briefly, the keys are to first monitor how we allow those in our life to influence our thoughts and emotions. We need to create standards and boundaries to protect ourselves. We also need to not project the judgment of other people onto our individual spiritual beliefs! There are many ways in which to tackle this effort!

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.
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

Ultimately, to suppress your natural identity will work against you.

However difficult, painful, frightening, it is to tell your family about your discovery about who you are, trying to avoid your own truth will do you harm eventually.

One way to make this conversation easier for yourself is to prepare yourself for the outcomes you expect and know will be difficult.

Take as much time as you need to accept the potential rejection because this way iff and when it comes you will be better able to handle it.

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.
Lindsey Brooks, PhD Psychologist
Lindsey Brooks, PhD Psychologist
Progressive Therapy San Francisco

First of all, I want to say, I am so sorry you are not feeling accepted by your family. I know how  isolating and lonely this can be. The most important step you can take right now is building a community of supportive people who do accept you. Creating your own sense of community is very powerful for helping you love yourself. If you can find a trans support or LGBTQ support group in your area, I recommend seeking that out right away through your local LGBTQ center or PFLAG. If you don’t have access to that, I recommend calling Trans Lifeline US: 877-565-8860 Canada: 877-330-6366 https://www.translifeline.org/. You can talk to other trans-identified people anonymously for support, calling them from wherever you feel safe. This is a great way to begin to connect with other people who have similar experiences to you.


Next, think of this time in your life as your time to explore your gender identity, just for yourself. Make room to explore you gender identity in ways that are private and comfortable for you. Consider reading a book like: https://www.newharbinger.com/queer-and-transgender-resilience-workbook to explore who you are and build resilience. Also, consider learning about other religions that are accepting of LGBTQ folks for another perspective - there are many out there!


Once you feel you have a strong support system outside of your family and a positive sense of self-love (which can take time, be patient, don’t rush it), then you can consider what action steps you want to take with your family. If you are still living with your family or financially depend on them, having other supports in place first is very important. It’s a very personal choice how you want to navigate your family relationships, talk it through in-depth with a trusted friend, other trans folks, or therapist to help you decide what’s right for you.


And remember, there are tons of people out there who will love and accept you. We are rooting for you!

In solidarity,

-Lindsey

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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