Hi I am biologically male but have gender issues and confusion. All my life I felt something was “off” and felt very alienated and most of the time hated myself. I managed to come by though, I presented as a guy as much as I could, despite constantly second guessing my actions (“I wonder if I’m considered male enough if I do this?”). Despite liking girls I’ve always been a bit confused about my sexuality. Even though I jokingly identified myself as a lesbian female for a long part of my life, I realize now how true these feelings are.
I’ve never shown blatant transsexuality, I’ve never put make-up on, I’ve never dressed except in private (shamefully)… I used my penis normally. So I’m really confused if I can still be transsexual but not like makeup or feminine clothes like all the classic cases… it wouldn’t be “me”…
In the correct life for me, I’d have been a tomboy femme lesbian. I really HATE being male now, and I’m getting more and more depressed, almost suicidal
Thank you for contacting AlterHeros with your question. From what you’re telling me, I understand that you have some conflicting feelings with regard to gender issues and your sexuality. You also mention that in an ideal situation, you would be a male-to-female transsexual, but wouldn’t adhere to the socially perceived notions of femininity (i.e. wearing makeup and female clothing).
You are wondering if it is possible to be a transwoman, yet act as a tomboy at the same time. My short answer for you would be: Yes!
You can absolutely identify as a female while dressing in attire that you are comfortable in (not wearing makeup and women’s clothing like the ‘classic cases’). One’s gender identity does not dictate how one should dress or act. It is up to how you feel you can best express yourself and feel comfortable that matters.
You also feel that you could be a lesbian female, this is also very possible (and not unheard of) for transwomen. Similar to what I mentioned before, your gender identity (feeling male or feeling female) does not always predict sexual orientation (the physical, emotional and romantic attraction to others). Both of these concepts, gender identity and sexual orientation are independent of one another.
It sounds like you have a good idea of who you are and who you would like to be seen as. I hope to instill the idea that you have the right and perfect ability to express who you are in any way you see fit. While you have seen that there are a lot of “classic cases” of transsexuality that portray transwomen embracing femininity wholeheartedly, this does not mean that transwomen must follow society’s ideas and standards of how females are supposed to look and act. Transwomen have the same opportunity and freedom to express themselves as cisgendered* women do.
Exploring sexuality and gender is an emotional and complicated process. You’re expressing that you are feeling depressed–almost suicidal–about your discomfort in being male. Individuals who are experiencing similar conflicts to yours sometimes find it beneficial to visit a mental health professional or counsellor. These professionals can be found through various resources such as schools, clinics or phonebooks. Furthermore, some offer services that specifically cater to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered communities.
I hope I was able to alleviate some of your concerns that you have. Further questions for us here at AlterHeros are always welcome.
*Cisgender- a term used to describe an individual whose gender identity aligns with the gender assigned at birth.