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ConfusedPurpleLemon    

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I've been sort of questioning my own identity and what I should do for a long time now, probably almost a year. 

I have a very strong feeling that I may be non-binary. I don't like the way my chest feels, or having an appearance that people just automatically think of as "female". Looking at photos of myself sometimes feels like looking at a stranger. I had multiple dreams where I was a different version of myself, and when I woke up, I wanted to be like that so strongly that I couldn't breathe. Thoughts like being able to cut my hair and get surgery make me feel like I've just eaten a whole slice of cake. (Is there a word for this? I have no idea.)

There isn't even a gender-neutral pronoun in my native language, just he, she, and it. My parents are also strict, and I had to wait for two years (at least) to cut my hair. I don't know if I can ever tell them about anything, even when I'm an adult. It's just so difficult to make them understand anything, even my own feelings.

My sister is ten years older than me (she's an adult) and I thought she was quite progressive at first. She has at least one trans friend. However, I was in a conversation with her once about genders (I didn't tell her anything yet), and she said something that was along the lines of "I can understand if a boy wants to be a girl or a girl wants to be a boy, but some of this is unbelievable. Some people think that they're rocks or objects, and some people believe that they're neither male nor female." Based on this, I'm pretty sure she wouldn't be the most accepting if I told her.

My friends have also been acting odd about LGBTQ+-related stuff, so I don't know if I can tell them either. Even if I could, I'm not sure I would feel safe discussing this with them because rumors are being spread around almost every day.

I'm still confused about all of this. How do I figure out my identity? How can I get anyone to understand? I have so many questions, but I guess that's just part of growing up. (sorry for the infodumping, this is prob long and hard to read)

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Hi @ConfusedPurpleLemon,

Welcome to Ditch the Label! Happy to have us here with us 😊 I'm Ducke and I'm one of the support mentors. Thank you for sharing this.

Episode 4 Nbc GIF by Brooklyn Nine-Nine

It sounds like your identity is really affecting you and has been for a long time. It is OK to take your time and to explore what your identity means to you and how you wish to express said identity.  It is so hard when you feel there isn't enough understanding and compassion in your surroundings and I'm really sorry to hear that you don't feel like you could talk to your parents or sister about this. Not having a name for a non-binary gender doesn't help either, I reckon, because it says a lot about how accepting people around you will be. It sounds like you could really benefit from some outside perspective on coming out as non-binary and maybe even join some discussion forums. We have an LGBTQIA+ club here that you may wish to join - 

 

It can also be helpful to read people's coming out stories on various social media channels. It doesn't mean you have to come out or anything, but rather to feel that connection and to be a part of a nurturing discussion without judgement. How does that sound?

 

 

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3 hours ago, ConfusedPurpleLemon said:

I've been sort of questioning my own identity and what I should do for a long time now, probably almost a year. 

I have a very strong feeling that I may be non-binary. I don't like the way my chest feels, or having an appearance that people just automatically think of as "female". Looking at photos of myself sometimes feels like looking at a stranger. I had multiple dreams where I was a different version of myself, and when I woke up, I wanted to be like that so strongly that I couldn't breathe. Thoughts like being able to cut my hair and get surgery make me feel like I've just eaten a whole slice of cake. (Is there a word for this? I have no idea.)

There isn't even a gender-neutral pronoun in my native language, just he, she, and it. My parents are also strict, and I had to wait for two years (at least) to cut my hair. I don't know if I can ever tell them about anything, even when I'm an adult. It's just so difficult to make them understand anything, even my own feelings.

My sister is ten years older than me (she's an adult) and I thought she was quite progressive at first. She has at least one trans friend. However, I was in a conversation with her once about genders (I didn't tell her anything yet), and she said something that was along the lines of "I can understand if a boy wants to be a girl or a girl wants to be a boy, but some of this is unbelievable. Some people think that they're rocks or objects, and some people believe that they're neither male nor female." Based on this, I'm pretty sure she wouldn't be the most accepting if I told her.

My friends have also been acting odd about LGBTQ+-related stuff, so I don't know if I can tell them either. Even if I could, I'm not sure I would feel safe discussing this with them because rumors are being spread around almost every day.

I'm still confused about all of this. How do I figure out my identity? How can I get anyone to understand? I have so many questions, but I guess that's just part of growing up. (sorry for the infodumping, this is prob long and hard to read)

Hey, @ConfusedPurpleLemon

There is a word for that, yeah. If you feel like your body doesn't feel right to you in a 'wrong gender' kind of way, that is gender dysphoria. When you think about being able to alter your appearance to fit you better, that'd be gender euphoria. They're pretty common experiences that have led people to discover gender identity, so there is some good evidence that you're right about feeling non-binary

It sucks that there isn't a gender-neutral pronoun in your native language, and it also sucks that your parents can't understand your feelings

That was undoubtedly a difficult conversation, yeah? The thing is, sometimes, people don't have a good understanding of things, and that causes them to make ignorant comments, Sometimes this opinion can change if a loved one around them comes out, and they're forced to try and reconsider why they have those opinions on it. 

How do you figure out your identity? Time. Find places where you can use something like a preferred name without people who know you hearing (like here). Mentally call things you feel comfortable with.

How do you get people to understand? Educate them. Pose yourself first as ignorant or as an ally so you can ask questions and give answers. 

I'm here to help answer any questions you may have. It is a part of growing up, but that means that a lot of us have gone through it

 

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