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Dear Captain and Crew,

I am transgender, FtM, or at least that’s what I came out as several years ago. Since then, I have become increasingly isolated due to work, debt, and extremely debilitating mental illness. I’m doing my best to sort those things out (moving to a place where friends are, looking for a new therapist), but I don’t really know anyone who gets the trans stuff – I always have to be the teacher. So it’s hard for me to talk about my confusion, and my very pronounced internalized transphobia. 

I feel like a monster. Like even without all the mental illness, debt, and isolation, there is no way anyone could ever love me, because I’m trans. My family has been pretty good (and by good I mean awful) about reinforcing that trope.

I’ve spent a lot of time alone the last few years, and now, I’m not even sure if I am trans. Or maybe it’s just that the social cost of being trans outweighs the benefits of feeling more comfortable in my body. Does it matter what your gender is when you never leave the house? The impact of looking for housing while trans, applying for social assistance while trans… even just using public washrooms – I feel like it’s worn me down so much. So I can’t tell anymore if I’m not trans (and was wrong before…?) or if I just am so damn tired of how it feels to be trans in this world. 

I don’t know how to stop hating myself, and how to stop thinking of myself as unlovable when everything in this world seems to tell me that my name and my body and any discrepancies between them make me a freak who can’t function in the system. How can I imagine a future for myself? 

So I guess my question is – how can I tell what my gender is, when 99% of how I think of my gender and how I perform it, is centered around other people – around my safety and ability to navigate the world? How can I know what’s truly there underneath? (And does it even really matter?) And do you have any recommendations for dealing with internalized transphobia? I’m trying to read positive, feminist FtM stuff, but it mostly just makes me angry, because I don’t understand how they can all seem so happy. 

Thank you,
Trans?Phobic

Dear Trans?Tired,

Hey there, it’s Lt. Trans aka A. Raymond Johnson. I did something terrible and changed your name without permission, which isn’t cool since as trans people, we have to deal with being misgendered and misnamed all the time, so I apologize for that. But I needed to right away confirm and validate your feelings of being tired of being trans. That isht is indeed exhausting. And you seem to be in a particularly bad run of it right now.

I wore the HELL out of this record as a kid. This explains some things.

I wore the HELL out of this record as a kid. This explains some things.

I totally get feeling like a monster. Read More

Dear Captain Awkward,

First of all I’d like to say that I’m not even sure if this is a problem or if I’m just making problems up because clearly SOMETHING in my life has to be going wrong (I frequently second guess myself, but that’s a separate issue) but here goes anyway. I was born with a male body, but I’m not entirely sure that I was born with a male mind. It’s not always an issue, hell, a lot of the time I don’t even think about it, but when I do I realize that I may be happier if I were a girl. Part of me thinks that this may just be some sort of “grass is always greener” issue, and I’m suffering from the delusion of “well if this one thing were different all my problems would go away”, but I don’t really think it would solve everything, I think I just might be more comfortable in my own body that way.

I am currently 18 so I don’t know if this is just a body still changing I’ll settle in eventually thing blah blah blah HORMONES thing or not. I have talked briefly with my mother about it (she is an incredibly open minded woman, so this wasn’t TOO difficult, though there is still always going to be some sort of fear there) but the main thing I remember getting out of that is her wondering if I really should be female or if that is just the result of me growing up in such a liberal, open minded area and being receptive to the idea. I am certain that she would have no problem with me really being a girl if we knew for a fact that I should be, but that’s still not the answer I wanted from her (not that I know what I really did want). I guess what I’m asking is is there some way for me to figure this out? Am I just making extra problems for myself? Am I just looking for fantasy solutions to magically make me feel better (when in reality I would feel no different if it were the case)? Is it normal to be this on the fence about something like this? One last thing, I don’t feel extremely WRONG being male….. I just don’t feel entirely right, either.

Sincerely,
Dazed-and-Confused

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