Help! I feel confused about who I am? Boy or girl or other?
If you feel confused about your gender identity, you’re not alone. Most people identify with the gender they are born with, ie male or female, boy or girl. Yet, some people experience uncomfortable feelings around their gender (gender dysphoria) and feel that their gender identity is different from the physical make up of their body.
You may feel you are a boy, a girl, or even use a different word or label but have the physical body of a different sex. This can be very upsetting and scary for some people, particularly as they go through puberty. For some people these feelings pass, for others they don’t.
Many people who feel this way identify with the term transgender (or trans for short), which comes from the Latin ‘trans’ meaning ‘across or to cross over’. Some people identify as non-binary without considering themselves transgender, and some people adopt other labels like agender (not having a gender), bigender (having two genders) or genderfluid (having a gender that changes over time).
It can be distressing when people use words or treat you in a way that doesn’t align with how you perceive yourself to be – for instance referring to you as a boy when you feel you are a girl. These feelings of distress about the difference between your physical body and what you feel can be very upsetting, though not everyone will experience them.
Such feelings can have an impact on your emotional wellbeing or even your mental health. However, being transgender is not a mental health condition itself – it is an identity. If you do have a concern about your mental health, it’s important to talk to a trusted adult such as a parent, or your GP or a teacher who will be able to support you and help you find out more about what you are experiencing - check out where you go to talk to someone in your local area here.
The Kite Trust is available to support all LGBTQ+ young people under 25 in Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and surrounding areas – this includes those who are trans, non-binary or questioning their gender. If you have questions about your sexuality or gender identity and would like to speak to someone, you can get in touch via their website. They offer individual support from a youth worker, social groups you can attend, and other events where you can get to know other LGBTQ+ young people in the area. They also offer a Parents and Carers Group for the parents and carers of trans, non-binary, and gender questioning young people. Visit www.thekitetrust.org.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01223 369508.
National information and support on gender identity:
- has lots of information for young people on exploring identity - click on their logo or here.
to contact them for a chat, find out how to do this here.