Drawn to a brotherly bond

I hate being a girl. I’d rather hang with the guys. It’s starting to freak me out.

Our elder offers a helpful perspective on dealing with gender conflict.

Dear EWC:

Ok so… I hate being a girl but I’m scared to say it. I have two sisters and one brother, my brother being closer to my age. I feel I have a stronger bond with him than with my sisters. I just hate that I will never be able to achieve that brotherly bond with him since he thinks of me as a sister. I hate when he says I wish I had a brother… In my head I’m thinking I can be your brother!

Most of my cousins are boys and I love them so much like brothers. It hurts me that they have separated a little from me since I’m a “girl.” They all fight roughly with each other and I want to fight with them too. I just can’t hang with my girl cousins… So boring. Whenever I see men walking at school or anywhere I always stare at them. Not because I like them but because I’m jealous that they are male and I’m not. I always picture myself as my older brother in my head, it makes me feel better I guess… Ever since I went through puberty I’ve hated myself even more. I hate my boobs. I would get rid of them if it were that easy…. I kept my period a secret for a year because I was embarrassed. I’m sorry I talked for so long. I’m just so down in the dumps because I started really feeling this way like two years ago. The feeling just keeps getting stronger and it’s starting to freak me out. And sadly I don’t think being a fake male would do anything but idk what to think anymore.

Lloyd replies:

Hi there. I’m glad you took the time to reach out. I chose to respond to your letter because I could feel how much you are struggling with this issue and I hope I can help just a little.
I hope you know that you are not the only one who has conflicts with their biological gender. Like you, I think most folks are hesitant to share these feelings, so you might assume there aren’t any others that do, but that’s not the case. I do think that our culture is becoming more aware and tolerant of people who find themselves in the wrong body, with public figures like Chaz Bono and Caitlyn Jenner as examples.
I assume post-puberty means you are a teenager. So I think it is possible that over the next few years these feelings could change and you could become more comfortable as a girl. I also think it is a possibility that this isn’t going to clear up like a case of acne and you are going to have to find a way to come to terms with what you are or change into what you want to be.

You mention staring at men but ‘not because you like them.’ Are you sexually attracted to boys, girls, none of the above? Just knowing how you feel about that might help you figure out your path down the line. I have two thoughts. First, since you are probably years away from any possibility of gender reassignment surgery, I would like you to try your best to not fit yourself into a label as a boy or a girl. Again I think we are much more accepting of a gender spectrum vs. this is what a boy does/looks like and this is what a girl does/looks like. So why can’t you have boobs and still fight roughly? Can you find males who are comfortable hanging out with you as one of the guys? Can you see yourself towards the male end of the spectrum without throwing out the female parts altogether? I just want you to be able to get through your days without being in such turmoil and I think you might be able to achieve that if you don’t see the situation as so black and white.

You are very articulate and you’ve described your situation clearly. Honestly, this doesn’t sound like a phase to me and it really sounds like you need someone to talk to who will help you understand your feelings, support you, and give you guidance if at some point you want to change your gender identity. I really hope you make every effort to find a therapist in your community who can serve this role. I’m guessing that if you had a relationship with your parents where you could discuss this with them, you already would have, but if there’s anyway you can open up to them and ask for their assistance in getting you connected with a professional, that would be awesome. Depending on where you live there should be resources, perhaps even at no cost, for folks like you struggling with their identity. Google it!

I can’t say I know how you feel re: your gender role as I’ve not experienced these feelings myself. But I do know how it feels to think you are the odd girl/boy out and that there is a huge disconnect between who you are and who society says you should be. I’m glad you wrote into EWC, but I urge you to get ahead of this by finding a flesh-and-blood, sitting-across-from-you person to help so you’re not dealing with this on your own. I’m rooting for you.

Letter #: 452724
Category: Self-Improvement

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