A Teen Wonders, Am I Trans?

A teen wonders about being FTM.

Questioning Your Identity

Day to day experiences that many people take for granted can get confusing when you have questions about your gender identity. 

As one young person wrote into the site:

"For a while now I've wanted to be a boy. I look at this FTM blog, and I feel jealous of those guys. They're talking about getting T [testosterone] and doing surgery, and all that stuff. I ordered a binder, but it hasn't gotten here yet. I bound yesterday for a bit, and I was so excited. I looked almost like a boy. I really want to tell my mom that I want to be a boy. But I'm nervous to. I want the shots and stuff. But then I start thinking that what if I don't want to be a guy? Like, if it is just a phase or something. I've been confused about it lately.

What this teen is going through does sound confusing. But it is also totally normal!

How to Answer Tough Questions

These questions are super personal and the only person who can really answer them is the individual who is questioning. 

What Does it Mean to Transition

Transitioning refers to going through the process of changing genders. Some people really want to begin the process as a teen. And some studies have actually found that adolescents who start the process as tees can often have an easier time than people who start the process of transitioning as adults. But this doesn't meant this is the right journey for everyone.

The Thing About Hormones

A lot of people hold off on taking medication while they are questioning and one thing no one should ever do is take anything without a prescription. This can be tempting for teens who want to transition but who don't feel they can do so.

But going that route is very dangerous.

Using a friend's hormones or buying them on the street are really bad ideas.

First, you never really know what you are getting when you buy anything on the street. Also, using more hormones than a doctor would prescribe can kill you. Plus, a teen might have an underlying medical condition that could make hormone use dangerous to begin with.

And of course, if you share needles to inject anything, you are running the risk of contracting infections including HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Bringing in Adults

Though talking to a parent can be nerve wracking, a supportive parent can make all the difference in the world! Having a sense of how a parent might react can help a teen decide if sharing their questions on gender is a good idea.

If a teen senses that a parent will react badly, then they might want to think of another adult they can talk to. Some teens confide in a therapist. It can be particularly helpful to talk to a LGBT-friendly counselor who is trained in gender issues.

If at all possible, it would be great if teens who are considering transitioning had supportive health care providers.  The local LGBT Community Center can help connect teens to good services and service providers.

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Being a teen is tough. Being a trans with questions about gender can make things that much more complicated. But one thing to keep in mind is that everyday there is more and more support available and while it might seem like everything has to happen in a hurry, taking time to figure out some answers can be really helpful in the long run!