Like a failure.

Someone wrote…

When I was younger, I used to feel bad inside whenever someone mistook me for my parents’ son. These days, I feel bad inside whenever my parents emphasise that I am their daughter, to others.

Not because I want to be a boy, but because I feel like my gender representation has disappointed them. They brought me into this world expecting to dress me in skirts and heels and to have long hair. Even now, when I’m nearing 21, my mother will try and push feminine clothing onto me. I can see how distraught she is whenever I head towards the section my brother and father are in.

I feel like a failure. I feel like I killed their daughter.

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on July 5th, 2009 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 10 comments »

10 Responses to “Like a failure.”

  1. Sheik

    This. with some differences, but mostly this.


  2. genderkid

    Aw. I want to hug you.

    I often feel like I'm disappointing my parents, too. I try to believe that being whoever I am is the best way to appreciate the life they gave me. I hope that, eventually, they'll see that I'm happy. I wish that's enough to make them happy also.


  3. Francesca

    I think you're amazing.


  4. Krista

    They are doing you wrong by not accepting and enjoying who you are. You aren't the failure; they are failing as parents by making you feel this way.


  5. Moss

    Parents, especially your same sex parent, want you to be just like them and it always drives them batty when we aren't.


  6. Loop it

    My dad and grandmother often express half-open or sometimes blatant disappointment with my gender presentation (I'm female bodied, but present mostly in male style clothing). My mother is better – she got to explain to older relatives that the "boy" in the tuxedo at grandma's birthday was in fact her daughter, but she supports me fully.


  7. Vern

    Living up to a parent's expectations can often involve sacrificing part of one's true self. Within many cultures and communities offspring are regarded as status symbols and are expected to bring honor to their parents. To do so such children are expected to behave within certain traditional boundaries. Failing to do so tends to be seen as reflecting poorly upon the parents. A parent's ability to be accepted in such societies, maintaining close friend and family ties, can be adversely effected, by having offspring that do not conform to certain norms. Such parents can experience ostracism leading to much unhappiness within the communities they live in. Parents often instill a sense of guilt in their offspring that serves to make the offspring feel sad if they think their behavior is affecting the parent's happiness. As a result, the offspring often shift their behavior so as to not bring shame and ridicule upon their parents, even at the sacrifice of their own lives. Though parents may claim that they only had children for altruistic reasons, other factors may be at play.


  8. pythos

    Wow, this sounds just like the boat I am in.

    I am male, like being male, but like feminine forms of expression. I would like long hair, wear some makeup, and I love skirts and leggings. I despise Tuxedos, and the standard "male suit". I don't like jeans because they are one step from a societal uniform. But at the same time I tell no one how to appear, or act. But people, especially my mother always tell ME how to appear and act. Thing is, I do so. I don't want to sadden her. She would immediately jump to the conclusion her son is gay, or wants to be a woman. When in actuality I want to be me.

    Is that so much to ask?


  9. Brittany

    "When in actuality I want to be me."

    This. This, combined with the sense of disappointment coming from my mother (supported with voiced disapproval) is exactly what I am experiencing. I am one of five children, the only one who is female-bodied. I feel like my parents cling to me as "their one and only girl" and whenever I stray from this it slowly disassembles their hopes for me as their daughter. On the surface, they say they want whatever makes me happiest, but their idea of happiness is much greater than my idea of happiness.


  10. BfAM

    Thanks for the support, it's good to know that people can empathise with me, it's refreshing from the constant refrains of "why can't you dress like a girl?" "why can't you grow your hair?" "do you want to be a boy?".

    The problem is I can't discount myself for their happiness. I'd gladly sacrifice other aspects of my life, but not something as personal yet unimportant as my appearance. I am still their daughter after all, I answer to the same name and think the same way and say the same things, no matter if I'm wearing a pair of pants or a skirt. I wish they could see that.


Leave a Reply

Can I show your picture? If you have a Gravatar associated with this email address, it will be displayed as your photo. If not, I'll just put a picture of a fork next to your comment. Everybody likes forks.

Be nice. Judgmental comments will be quietly deleted and blacklisted. There's plenty of room for those elsewhere on the web.

For legal reasons, you must be age 13 or older to post a comment on Genderfork.

You can use some HTML tags for formatting, e.g. <em>...</em> for emphasis (italics) or <strong>...</strong> for strong emphasis (bold) or <a href="http://(url)">...</a> for links.

Back to top