Question: Temporary Boy

Charlie asks…

I want to try being a boy for a while. Just to see if it’s really me. How do you even bring that up? Does anyone just have advice for me?

Please post your response in the comments below.

» Ask Genderfork «


Posted by on October 28th, 2010 at 04:00 pm

Category: faces 20 comments »

20 Responses to “Question: Temporary Boy”

  1. Juu

    I tried to do the same thing. I went to my close friend’s homecoming as a man. I asked her if she could address me with male pronouns and call me by my “boy name” for the night. Her friends who I had just met were very open-minded about it and played along as well. Others just assumed I was biologically male. If your friends are very close to you I’m sure they’ll understand. There’s not any right time to bring it up, to me at least. I brought it up randomly. It’s awkward to ask, but once you do it’s fairly easy from there. Hope this helped even in the slightest bit.

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  2. Edd

    You can do this without having to bring it up to anyone. Just get dressed, and go out. Take a walk around, start a conversation with someone, introduce yourself using a male name. You don’t need anyone’s support or permission to experiment with gender. Just try it.

    I did this on a trip to Canada when I was 21. Took a bus ride to go see some friends and presented myself as male. I passed sometimes, I didn’t others. Most people were respectful, nobody accosted me.

    If I may offer one more bit of advice, avoid using the bathroom or other segregated places until you’re sure what gender you are being read as.

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  3. Sam

    I hope someday I’ll see a child ask that of their parents an hear the response “Okay, honey, but you really must pick a name.”

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  4. kendall

    When I go into the city when I leave my own town, I make reservations to chinese buffets I make them under ‘kendall’ introduce myself as kenny, and bind to the max… I went to a party in the summer where only 2 of the 35 people knew me…I’m planning on going to another province for a few months to experiment. Charlie, are you able to get away from people for a little while?

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  5. Elle

    Try it, really try it, and accept the results for what they are. Worrying is for people who have too much invested in opinions. Try it, and find what you feel. You’ll never know who you are until you experiment with who you want to be. Everyone deserves to experience identity without shame.

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  6. Meike

    Definitely just go for it whenever the urge strikes you. Do you have any male friends? If you have any close guy friends who you can really count on, I’d suggest asking them to treat you as they’d treat any guy friend of theirs, to call you by your male name/male pronouns, etc.

    I would also suggest just going out to a less-familiar place and present yourself however you want to. I might take along a very close friend for moral support, but maybe that’s just me.

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  7. Jessica

    Just be yourself. Dress the way you feel comfortable. If people apply male pronouns to you, good. If they don’t, well so OK. Just be the man inside on the outside, too.

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  8. Nick

    This may sound like a cowards way out, but I started by just going on a vacation on my own, one of those group trips where lots of people go alone. I simple arrived presenting as male, and explaining to all those who asked my gender or called me ‘she’ that I was a transman.
    For me, it was the easiest gamble. If it hadn’t felt right, I could have easily gone back to my old life. As it turned out, that vacation was the first time ever that I felt like myself.

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    Jessica replied:

    Cool – I have visions of a trans cruise. What a wonderful idea.

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  9. J.D.

    I did that when I came to college. Before I moved in I bought an all-men’s wardrobe, got a haircut, and decided to see what happened. Ironically, the only person to figure me out at first glance was my now girlfriend (go figure). I had one friend of mine go for a week before he realized I have breasts (I don’t bind as of yet) and he was certainly in a state of shock. So really, if you’re just testing the waters, I recommend (as others have) just getting away for a while and trying it out amongst people who don’t have preconceived notions about your gender.

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    Meike replied:

    I actually really want to do this when I go to grad school, it’s been a dream of mine for years. Kudos to you!

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    J.D. replied:

    thanks, it worked out really well for me and helped figure out kind of where I’m at gender wise.

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  10. kendall

    Nick, that’s what I meant, get away for a bit, even an afternoon can do a world of good, but few days might be better, but its nice to get away.

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  11. Tommy

    Bind, cut/do something with your hair and go somewhere where there aren’t a lot of people who know you.

    I was a temporary boy when I went to the hairdresser, who thought I was cis, and for about an hour I could pretend to be just a “normal” guy. It was pretty liberating :)

    I’m also going to take a vacation from the people who know me as a female and stay in another city for like 4 days, living with a girl who knows of my trans status; nobody there except for her, her mother and another friend knows about my situation, so I’ll be able to relax for a while :)

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    J.D. replied:

    sounds like you’ve got a potentially really awesome little vacation coming up! Some friends and I did something like this a few weeks ago – we took a day trip to a mall in Pittsburgh and I got to be the typical boyfriend for the day (meaning I was the one who had to be drug out of the comic shop and the food court). It was a fun time. I hope yours works out great as well =)

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    Tommy replied:

    Thanks, I’m really looking forward to it! :)

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  12. claire

    in grade nine, i used to have “dude day” once a month. best time ever :)

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  13. Eli

    I wish I was brave enough to try being a boy. I don’t even have the guts to ask people to call me by my preferred nickname: Eli, instead of Elizabeth.

    I agree with most of the other commentators in that going somewhere where you don’t know the people for a day or two would be a good idea.

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    Jessica replied:

    Pleased to meet you, Eli. If I may be so bold, sir.

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    Kui replied:

    Eli,
    are you gonna try going on a trip? I’ve recently started exploring my gender and did not even think about this! it sounds really helpful, I’m definitely gonna try it out. I like the “dude day” idea.
    I wish you a deep and enriching exploration of yourself! wish me the same!

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