Question: Afraid

A reader asks…

For a while now I have been getting more and more comfortable with myself the more masculine I allow myself to be, but I am afraid. I am afraid to analyze this and then realize that I will have to change my life and myself in order to be happy. What should I do?

Please post your response in the comments below.

» Ask Genderfork «

Posted by on July 1st, 2011 at 04:00 pm

Category: questions 8 comments »

8 Responses to “Question: Afraid”

  1. Anonymous

    Don’t worry about what is to come. Stay in your body now and enjoy the now. If the time is ever right, you’ll know what to do and by then you’ll either feel like you have ‘no choice’ or it’ll be the most natural, logical step to take. :)


  2. Fizz

    It sounds like you’re already unhappy–or at least discontent.

    I spent years gradually more aware of being in the situation you describe, and it wasn’t until about a month ago that I got up the guts to publicly change my gender label. The turning point came when I was about 3/4 done with the rough draft of a blog post about my gender expression. I’d written myself into a logical corner; there was nowhere for the post to go other than coming out. So I did.

    The final version wound up here, if reading someone else’s story would help. At some point I’ll post a followup about what it’s been like since then, but the short answer is: fabulous. Questioning my self-identity that much was terrifying, but it’s an immense relief to live in one that fits me better.

    Which is not to encourage you to do anything that doesn’t feel right for you. You never have to change any part of your life or self unless you want to. Be greedy: take on the identity-pieces you like, and don’t worry about the ones you don’t, even if someone else thinks they go together. There’s no hurry; you don’t owe it to anyone to make sure your gender flag is planted in the “right” place. You can explore as long as it takes for you to find it.

    It’s okay to be afraid. This is scary stuff. Just know that there are other people who’ve been there, and they’re rooting for you. :)


  3. Anonymous

    If it comes down to changing your body and your life in order to be happy… then why not be happy? Life is too short to spend it in regret.


  4. Kei

    I’ve spent the years since I was nine struggling with the same thing. Now, at eighteen, I identify more masculine. You’ll find that when you figure everything out and accept yourSELF for whatever you realize you are, you’ll have just built on who you are now.
    You’ll never have to change who you are if you are following what makes you most comfortable. If you don’t want to change who you are, you wont. Analyzing your identity will not change your personality or how you do things. Most likely, it will only change your outlook and make you content.
    Being caught without a solid identity is the most difficult. Finding who you are is the most reassuring.
    Good luck!


  5. InfinitySquared

    Your anxiety about changing things is normal. We’re all afraid of change. But your goal is to be happy, right?–so, you don’t have to change any faster than you want to. You don’t have to do any more than you feel comfortable with. Who cares if it takes ten years or even your whole life? For some of us, the nature of our identity is change.


  6. Jessica MacGilvray

    Life is all about change. Anyone who is alive has to negotiate changes in their life. When you choose what changes you will go through, you take risks. This can be intensely satisfying or intensely devastating. Be careful what you ask for… you may get it.

    My sister said to be when I was 15: “Well, you can;t have it now, and when you can have it, you won’t want it.”

    Take your time. Being in a hurry is a great way to make mistakes without being aware of it.


  7. Dani

    These decisions and changes are done slowly for a reason. My advice is to take your time and consider your steps, one step at a time. The comment from ‘anonymous’ above is spot on. Try to enjoy the here and now. If you are afraid then perhaps it is a sign that you aren’t ready to make changes yet or that the changes aren’t exactly right for you at this moment. Ask yourself, “What is the source of my fear?” When you find that source, you may find out why on the one hand you are comfortable with your increased masculinity and on the other afraid to look at what it really means for you. Are you really afraid of the changes you will need to make in your life or the losses that come with the change? How much are you willing to pay in friendships and family stress? Are you willing to lose everything for this and to start over again as someone new? Are you ready to let go of who you are and embrace a new you? It is confusing, which is why they recommend a counselor for people in transition. Its good to have someone to ask the questions we can’t ask ourselves. In any case, I’ve been down a similar road and had to make choices. I find that I’m comfortable in the middle ground between male and female. I’m happier here without the pressure to “go one way or the other” with my gender. Hopefully you’ll find your way and find a place on the gender spectrum where you can be happy too.


  8. Tempest

    You don’t have to change a thing about yourself. Just ride the tide and be yourself. Your self will change and grow as a person, and the best thing you can do is offer it love and support, even through the worst of times.


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