Someone wrote…

I’m a non-binary faab teen and I’m having a lot of trouble with puberty. I wish I could accept my body the way it is and just be my awesome queer self in it, but I can’t and I feel guilty about it. I don’t like labels very much, but I guess transmasculine genderqueer fits the best (quite a mouthful though haha).

I’m like a very feminine guyish kind of person, and even though I’ll always be that no matter what I look like, I have this inexplicable discordance with what I see and what feels right. For example, I love dresses, but when I put one on and look in the mirror all I can think is, “Damn that’s a hot girl, but it’s not ME.”
Any thoughts or advice?

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on October 30th, 2013 at 08:00 am

Category: questions 4 comments »

4 Responses to “Puberty”

  1. Callista

    Hmm… You like dresses, but not femininity. What about wearing the masculine versions of them, like kilts or robes? Or you could wear a skirt plus a shirt and tie. Mixing up your gender signals can be an interesting way to invent your own style; or you could simply wear gender neutral clothing that doesn’t send signals of either type.

    Yeah, puberty sucks. Most people don’t feel quite at home in a body that’s changing so rapidly, but it’s worse if your body changes in ways that don’t match your identity. Some of what you’re feeling is probably the discomfort that even cis teens feel–some of it is unique to non-binary types. For me, it was the boobs that annoyed me the most; they always get in the way. I highly recommend sports bras; they make ’em a bit smaller and stop them bouncing around and being so annoying. Or you could just bind, I guess, but I never found that particularly comfortable.

    You know, just experiment. Try different stuff. If it doesn’t work, you can always try other stuff. And if you feel really bad, find yourself a queer-friendly counselor to talk to; they’re not just for people with mental illness, but also for people who are simply having a rough time. If you’re genderqueer and going through puberty, you probably are having a rough time; it might help to talk about it. Or if you’re still keeping it under wraps, you could at least journal. Password-protected computer files are best for secrecy, and name them something boring to keep snoopers out.


  2. Bee

    I feel the same way, and I sort of loosely identify as “non-binary butch” or “androgynous.”

    I still get a pang when I pass shop windows in the spring and the sundresses are all out. Every single time I think, “It’s probably fine, just buy one and put it on, you’ll be so pretty,” and then I do, and when I look in the mirror it’s like I disappear. I don’t know how else to explain it. I’m like a vampire, I have no reflection. It gives me cold chills.

    I’ve settled for wearing men’s clothing in bright colors and floral patterns, and that seems to do it for me.

    I don’t have any advice, just wanted to say you’re not weird or anything.


  3. Anonymous

    Like another person said, it might help to get one that isn’t traditionally feminine, not just in style but in shape — maybe you or someone could custom sew one that fits but doesn’t emphasize curves. The custom aspect can help you to express your gender or lack thereof if you want, like sewing in patches that say “gender: non-binary” or whatever; I don’t know, just a thought.


  4. Anonymous

    One thing which has helped me…(I’m faab and nonbinary…pretty feminine in expression)…has been to try and reclaim my body in gender terms. I am pretty well past puberty, but I have tried to accept and appreciate (still working on the latter) parts of my body…especially parts which give me dysphoria. I also try to see them as being inherently genderqueer, as opposed to “biologically female”…because they aren’t. They are mine…and I am nonbinary…so thus, they are nonbinary. It’s harder to do than say, but I am slowly coming to see myself more as me, and that makes dressing easier.


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