Question: Genderfluid help

asks…

So like, I’m a 13 year old genderfluid person, and I’ve recently come out to my parents, but I feel like they aren’t really helping me adapt, and are more or less just waiting for this to pass.
It’s really hurtful, and when I asked to get a binder, I was rejected, which especially hurt me. I live in a small town, so there isn’t any kind of help group around here that I can talk to, meaning the only place I can turn to is online.
Is there anything I can do to
1) help my parents understand, and
2) help myself adapt to this new lifestyle?

Please post your response in the comments below.

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Posted by on December 21st, 2013 at 08:00 am

Category: questions 6 comments »

6 Responses to “Question: Genderfluid help”

  1. Callista

    I gotta say, I feel your pain. This kind of suckitude shouldn’t have to happen to anyone, let alone someone who’s 13.

    I’m asexual and a bit genderqueer, and my mom still thinks it’s a phase and asexuality doesn’t really exist. I’m 30.

    So, yeah, it’s entirely possible that they’ll think it’s a phase for you when you’re 30, too. I hope it won’t be, because some parents really do come around and start supporting their kids, but it’s possible.

    Give them time. Try to be respectful and kind to your parents, without giving in and denying who you are. Maybe they’ll come around. After all, you’re their child and they’ve spent so long loving you that it’s probably a habit by now. Me, with my mom… well, I live a few states away. That’s just the way things have to be. It’s not the end of the world.

    As for the “lifestyle”… there’s really no set thing. There shouldn’t be; I mean, the whole queer thing encompasses all the people who aren’t cis and hetero, and that’s a whole lot of different ways to be. Be yourself. It’s okay to stay in the closet; it’s okay to come out to everybody you know. Sometimes, we have to do those things because it’s just safer that way.

    By the way, I wonder if a sports bra plus an ace bandage might work as a makeshift binder? Not as comfortable as a proper one, but it should work in a pinch. If you’re any good at sewing, you might be able to make your own.

    Working on the assumption that you’re a person with boobs, I’d say things are a little safer for you socially than for someone who is read as male, since a “female” who is wearing “male” clothing won’t face as much stigma as the other way around, since mainstream cis women can wear pants, suits, and even ties, and many clothes made for males are also worn by females. But it does come with its own problems because they may still think of you as “female” even if you are completely dressed and presenting as male that day. Please don’t let that get to you. You are who you are, no matter who they think you are.

    Try stuff. Have fun. Be you. Let them think what they like.

    [Reply]

  2. Alex

    Callista, I like your response to the person who posted.

    To the person who posed the question, PLEASE don’t use an ACE bandage. Sports bras and binders are specifically made to only bind breasts, meaning the soft tissue. ACE bandages tighten indiscriminately. That means they can tighten pushing your ribs toward your lungs. This can cause major problems and I’m guessing you’re still growing.

    If that’s your only option, please do so sparingly, and not very tightly. Otherwise you can look for sports bras which are made specifically for running, so they’re a bit tighter and can act as a binder, depending on your size.

    [Reply]

    Callista replied:

    I didn’t know that could be a problem. It’s always worked for me when I’m having a male-ish day; but then I am big on comfort and really tight anything is not something I could wear for long. I’m more androgynous than genderfluid, so I’m usually comfortable with just the sports bra anyway.

    But yes, physical health is important :) If it makes you sore or restricts your movement or makes things go numb, it’s probably not a good idea…

    [Reply]

  3. Mel

    Hey there! Just a few words of wisdom from my own past to share. Both my parents have never really “got it”. I am 30 years old myself and my mom still thinks I should just be what she wanted me to be.
    When I was growing up there were few people that even knew what to call it let alone deal with with growing up a non-cis child. I never really knew why I was so unhappy even till I was older and learned about it all.
    Try and read all you can, Reading about others and how they deal and learn to live life will help a great deal.
    As for the binding I would say save up and buy a nice compression bra/sports bra, you can double up the sports bras too.
    But like others have said parents may or may not ever believe you. Be understanding and patient it’s not an easy thing to grasp and accept for many.

    [Reply]

  4. Wren

    You can initiate talks with them. It sounds as though they don’t take you very seriously, and that’s frankly because they are ignorant. Expose them to what you see, what you feel. Don’t be afraid to talk about how you see the world. They are doing what they believe is best for you, and if you can convince them that this isn’t just a phase, then hey, that’s really cool.
    Even if they say or do something that upsets you, don’t lash out. Inform them later that they upset you and tell them why it upset you. Hopefully they will be receptive to your feelings at least.
    The more information you can give them, the better chance you’ll have of being accepted 100% for who you are.
    Maybe start by asking them – what makes a person a man? what makes a person a woman? let them know you don’t find that you like these boundaries and that you are still you.

    [Reply]

  5. Anonymous

    Speaking from previous experience (i’m gender-fluid and 14) I’ve learnt that wearing a sports bra and then putting one over it but backwards. It doesn’t make you fully flat but it makes it look like pecks instead of boobs. you can even wear a sports bra (you can double it), a tight muscular shirt, and then putting your shirt over it. do NOT use ace bandages, it is extremely bad for your health. Also when wearing multiple sports bra’s or anything else to bind with make sure you can BREATHE. if you can’t take a deep breath without hurting, or if its leaving you bruises do NOT wear it. you can also lessen the amount of sports bra’s you have on. Hope this helps!

    [Reply]


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