Question: Genderfluidity and help

dani(ela) asks…

hi, I don’t really know about how this website works or even if I’m using it correctly or not; it’s four in the morning and I’m trying to find help while my family’s asleep. But anyways, I’m thirteen years old and although my assigned gender/sex at birth was female I’ve recently come to terms with myself that I am genderfluid. I know that some of you will say “you’re too young to know” or that I still need time to figure myself out but, I know who I am.

I’ve told some of my closest friends, and most of them have been supportive. My biggest concern is my family though. I live in a lgtbq-phobic home and I’m honestly so terrified about coming out. I don’t know how, or when to do it. I don’t want to wait until I’m in my twenties or in the middle of college. I’m scared crapless of my family, honestly and I live in constant fear of them finding out and kicking me out.

I don’t own any ‘masculine’ clothes that I can wear and I’m just trying to find some ‘unisex’ clothes that my family won’t question. And I really don’t know what to call myself. I’m not a boy, nor a girl. I simply exist as I am and I just want someone that I can talk to about it.

I feel like a disappointment. I really really just want help, and maybe someone that can talk me through this. Please help me, anyone. I don’t know what to do or who to talk to.

Please post your response in the comments below.

» Ask Genderfork «

Posted by on September 25th, 2015 at 10:27 am

Category: questions 8 comments »

8 Responses to “Question: Genderfluidity and help”

  1. Adryrn

    I don’t think thirteen is too young to know one is genderfluid. Personally, when I look back at my views on gender at that age and my views now (eleven years later), the only major difference is the information I’ve acquired since then (that said, I’m agender, not genderfluid). And even if your gender did become less fluid (or more binary) after you’d aged, that wouldn’t invalidate what you feel now.

    As for the situation with your family, I can’t really offer much solid advice since my experience is pretty different from yours. Your fear is totally understandable, and I can definitely see where having to wait to tell them until you’re an adult would be unbearable. At the same time, based on what you’ve written here, waiting sounds like the safest option to me.

    Whatever you end up doing, know that any disappointment anyone might experience as a result of learning about your gender says far more about them than you. If you have a Tumblr account, feel free to PM me through there if you want to (you should be able to find my account by clicking on my name–make sure to mention this post so I recognize you ^^).


  2. David

    It’s great that you have some close friends that you can share this with. Maybe you can build off of that. For example, maybe one of your friends has a parent who is more open-minded than yours are. That could be a chance to get some adult perspectives and insights.

    Often the best way to solve difficult problems is to break them into smaller pieces. You might have to chip away at this for a long time.

    Adults who are intolerant of LGBTQ people often are also intolerant of other kinds of people (different race, income level, etc.). Perhaps you can come up with a little catch phrase to use when your parents make a racist/classist/etc remark. It is a gentle way of showing that your attitudes don’t mirror theirs. At first they may dig in and intensify their attitudes, but over a longer time it might push them toward being at least a tiny bit more open-minded.


  3. kaberett

    … oh Dani.

    Okay, so I started realising that “girl” wasn’t right when I was around your age. Massively LGBT+-phobic home likewise; my mum was raised Roman Catholic in a pretty rural area and my dad just… doesn’t actually have any excuse. I had a lot of screaming matches, a lot of not knowing what I was doing or what I was, and eventually I found words, and then I started binding and dressing more the way I wanted when I got to university, and now I’m 25 and I’m going to get referred for top surgery sometime in the next few months.

    I got lucky in that my mum’s come around, and uses the right pronouns and descriptors for me now (and of my parents she is very definitely the one I care about). I also got lucky in that my parents were pretty relaxed about letting me choose what to wear. I picked up a lot of shirts in charity shops, for example, and that was always mostly fine. (The first time my mum realised I was wearing suits not dresses for formal occasions was a bit sticky but she mostly got over herself rather than making an issue of it; again, I got lucky.)

    I’m genderqueer, and I exist, and I believe in you. If thrift-storing is something you can do, or if you can talk about practicality, or even if you can sell it to your parents as a modesty thing – that might be worth trying.

    So. Yeah. I don’t think you’re too young to know. I absolutely believe in you. & I am having a bad week for anxiety and social-brain, but — I am here, and I see you, and you are not alone.


  4. Anonymous

    Not too young. I had a growing awareness since I was a little kid and I also went through a couple of phases – one in middle school, one in college – trying to be more like a girl.
    There are definitely ways to dress more androgynously without giving your parents a red flag, which I understand you want to avoid since you’re only 13. A lot of girls’ clothes are so small and form fitting, so maybe try bigger t-shirts and flannels. Or if you can, try shopping for pants and shorts in the boys’ or men’s department, even at a thrift store. Baggy pants will look masculine, but slimmer cuts will present androgynous. Also sports bras.
    The media is full of images of stylish and beautiful cis women. I would encourage you to check out sites like this one to remind yourself that you can be beautiful and stylish as a genderfluid person.

    Remember that genderfluid AFAB people have always been around, even though the concept in our language is new. What was it like for them? I wish you the best and hope you find a nice internet forum to make friends on.


  5. Anonymous

    I don’t have any brilliant thoughts, but here’s a piece of practical advice in case you don’t already know it:

    clear your history after going on sites like this, but only for the past few hours. A totally clear history is suspect.


  6. Robin/Ross/Rosie

    <3 You are not too young! I am 15 years old, I am genderfluid, and I stand by you.
    Please be careful about parents finding you on sites like these, and only come out if you are safe. You are not alone.


  7. Peyday

    I’m just like you at the moment, and I don’t know if you’ll read this or even see it. But I want to find a way to contact you (social media, email, etc.) so I can privately speak to you, because I’m going through the same thing and I have no one to talk to, because most of my family was raised very religiously, and I can’t talk to them because I’m scared. I understand if you don’t want to contact me, I mean I am a random person on the Internet, but I would like for us to help each other. Right now the advice I could give is don’t come out until you’re ready, and you’re comfortable with people knowing (even if it’s years from now). I hope everything goes well and you stay brave.


  8. Anonymous

    This question is older but I was searching through the website and felt I needed to comment. Coming out to your family can be super terrifying, I remember when I first came to the realization that I wasn’t a girl I cried myself to sleep almost every day worrying about my moms reaction. With the advice from a few distant family members, I came to realize that no matter what my mom would say or do about it, I would be okay. I spent months and months building up the courage to tell my mom, when i finally told her she seemed to take it well, even though she is much less supportive now. She says some pretty hurtful things but I’ve been able to learn how to not take much offense to them…As long as you are in a safe environment, (which it’s really important that you are) you shouldn’t worry too much about the reactions of your friends and family. If they truly are there for you you’ll be able to work it out with them and they will understand. Otherwise, just know that you don’t have to stick with unsupportive family members forever. Coming out is super hard, but it’s worth it. It gets easier over time. Good luck to anyone and everyone who plans to come out to their loved ones, and for everyone who already has, good job and congratulations…. -B.D.


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