"Biologically i am a female, but i don't really feel like a girl."

Question

I would like some information on gender neutral pronouns. I am not sure if i want to be refferred to as she or her anymore and would like some suggestions on better words. Biologically i am a female, but i don't really feel like a girl. But i don't think i feel like a boy either. I don't know what i feel like, but i know what i don't feel like if that makes sense. Also, i REALLY hate me chest area. Like, its too big. Well, its really not that large but i would love it if it could be totally flat. Is there anything i can do to make it flatter? Or look flatter? Can i maybe bind it? All suggestions are welcome. I wish i could have a gender neutral body. Thanks!

Answer from counsellor

Thank you for getting in touch with us to talk about this – it sounds like you’re having some thoughts about gender and how you want to present your gender to yourself and others. I think it’s really great that you’re exploring and reflecting on these things, as it can be a really great way to get more in touch with yourself and who you really are. J [Feeling hopeful that the process of thinking through all of this has been a positive one for you] Pronouns You asked about a few different things related to gender neutrality in your message, the first one being information on pronouns. [Thinking about how that’s a really great question to ask, and hoping I can share some information you find helpful] Different people connect to different pronouns when they are looking for something gender neutral, so it really depends on what feels like it ‘fits’ for you. Instead of she/her/hers or he/him/his some people feel more comfortable using they/them/their(s) or ze/hir/hir(s), and other people use other words that feel more authentic to them. In Vancouver, British Columbia, the school board actually had a discussion about this and decided to use the pronouns xe/xem/xyr in schools for individuals who don’t want to be identified by gendered pronouns. [Wondering how you feel about these options and if any jump out to you] There are lots of options for you to use [hopeful you find something that ‘fits’ for you] – it might mean doing some research online on your own and trying a few on (for example, asking a friend to refer to you using one specific set for a while) to see how they fit for you and if you feel comfortable with others referring to you that way. Your Body It also sounds like there is some discomfort with how your body looks and feels for you, in particular your chest. How long has this been bothering you for, I wonder? And how have you been dealing with it so far, what has been helping? [Curious] It sounds like you’ve given a lot of thought to this and have come up with some ideas of what you might want to try. [Thinking it is awesome that you’ve already thought of some options] One option you thought of was binding. How much do you know about binding, I wonder? It’s really important if you explore binding to make sure you’re doing it safely – binders should be purchased to fit properly and from reputable sources (if you aren’t in a city with trans-friendly shops you might have to look online) and binding should never be done with bandages. [Feeling worried you might try using bandages because they are easier to get but hoping you don’t do that as they could hurt you] Do you know anyone else who binds their chest who you could get more information from, I wonder? Or are you comfortable enough with your doctor to talk about this with them, to make sure you don’t accidentally hurt yourself? [Curious, hopeful] If not, what other options might help you to feel more comfortable with your chest and your body until you can get more support in finding a binder that works for you? Hm… I’m trying to think if I have any ideas… What about wearing a sports bra instead of a bra with underwire (if that’s what you wear now), or wearing looser shirts? Both will help with the illusion of having a smaller chest, if that’s what you’re looking for. In the bigger picture if you find long-term that your chest makes you really uncomfortable then you could consider breast reduction surgery, but that’s something to talk about with your doctor and which would take significant savings and time for healing. You said you want a ‘gender neutral body,’ and I wonder aside from your chest what that means for you… [Wishing we were talking about this on the phone so I could hear your perspective] How do you picture a person when you say gender neutral? Do you visualize a person with more male characteristics or do you feel gender neutral can incorporate feminine aspects, too? Different people present physically or visually as gender neutral in different ways and there is no one right way to do it – whatever feels right for you is fine. Resources [Realizing how long the message is getting but really wanting to share a few last things with you and hoping you don’t mind] There are a few resources I want to share with you that I think you might find helpful. The first is information about the LGBT Youthline which is a support line run by trained LGBTQ youth in Ontario (youthline.ca / 1-800-268-9688). If you have further questions about binding they might be able to answer some of them, though they aren’t doctors so they still can’t provide individual medical advice. I also found a booklet through Rainbow Health Ontario (rainbowhealthontario.ca) called “Trans Care Youth – Let’s talk trans” (rainbowhealthontario.ca/wp-content/uploads/woocommerce_uploads/2014/08/Youth%20issues.pdf) which includes things like how to explore your gender and gender presentation related to gender neutrality and how to come out to people in your life. I want to be clear that no matter how you identify, and no matter how you look or want to look, you are valid and your feelings and experiences are completely okay. [Sending feelings of acceptance and encouragement] You aren’t alone in feeling like this, and I hope that this message helps to answer some of the questions about all of this that were on your mind. When you get this message our Ask Us Online service will be closed, but I want to encourage you if you want to talk more about it to reach out to us by phone at 1-800-668-6868 or to reach out via Live Chat (kidshelpphone.ca/Teens/AskUsOnline/Chat-counselling.aspx). We’re here to support you, and you don’t need to go through figuring these things out on your own. J Take care!