I don’t fell comfortable with my body, not in a self esteem sort of way more of it doesn’t feel right. - JFCS of Greater Philadelphia

Dear Ally,


I don’t fell comfortable with my body, not in a self esteem sort of way more of it doesn’t feel right.

I don’t like how it’s relatively obvious to tell that I’m biologically girl and sometimes I find myself liking when others use they/them pronouns when referencing me. Yet I’m also not that I’m uncomfortable with she/her pronouns. It’s just that they/them feels, I don’t know natural??? Again I really don’t feel uncomfortable with she/her, it the pronoun I’ve used for so long and it doesn’t feel icky or wrong but neither does they/them.

I don’t know if any of this makes sense and I just would really appreciate anything that could help me since I don’t really know anyone knowledgeable enough I could comfortably speak with it

-E


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A

Dear E –

I’m grateful that you reached out to me. It’s so important to get support when you’re struggling, and asking for help is the best first step.

What you’re experiencing is very common. There’s a myth that the only way to be transgender or gender non-conforming is to experience gender dysphoria (discomfort or distress when you think about the body/gender that you were assigned at birth). That’s not true! Lots of transgender or gender non-conforming folks don’t experience gender dysphoria, but they do experience gender euphoria (comfort or joy when you think about yourself as the gender that you identify with).

You don’t have to feel uncomfortable with she/her pronouns to want to use they/them pronouns. Just because she/her doesn’t feel icky or wrong doesn’t mean that it’s the right fit for you. Imagine that someone offered you two options for lunch, one that’s just “fine”, and one that’s extremely tasty and nutritious. You’d go for the one you wanted more!

It’s tough for a lot of folks to acknowledge that they can do things that bring you joy. If you don’t feel like a girl, and being referred to as non-binary (neither a boy nor a girl) is a good fit for you, then you’re allowed and encouraged to do the things that make you feel good.

I’d love to suggest that you find a community of other people with similar experiences to you; either in person (a school GSA or a local LGBTQ youth group) or online (something like TrevorSpace).

Here are a few links that might be helpful to you:

TrevorSpace – an online social network specifically for LGBTQ young people.
The Non-Binary Wiki – a crowd-sourced website full of information about non-binary identities

And always feel free to reach back out to ask me any other questions. I’m happy to help.

Your friend,

Ally



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