Advice – How do I talk to my mum about my gender questioning?
I’m fifteen and I can’t talk to my mom about my insecurity with my gender. I’ve only felt this way for three years and it’s got stronger over time, but, I want to be a guy. Sometimes, I can’t even look at myself in the mirror because I don’t want to believe the body is mine. I have large breasts but have tried binding them nonetheless – an epic fail. I’ve been really depressed about this for a while and my mom is even sending me to a therapist, but he’s weird and hard to talk to, ’cause there’s no way he could understand and he would probably think it was dangerous to myself and tell my mom.
I can’t tell my mom because she would say it’s just a phase, like she did when I told her I was bi (I am perfectly okay with being in a relationship with a girl if I like her and I can definitely look at girls and find them attractive, but I prefer guys, definitely). I’m also afraid she won’t take me seriously.
I really have tried to talk to her, when she told me that my back hurt because of my breasts and that maybe when I’m older I should get a breast reduction. I’m not concerned about the lower half of my body because it doesn’t affect the way I look, and I doubt anyone would ever know the distance until I was 18 and could get surgery.
I’m also concerned that it really is just a phase and I’m being silly, but I really do almost cry about it when I think about it.
Are these concerns unfounded? Is it a phase? Should I talk to my therapist even though he’s a creep? Most of all, how do I talk to my mom?
Love, Anonymous Me xxx
The Mookychick answer to your problem
First of all let me say that I am sorry for what you have been going through, being fifteen is hard enough in this day and age! You have stated that you have felt insecurity with your gender for three years now, which mean that you have felt confused and insecure since you were twelve years old. My first thought was this is around the same time your body is going through a multitude of changes and going through the next phase of maturing. This is hard to come to terms with as some people develop earlier than others and even faster than others. If you feel your breasts are giving you discomfort and are too large for your body then I would suggest visiting your GP for further advice.
You have also stated that your mum has sent you to see a therapist. It is their role not to judge you but to listen to you and help you with your problems – that is their job, after all. However, if you feel more comfortable in talking to another therapist, perhaps try sourcing a woman therapist since – as you said – there’s no way he could understand. There is no harm in asking for another therapist if you feel you are able to open up more. All information between you and your therapist is confidential and will not go beyond that, unless they think you are at harm.
You sound like you and your mum are close, for example you openly told your mum about your sexuality. However, because of the response you got from telling your mum this, you feel you are unable to tell her other problems that you are going through. I believe it is in your best interest to either talk to your mum, or if you feel your mum will not take you seriously, then talk to your therapist even more. If you choose to do the latter, I believe that once you are able to talk to your mum and tell her your conversations with your therapist (up to you) then she may be able to see the seriousness of the issue at hand.
I do believe it would be good if you did try and talk to your mum (or someone close to you that you feel comfortable to open up to). You can do this by making sure that she knows you want to have a serious chat with her so that she is able to have free time and there are no interruptions. If you feel you cannot talk to her in person, then writing a letter is a good way of getting your feelings down. Your mum will be able to read the letter and hopefully come to terms with what you are trying to say and understand how you might be feeling. If you would like more professional advice, then consider seeing another therapist that you are able to open up to and tell your worries to, as what you are going through must be causing you high levels of stress, anxiety and frustration and this needs to be addressed.