How can I stop feeling like this?
There isn’t really a “cure” for wanting to change your gender like this. The NHS and all the main counselling and psychotherapy organisations in the UK have all publicly announced there is no medical way to “cure” these feelings. Some people will claim to have a cure, but these treatments do not work, and can make things much worse for you.
The good news is that you will not always feel as bad as you do now. You can feel better by exploring your gender and working out what’s right for you.
Does it mean I am gay?
Having these sorts of feelings around your gender doesn’t necessarily mean anything when it comes to your sexuality. You might be gay, bi, ace, straight, or any other sort of sexual orientation.
There are a lot of stereotypes about gay men being feminine and lesbians being masculine. It’s important to understand that these are stereotypes, and while there are probably more gender-variant people in these communities than elsewhere, this is not a general rule. There are plenty of masculine gay men and feminine lesbians out there.
Our society tends to treat gender and sexuality as if they’re the same, but for many people this isn’t really true. You might find that you feel like your gender is an entirely separate thing from your sexuality, or that they’re closely intertwined. There’s no “right” way to think about these things, only what works for you.
If you are questioning your sexuality and need help working through these feelings, you could talk to a counsellor, or contact an LGBT+ helpline like Switchboard.
What if people think I am gay?
It’s gradually becoming more accepted to explore feelings around gender, though there’s still a way to go. People will always make assumptions about who you are based on how you look, but people who really know and care about you should realise that you can’t always judge a book by its cover.
What if I’m not sure?
It’s natural to feel uncertain about significant decisions in your life. But you don’t need to let that uncertainty rule your life. Experimentation is a natural part of finding out who you are, and it’s quite normal that you’ll make some mistakes along the way. Many of the things you can do are temporary and/or easily reversible, making them ideal for experimenting with. There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes.
Will anyone ever love me?
Everyone wants to be loved and accepted, and this is one of the reasons that changing things about ourselves can be so scary. Unfortunately, there are a lot of negative attitudes out there towards people who change their gender, and you might find that some people you thought were good friends or family have a negative reaction to your gender. However, there are also people out there who will love you all the more for who you are, rather than who they think you ought to be; it just might take a bit more work to find them.
It’s worth keeping in mind that people’s initial reaction can be very different to where they end up, and people can change views radically over time. Just because somebody initially rejects you for your gender, doesn’t mean they will always feel that way about you. If that happens, it’s up to you to decide if you want to reconcile things with them; you don’t have to just because they want to.
Errors and omissions
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