When we start to realize the ‘outside doesn’t match the inside’
There are differences between sex, sexuality and gender; we will try to explain these differences in an ‘easy’ way to understand. Gender is sometimes considered the same as sex, which is whether you are born a female or male.
Yet gender is more to do with other things like our appearance and cultural things like whether or not you use the girls or guys toilets, sporting teams or the way were told how guys and girls should behave.
Sex on the other hand is all about genitalia (male or female body parts), hormones, and chromosomes. And sexuality is all about our attractions to other people, for example lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or heterosexual.
Transgender is the word we use when, the sex we are born with doesn’t match the gender we feel on the inside of our bodies. And that’s what we are going to start talking about here, what might be happening for us if we are questioning our sex and gender!
“… even when I was younger I used to dream about being a girl, I would be in girls clothes and I’d have long hair, and I’d just be playing with other girls …”
From the time we are little our families, friends and society define us mostly by our “outside” gender, and never question that again. Our little bodies grow and develop the same way everyone else’s does, according to whether it’s female or male, yet for us this is really hard because inside our minds and bodies we know and feel that what’s on the ‘outside’ isn’t the same ‘inside’.
“I’d wear girls clothes under the clothes I had to wear, cause it made me feel good, it felt like what I was meant to be doing”
When we start to realise there is a difference between our inside and outside gender, it can be a really hard and confusing time in our life. It can leave us feeling scared, sad, confused and angry, no matter how old you are. It can be so confusing that there may be times that you’ve wondered if you are a cross-dresser, or drag queen or king, while trying to work out what is happening. Or maybe even a lesbian or a gay guy, getting sexuality confused with gender.
“From the time I was about 9 my mum and other people use to tease me and call me ‘gay’, they kept doing it all the time and when I started high school it got worse, eventually I just thought I must be gay, because I didn’t know what else to call myself … about a year and half ago, I was talking to some gay guy’s and that’s when I worked it out … Gay guys don’t want to be girls, their happy being guy’s they just like being a bit feminine, It was then that I worked out every one was wrong,
and I can’t be gay …”
Being transgender is not a choice – it is a medical condition, actually it’s medical term is called Gender Dysphoria, which basically means there is a mismatch between inside gender and outside gender. It is not a ‘sickness, and has nothing to do with your physical health’.
“… I just didn’t feel right wearing it (a dress). It was then that I realized that I, as a person, won’t be changing, just my body.”
Some of the hardest times can be when our bodies start to develop and grow, which makes puberty difficult, and you find yourself wanting to hide your breasts, penis, facial hair and the development of the more physical aspects of the male or female’s body. The want or need to disguise the visual and physical traits of the sex you know yourself not be, is ok and completely normal, for some.
“.. it gets to the point were you know you can’t stop your girlie urges any more and they have to come out. …it’s horrible I have to wear heaps of pairs of undies, trying to hide what’s down there (penis)…”