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I don’t understand what I am. I identify as female but I don’t feel 100% female and I don’t feel like a male. I am really confused.

Dear M,

I’m so glad you reached out. It’s understandable that you would feel confused, especially given that most people are given a gender at birth and are socialized to be that gender and take on roles associated with that gender through childhood and into adulthood. What you expressed with regard to identifying as female but not feeling 100% female is completely normal. Some people identify as female, some identify as male, and some folks do not identify exclusively as male or female. Possibilities are endless when it comes to how a person identifies and expresses their gender. Since gender is a spectrum, there are many people who identify as both male and female or neither. For others gender can be fluid and they may feel more female at times and more male at other times. Ultimately, how you feel and how you self-identify, whether you choose to use labels or not, is what is important and can only be defined by you. Regardless of what gender you were assigned at birth, what is on your birth certificate and legal documents or how others perceive you, the only way others can know your gender is if you tell them.

It may be helpful to check out some local community or online resources and potentially connect with others with similar experiences. Here are a few that you might find useful:

www.TrevorSpace.org (if you are between the ages of 13 and 24)

https://www.uc.edu/lgbtq.html (LGBTQ Center in Cincinnati)

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