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I feel different

Your sexuality and gender identity are part of who you are.

However you’re feeling, there is support available.

Lots of things make up your gender:

  • Your body, for example you might have male or female sex organs.
  • Your gender identity, how you feel about your gender.
  • Your gender expression, how you show your gender, like how you dress, walk or act.

For many young people, feeling unsure about gender for a while is part of growing up. But for trans or non-binary people, the feelings continue.

Gender identity

When we’re born people have to record whether we’re a boy or a girl. This is usually based on seeing whether we have male or female sex organs.

Being transgender or trans is when someone feels that their gender identity is different from the gender they were given at birth. Trans people might:

  • feel like they’re in the ‘wrong body’ and that their genitals don’t match how they feel
  • want to change their clothes to better match the gender they identify with
  • be scared about telling people about how they feel

Not everyone who’s trans wants to go from living as a boy to a girl (or the other way around). But some trans people might want to change things about themselves, such as how they look or parts of their body. It’s important to do what feels right for you.

Being non-binary means that you don’t identify as either male or female. Sometimes people might feel both male and female, or they might feel like they’re neither.

Coping with gender dysphoria

Gender dysphoria is a condition where someone is struggling or suffering because their gender identity and biological sex aren’t the same. This can start at a very young age and it can have a big effect on you. If you’re struggling with how you’re feeling there are ways to cope:

 

Visit your doctor

Your doctor can talk to you about ways to cope and what support is available; they might also refer you to a specialist.

 

Speak to an adult you trust

Sharing how you feel can be scary but it can help you to build your confidence and feel more able to express your gender.

 

Distract yourself

When things feel too difficult, you could listen to some music you enjoy, watch a video or play a game.

 

Express your feelings

Write down how you’re feeling, talk to a friend or create something.

 

Get support

Get support from people you trust, share your experiences on our message boards or find out about groups you can join.