Annie's Mailbox: Forever Trapped
Dear Annie: I've lived my entire life feeling as though I was born the wrong gender. Transitioning is not an option. I was born female and look it. I would have a hard time passing as male. Also, I have heard nothing but horror stories regarding the surgery.
There appears to be resources galore for those changing from male to female, but everything I've read about my situation seems to assume I must be a lesbian. This is not the case. I am attracted to men. If I transitioned to male, I would be a gay man.
I'm not really sure what to call myself. Because I will not be transitioning, "transgender" doesn't fit, and "transvestite" doesn't cover it. I realize I am still a female, but I feel humiliated wearing dresses and skirts. I don't find anything sexy about women's clothing, as a transvestite might.
There seems to be no place in the LGBT community for my situation. My peers have told me that I am gay. Others say I will never find someone to love unless I become more "feminine." All of this indicates that my personality doesn't matter. I have done extensive therapy for bipolar disorder in the past, but it hasn't been helpful. One therapist actually told me my aversion to dresses means I had been sexually abused, even if I have no recollection of it.
I am on medication for bipolar disorder, but only recently have I admitted to myself that the root of my problem is probably my gender dysphoria. I wake up every morning disappointed that I am still trapped. Are there any resources for my specific dilemma? --
Dear Forever: We are sorry you have had so much difficulty finding support. There are several organizations that help the LGBT community. We also know that many surgical outcomes for transitioning female to male have been successful. You can find resources and information through The Community of LGBT Centers (LGBTCenters.org), the Human Rights Campaign and PFLAG, as well as GLAAD.org, femaletomale.org, ftmguide.org and the GLBT National Help Center.
Dear Annie: My breasts have very obvious veins visible near the surface of the skin. The left and right breasts have very different vein patterns.
My boyfriend says the veins should be symmetrical or nearly so. (My left breast is larger, but I don't see how that would affect the veins.) What should I do? -- Both Sides Now
Dear Both: According to our medical experts, there is no reason to be overly concerned. As one physician put it, "Breasts are sisters, not twins," meaning the size and vein patterns aren't symmetrical. Instead of letting your boyfriend diagnose you, please talk to your doctor about this.
Dear Annie: My heart went out to "Desperate for Answers," who said her parents compared her to her sibling, and she came up short.
In junior high, I felt inferior to my siblings because they got good grades, but no matter how much time I spent on my homework, my grades were never as good. I rarely saw them working at all, and here I was, trying so hard.
Years later, I discovered I was dyslexic, and reading was complicated and difficult for me. Also, when I was in the 9th grade, an observant science teacher told my parents I needed glasses. I thought everyone saw things the same way I did. I was shocked when I walked out of the optometrist's office.
"Desperate" should have her eyes checked and also see whether there are any hidden learning disabilities. It was too late for me when I made my discovery, but hopefully, it won't be too late for her. -- Been There, Done That
This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2015. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.