I’m looking for some help with some issues I have about my gender, but my parents cannot afford therapy sessions. I’ve been at least queer ever since I was about eight and it got to the point around when I was eleven to where I thought that I should have been a girl and that being a guy was not who I am. I started having dreams about being a girl and dressing as one. By the time I was like thirteen I really wanted to see what is was like dressing as a girl, but never got an opportunity since my mom’s clothes were really big on me so I gave up on that. It was pretty stressful with moving around from place to place and school to school since my dad is in the military and I was pretty alone and shy. I looked at girls almost longingly and really wanted to be one. Everything about my body feels wrong except my weight and my eyes, I hate body hair it’s repulsive, I hate how scraggily I look and my physique. I hate my private part more than anything, it’s revolting and I hate looking at it. I started taking less and less showers too because I hated looking at my body and I felt so repulsive. Eighth grade came around at a new school again in LA and I remember my friend saying that I would be a really good looking girl if I was born that way and I remember feeling so sad because I wanted to be beautiful and I wanted to be like any other girl in the world, but that I would never be able to. I kept it a secret from my parents until last year and they thought it was just a stage I was going through and they still do because I never bring it to their attention since they push it aside and refuse to help me. I really need advice from a specialist please help…
Thank you so much for reaching out to the YouthLine. It sounds like you are in a lot of pain, and the conflict between your body and your mind has you feeling really depressed and lost. To say that what you are dealing with is difficult would be a huge understatement. Right now it may seem impossible to look beyond today, but the fact that you reached out for help shows how strong you are, and we know that if you don’t give up on yourself, and your desire to feel like you belong in your skin, it will get better. Your body doesn’t fit with how you feel about yourself, but you are very aware of WHO you are. Your clarity, conviction and strength are such valuable tools for this road that you have ahead of you. Hold onto them, and use them to make your future what you want it to be.
We encourage you to use this same strength that led you to the YouthLine website, and take it one step further by reaching out to a local LGBTQ center in Olympia. Stonewall Youth is a wonderful program located in downtown Olympia. We feel that one of the most helpful things you can do right now is go somewhere you can surround yourself with people who can share in what you are dealing with. They offer FREE support groups, retreats, and even a Rock and Roll Camp! Their address is 203 4th Ave E # 516, Olympia, WA, and their intake phone number is 360-705-2738 (it says on their website that in order to take part in any of their services you have to go through a quick intake procedure).
As for the long term, it is very important that you find a way to get into some form of mental health counseling. You said in your email that your dad is active in the military, and though we would need more specifics to be sure, that probably makes you eligible for military provided health insurance (possibly TRICARE). It may not be easy, but it would definitely be worth asking your parents to see if you are covered by some form of affordable mental health services. Keep in mind that while you will need your parents’ permission to use their insurance, you are 16 and that means that you have the right to keep everything you talk to your counselor about confidential. A couple of examples of mental health services in your area that you could bring to the conversation with your parents are:
Sea Mar CHC – Tumwater Behavioral Health Center
-They offer mental health assessments and individual therapy. They accept private insurance AND out of pocket payment.
Thurston County Mental Health
We imagine that the people at Stonewall can also be helpful with coming up with some creative ways to make services available to you.
We wish you the best of luck. Please keep our phone number (1-877-968-8491) and our texting number (text “teen2teen” to 66746) with you in case you ever need someone to talk to.