This monologue was written for anyone and everyone who is still struggling with their identity, or who can’t express how they want to out of fear. While I did some editing and rearranging (with the person’s consent), this piece was written and submitted anonymously.

I was 11. My nephew had just been born, and my sister and I were going on a walk because she wanted a break from the baby. She has always been the kind of person that will talk your ear off about her problems, if you let her. Out of nowhere, she starts to rant about how she would accept my nephew for who he is if he was gay or bi or trans or whatever. Then she stopped, she stopped walking, stopped talking. I stopped with her because I was nervous. She looked down at me, and said, “Y’know, I can’t figure you out. Do you like guys or girls?” I was really scared because no one who had ever asked me that. I had just figured out that girls could like girls, and I realized that I did. I wasn’t broken. So, I looked her in the eye, and said as bravely as I could, “Kinda both.”

I was 14. I had a crush on one of my best friends. I had come out to my friends earlier that year, and they were accepting. But the whole, “just don’t have a crush on me” was a thing. I was sitting with my dad in the living room. I was on the floor, doing homework. I had been scared to tell him anything. But I had to tell someone. I looked at him, and I can’t remember how but I came out to him as bisexual. He was mostly accepting, but then he was constantly asking me if I had a crush on anyone. Eventually, I realized that I wasn’t bisexual, but I kept my dad informed. I told him that I was bisexual, pansexual, OH SHIT, I’m actually asexual. He was understanding on most, except for asexual. He is still of the mind that it is just a phase, and I will find someone who I just want to be with, physically. He is still constantly asking me, “Are you gay?” The answer is, I am neither physically attracted to males or females, but I am romantically attracted to women or people who are not extremely masculine. I have had crushes on guys. I am not just “gay,” though it is easier to say than “asexual polyromantic.”

I was 16.  My girlfriend and I had been together for 3 months. I still had not come out to my mother. I was sure that I was falling for my girlfriend, and I was getting tired of hiding from my mom. It was January 31st, my three-month anniversary. We were sitting in the living room and eating dinner. We were having steak for dinner, on the fine china. I couldn’t eat because I was so anxious. I put my plate down, and came out to my mom. The first thing she said after I stopped talking was, “Are you still happy being a girl?” I went upstairs and cried as hard as I could. I went over to the stairs, and sat down to see if I could hear my mom’s reaction, because who doesn’t eavesdrop on their parents? She asked my dad, “Does asexual mean that she can have sex with anyone?” She still to this day, tells me “Oh, when you have a husband…” or “when you have kids….” And it hurts me.

I was 15 going on 16. I had told my dad that I had a girlfriend. One night, he walked into my room, and asked me “Are you the male or the female?” I was scared because at the time, I wasn’t out about my gender with him. I had thought that I was doing well at hiding my identity. My initial response was to come clean, to seek acceptance from him, “Sometimes I feel male, and sometimes I feel more female.” He was taken aback, and said, “No, I meant are you the more dominant…?” I blushed and told him that we switched roles. I felt awkward because at the time I had identified as genderfluid, and I had tried to come out to him, and he essentially rejected it. I was angry because neither of us were the male because we were both “women.” Neither of us identified as female, but that’s beside the point. I was confused because when it came to my sexuality, he was accepting, for the most part.

My dad constantly tells me, “You are a beautiful young woman, you should be proud of your curves.” My mom does not understand the differences in gender identity. I tried once, to ask if I could get a binder. He said no. He constantly tells me that I am a woman, that I will always be his little girl. But the problem is, I am not a girl. I exist kind of in the middle, and I fluctuate between the binary. Sometimes, I want to wear a binder, and guy shorts. Other days I want to run around in a dress. But I never feel truly male or truly female. I always feel a little bit of both. I guess it has always been this way, I have always been the friend dressing up as the prince to “marry” my friends. I was always the girl in the flowery dress chasing the boys through the mud and up the playground equipment. At the time, I didn’t realize that I was different. Now I do, and I am confident-ish in myself, and how I present. But I am still terrified of telling my parents because I love them. I don’t want to lose them because they would misunderstand. So, in regards to my gender, I will remain forever in the closet.

My ex now identifies as a demi-boy, and wants to transition. I now identify as bigender. All I want is a binder. I don’t want to make any permanent changes to my body. I hate my period, I hate that the hormones that precede it make me feel more masculine, and that when it comes, I am forced to remember that I was assigned female. I do not want a penis. I occasionally like my breasts. I occasionally love my curves, and my hips. I just want to look like whatever I feel in the moment.

To this day, I will not come out to my family with my gender. I’m still scared of what they will think of me. Scared that they’ll play it off as just another phase.

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