Ask Sam letter


To Sam

I am a guy, I just don't look like one

Hiya Sam, I have a lot of problems in my life, I have depression and have self-harmed but I know where all of this stems from.
I am a male, well, I'm biologically a female but I don't feel like one at all. In my school every girl has to wear a skirt so of course I have to as well... But because I feel that I am a guy, wearing a skirt is so embarrassing and knowing that I can't be a male without telling someone so I can start the process of becoming a male in the terms of how I look just puts me down a whole lot.
I look around and see all the girls being happy in their skirts and hot pants in the holidays while I sit in my baggy jeans wearing a hoodie and sneakers, and I get jealous that they're happy with their gender and know that they are a female whilst I'm a male on the inside but on the outside is telling me lies, telling me that I should be a female even though I AM A MALE.
Every time I think about dating and my sexuality I think of myself as gay rather than straight or lesbian as, in my brain, I am a boy that loves another boy. Though to others, I'm straight, a girl that loves a boy. However when I think about telling others that in fact I am not straight I am gay, it just makes me think about what others might say and how they would react, being, very confused.
I haven't told anyone about how I feel despite my mother being very supportive of LGBT rights I still feel that somehow she might reject me or say that I'm stupid... I need to tell someone as not only does it make me feel restricted, it makes me hate myself for being this way, therefore I resorted to self-harm and started feeling depressed and incredibly low. I don't want to continue with being restricted and locked away, I don't want to hate myself every time I look in the mirror and see a girl standing there and not a boy.
Do you have any ideas on how I could tell someone, I need them quite a bit,
Thank you for any help, I hope you get to reply to this and thanks for taking the time to read this!
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you so much for writing to me about how difficult things are for you at the moment. From your letter I can hear just how alone you are feeling. To have written it all down as openly and as honestly as you have done to tell somebody for the first time takes so much bravery and courage, so well done.

It sounds like you really need some support and that’s okay, everybody needs support in their lives. You don’t have to feel alone with this. It sounds like you may be ready to take that first step in telling somebody which could open up the door for you getting the support you deserve. 

This support could be seeing somebody for some medical advice on the process of change. Support could also start at a local youth support group where you could meet young people who have similar experiences to you. This could help you reflect on what you would like for your future with the support of others.

I can hear that it’s very difficult for you to see other people feeling happy and free in what they are wearing. It sounds like this is very different to what you are experiencing. It’s really important to know that it’s okay to be the person you want to be. There are options and support out there for you.

Your sexuality is a natural part of who you are and it needs to sit comfortably with you. If you feel more comfortable understanding yourself as gay, a boy that loves other boys, then that is okay. 

You might find it useful to take a look at our transgender identity page. An organisation called Mermaids also offer support with gender identity. You might also find it helpful to look at the ChildLine message boards - it's a place where other young people share their similar experiences.

It was good to read that your mum is really supportive of LGBT rights and seems to have an understanding already. I’m wondering if the next step is about making that big, brave leap forward to having the conversation with your mum. You could write down what you want to tell her if that's easier for you. This can make her aware of how you are feeling. I’m also wondering if it’s the fear of not knowing what she will say that is making you think she may reject you. Perhaps you could ask yourself if she knew how difficult things were for you, would she want the opportunity to support you? Only you can answer that question but there is always a ChildLine counsellor who will listen and explore all these feelings and experiences when you feel ready. You can talk to a ChildLine counsellor at any time.

Take care,


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