Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Why oh why ?

I am a fifteen year old , who for the first  14 yrs of their life lived as a female the sex I was assigned at birth , before I came out , I'd been looking into labels like gender queer , and transgender and so on, but when I was questioned I panicked and came out as transgender , which to some extent is true , I have lived as male for 7 months now and am so much happier than when I was  living full time as female , BUT, I feel as if I am both male and female and depending on how I'm feeling at the time I will present myself differently , like yesterday all I wanted was to dress as female , I even ordered a wig off the Internet !,and I wore knickers under my clothes but to day I'm dress full. 'Male ' and am quite happy about it, I've looked into terms to try and describe this but have failed to find any that describe me , I am seeing a gender psychologist at the Tavistock in London but I'm worried about  telling them in case it affects my treatment , I feel so lonely , like I don't belong in this world ,
thank you
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for writing and telling me what’s happening for you. It sounds like you’re unsure about your gender identity at the moment and that this is making you feel confused and isolated.

I can see that for the first 14 years of your life, you lived as a female, but that you came out as transgender recently and have been living as a male since then. It’s really great to hear that you’ve been feeling much happier since making that change. It sounds like coming out has been a mixed experience though. You said that you felt rushed you into giving yourself a label that you don’t feel is totally right for you.

You say you’ve spent time looking for a term that describes exactly how you feel, and it sounds like this is important to you. Labels can sometimes be a useful way of helping us understand who we are, but they can also be unhelpful too. For example, people often have fixed ideas on what someone with a specific label should be like. Having a label might stop us from expressing parts of ourselves that don’t “fit” with the label we’ve been given. Unfortunately we are often asked to say if we are male or female on a regular basis, so it can be hard not to have a “public” gender label. However, there is no reason why you need to rush to label the way you think of yourself when you are with friends and family.

You’ve mentioned that you’re getting support from a gender psychologist at the Tavistock in London, which sounds like a really positive step. I can hear that you’re worried about being completely open with them, but your psychologist should be on your side. Their job is to help you to get the best treatment for you, and they can only do that if they know exactly how you feel.

It sounds like you’ve been feeling really lonely, so it might help to look at the transgender board in our message boards, where other young people are talking about gender identity. You might also want to read the Transgender Identity page. Something else for you to consider would be contacting Gendered Intelligence or who provides support for young people who are exploring their gender identity.

You’ve taken a positive step in writing to me about this for the first time, and I really hope you can take another step to talk to a ChildLine counsellor in confidence. They can help you talk about how you feel, look at what you want to do and get the support you need.

Best wishes,



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