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I'm confused, and it's not helping my mental health

Community Member

Hi everyone,

My name's Jack, I'm 14, and it seems like I have Asperger's syndrome, mental illness, and some slightly fuzzy gender identity and sexuality forming three corners of the same triangle. Lately, I've pretty much started to identify as something along the lines of an agender demisexual - still figuring it out a bit, but that's the best I've found so far. I've also had what I think might be lifelong dysthymia develop into depression recently, not so much as a result of this stuff, but it's not helping. Asperger's has something of a tendency to make life a struggle, as well as one of its core features being that you don't conform to social norms, gender or otherwise.

I guess I've never felt masculine, but didn't pay that much attention to it until I discovered the non-binary world, which resonated with me immediately. I'm just really confused by the whole thing. I feel lonely and forced to conform as it is without having all this on top of it. Although some of my friends are sort of non-binary as well. I've actually had one of them say that she identifies as agender, although it's not a big deal with her (I'll go with that pronoun for now). There's another who doesn't really seem to pay much attention to gender identity, but isn't girly, has short hair, wears "boy" clothes, and sort of just does whatever she feels like without paying attention to gender norms. I sort of tend to feel mostly like a girl, but then I think of (forgive me if I'm stereotyping) gossip, fashion, makeup, Taylor Swift, etc., and I think... maybe not. Although I feel no less out of place with boys, which, I can tell you, when you're can't work in teams, have no hand-eye coordination, aren't interested in sport at all, and are agender, makes gender split PE classes at school... painful.

Then there's whole thing with being demisexual. I guess I seem a bit less obsessed with sex and boyfriend/girlfriends stuff than a lot of people my age. I wonder if part of it stems from a bad experience with a first crush. We were never in a relationship, but everyone found out I liked her, people gave me a really hard time about it, I still feel guilty about making things hard for her, and I'm now scared of falling in love, plus I don't trust people anymore. To me emotional connection and personality is way more important than looks.

Any suggestions? I don't know who I am, what to do, or how to cope with this in the midst of everything else going on in my head right now.


1 Reply 1

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Jack,

Nice to see you here. My best suggestion is to follow your heart and be yourself, because when anyone does that they are beautiful and talented, and someone others want to be around.

Once a long time ago I did something really silly. I decided to give myself one last chance to be straight and normal. It didn't work and I wasn't a very happy camper. Over time, and it does take time, I figured out what was comfortable for me.

So what fits? I never was much good at masculine but did get involved in team sport because I had no choice, yes I found it painful too, but then did what I always do and found a way of making the best of the situation, it gave me a chance to look at and be with the boys.

I suspect confining to two genders is just not a good enough description and that there are many ways of being boy or girl. You can do boy/girl in your own way. That is the point of genderqueer for me - I found my own way, mostly agender. If you feel like a girl that is fine, there are loads of ways people deal with that. You know about trans people, I found that didn't feel right for me, some of my friends had no choice. Do you need to express what is on the inside? if so, find a way. Perhaps one of the girls you know will help with nails if you want. Friends are good that way. Cloths can be closer to what you feel or neutral, you have some control over that.

Do you get the bullies being idiots? What do they go on about? Got any good ways of dealing with them?

You said, "To me emotional connection and personality is way more important than looks." I really like that. It is a cliché, but one day you will meet someone who will have feelings for you too. It seems to happen to me when I am not expecting or have given up - so I rarely notice that the other person likes me even though I have the biggest crush ever on them.

So dealing with all that and the other stuff that you have going on in your head. Yep, sounds full on:

  • I give myself time to think by going on walks, riding the bike, taking the long way home.
  • I do creative stuff like drawing, writing, painting.
  • I get into the garden, plant, prune, mow the grass.
  • I spend time with people who get me, or at least don't hassle.
  • And I use the internet to explore all the crazy ideas and stuff in my head, see what others think.

I'll finish with a big question, who would you like to be? If you were that what would I notice?