Message In A Bottle


I’m 14 years old and I live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with my Mom. I’ve been wanting to write this message to someone for a really long time, but never did because I’m scared of what will happen if I try to tell people how I feel. I’ve tried before a bunch of times, but nothing good ever happens and I just get sadder and sadder every time.

Even though I look like a boy on the outside, I’ve always felt like a girl inside. When I think of myself, it feels like I’m hiding who I really am so other people don’t make fun of me or say mean things. I try really hard not to think there is something wrong with me, but sometimes I just wish I wasn’t even alive.

Depression_02I’ve tried to tell my Mom how I feel, but I get too ashamed and scared of what might happen after I tell her so I just don’t say anything. It’s been like this for my whole life. There isn’t anyone I can talk to, so I’m writing it down now because I really hate my life and feel so lonely and sad most of the time.

When I was a little kid I knew I was a girl, but I don’t think I told anyone. I don’t know why I didn’t, but it probably wouldn’t have made any difference anyway because they would just think I’m crazy or something like that. When I was about 8 years old I started playing with my Mom’s makeup and stuff when she wasn’t around, but was always afraid I’d get caught so I tried to hide what I was doing.

Sometimes she would know I had been doing it and yell at me for it. I didn’t know what to do so I just told her she was wrong and that I wasn’t doing anything weird like that. I wished I could just tell her the truth, but I didn’t know how to explain my feelings and why I was doing girl things, even though I was a boy. I think she knew I was lying, but I just couldn’t tell the truth about it even though I wanted to.

Every Halloween I would say I wanted to go trick or treating dressed as a girl, and most of the time I got to do it. I was so happy then, I can’t even describe it. But I had to pretend it was just like any other costume that my friends were wearing and sometimes I even had to act like I wasn’t happy about being dressed as a girl, even though I really, really was.

I never wanted Halloween to end.

$_35Sometimes I would see stories in the grocery store newspapers about people getting sex change operations and that is how I feel most of the time, but it also makes me feel like a freak or sick because of the way they make fun of them. I never see anyone my age though and that makes me feel like there is something wrong with me.

Sometimes it’s confusing, because there are boy things I like to do, like baseball and football. I also like girls and even have a girlfriend. Her name is Nancy. I’m really happy when we’re together, but I never stop feeling like a girl inside.

Last year I decided I couldn’t take it anymore and I dressed up in my Mom’s clothes and went to see the doctors at the hospital. I had this book I found about people like me (they are called transsexuals) and it was written by a doctor. I thought maybe I could make them understand and they could explain it to my mother, but they didn’t understand either and just called my mother to come pick me up. They told her she was a bad parent and that I needed to have counseling or something.

Do you know what it feels like when everyone tells you that how you feel inside is wrong? When you just want them to try and understand and they make you feel like you are crazy or just ignore you? I’ve always felt this way but no one cares when I try to tell them, even though it’s a really scary thing to do. Why is it so bad to feel the way I do? Why does everyone hate me when I tell them how I feel?

I know there are people who think that how I am is OK, but everyone in my life seems to only want to listen to people who think that a boy feeling like a girl is sick or weird or perverted. I’m not that. I’m just me.

It hurts so bad and sometimes I just want to kill myself. I hate the way my body is changing, my voice and all that. It makes me feel like I’ll never get to be myself and that people will always make fun of me.

I can’t wait until I can do what I want and no one can stop me, but a lot of the time I just don’t think I can wait that long, or that it will be too late by then. People need to stop being so stupid about kids who are different or who feel different than they did when they were young.

It’s my life, not yours. Why can’t you just love me or even like me the way I am? Why does it matter so much to you? Can’t you see how much happier I would be if I can be myself?

I don’t feel like a bad person, but I think my Mom and other people think I am because I feel like a girl. I wish the world wasn’t so messed up.

I hope this makes sense to anyone who finds it.



About jennburleton

Jenn Burleton is the founder and executive director of TransActive Gender Center. An internationally recognized educator and authority on diverse gender identity in children, youth and adults, she is a passionate advocate for the civil and human rights of gender diverse and transgender children, adolescents, teens and their families. She lives in the Pacific Northwest United States with her partner of more than 30 years.
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