I saw your site about Growing Up in the Lord. I'm a Christian, and I have a question: What do I do if I don't feel comfortable with being a boy? I see a lot of stuff about boys' puberty and it grosses me out. I'm at Tanner stage 2.9 according to your calculator. I didn't ask to be a boy. I hate going through the stuff boys go through, and I just feel it's not like me to eventually become a man. I think I'm transgender, and I'm very confused. Is it okay for me to be like this? And what should I do about the things I'm uncomfortable with, namely erections, ejaculation, deepening voice?
Thank you for your reply.
Let's start with a basic fact: There isn't a single person in this world who selected their gender prior to birth. They did not get to pick their parents or their siblings. Therefore, satisfaction with ones role in life is not dependent on being able to control all aspects of your life.
Both sexes have challenges when it comes to puberty. Girls have to deal with developing breasts, monthly periods of bleeding, and vaginal discharges. Boys deal with erections, dripping when sexually aroused, and ejaculations of semen. Neither set can be said to be better or worse, only different.
In reality, there are no transgenders. There are only people who are not content being who they are. Some will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to change how they look to the world, but studies have shown that in the end they remain just as unhappy. Worse, they experience increasing mental difficulties and have a 20-fold greater suicide rate compared to the general population [Paul McHugh, "Transgender Surgery Isn't the Solution," Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2014].
Interestingly, "When children who reported transgender feelings were tracked without medical or surgical treatment at both Vanderbilt University and London's Portman Clinic, 70%-80% of them spontaneously lost those feelings" [Paul McHugh, "Transgender Surgery Isn't the Solution," Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2014]. While there is dread facing things you've never experienced before, once those things are experienced, reality almost always reveals itself to be less difficult that you imagined them to be.
As a Christian, you should realize that God controls our lives. He doesn't make mistakes. There are reasons why God wanted you and I to be males. Acting like a small child, throwing a temper-tantrum and pouting only means you don't have much faith in the God who made you. "For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. our eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!" (Psalms 139:13-17).
As Paul learned, you need to find contentment within yourself, regardless of your environment, "for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content" (Philippians 4:11).
Thanks for the prompt reply!
I understand God doesn't make mistakes, and I do believe that everything He does is for a reason. So if I'm not transgender, which I really believe is true, I still need help dealing with feeling uncomfortable about my body. Is it possible that I'm just feeling uncomfortable about puberty? In church the boys are separated from the girls, and I don't really fancy going with the boys. I feel like I'm not one of them. That could also be because I'm usually alone and don't interact much with other people my age. I've been trying to be who I'm supposed to be, but I just can't imagine myself being a man. Do you have any advice on that? I forgot to mention my age: I'm 15.
Each person is unique in many ways; yet during the rapid changes of puberty, many teenagers desire to conformity. The result is often children taunting other children for the lest difference, even if that difference has to be made up. This isn't right, but it is necessary to understand the source.
I assume you are not rowdy like the other boys, which is perfectly fine. I suspect, though, you avoid interaction to avoid taunts. Perhaps you are developing later than the average, and isolation is a way of avoiding being noticed as different. The reason is not really all that important. What is important is to realize that you are a boy who is becoming a man in accordance with God's design for your life. You don't have to be like other boys to be a boy or a man. I say this from experience because I was (and still am) a "bookworm." I wasn't into most sports, I prefer reading. I enjoy artistic pursuits like painting, photography, and hand crafts. Yet, I'm a father of four great sons. I can thank my parents for teaching me that being different is perfectly fine. In fact, take a look at Matthew 7:13-14 and realize that conformity with the world is the real danger to any soul.
Do I assume you don't have a dad involved in your life?