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You’re transgender (or trans) if your gender identity is different from the sex the doctor assigned you at birth. For example, you may be transgender if you were assigned male at birth and know you’re a woman. You also could be transgender if you were assigned male or female at birth and know that your gender identity isn’t man or woman. 

When will I know if I’m transgender?

Many people know their gender identity as young as age 2, but  others may not fully understand their gender until later in life. It’s OK not to know — or to be questioning —  at any age.

How can I figure out my gender identity?

Here are some things that may help you understand your gender identity, including whether you might be transgender and/or nonbinary.

  • Write or draw about how you feel on a regular basis. 
  • Notice if you experience gender dysphoria or gender euphoria. Do parts of your body, words, or ways people treat you feel good or bad?
  • Use a workbook  on exploring gender.
  • Read books, articles, and social media posts about people who have explored their gender, or meet them in person to ask about their experience with gender. Do their stories feel true for you, too?
  • Share with others. Talk about your gender identity with a close friend, family member, or teacher who you trust. 
  • Join a safe and welcoming group to share and ask about gender. See if your school has LGBTQ+ student groups, or if your community LGBTQ+ centers have support groups. A group that’s specifically for transgender people, nonbinary people, and people exploring their gender may be most helpful. 
  • Talk with a counselor or therapist who is familiar with and trusted by the trans community. 
  • Imagine what it might feel like to wear different clothes, use a different name or pronouns, or have changes happen to your body. What feelings, fears, or hopes come up when you imagine these things? 
  • Experiment in safe and interesting ways. You can explore your gender identity and gender expression with simple and temporary things, like trying out makeup, a new outfit, or a different name.

Am I the only one who feels this way?

No — you’re not the first person to ask questions about your gender identity, and you’re not alone. 

What if I’m struggling with my gender identity?

It can be hard to challenge gender norms. Go at your own pace, noticing how each change feels, and know that you deserve to be safe. 

Read more about cisnormativity and cissexism to understand why it’s hard to challenge gender norms. See our gender roles and stereotypes page.

Are you a teenager who wants support?

  • Q Chat Space hosts live chats where LGBTQ+ teens can give and receive support.

  • imi offers guides to help queer teens explore their identity and care for their mental health.

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