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How can you tell if you are a boy or a girl, or something else entirely?

210 Answers
Last Updated: 11/22/2020 at 7:58pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Melissa Hudson, MS Ed, PhD(c), LMFT

Marriage & Family Therapist

I work with clients of diverse backgrounds on a multitude of concerns. My approach is, at times, directive, yet always curious, nonjudgmental, collaborative, and validating.

Top Rated Answers
Anonymous
June 21st, 2015 4:37pm
Gender is really all in your head. If you identify as a boy or girl, you are a boy or girl. If you feel like you don't identify with either, you might be a different gender, be a mix of genders, or have no gender.
H0Tcocoa
June 21st, 2015 11:01pm
Based on personal experience, it depends pretty much entirely on how I'm feeling on any particular day, this is what they call Gender fluidity. Seeing as I spend every day identifying what gender I am, I guess I could be qualified to answer. Usually my clothing represent my gender, or just my general attitude. When I first get up in the morning is the time that I take time to identify, whatever you're yearning for in the morning is a helpful signifier as to your gender. This may not work for everyone, like I said, this is only how I happen to identify and do it myself. Like sometimes if I am identifying as a female, in the morning the first thing I want to do is wash my face, pick out some clothes and do a little bit of makeup, whereas usually when I identify as male I really want to eat and just start gaming or surfing the web. When I identify as genderless its a bit more complicated, I usually don't recognise it at first, I just do whatever I want, I don't feel the need to conform to a gender norm at the time. So I guess just paying attention to how you feel in the morning especially, seeing what you gravitate towards, what you really want, is a helpful way to identify. Hopefully someone finds this helpful.
Anxedo
June 22nd, 2015 2:31am
This isn't something you can take an online quiz for. This is something you feel. Gender is a spectrum. It is what you want to be identified as. What pronouns you want people to refer to you. He/she/they/etc. Now gender expression is a different story. It is also a spectrum which goes from masculine to androgynous to feminine. You could be a boy who loves dresses but still wants to be referred to as a boy. Or vice versa. You could be neither gender and rather dress androgynous-like. That's all okay. You know you best. However you decide to express yourself is on you. No one should tell you how to dress/define YOUR body.
DrummerGuy
June 24th, 2015 6:21am
You can tell your a boy/girl/else when you feel you are in your mind, emotion and everyday life it may take time to realize you feel this way or you may know from when you we're little.
Anonymous
June 24th, 2015 6:23am
To me, I feel that I can identify my own gender based on what I am most comfortable being when I look inside my mind and my heart.
JessaaLee
June 24th, 2015 11:17am
Nobody but yourself can tell you exactly what your gender identity is, and it may take you a while to figure out an identity that you feel that you fit with. There are a load of super helpful resources out there that can assist you if you're questioning your gender identity, such as gendercentre.org.au (an Australian based organisation aiming to help transgender and gender questioning individuals). Just remember, you aren't required to fit any labels if you don't want to, and your experiences are completely valid no matter what negativity might come your way.
Anonymous
June 24th, 2015 2:33pm
by the way that you feel. just because you look male or female or have the body of either gender does not mean you are supposed to be that way. it's entirely based on how you feel
MostColorfulHello
June 25th, 2015 1:16am
It's about looking inside of your own heart. This is YOUR life to live, and as long as you are happy, healthy and enjoying life - what you are is just a title for the entire being.
caringParadise45
June 25th, 2015 4:35am
Usually genitalia is the main source to identify your gender. However this does not fit for everybody, since genitalia does not automatically means gender. Do some research on transexual persons and those who have disorders of sexual development. At the end of the day what matters most is the person not the label we put on.
GiveInToPeace
June 25th, 2015 6:44am
Usually, if they don't introduce themselves, I don't make any assumptions at first. I just guide the conversation keeping both genders in mind, for either case. Once the ice is broken, they will start to open up and reveal more about their situation, and their relations, or they will start using specific pronouns.
Anonymous
June 25th, 2015 7:02am
My personal experience on how to tell if you are a boy or girl or something else is quite limited but I say go with what your heart says. If you associate more with being a boy go ahead and do you or if you're a girl go and get your stuff on c: If you are something else entirely I applaud you because you are unique and that's all anyone can ask from minus your happiness.
Anonymous
June 25th, 2015 5:53pm
Follow your heart and experiment, cometimes gender can be a fluid thing. It is often confusing, don't rush to put a term on it
WarmOceann
June 25th, 2015 8:38pm
This is hard to put into words, but sometimes its very hard to 'know' what you are, boy, girl or something else. I personally truelly believe and support the 'something else entirely', as I do not subscribe to the gender binary for all people. Some people are 100% comfortable with their gender identity and/or expression. Some people are less sure, some people never decide and are ok with that as well. Not a 'something else', third gender or hybrid but instead choosing to remain fluid. There are alot of options here as I feel gender identity and/or expression can also be viewed on a dynamic spectrum. I also support the idea that for 'most' people gender identity 'settles down' a bit for people growing up through puberty and the young adult years. And like sexual orientation and attraction or lack thereof can change as the person matures. I just gave a complicated answer that could be paraphrased by the following: It depends on the person.
AllLGBTpopes
June 26th, 2015 3:00am
It's completely psychological. Whether you assosiate yourself with being female or male. You can be biologically one of the two genders, but you are what you think of yourself as.
Ewaanmuurphyy
June 26th, 2015 4:20am
You will know you gender whenever you feel like a man or a woman or.... hell be a toaster as long as you're with who you are nothing should stand in your way.
Anonymous
June 26th, 2015 3:10pm
This is a difficult question to answer because it's hard to explain exactly how gender feels, because society generally accepts that there are masculine females and feminine males so you can't really base it off of being a "tomboy" or being "effeminate". For me personally, as something else entirely (genderqueer/agender) I just don't feel like a male body would feel right and neither will a female body so I'm just floating somewhere in the middle most of the time.
CardinalHearts
June 26th, 2015 4:08pm
Try looking up the different genders and their definitions. It can be really hard to figure out, so don't get upset if you find one thing you identify as and then another.
stumblingghost621
June 26th, 2015 6:37pm
In my opinion, gender is something made up by society. Judge what you identify yourself with by your own gut feelings. You know yourself better than anyone else.
BeAwesomeUK
June 26th, 2015 10:22pm
It's how you lead your life and what feels right to you. It's who you want to be and how you want to be known.
SquishyRaspberries
June 27th, 2015 5:06am
It's hard to know for sure unless you do a lot of thinking on the subject. It may take months or years before you feel comfortable enough to give your gender identity a label. Some people know right away if they feel like a boy or a girl, but for others it takes a lot of soul-searching.
EnessenLove
June 27th, 2015 9:50am
This is a tough one, but it should start with the question of whether or not you'd like to define yourself. Whatever feels the most secure will always be the best decision for an individual.
Rebecca
June 27th, 2015 4:28pm
This is a really good question, so thanks for asking this! It's also a really difficult question to answer, because there isn't really a concrete answer. Figuring out who you are, and how you want to identify can be a really long journey of self-exploration. A lot of the time, "experimentation" can help a lot. If you want to, go into one of the support rooms and introduce yourself as a member of the opposite gender, or someone who is non-binary/gender-fluid. See how it feels to be known as someone of a different gender than the one you currently identify as, and that could help you to figure this out. You could also do some research on how other people discover their gender identities. Look up what other people define themselves as, and see if anything resonates with you. This can be a really long journey, but a really rewarding one too, because finally figuring out who you are is such a beautiful, freeing experience. I wish you the best of luck, and remember that if at any time during your journey you need support, that you connect with a listener! You aren't alone in this! :)
AcornCactus
June 27th, 2015 8:05pm
Um, well, gender non-conforming is a huge thing, and it definitely isn't binary. Personally, I think it has to expression and the way you feel about yourself.see yourself. I mean. I'm demi-girl, so while I accept she/her pronouns, I don't let them define me, and as my aesthetic is generally androgynous, I totally wouldn't mind people mistaking me for a guy
KKGunner
June 28th, 2015 6:53am
That varies for everyone. Generally by how much physical dysphoria you have. Or by how it feels when others perceive and treat you as a certain gender(e.g. if someone calls you a boy and you dislike it, you're probs not a boy.) Or by how you think about yourself. (e.g. if you think of yourself as a girl on an intellectual level but feel emotionally uncomfortable with that label, you're probs not a girl.) Also, someone who isn't female or male is called a nonbinary person. There are many identities within the nonbinary umbrella and between all genders, and it isn't unknown for people to make their own personal genders.
Frankie9
June 28th, 2015 8:34am
Whatever you feel inside. Maybe you dont just wake up and think thats it Im a boy, but youll notice how you wont like to wear dresses, skirts, makeup, long hair, etc. Of course those are all stereotypes, but if you feel it inside youll know.
BubblyDoll
June 28th, 2015 7:50pm
It is all up to you. Think about yourself and try to understand how you feel about your gender. Do you feel girl, boy? Maybe demigirl or demiboy? Maybe agender? Genderfluid? There are tons of possibilities but in the end it is your choice.
Ieatkrogans
June 28th, 2015 7:58pm
You need to reflect on which idea makes you more happy: being a girl or a boy, and even then you don't need to decide immediately. Try on different identities until you find the one that makes you most happy and then keep until you've found a better one.
Anonymous
July 1st, 2015 1:44am
There is no need to put pressure on yourself or set deadlines for figuring out who you are. Don't be afraid to explore things outside of the "gender box" you were assigned at birth. I would suggest learning more about gender identity as well. You could be a boy, girl, both, neither, or something in between. Isn't gender fun?!
Klovek
July 1st, 2015 6:23am
You should really just take your time discovering yourself and don't be in a rush to label yourself. If you are having trouble just have a time were you are just what you feel and don't worry about having a name for your gender just be you. This type of thing can work itself out in time. Maybe even try different haircuts too, this might help yourself find an identity and don't be scared to cut it short. Hair always grows back! Goodluck guys ^_^
DarkestBeforeDawn
July 1st, 2015 11:13am
Just go with the flow. There is such an emphasis on a binary , but gender and expression can be fluid.