In high school, I considered myself gay because I was in a male body and was attracted to boys. I come from small town in Indiana, where it seemed like everyone was straight and in a relationship. I was often the oddball left alone at the end of the night. I never had any sexual experiences with girls. My first hookup was junior year of high school, with a boy from a different town who played football. We gave each other head. For the first time, I felt worthy. To have this boy hold me, to have a physical connection with someone, made me feel so normal.
1. Daliah, a 36-year-old woman who began her transition at age 25
I had to fall in love with my vagina
Also known as sex change or gender reassignment surgery, sex reassignment surgery is a procedure that changes genital organs from one gender to another. In both cases, technical considerations favor successful conversion to a female rather than a male. Newborns with ambiguous organs will almost always be assigned to the female gender unless the penis is at least an inch long. Whatever their chromosomes, they are much more likely to be socially well adjusted as females, even if they cannot have children. Reliable statistics are extremely difficult to obtain. Many sexual reassignment procedures are conducted in private facilities that are not subject to reporting requirements. Sexual reassignment surgery is often conducted outside of the United States. The number of gender reassignment procedures conducted in the United States each year is estimated at between and
Illustration by Eleanor Doughty. Matt didn't know it was possible for a girl to have a dick before the model pictured in his Hustler -esque mag drew seven inches. She had slipped in unannounced between the magazine's other, more typical spreads. His stroke quickened, sticking with sweat in his Brooklyn bedroom while a worrying thought knocked in his skull : Did it mean he was gay? I met Matt in his home, thirty years after that fateful day in his teenage bedroom. His name has been changed to maintain anonymity.
Some people may not identify with any of these labels, and that is OK too. It also is possible to not feel any sexual attraction. This sometimes is described as being asexual. Gender identity is your sense of being male, female, or somewhere in between. This identity may or may not correspond to the sex you were assigned at birth. Gender identity is not the same thing as sexual orientation. Most people are told they are a boy or a girl male or female based on the genitals they were born with. This is the sex you are assigned at birth. For some people, that male or female label may not feel right.