Gender Identity

I was born a boy, but sometimes I wish I was a girl.

What is gender?

Gender is a feeling you have about yourself. Whether you feel more like a boy
or a girl.

What about my body?

Sex is the type of body you are born with. Boys are born with a penis and girls are born with a vagina.

Do all girls like dolls and all boys like sports?

How is gender expressed?

Have you ever noticed that people seem to think that all girls like to play with dolls, and all boys like to play with trucks?

Is it true?

Do all girls like dolls?
Do all boys like trucks?

If you think about the kids you know, chances are that you know some girls who really like dolls, and some boys who really like trucks. But, you probably also know some girls who like trucks and some boys who like dolls. You might even know some girls who don’t like dolls at all, and some boys who don’t think trucks are any fun.

That’s okay, there are lots of different ways to be a boy or a girl.

Lots of kids feel pressure to act or dress in specific ways because they are a boy or a girl.

This pressure can come from other kids, their families, teachers, coaches, other adults and even from TV and movies.

Most girls and boys get frustrated when people make assumptions about how they should act and behave, and what they like to do. For example, they might say “I’m a boy who likes to dance” or “I’m a girl who loves to play football”. Even though they’re frustrated, most girls still think of themselves as girls, and most boys still think of themselves as boys.

What if it doesn’t fit? 

There are some kids, however, who don’t feel comfortable with the body they have because it doesn’t feel like the right one. So some girls don’t like being called a girl because they don’t think of themselves that way, and some boys don’t like being called a boy because they don’t think of themselves that way.

These kids might feel things like:

  • I’m not really a girl.
  • Everyone thinks I’m a boy but I’m not.
  • I don’t like being called a girl because I don’t feel like one inside.
  • I’m not a boy or a girl. I’m not sure who I am.

If you’re feeling this way, read on for more information.

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Last reviewed June 2014
by the Kids Help Phone Counselling Team.

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