Alex's Answer

Do I have to like my name and gender

Your Question

Is it bad for me to hate my name and my gender in general? I hate being called with my full name and it makes me feel bad and nauseous, but I don’t know why. I’ve spoken to my parents about this but that only made me realize that I am the problem. I’ve never met anyone else who hates their name or their gender. 

Answer

Hello, 

Thank you for contacting us here at Ask Alex with your question today. You’re saying that you hate being called by your full name, but you’re not sure why and you’re wondering if it’s bad for you to hate your name and gender. 

Firstly, we want to say you are not alone in not liking your name and/or gender. Lots of young people go through similar feelings to this and question their identity, even though it might feel sometimes you are the only one. It sounds like being called by your full name brings up some hard feelings for you, but also causes you to have physical reactions, like feeling nauseous. Our emotions and our body are closely linked. 

Our gender identity refers to how we feel inside and is our personal sense of our own gender. Someone’s gender identity may not always match the sex they were assigned at birth; for example you could have been assigned the female gender at birth because of the organs you have in your body, but this may not be how you feel, and your gender identity can change over time. Lots of people go through the process of exploring their gender identity. 

You mentioned that you spoke to your parents about how you’re feeling, but maybe it didn’t go as you thought it would, as you say you realise you are the problem. We think it’s incredibly important you know that you are not the problem, and this is something you are not alone in. Attitudes around gender identity are changing across Ireland, along with the realisation that gender isn’t binary and can change. It’s something that is being talked about more and more, but there may still be some people that don’t fully understand. It takes a lot of bravery to talk about something like this with your parents. Do you think there’s anyone else in your life who you would be comfortable talking to about this and who would give you a safe space to talk?  

We want to let you know about an organisation called Belong To. They support lots of young people across Ireland, some who may be questioning their gender identity, and others who are part of the LGBTQ+ community. Their website is www.belongto.org , and it has lots of information and advice, on identities, mental health and knowing your rights. They also have youth groups across the country, in person, and online, for lots of different ages: www.belongto.org/support-for-me/support-services/belongto-youthgroups/. Maybe you could take a look at their website, and see if there was a support option that works for you. 

We are also here for you 24/7, anytime you would like to talk. Childline is a safe space, where we won’t judge you or tell you what to do. You can contact us on our Live Chat service here on the website, or via the phone on 1800 66 66 66. We would love to hear from you, and want you to know you are not alone in how you are feeling. We are always here to support you. 

Look after yourself, 
Alex 

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there’s nothing too big or small.