Women Lead Pendidikan Seks
May 12, 2016

Help, I'm Gender-fluid and I Hate Myself!

Madge's BFF Downtown Boy shares his wisdom on how to survive being teen and queer.

by Downtown Boy

Hello Madge,
To be honest, this is the first time I encountered your website on my own (I used to have a Facebook friend who shared a link from this site.) and I am interested in your content. I was raised in a conservative/religious background but I have to hide my orientation since I am genderfluid/agender and pansexual. Because of this, I often find situations where I hate myself even though one of the teachings in my religion says that God loves everyone regardless of background, past mistakes, or even their future.
I talked to a student advisor (who is also an LGBT ally) and I was recommended to join a group for 'queer' students, I also did research in which I found out that it's completely okay for my gender and sexual orientation to be fluid. The more I gained information and awareness, I was glad that there are other people who may go through the same issue(s) as me. Sadly, I am still angry with myself until this day.
I was wondering if there are ways/resources for me to be informed and hopefully learn to accept myself even more.
Best regards,

Hi F,
I believe my BFF Downtown Boy will be able to answer your question best, as he can draw from his own experience.
Love and take care!
Dear F.
This is why we need Glee marathon! So we can all dance to the tune of self-acceptance and love! My pop culture reference may be disconnected from your age group, but I’ll tell you in minute why this does matter to you. Self-acceptance is a long and tricky process, but speaking to a compassionate student counselor (not just any counselors!) is definitely a positive start. I know little about your background and where you live so I can’t give you any concrete input on where to go in terms building up your self-acceptance even more. But here’s some advices that I hope will help your journey to adulthood more meaningful as a gay teenager.

  1. Stay away from prejudiced peers. What do they know about love and acceptance? They don’t experience what you experience so they shouldn’t be the judge of your life. As a teenager I remember being easily swayed by what others say and do. Passing comments can also be hurtful even if the people making them don’t mean what they say. So just stay away from them and start practicing your eye rolling.  It will come handy when you hear ignorant comments from a study group that you don’t choose to be in it.    
  2. Be discreet for now. No, I don’t advise you to come out of the closet now.  I don’t know where you are so you may be living in a pocket where anti-LGBT sentiment is running violently high. Indonesia is full of people whose collective power can be quite frightening. On individual-level they’re not necessarily a threat (prejudiced people tend to be a coward bunch) but acting in a group, they can pose real danger to your safety.
  3. But be open to some. You have to start believing to the people who accept you. Channeling your true self to your closest friends will help you deal with self-acceptance even more. Eventually you will find a group of individuals who share the same principle and values and chances are 20 years from now, they will still be by your side.
  4. Don’t take religion at face value. Your faith should instill compassion and humanity. It should teach you respect, integrity, loyalty and self-worthiness.  If you have taken comfort at your religion then be it, but don’t let the guilt tree grow in you, because being a loving person doesn’t make you a sinner.
  5. Never use sex as a last resort to gain acceptance, it never works. I grew up as a self-hating teenager and mistook sex for love. Wild sex is not necessarily a form of love and acceptance, particularly when you’re a gay teenager. Your hormones may be bubbling right now, but trust me, teen sex can be self-destructive because most of the times you don’t know who you’re dealing with.
  6. Watch Glee Marathon. Yes I mean it.  Many teachers have been using popular culture to help their students learn about science, history, languages and other subjects. Popular culture can also be a great platform to provide some kind of shared experience. You need to watch, listen and read a lot of pop culture materials that promote self-worthiness and in time you realize that you are not alone! I don’t know what kids these days watch and listen to, but if I were you, I’d dash off to the nearest pirated DVD shop (Disclaimer: Magdalene doesn’t support pirated industry) and start watching the whole episodes of Glee.

Now, start singing about love for all in your school corridor!
Read more of Downtown Boy’s sassy wisdom here