Gender identity is whether you feel like you are male or female (or neither or in between or even both). Your gender identity does not have to match the sex you were born with (what genitals you have).
The feeling of being born as the wrong sex and wanting to become the other is what is known as transgender. Some people don’t think of themselves as either gender, and prefer to look androgynous and be called by non-gendered pronouns (they, their, them). Some people identify with both genders, or swap between the two.
Questioning gender can be a long and confusing process; you may have lots of questions about yourself and your identity that you don’t feel you can answer, which can make it very difficult to talk about it to anyone else, because if you can’t understand yourself it’s hard to think how someone else would. There may even be fears about the people you want to talk to about your gender identity being prejudiced and reacting negatively.
If you feel like this, it can be tempting to run away to avoid having to deal with how you are feeling, or to try and give yourself time to process your thoughts or explore your identity away from people who know you until you know if you are ready to “come out” or not.
Consider giving yourself the time and personal exploration you need by researching gender identity online, becoming parts of social groups or support groups with like-minded people such as LGBT groups, or even begin to see a counsellor for help in organising your thoughts and feelings.
The Runaway Helpline can only provide services to children and young people within the United Kingdom, and information and advice on this site relates to the UK only.I understand