Signs I’m (Probably) Trans or Nonbinary

Read this if you also think, “fuck gender norms” and “I’m confused”

Justin Bennett-Cohen
7 min readMar 31, 2023
Photo by Norbu GYACHUNG on Unsplash

Look, let me start out this article with this: I understand that labels are made up. We can wear whatever makes us comfortable and still identify with the gender we’ve been given at birth. We can act differently than those of our same sex and still identify with that gender. For me, it was only when a huge amount of things like this started piling up that I began to question my gender.

Growing up, I always thought being gay and trans was a choice. There was no real representation on television and movies in my personal life other than a single WWE wrestler who kissed other male wrestlers to “stun” them and then pin them for the 3-count.

I went to Provincetown, Massachusetts several times with my parents, a touristy spot in Cape Cod known for its gay community. I saw a drag show as a kid and walked around looking at people like it was a different world. Imagine: a place where people can be themselves and not be made fun of??

Understanding Through Representation

It was only in high school and then going into my twenties where I began to have a much more accurate understanding of the LGBTQ+ community. Shows like The Owl House taught me what it’s like to have feelings for someone of the same gender: it’s the same feelings heterosexuals get for the opposite gender. You’re nervous around them, blushing, you can fight over stupid things, you’re sweet to them in subtle ways because you care about them, etc.

It makes me so happy to know that kids today can grow up, discover these shows, and be aware from a young age that they are normal for feeling all of these confusing feelings due to representation.

Signs I’m (Probably) Trans or Nonbinary

I also want to point out that this is not an article of me coming out; it’s simply a public display of venting (PDV, if you will). Recently I’ve been looking back on all these things I’ve done in my childhood or as a teenager and realize that they may be signs that I’m different than other guys.

1) I Created a Fake Female Persona Online as a Teen

Photo by on Unsplash

I didn’t have many friends growing up or even as a teenager. I focused on my school work then went home to draw, watch movies, play Pokémon, and take photos. But eventually, I’d get bored.

Initially, I would just go on the chat section of Omegle, where the site would connect you with a random stranger or one with some of your interests. I began to simply talk as myself, but I soon realized I could pretend to be a girl. I created a persona named Lexi Richards. She was who I wanted to be as a girl. Feminine, fought against stereotypes, enjoyed certain aspects of being masculine, and was strong as fuck and didn’t mind standing up for herself.

I would connect with another girl or guy and talk. Sometimes we would talk like normal and get along great, talking for half an hour or more, and other times the guy would say something sexual towards me and I’d basically tell him to fuck off. I wasn’t catfishing guys, I was just pretending to be the female version of myself I always wanted to be.

I even created a Facebook account for Lexi with some images I found on a royalty-free photo site. I gave her some of my interests, followed some bands that I was too embarrassed to say I liked on my actual Facebook account, and I even added myself as a friend. I’d have an incognito tab open and comment as her on my posts. She was both an imaginary friend and my alternate persona. I would join Facebook Groups and be able to talk to other like-minded people as a girl.

I think I felt like being a guy always made girls uneasy before even getting to know them. As a girl, I could talk to them like a normal person and their guards would be down. I was also too awkward to talk to girls in person, so this was a new way to make casual friends so I wasn’t so lonely.

I look back at this and partly think of how fucked up it was, but I was simply doing it for my mental wellbeing. I would never take friendships very far.

2) Things Guys Do That Make Me Anxious (idk why this image makes me so anxious, but it does)

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Okay, hold on tight for these. I’m basically going to list them out and give a little bit of context. These things just made me feel uncomfortable, especially because no other guy seemed to be bothered by them. I have nothing against guys for doing these (except one, but you’ll understand why):

  • Changing in front of other guys/guys changing in front of me: For gym class, I’d always change in a bathroom stall, which everyone made fun of me for.
  • Guy “friends” who would hit each other: Guys in class would kick each other in the balls for fun, hit each other in the arm when saying hi, call each other slurs, and, call me crazy, but I didn’t want to be a part of that. It made me extremely anxious, and I never saw girls doing those things. I talked to girls here and there, but my social anxiety was so bad that I never made a single female friend in high school.
  • Guy Vocabulary: This includes things like guys calling me “bro” or “dude.” I’d also get extremely anxious when they would yell for no reason or holler my name in a low voice. They’d bang on tables, scream “let’s go” and just be completely rude to one another. Even writing this is making my heart beat extremely fast.
  • Men who moan when they pee in public bathrooms and don’t wash their hands: My friends hate me for this one, but I’m dying on this hill. Look, if you’re in your own space or there’s no one else in the bathroom, by all means, moan as loud as you want and live your life to the fullest. What I care about is when you are 100% aware there is another person in the bathroom and you moan and groan and huff and puff while excreting a bodily fluid and then walk out of the bathroom without washing your hands.

3) I Like Dressing Feminine

Images taken by author

I only recently discovered that I like to dress fem. I knew what style of clothes I liked seeing on other girls, but I didn’t know how well that translated to actually wearing them. For example, I find girls in elastic chokers extremely cute.

So, I went to Hot Topic, found a really cute pastel, mint green shirt, pink and purple hoodie, and an elastic choker. As soon as I put them on, especially the choker, I could feel myself tearing up. It just felt so right. For my entire life, I wanted to wear a choker, but I didn’t want to be made fun of. I’ve decided I’m tired of caring what other people think, even when there’s so much trans hate in the world.

I’m really excited to see what else I try on and think, “this feels so right.”

4) Sexuality & Kinks (family reading this, you can just stop here)

Photo by Colin Lloyd on Unsplash

I know that for a lot of people questioning their gender, this isn’t a factor, since they would have these kinks no matter what their gender is. However, for me, kinks relating to submission make me feel more feminine, and I like that they do.

  • Being told what to do/shut up
  • Wax Play
  • Impact Play
  • Teasing

I also believe I’m pansexual. I love nonbinary people; I don’t care what sex they were assigned at birth, they’re just cute as fuck. Very masculine men with body hair and muscles I find gross and intimidating, and girls are just.. ugh.. girls. I’m attracted to both masculine and feminine girls. Those who vibe well with me and my interests, are fun to talk to, and can simply hold a conversation are at the top of my list.

That’s as specific as I’m going to get on Medium, but yeah. I’m a switch, but I have such a fantasy for a being a good little sub.

We Can Be Whoever We Want to Be

Photo by Delia Giandeini on Unsplash

Labels are made up; they exist to place things into categories, but more importantly, exist to make us feel comfortable. Think about names. We need names to have a way to address and identify us, but if they didn’t matter, we’d simply be named after numbers, which are seemingly infinite.

But we use names, and change our names, because we want to walk around the world comfortable being ourselves. Maybe I’ll change my name to Sky some day, my favorite feminine name…

Maybe some day soon, I’ll identify as transgender or genderfluid. But in the meantime, I’m just going to continue feeling comfortable with my he/him/they pronouns and dress fem when I want. The Twitch streamer, F1nnster, has been a huge inspiration to me when it comes to my gender identity.

Thanks for coming to my TED Talk and I hope you learned something about yourself as well.



Justin Bennett-Cohen

I’m a Writer, Photographer, and lover of food and bad puns.