Did you use the term “tomgirl” to describe yourself?

  • Creator
  • #62563
    Sophie Bourne

    A childhood memory floated back to me a few days ago, since joining here.

    I asked my mum and dad if there was such a thing as a “tomgirl” because I thought I was one. Blank stares then “A tomgirl is just another word for a tomboy”. I had to explain “A tomboy is a girl who plays with boys and likes boys’ things. So wouldn’t a tomgirl be a boy who plays with girls and likes girls’ things?” Don’t think I got much of a reply except for stunned silence.

    I think now of a small change in words from “tomgirl” to “transgirl” but a huge journey in time and understanding.

    Anyway, did anyone have a similar experience?


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  • Author
    • #89904
      Jamie Harris


      I was born in 1956 and I never heard the word Tom girl. At that time society was putting gays and trans people in jail. The favorite time in my life was when I was 4 and wearing my mothers jewelry and makeup and my 3yr old sister’s princess dresses. She and I would dress up and twirl around the house while I asked my mother if I was pretty. Adult trans people were put in jail which they could not do to kids so I was sent to aversion therapy. The other common choice would have been a mental institution. Tom girl was a common term then, but I never heard of the word Tom girl. Other words that were used to describe us were queer (derogatory then), pervert, demented, abomination, etc.

    • #89873
      Brooke Mindartia


      I like the idea lol.  As someone else mentioned I also never heard of a tomgirl and I’m surprised I didn’t ask about this when I was younger.  I would always play in the woods during my childhood.  At the time I thought it was more of a boy thing to do but the reality is it’s neutral.  I never liked getting dirty though and I think anytime my mom mentioned that I thought it was a feminine thing, but I think to her it didn’t mean anything beyond face value–fair enough…lol.  I feel like my connection to nature soothed my dysphoria throughout the years.  It didn’t matter to the trees what gender I was, now looking back I feel like they all knew I was a girl on the inside and felt like they would embrace that somehow.  Play their music to soothe that part of my soul?

      Anyway I remember returning to the line of thought about tomgirl and was like should it have a different name like not tom but a girl name?  Or does the tom in tomboy mean “not really” boy?  I suppose I could look up the etymology of the term and see if that gets me anywhere.  I like the idea of Tanagirl lol it’d be cool if the story gained traction.  Perhaps all that’s left is writing an article somewhere and making it into a term that has now been “coined.”

      I don’t know that I considered myself a tomgirl, it always laid further back in the recesses until more recently.  Although I did chat with a girl’s name for several years and some group of people know me by that name now (or simply “A”).  My best friend at time when he would really want to ask me a question he would call me that name, I like had to respond to it.  It was as though that became more real of a name than my actual name.  I don’t know why I always passed if off as nothing or just something silly.

    • #89867

      Sorry. I meant only heard the word Tom Boy .

    • #89865

      I only ever heard Tom boy . Even though I mostly played with my sisters when growing up , no one thought anything of it. When I was in school I got on better with Girls than boys . In my adult life the majority of my friends are female.  Actually the only person that mentioned anything about having more female friends was a friend when I cam out to her as been transgender or gender questioning.

    • #62573
      Sophie Bourne


      Definitely **HUGS** back; thank you Jasmine!

      Little things like that are making me finally feel at home here xx

    • #62565
      Managing Ambassador


      I had those thoughts when I was young. I had a friend named Tom and he had a sister named Tana. So naturally I thought a tomboy was a girl who plays like a boy and a tanagirl was a boy who plays like a girl. Thanks for the memory, I had completely forgot about that. **HUGS**

      1 user thanked author for this post.
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