A Look At Gender Dysphoria Part 2 – What Is It

Posted: 07/22/2012 by erichblayde in Gender Dysphoria Series
Tags: , , ,

**AUTHORS NOTE** Today’s entry is the second in a five-part series publishing once a week exploring the big wide world of gender dysphoria (discontent with the gender they were assigned at birth and/or the gender roles associated with their gender) Using an interactive format that includes visual aids, these entries will explore four questions I feel are crucial in learning about gender dysphoria, it’s effects, and how it differs from the concept of Gender Identity Disorder. To be dysphoric with ones gender is not at all an indicator that one is transgender, but these days many associate dysphoria with transsexuality and transsexuality only. Let’s debunk that shall we?)

Most people when asked what gender dysphoria is can usually tell you (at the very least) that it has something to do with transition and transgender people but that is about the end of it. Today we are going to make well informed readers of each and every one of you as we discuss the general definition of gender dysphoria, what it is, and what it is not.

To this end I have decided we will incorporate an interactive visual component to each part of the series. Each article will have a graphic attached to the beginning that depicts the topics I intend to discuss. As this is an interactive exercise I would ask each reader to leave their own ideas and points in the comments section and at the end of the series we will incorporate those along with the topics I have covered in a final graphic wrap up.

Now that is quite enough yap. Here’s todays pretty picture and let’s get down to business!

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First off let’s tackle the big one.

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What the HELL is dysphoria? Is it transgenderism? No, not quite. Gender Dysphoria is literally the feeling of unease in ones biological gender of feeling wrong in the traditional roles of your biological gender. Dysphoria is quite common in young children and is oftenmerely a sign of a person growing into themselves. If it persists and the dysphoric person choses to change their biological gender then doctors call that Gender Identity Disorder, but just feeling funny about your bio gender is called gender dysphoria.

Ok. One down and now lets have a gander at some of the feelings that are common in gender dysphoria.

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People who have experienced gender dysphoria often report feeling wrong, ashamed of their physical body, confused by the traditional gender roles, wanting to escape, unsure or just plain weirded out among others. They know something doesn’t fit but there are just so many possibilities (and so many questions) Are they the opposite gender? A neutral gender? The same gender as they already are just expressed differently? Or a whole new gender no one ever considered? All this can lead to some pretty wild feelings (see picture below for more detail)

Well that’s two of them, you’re doing great now let’s peek our heads into the things needing knowing bubble shall we?

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And probably the biggest thing needing knowing is that gender dysphoria is not a secondary type of transsexuality! If someone tells you they are dysphoric about their gender it doesn’t mean “I am a version 2.4.2 transperson” It means they feel funny about their gender or it’s roles or both. The next biggest thing is that dysphoria van come and go (remember when your parents attributed everything you did to “a phase your going through”) well for some people, undergoing dysphoria about their gender is a phase, and for others it never goes away. As always the response to gender dysphoria is as unique as the individual. And the final thing we need to know (or I think you should know at least) is for the parents out there. I said it before and I am saying it again, dysphoria with ones gender is most common in the biological and socially formative years. Chances are most children or teens will go through a period of learning about their body and their gender role and they might question it. This is completely normal and healthy.

Above all else, when considering what gender dysphoria is I am left with four main points
– it is a feeling of being out of sorts with your gender
– feelings of dysphoria are normal and healthy
– it doesn’t necessarily mean you are transexual
– it should NEVER be shoved under a rug

**POSTSCRIPT** Please leave a comment answering today’s question of the day. Let’s foster a disscussion on gender dysphoria right from part one and see just where we end up after part five.

THIS WEEKS QUESTION

what is your personal definition of gender dysphoria?

Coming Next Week On The Dysphoria Series

Common Beliefs About Gender Dysphoria

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Comments
  1. grosenberg says:

    If I understand you correctly then Gender dysphoria has little to do with one’s body and a lot more to do with societal expectations of one’s gender….

    • erichblayde says:

      No that is not quite it. The discomfort with ones gender can be compounded by societal expectations of course but thhe discomfort originates more in the mind and the heart as a direct result of ones physical body

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