Q: How do you respond to someone who says gender dysphoria isn't real?

How do you respond to someone who says gender dysphoria isn’t real?

“Tell that to my gender dysphoria! I’d love for it to go away!”

“Oh dammit, then I transitioned for no reason whatsoever!”

“Lots of doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and scientists way smarter than you or me say that it does. Pardon me if it believe their actual expert opinion over your uninformed and ignorant one.”

Or, I can go meta:

Me: how you feel about the existence of gender dysphoria isn’t real.

Them: of course it is!

Me: ok, prove it!

Them: (makes a bunch of pseudo-scientific claims)

Me: ok, but that’s what other people have said. I don’t believe you actually feel that way.

Them: (makes a bunch of pseudo-psychological claims)

Me: again, that’s what other people have said, but that doesn’t show that you feel that way.

Them: (exasperated) but you can’t know what I actually feel! You aren’t me!

Me: (smiling) and so it is for gender dysphoria.

What is something that instantly alleviates your gender dysphoria?

For me, my dysphoria is often complicated, with parts of it caught up in memories and past trauma and other parts being triggered by things happening around me. There’s not a single thing I can count on to work every time; I have to examine the circumstances of each instance and figure out ways I might be able to address the dysphoria.

That said, some of the more common things that I’ve tried and had some success with are:

  • Getting to/being in an affirming environment
  • Writing in my journal or on my blog
  • Talking/venting with a friend
  • Crying
  • Doing something distracting/mindless
  • Dressing or doing things that help me feel feminine

Early in transition, dressing worked better. Now, its less effective than the other things. This is likely because getting dressed in feminine clothes was more of a novelty and it was enough of a difference from what I had been used to, where now, I wear my (women’s) clothes all the time – they’re just clothes for the most part.

Being/feeling affirmed is really the key for all of these. Anything that affirms me as the woman I know I am helps to reduce dysphoria and/or protect against it.

Is it uncomfortable to be transgender?

It can be. Having a body which doesn’t really feel like the right one for you can be quite uncomfortable.

But for me, now that I’ve accepted myself and have begun my transition, I’ve found my body to increasingly be a comfortable place – especially as it becomes closer to what it was always supposed to have been.

But you know what’s makes me really uncomfortable? Other people saying and doing things which show they actively reject who I am. I wish others would be more kind.

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