Reply To: How do you experience gender dysphoria?

Elm Kline

As far back as I could remember I never felt like I fit in with what was expected of me. I was tall for a girl, too loud for a girl, too unafraid for a girl. When I was in middle school some bully girls began to tell me that I looked like a guy. I knew it was an insult and it hurt and embarrassed me but some part of me liked it, I started to embrace that in what little ways I could. I started to wear neutral, baggy clothes and started hiding under hoodies. As I got older I felt more and more pressure to be pretty and to be the ‘correct’ kind of girl. For a while in high school I really tried to do that but everything felt like a costume and like a performance. I have never had dysphoria surrounding my chest or privates but every time someone says ‘girl, young lady, miss’ it just feels wrong. I know that a lot of trans people’s experience is that being misgendered is painful and emotionally damaging. That has not really been my experience, its more just ‘incorrect’. For a while it made me feel like I am ‘not trans enough’ but I am starting to realize that not everyone experiences gender dysphoria the same way.

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