How do you experience gender dysphoria?

  • Creator
  • #117968

    So much attention is paid to the clinical definition of gender dysphoria and how people deal with it that I thought it would be nice (and helpful) for people to share experiences with what it feels like.

    I always knew something was wrong for as long as I can remember and never saw myself in mirrors. For years I went weeks keeping my head down in bathrooms. I cringed when i had to see my own face. Around 10 or so I had my first experience with a transgender person. A transwoman on some talkshow sharing their story. I remember thinking “I can do that?” I didn’t know how to put it in words but I meant transition. I’ve never forgotten that moment. Years later I started actually thinking about it. Now post-depression, a very brief flirt with alcoholism, and suicide ideation later I have begun transition. I always felt goofy in public…like a half man. Im 39 feeling this way. Recently I’ve come out and begun transition. Before doing so I had no recognizable dysphoria. A lot of things that in retrospect I now know where the symptoms of it though.

    So, when I get dysphoria it comes in waves. I have the usual my hands are too big and I hate my stubble moments but those aren’t so bad. Every so often it hits hard and I feel like a fraud who’s wrong about everything and lying to everyone while pretending to be female (AMAB here). Horrid shame, like I’m a laughing stock. I feel like a dude in woman’s clothing and like I should detransition. I’ve stopped transition twice and was always glad I did…for a while. Then I’d start feeling like I have to transition. I’m making it happen. I deal with it by reminding myself there’s no set rules for knowing you are transgender. I am because I know I am. I get to decide how it feels to know I am. It’s not a choice and even if I don’t like it I still am. I tell myself I’m doing this even if it sucks sometimes because I’m so very very tired of having the feeling that I need to figure my gender out and always coming back to transgender. I would rather transition even if it’s difficult getting used to a new way of doing everything than thinking about what my gender is all the time. I already know.

    So, how do you guys experience it and deal with it?

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  • Author
    • #118804
      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.

    • #118553

      Hi Hillary, thank-you for the question, I’ll add my little story. I lost my parents at 8yrs, abandoned. I had no mother/female figure while growing up, so what I was..what internal gender…was a mystery to me, and of no interest to anyone else. My gender dysphoria started at around 12yrs old with puberty, that masculine transition caused a deep disgust of myself to the point of not accepting any me. I became anorexic too. I have always worn my hair long (mid chest length) that I use to disguise my face whenever possible. That got me in plenty of trouble at school. Until 17yrs I didn’t have to shave so no need to look in mirrors, so I never did. That has been the case ever since, I have to prepare myself before looking in a mirror even now. Shaving foam on before looking in the mirror. As a transwomen in transition…it is still there; and I know I don’t look the same. It comes in waves rather than constantly now. When I see the women I am becoming, I’m so happy. If I’m caught in a photo and I see it…I crash into a deep depression which can last for hours. I just can’t bear to look at the outside of myself, especially if caught off-guard. It is a real self loathing, seeing male characteristics on my face and body is just unbearable. I’m hoping when I am fully transitioned, it will fade. I read that actually it doesn’t for many but feel for me it will.

    • #117989

      I’ve known from a early age that something amiss in all my life I’ve never felt happy with myself or my body, even know when I look in the mirror i usually say you ugly b…..tard I try to keep myself as feminine as I can and if at all possible were female clothing even if they are androgynous looking plus I do things like moistures and use hand cream plus as hair free as possible plus I only wear female underwear 24/7 I don’t have any male ones at all I first realised my self when I read true selves understanding trassexulism when I realised that I’ve been in the wrong body all my life which in itself gives me gender dysphoria in addition some years ago I was diagnosed with multiple scoliosis which as given me more to be depressed about all in all when I think about it all I have some very dark thoughts.

      And think will any of it get any better some days I think not it’s then I think what’s it all about I’m married and have a great deal of difficulty speaking to my wife about it even though she knows about Christy  if any of you out there know  what I can do then please tell me.


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