Everything you need to know about gender, sexuality, and more.

Non-Binary, Trans*

How to Know If You Have Gender Dysphoria

Photo by Francisco Gonzalez on Unsplash.

It’s that quiet sense of discomfort. It’s hard to diagnose, like a creak in your house in the middle of the night. What is it? And why can’t you stop thinking about it?

Having gender dysphoria is like having a creaky body, where certain aspects of yourself ping at you and you don’t know why. This sense of discomfort can lead people to hurt themselves in various ways, both physically and mentally, so solving the mystery of why you feel so weird is crucial for robust mental health.

Everybody’s gender dysphoria is different, but hopefully this article will help you understand if the strange creaky sensations are gender dysphoria or not.

What is Gender Dysphoria?

According to Transgender Health, gender dysphoria when someone “experiences an emotional conflict between the gender they’re assigned at birth and the gender by which they identify.”

Gender dysphoria would be being born with male biology but identifying as a woman, or being born with female biology and identifying as a man. Or something other than what you were born as/assigned at birth.

So dysphoria is feeling discomfort at the parts of the body, gender roles, language, etc reminding you of what you are not. If you feel you should have a male body but have a high-pitched voice and breasts, those characteristics would cause you dysphoria.

Common Traits of Gender Dysphoria

  • Feeling uncomfortable with certain parts of your body, especially primary or secondary sex characteristics (genitals, voice, chest, hands, etc).
  • Feeling discomfort around gender roles people think you should adopt, gendered language that does not honor how you identify, and other instances of gendered interaction that does not align with how you feel.
  • Disliking or refusing to wear clothes that other people with your assigned birth typically wear.
  • Having had some gender non-conformity in your childhood or adolescence — though you don’t need this to still experience gender dysphoria as an adult (with a post-puberty body).
  • Hiding the parts of the body that bring you discomfort with baggy clothes or makeup.
  • Wishing you could have corrective surgeries or hormones replacement therapy to assuage the physical and mental discomfort you feel.
  • Mental anguish, such as anxiety or depression, over your body or gendered interactions.
  • Finding relief in when you do activities that align with your gender identity, such as changing pronouns, your name, clothing, etc.

The worst part about gender dysphoria is that there are no physical symptoms. A physician can’t look at you and say “Huh, there it is! Right there on your armpit — gender dysphoria!”

If only it were that easy.

Instead, gender dysphoria lives in the brain, so you’d either have to go to therapy or do some major self-reflection to find out if your feelings of unease result from your gender or something else.

How to Know If You Have Gender Dysphoria

The best way to figure out if you have gender dysphoria is to experiment with things that make you feel good in your body versus things that don’t.

It’s likely that a majority of things in your life will make you feel uneasy. Pronouns. Gendered clothing. Someone calling you by your birth name versus another name you like.

Notice how you feel when you are gendered as your birth sex. Does it make you feel weird? Does it cause a twinge of pain or panic?

One helpful trick to figure out if you have gender dysphoria is to create empirical gender data over yourself. Treat gender interactions like an experiment and be sure to write down the results. Jot down when you feel negative feelings and what caused them.

For example, “Got called ‘Sir.’ Felt weird” or “Someone called me ‘Ma’am,’ I didn’t like it, but later someone said, ‘Excuse me, sir!’ and that felt better.”

When you catalog your feelings and their causes, you can see if the data trends towards gendered interactions making you feel bad or good. If you feel bad because you’re gendered as your birth sex but feel good when gendered as what you identify as, it’s likely you have gender dysphoria versus another type of body image issue.

Coming to Terms With Gender Dysphoria

If you think your discomfort results from a mismatch between your birth sex and the gender you identify as, there are options to help you alleviate your dysphoria.

You can seek surgery or hormone replacement therapy to assuage discomfort in your physical body and therapy to handle the mental strain having gender dysphoria might have caused you. Not all of these options are available for everyone, though, so do what you can to physically alleviate dysphoria (bind, wear make-up, grow/cut your hair, etc).

No matter what, a strong support system is crucial to getting through gender dysphoria. Foster in-person relationships with those who will accept you (you might be surprised at who will).

If anything, there are plenty of places on the internet where you will find acceptance, such as the Reddits r/MtF (male to female transgender), r/FtM (female to male transgender), r/NonBinary and a bunch of other chats and forums on the internet. No matter how you identify, there’s a space for you.

Good Videos to Watch

Vivian Barton – “In Body And Mind”

This short film has no words, but that’s what I think makes it so powerful. It pulls at something in you — maybe the tentacled beast inside your own brain.

Kovu Kingsrod – Dysphoria (And What It Feels Like)

Kovu describes not only describes what gender dysphoria is and what it typically looks like but how it feels for him. He filmed this video at a particularly rough part of his life before he transitioned, and so his feelings may resonate with some people going through a similar experience.

ASAPScience – The Science of Being Transgender ft. Gigi Gorgeous

A quick yet impactful video describing why gender dysphoria exists. It’s highly interesting and well-researched, so I recommend it.

Conclusion

I hope this article helps you out. From experience, I know gender dysphoria sucks, but the most pernicious part about is that you might not know you’re experiencing it until you’ve done the research and the experimentation to find out the truth. Stay strong in your journey of self-discovery, but reach out to people if you need to.

You can leave a comment on this article (I read them all). If your dysphoria is particularly bad, though, I recommend contacting The Trevor Project’s helpline. Remember — nothing is permanent, especially gender dysphoria!

I love you.

26 Comments

  1. -confused as hell

    hey MK, I’m very confused about my gender right now. I feel okay with my female body but have felt a tug at masculinity. is there a gender category for this?

  2. XRumerTest

    Hello. And Bye.

  3. such a great information for blogger i am a professional blogger thanks

  4. Usually I never comment on blogs but your article is so convincing that I never stop myself to say something about it. You’re doing a great job Man,Keep it up.

  5. A great read. I’ll definitely be back.

  6. Impressive! Thanks for the post

  7. Commenting on a blog is an art. Good comments create relations. You’re doing great work. Keep it up.

  8. very interesting , good job and thanks for sharing such a good blog.

  9. It’s in point of fact a great and helpful piece of info. I am glad that you simply shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Keep this going please, great job!

  11. Milla Chin

    GET PROFESSIONALLY VIDEOS AT AFFORDABLE PRICES

    We offer professionally produced videos at affordable prices.
    Our videos have the look and feel of a high quality television commercial, complete with professional spokesperson, background, text,
    images, logos, music and of course, most importantly, your company’s contact information for your allaboutgender.com.

    If you’re ready to reach more clients today, let us get to work on producing your company’s exclusive video.
    MORE INFO=> http://qejn39630.bloggerbags.com/8235101/get-videos-at-affordable-prices

  12. Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently fast.

  13. Great article. Couldn’t be write much better! Keep it up!

  14. Great article. Couldn’t be write much better! Keep it up!

  15. very nice! Ireally like your blog

  16. A great read. I’ll definitely be back.

  17. Thank you, I’ve just been looking for information approximately this topic for a long time and yours is the greatest I have discovered so far. But, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you certain concerning the supply?

  18. As I website possessor I think the subject material here is real excellent, regards for your efforts.

  19. Hello my family member! I want to say that this article is amazing, great written and include approximately all important infos. I would like to see more posts like this .

  20. I really like this post

  21. One thing I’d like to say is car insurance cancellations is a feared experience and if you are doing the proper things as a driver you may not get one. Some individuals do obtain the notice that they are officially dumped by their own insurance company they have to fight to get supplemental insurance after a cancellation. Affordable auto insurance rates usually are hard to get after the cancellation. Understanding the main reasons with regard to auto insurance cancelling can help owners prevent completely losing in one of the most essential privileges offered. Thanks for the ideas shared by your blog.

  22. Impressive! Thanks for the post

  23. very nice! Ireally like your blog

  24. I simply couldn’t go away your web site prior to suggesting that I really enjoyed the usual information a person supply to your guests? Is gonna be back often in order to investigate cross-check new posts

Leave a Reply