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the risks of downplaying dysphoria

Kati’s comment on my post called “Doubting you are trans” got me thinking about the validity of our feelings and the importance of not downplaying them.

Make no mistake: gender dysphoria is real and you are not delusional and by trying to downplay our emotional need to express ourselves we are making a mistake.

At the same time, I am very realistic about what I am doing to treat my dysphoria and understand that I was not born physically female. However, the idea that gender identity is established exclusively through birth genitalia has been pretty convincingly debunked which means that gender and its expression should be left up to the individual and not to society. But unfortunately, we live in a world where disobeying the rules leads to suffering through persecution.

Transition is one way to treat your “gender expression deprivation anxiety” (thank you Anne Vitale for that wonderful term) but it is not the sole method. However, denying that the feelings are real is a recipe for depression and unhappiness because gender dysphoria is serious business and is most definitely not self-inflicted. It is also not, as I once believed, a weakness of character and at some point we need to face the stark reality that our lives will not be conventional. But that does not mean we cannot find a positive spin and make it work to our advantage.

Take it from someone who lived with the discomfort of denial for many years and treat your dysphoria in a way that works for you.

Comments

  1. "...denying that the feelings are real is a recipe for depression and unhappiness because gender dysphoria is serious business and is most definitely not self-inflicted." I couldn't agree more.

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  3. In my case the discomfort of denial lasted more than 50 years. I may regret the past but I cannot change it so I am doing my best to make small positive changes. Now I am becoming more accepting of myself, my happiness is taking a turn for the better which must be good, both for my physical as well as my mental health.

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