Anonymous asked: if you are not trans, then what you experienced was not dysphoria. depression, dissociation, delusion, etc are all fine, but calling it dysphoria implies that its the same thing that trans people feel, that you have the same thing we do, and therefor we could be treated as you should be. i hope you arent one of those detransitioners.
From the official DSM V website:
"For a person to be diagnosed with gender dysphoria, there must be a marked difference between the individual’s expressed/experienced gender and the gender others would assign him or her, and it must continue for at least six months. In children, the desire to be of the other gender must be present and verbalized. This condition causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
Gender dysphoria is manifested in a variety of ways, including strong desires to be treated as the other gender or to be rid of one’s sex characteristics, or a strong conviction that one has feelings and reactions typical of the other gender.”
For those who don’t know the DSM is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders created by the American Psychiatric Association and contains a listing of officially recognized psychiatric conditions along with associated symptoms. It’s used as a source book by clinicians to help identify what an individual is suffering from.
If you read the whole document I quoted from above you’ll notice that nowhere does it say that gender dysphoria makes a person trans. In fact there is absolutely no mention of transsexuality or transgenderism whatsoever.
WPATH is the World Professional Association for Transgender Health and has developed internationally recognized Standards of Care for the treatment of gender dysphoria.
From the WPATH Standards of Care Version 7:The SOC [Standards of Care] are intended to be flexible in order to meet the diverse health care needs of trans-sexual, transgender, and gender-nonconformingpeople. While flexible, they offer standardsfor promoting optimal health care and guidingthe treatment of people experiencing genderdysphoria—broadly defined as discomfort ordistress that is caused by a discrepancy betweena person’s gender identity and that person’s sexassigned at birth (and the associated gender roleand/or primary and secondary sex character-istics) (Fisk, 1974; Knudson, De Cuypere, &Bockting, 2010b).” (166)
Again, according to the Standards of Care cited above one does not need to be transsexual or transgender to experience gender dysphoria.
I felt that there was a disconnect between the sex and gender I was assigned and how I saw and felt myself to be. I felt a lot of discomfort when other people identified me or treated me as a woman. I wanted to be treated like a man or as genderqueer and made a great effort to pass as such. I thought I had what were “feelings and reactions typical” of men or unlike those of a “normal” woman. I was distressed by many of the sexed characteristics of my body, wanted to get rid of them, acted towards getting rid of some by taking hormones and contemplated getting rid of others by having surgery. If what I had wasn’t dysphoria I don’t know what it was.
And here’s the thing, I was trans. Maybe I wasn’t trans in the same way as people who are completely happy with their transition but I spent nearly ten years of my life fully convinced I was trans and living out those beliefs. I took t for a total of four years and both times I took it I enjoyed much of the experience and found a lot of relief from my dysphoria. Even when I stopped hormones this last time I was initially happy that a lot of the changes were permanent and didn’t start shaving my beard off until over a year had passed. I changed my name and eventually made the change legal and I changed the gender marker on my ID (in my state you don’t need surgery to do so, just a letter from your doctor). Pre-t, I used to study passing tips on the internet obsessively and would become horribly upset when I failed to pass. I came out as a man to my family and talked and argued with them until most of them accepted it. My dad ended up accepting me as a man after I started t and he saw how much less anxious and more together I seemed. My friends all accepted me as trans and treated me like a guy. I went several times to a camping event for transmasculine people and none of them seemed to think that I stood out. A lot of trans guys I met over the years were very impressed by my ability to pass and complimented me on it.
In short, I fit within the wide range of trans male experience. I’m sure there are plenty of trans guys who had completely different experiences than I did but all of us are/were “really” trans because there is no one definitive way to be trans. I’m not someone who thinks that someone just has to say that they are something to be it. I understand and generally agree with people who say that you need to experience sex dysphoria to qualify as trans. Even when you lay down essential criteria though there’s still going to be a a huge variation between individuals. Sometimes being trans is temporary, sometimes it isn’t.
I would say that I was trans because at the time I met the necessary criteria and not only did I see myself as trans, so did the rest of the people I knew. The people who didn’t know I was trans saw me as a guy. So my identity didn’t just exist in my head, it was reflected back at me and had real world consequences. It changed the quality of my life in many substantial ways. I spent plenty of time bonding with trans guys over what it’s like to live and transition in a world that’s ignorant of and hostile to trans people. I used to read what trans men and genderqueer people wrote in order to find experiences I could empathize with. Obviously, there must be some differences between myself and trans men because I detransitioned and they haven’t but there’s still a fair number of similarities.
And those similarities seem to threaten you, anon, because you seem to think that if I used to be trans and felt dysphoric and now I don’t then that means any trans person could potentially not be trans in the future. Which I think is true, any person who now considers themselves trans could one day no longer see themselves that way. Any person who transitions could one day detransition. No one can know for certain how they’re going to see themselves in the future.
But I’m not trying to tell people what to do with their lives and bodies because that’s not my place. I want to ask questions and I want to get people to think. I think a lot people are transitioning due to psycho-social factors and I want to challenge many of the ideas that lead some people to transition. I think it’s possible that all forms of transsexuality could have a social and psychological basis instead of being caused by biological conditions but there’s no way for me to know that for sure and I recognize that some people derive a lot of relief from changing their bodies. At the very least it helps them live in the world as it is and I would not tell another person how to survive.
At the same time I personally know how damaging transitioning can potentially be, how it can be a form of self-destruction and I will not hesitate to speak out on that aspect and insist that people recognize that dysphoria can be a symptom of trauma and internalized sexism and that transitioning is not the only way to treat it.