Wednesday, 16 November 2016

A Take on Dysphoria.

On 16th November 2016 someone asked Reddit/GenderCritical

Do You Consider Gender Dysphoria to Exist?

This sparked off some interesting point including one from Greenishdragonfly. I thought it was particularly informative. So with here permission I've copied it here.

Yes It's real, I think the mechanism can be something like this. This is a theory in process and may not be the same for everyone, but it's what I've observed from having been in the trans community.
  • Receive a great many gendered messages about what you as a man or woman are supposed to be like.
  • Receive a lot of messages about what a male of female body is for, and how it's perceived.
  • Feel terribly uncomfortable with these messages and that they do not apply to you, but subconsciously internalize them because they are so pervasive and you are so young.
  • Apply these internalized ideas to your own body as it grows, like the self-objectification we see in teenage girls*
  • Suffer terrible feeling of shames, cognitive dissonance, hyperawareness, and discomfort, as you try to hold on to the notion of yourself as a full human being and balance it with what society has told you your body and role is.
  • This is your relationship with your body. When you were forming concepts of what your body is, these were the only building bricks available to you.
  • Mistake your own concept of your body for the physical reality of your body.
  • Identify with your own traits that you have been told do not belong to your own sex, or are not acceptable in your own sex.
  • Identify with people who seem to embody these traits and get social acceptance and praise for them.
  • Project like mad onto the bodies and roles of the opposite sex, which feel fresh and possible because they do not hold the same baggage for you as your own.
  • Feel completely unlike your peers of the same sex, because they all seem to be much more at ease with their sexed bodies and gender roles than you. Resent them for this and consider them lucky. Also envy people of the opposite sex, who are allowed to be what you want. Consider that it must come easy to them and they must enjoy it. If they don't, consider them ungrateful, because you would enjoy it, and therefore have more right to those bodies/roles than they do.
  • This feeling of alienation and lack of belonging from your own body/sex and social gender role can be somatised and experienced as physical pain/discomfort.
  • What you are identifying with in the opposite sex is the traits that you have internalized as being male/female that you recognise in yourself. ie "I am nurturing, nurturing is female, men are not supposed to be nurturing, women are nurturing, I must be a woman". This happens at a subconscious level because it's built of concepts we internalized really young, so most people don't have self awareness of it and don't want to have self awareness of it, because of the feelings of relief and belonging it brings them.
  • What people are identifying with in the opposite sex is only the socially sanctioned, accepted face of what those bodies and those gender roles are supposed to be/look like. They want that social acceptance of the traits they have. This is the validation of identity you always here about.
  • In order to do this it requires ignoring a lot of the experiences of men and women, especially those outside of the socially acceptable face of wo/manhood. The fact that other people feel pressured and constrained by having to be this way must be ignored, because the person already decided earlier that the reason they were not like others is that others are fine with their bodies and gender roles. This is where the contempt for 'cis' people comes from, but they need the concept of 'cis' in order to hold themselves apart from it and identify themselves as other.
  • A whole lot of lack of understanding or denial of social systems and how we develop as part of them is going on here, but the cognitive dissonance is easy to hold, because people with dysphoria are already suffering from cognitive dissonance, but at least this type feels good and seems to offer direction.
That's all I've got for now, it's a bit rough and doesn't cover everything.


  1. "This happens at a subconscious level because it's built of concepts we internalized really young, so most people don't have self awareness of it and don't want to have self awareness of it, because of the feelings of relief and belonging it brings them."
    Indeed. This is a good brief overview. I don't think the question is much if gender dysphoria exists as it is more if 'sex' dysphoria exists: defining it as an inherent, born-with, condition; that could ONLY be 'fixed' with HRT. As such, I think that does not exist, and that all claims and confusions about that come from the quote above. I have seen trans people that are gender critical and acknowledge this, and are immensely critical of people who say they are trans only because of traits (and then, transitioning), while also doing it themselves, claiming still, that their sex dysphoria is unrelated, even if they actually still want to be GNC. It is a very complex topic.

  2. I've never had anything like it, but I from reading women's writing I think the question of what is the feeling, the experience and what is the narrative meaning attached to it and influencing the desire for a "fix" and how that fix will be shaped.

  3. I stumbled over your blog, and I'm assuming (please correct me if I'm wrong) that you are trying to decipher whether or not nature or nurture is responsible for your child's wishes to not live their life as their assigned at birth gender? And you are concerned about it/unhappy? If I am mistaken I apologise! I am sure that you share the worries of most parents about their children especially if it's considered that they exhibit traits outside of what is considered the norm. My parents worried about me when I came out as gay.

    I am interested in your exploration as a parent of the social construction of gender roles and their possible influence on decisions to transition/body dysphoria. I wonder over and over to myself about this very subject. It's complex and very often cyclical. The more I explore my disappointment with being born female, I look at how I was born into a gendered world where I perceived (or was it the reality in my social upbringing?) that women had very little worth (or do I think it's more true because I suffer from dysphoria or because I should have been male and can see the injustice? It's very difficult to get to the bottom of these issues...). I also particularly dislike my female body, is this because it is biologically wrong, or because society tells me to be ashamed of it, because it is dirty, it is weak and it is owned by others, not by me? Or is it all of the above and many more reasons?

    I think it's important to acknowledge that everyones experience is different and you can only really know your own experience and those that are truthfully shared with you. You obviously care for your child and if I could have asked for anything more from my parents it would have been that they let me try things out and come back to them if I needed it. I didn't trust them enough to do that, it was a shame.

  4. Sorry if this is a bit curt, I have a shedload of other stuff to write and you account seems to have been created only to post your comment.

    My child is a young woman, please don't mangle the English language and make her sound like livestock.

    I don't write this blog to have an intellectual debate. If you want to find out about dysphoria read people who have lived thru it. Hers some starters. They know a great deal more about it than I do.

  5. My sincere apologies, truly, that was never my intention. My account was created to reply to your blog as yours was the first one that I had found that said something to me. I am trying to explore, but I should have just read and not commented.

    I am sorry. I honestly meant no disrespect.

    Thank you for the link.

    1. Ok I'll give your the benefit of the doubt.

      She wasn't assign a gender at birth, she was born a girl. That's a biological fact, not an opinion, not a decision. It’s something she has shared with her mammalian for millions on years.

      You can probably find answers to the rest of your questions here:
      or in the rest of the blog

  6. Fapped my feminine dick hard to this. I'm a FTT (Female to Titfucker) so my penis is a long clitoris which is a real womyn's dick and still feminine! Kappa.

    1. Sometimes I wonder if I have misunderstood the trans movement. Then someone like you turns up and I remember how batshit crazy it all is.


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