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Dysphoria, In *My* Life? More Likely Than You Think!

So I have often said that I did not or do not experience gender dysphoria. After all, my transition is primarily fueled by gender euphoria, and I did not hate myself or my body growing up. I got along with the few friends I had, and had birthday parties and was a moderately successful Boy Scout. So, like, where is the dysphoria?

Yeah about that.

The other day in the LGBTQ in Tech Slack (which is wonderful by the way and I encourage all y'all to join if you want a safe space away from The Discourse), someone posted a cute little comic by an artist who goes by Xan. And, as I have been a little down for the count the last day or so sick, in between trying and mostly failing to work from home, I read through most of their archive.

And found their four-part (Parts 1 & 2, Parts 3 & 4) work on "Dial D for Dysphoria".

Now, many of their comics rang entertainingly/disturbingly close to home (even more so than Trans Girl Next Door which is also a gem). But those two comics just...

Well, tally them up:

  • Disappointment
    • Ayup
  • Dissociation
    • Ayup -- learned how to fake it really really well
  • Disgust
    • Meh -- though I really dislike body and facial hair, Jasper says that many women do so this might not be gender dysphoria.
  • Displaced
    • Ayup -- what do you mean, not everyone fantasizes about being a girl all the time growing up?
  • Disbelief
    • Nope -- 2001-03-26, I figured out that "being transgender" was A Thing People Can Be, and shortly thereafter figured that it might also be A Thing I Am
  • Disguise
    • AYUP -- Eagle Scout, camp counselor at a BSA camp for two summers, almost a counselor at a BSA Youth Leadership training workshop (Milwaukee called these "Powderhorn" but I hear that is a regional name) mom said, when I came out to her "we figured you might just be gay, we had no idea you were trans" (joke is, mom, I am (mostly (kinda)) gay...a gay woman)
  • Distress
    • Ayup -- you may see pictures of me pre-transition with a wild, unruly crop of facial hair...because I gave up. It was too much work to present "en femme" as I called it, so I just...stopped.
  • Disgraceful
    • Ayup -- those first few (many) times in college, buying my first forms, getting the first bra that actually belonged to me, hoping to all that is holy that I was not just gross and weird and creepy
  • Discouraged
    • AYUP -- See Distress
  • Disinhibition
    • AYUP -- While I knew since I was...not very old, I did not really embrace it until college. This was a part of me. This was me. This was me.
  • Discovery
    • AYUP -- Tumblr, Twitter, so many readings online, meeting other transfolk in person at college or elsewhere, one particularly cool person at i3Detroit when I first joined, the LGBTQ in Tech Slack. There are others! It can be done. And it is SO rewarding to do.

9.5 of 11...Wow. I suffered dysphoria and did not even realize it.