Thursday, December 23, 2010


Most of the transmen I know talk often of their "dysphoria". Funny thing is, for most of them this dysphoria is only discovered AFTER they come out. This is the common progression that I have seen; Someone who is a bit of a "Tomboy" and enjoys wearing mens clothes learns about transition or meets someone that is FTM identified. They then get plugged into the FTM energy. They decide that they might be FTM and want to try to pass as male.  In order to pass they buy binders, packers etc.  They then believe that the desire to wear these products is a result of dysphoria. When actually, it's a desire to "pass".  

True Gender Dysphoria is something that is very clear in a persons life from the time that they are very very young. A female bodied child my become obsess with the idea that she will "grow" a penis. A male bodied child may talk  about cutting off their penis. A teenage female bodied person will refuse to leave the house when puberty begins because of the growth of her breasts. It's not something that is subtle or "deeply hidden". When a person is really experiencing Dysphoria it's intense and present in every stage of their life. To often I hear transman talk about how they "berried" their dysphoria, or about how they only "discovered" their feelings of dysphoria after meeting a transperson. This is not dysphoria! This is something that was created. Sometimes, I think, Whether a conscious choice or not, it is created to help a person feel secure in their trans identity.

This constructed dysphoria has a horrible impact on a person's self esteem. I've watched people who have no real problems with their bodies convince themselves that something is wrong.

One of my friends who I believe is truly trans said something to me when I first started to identify as trans... As I told him my plans to put off transition until after I was secure in my teaching job, he said "well, it's nice that you can do that" Most of us cannot put it off.  That really made me think,If I were truly trans, and was truly experiencing dysphoria, I would not be able to wait. The power of the dysphoria would be so strong it would effect my ability to function.


  1. "I've watched people who have no real problems with their bodies convince themselves that something is wrong."

    This is scary. As someone (I'm MTF now over a decade happily post-transition) who has grappled with intense dysphoria all my life, let me say this: You DO NOT want dysphoria. It seriously fucks you up. I wanted to get as far away from it as possible. I can't imagine anyone wanting to have it, or pursuing a course that would make it worsen. It makes you exhausted, depressed, chronically frustrated, and eternally jealous and envious of those assigned your target sex. That is the feeling that is always there, every day, grinding away at you, wearing you down. I didn't want any of that, I wanted to finally feel comfortable in my skin and feel like I own my body. Transition immediately made the dysphoria lessen and now it is virtually non-existent; it DID NOT make it worse, and if it is having that effect in you, you should immediately reflect on why this is the case. I still have minor niggles about my body and whether this-or-that poses a problem for passing (tho I have had no problems in that department), but this is not dysphoria. I was reminded of this on Christmas when I was at my mom's house and I looked through family photos and found one that showed the "old me". I had an immediate visceral reaction to seeing that old face and body that reminded me how dysphoria used to feel like (how I felt at that time in my life), as I really haven't felt those feelings in many years. I am still amazed that the person in that photo is me, as I don't look anything like that. I can't imagine spending just one day back in that position again.

    Also when I was in my teens in the dark depths of dysphoria, I didn't have a word or concept to refer to it; it was just me suffering alone with no one I could explain this to. Things are so different now with the internet and social networking. I so much wish I had the resources and communities that exist now. But at the same time, I do think that as trans people become more and more visible in society and with more and more info accessible on the web, there will be more questioning youth who aren't transsexual but who will explore that as a possible identity. So thank you for starting this blog and sharing your experience so others can learn from it.

  2. Congraulations on your transition! Transition is SO important for those that do experience dysphoria. I think we are going to start seeing a lot more teens and young adults coming out as FTM because it is more socially acceptable and eaiser to hide before a person begins transition.

    I think you are very brave for going through with your transition. It's hard to transition in a society that simply dosen't understand. But each person that makes the transition helps to change the views and and acceptance of Society!