What is gender dysphoria? Is it a mental disorder? Are we truly, biologically the sex we identify as? Let’s talk about that now.
Hi everyone! We are going to be discussing gender dysphoria, or gender identity disorder, and the realism of this condition. I have talked about this in past conversations, so let’s continue talking about it since we should talk about it. Gender dysphoria, or gender identity disorder, is when an individual feels uncomfortable with the sex they were assigned at birth and will often identity as the opposite sex. For instance, I was born a male, identify as female and transitioned to female to live as who I was meant to live as.
Having gender dysphoria, for people who have never experienced it, cannot be put into simple terms. It cannot be described in a manner that people can relate to. Even the simple line of, “How would you feel if you woke up the next morning as the opposite sex, yet your mind was the same,” may not be relatable to some individuals who have never experienced the condition. Nevertheless, this condition comes with a lot of mental anguish. Depression, high suicide rates, comorbid diagnosis of many other disorders are not uncommon for trans individuals, neither are a history of past trauma, physical, emotional, and/or sexual, drug abuse, and even sex work. Not everyone who is trans has experienced these, but some do which further elevates the suicide rates.
There are arguments on both sides of whether or not gender identity disorder is a mental disorder or a biological condition or something else entirely. Right there in the name is ‘disorder’ so it must be a disorder right? I have expressed my views in the past and have stood against the idea of transsexuality being a mental disorder. But, that’s not to say for some individuals it isn’t. I cannot say to you that it isn’t a mental disorder, nor can I say that it is one. I think for some individuals it is, due to escapism and denial of the problems of the birth sex, a form of dissociation if you will. This dissociation could, many years later, dissipate as the true issues of the past get resolved. This could lead to the person waking up from this dissociative state and realizing that their entire transition was a mistake, and they regret it and especially surgery. It may seem a bit far fetched, but remember, each of us are different and have different backgrounds.
For some individuals, this scenario I just described is exactly how it is. For others, it could be the complete opposite. Remember, this doesn’t apply to everyone, nor am I trying to discriminate against anyone in the LGBT community. But, we in the LGBT community need to realize that it’s not just who we were born as, but what made us who we are growing up, what influenced us growing up, and how we rationalized everything going into our mind, especially at a young age.
The problem with listing it as a mental disorder is that it can hurt a lot of people. Isn’t it difficult to think that we are mentally ill versus just how we were born due to our brain not matching our bodies due to changes in hormones before our genitals developed. Yes, absolutely. But as I’ve mentioned, it doesn’t matter if it’s a mental disorder or not. This is the life we live and we can choose to go all the way, or not and work at accepting who we were born as. Whatever you choose, it’s your decision, and only you can make that decision. It is a life changing and altering process which is why it’s so important to truly understand what you want.
What about denial? There are individuals who will deny so much about their birth sex, close their eyes and ears to the world around them, and reject the harsh reality of this world and their life. They deny their old self and will never talk about it, associate with it, and/or even have a deep rooted hatred toward that sex. For instance, a trans woman, who was born male but has transitioned to female, completely denying that they were once male and born as such, even going as far as to having this hatred towards men for one reason or another.
This is also the perfect time to discuss the question, “Biologically what are transgender individuals?” The reality is, no matter how much you deny, transition, take hormones, wear clothing, wear makeup, have surgeries, whatever, trans people are, and will always be the sex they were born as. While there may be varying conditions in nature, such as intersex, that may change some of this biological makeup. You can change and mask it all you like, but in the end we are biologically the sex we were born as. I was born a male, and I am still a male on a biological level. My chromosomes are male, as are many other characteristics of my anatomy. Things that I simply cannot change as I wasn’t born a female. To go so far as to claim that I am biologically female, when I was born male, is a preposterous concept that promotes denial.
And what is even worse is that the ideas one has in their mind as to how they truly want to be in their transition, in how they look and behave, often simply is but a fantasy. Some people may be happy with their transition and others unhappy at their appearance, voice, mannerisms, and so on. But the truth is, you can find happiness in anything. You don’t need to go through expensive surgery after surgery to love yourself. While for some it may bring about this happiness, some are going to be unaffected by surgery, or it’ll make the depression worse due to high expectations not being met. That is why it is so important to learn and love yourself and both your male and female aspects that reside in all of us.
The trans community needs to come to terms with their true selves and the male and female sides of themselves. Denying that you were born as the opposite sex you identify as invalidates your entire transition. Anyone who goes through the hardships of transitioning, such as coming out, therapy, hormones, living full time, and even surgeries, is an incredibly strong individual. It is so much work going through this, not to mention the criticism from others that simply don’t understand. No one should invalidate how you feel, but you also should not deny how you were born. Transgender people know the importance of gender and sex because of their own struggle with their gender identity. It is so important to get in touch with your feminine side, as well as your masculine side. Don’t fear it, embrace it. Some cisgender men may think it’s too sissy of them to get in touch with their feminine side, but it resides in you and will not make you a sissy, but rather allow you to accept yourself in your entirety, and learn more about who you are and why you are the way you are. And the same goes for cisgender females, there is a masculine side within you waiting to be explored and expressed in some way. We all have it.
With this information, I hope you can form your own educated and well thought out conclusion of how you want to live your life. If you have any other input on this topic, I would love to hear it so please feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you agree or disagree with, and/or how this has helped you or someone close to you.
In conclusion, having gender dysphoria is a struggle. It’s not easy and comes with so much mental anguish. Some claim it’s a mental disorder, and for some it may be. Regardless, it doesn’t matter. Once you get to the root of why you feel the way you do, even if it was due to past issues and trauma, your answers will come to you. Denial will not solve anything. We must embrace the male and female aspects of ourselves since we all have them. I hope this information was informative and helpful to you. Have a wonderful day!
Following the ‘trans week’ series I had on my Elle Stone channel, I decided to make one here too. I did it so quickly too since I didn’t plan on it initially. Regardless, it’s to truly talk about the reality of being trans, without putting on some form of denial. Acceptance of both the male and female sides of our personality.