Everyday Struggles of a Transgender Man
I use the words ‘dysphoria’ and ‘dysphoric’ at least once a day. This concept is an unfortunate reality of my life; I know it’s darkness inside and out.
On more than one occasion, I’ve been asked to explain what these terms mean to those who aren’t as familiar with it. I can never find the words on the spot, so I figured I’d sit down and write about it.
What Is Dysphoria?
According to WebMD, dysphoria is a feeling of dissatisfaction, anxiety, and restlessness. It can cause severe distress, anxiety, and depression.
For those of us that have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, it’s the dissatisfaction and anxiety that results from a physical body that does not match the gender we truly. It’s being literally trapped inside of a body that isn’t yours, and having to deal with the consequences of that every single day.
Some practical examples:
- The gut-retching feeling you get when you hear ‘she’ at the end of a day filled with ‘sirs’, because despite the deep voice, binding, and stubble on your face, you still have a ‘female figure’.
- The need to wear baggy hoodies at the gym, because it’s unsafe to bind when you exercise, but you can’t face showing any hint of your true chest in public.
- The constant desire to penetrate a woman with more than a piece of plastic or a couple lousy fingers.
- The asexual tendencies because it’s not your body, and you have to accept that sex will never be what you want it to be.
- The discomfort you experience watching sex scenes on a movie for the same reasons – because no matter how much you tan and workout, this portrayal of a man will never be you.
- The hatred you have toward those enormous fucking hip bones that make men’s pants fit weird and prompt misgendering.
- The constant envy of the other guys over things as basic as using a urinal and hanging out shirtless.
- The anxiety leading up to a summer vacation or fun day on the boat, because even if your family genders you correctly, you know you’re presenting as female and it’s disgusting.
- The angry reaction when cis people ask why you care so much about what people think, or tell you that you’re being close minded.
Just to Clarify..
I have to clarify that dysphoria is a bit different for everyone. Some transgender people don’t mind having certain physical characteristics, and certain pieces are more troublesome than others. But everyone will agree that it ruins your best days and prevents you from enjoying life’s most basic pleasures.
So, what can you do about it?
Some people have certain ways of handling dysphoria in the moment that it strikes. Me, personally, I haven’t found anything that works.
For most of us, the biggest emphasis is on preventative natures:
- Top surgery
- Bottom surgeries
- STP devices
- Baggy clothes
But these things cost money, and they’ll never totally eliminate dysphoria. I imagine that even those living in total stealth have their moments.