“Gender dysphoria is a condition where a person experiences discomfort or distress because there is a mismatch between their biological sex and gender identity.” Time to get decoded.
BIOLOGICAL SEX: Assigned at birth, depending on the appearance of our private parts. Vagina = girl. Penis = boy.
GENDER IDENTITY: Gender that a person “identifies” with or feels themselves to be.
While biological sex and gender identity are the same for most people, this is not the case for everyone. For example, some people may have the anatomy of a guy, but identify themselves as a girl, while others may not feel they are definitively either male or female.
This mismatch between sex and gender identity can lead to distressing and uncomfortable feelings that are called gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria is a recognised medical condition, for which treatment is sometimes appropriate.
It is not a mental illness, it’s not as simple as confusion and it’s not all about a sex change.
KNOW THE RIGHT TERMS:
Gender identity disorder (GID)
Some people with gender dysphoria have a strong and persistent desire to live according to their gender identity, rather than their biological sex. In a lot of instances, some trans people have treatment to make their physical appearance more consistent with their gender identity. Undergoing ‘treatment’ is a massive understatement. People have to go through extensive, invasive and dangerous surgery, let’s just say that it’s never an easy choice to make. Want to know more… read this in-depth explanation about how the surgery works, WARNING it’s a bit graphic.
Gender dysphoria is not the same as transvestism or cross-dressing, homosexuality or anything that is not as explained above. People with the condition may identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual or asexual, and this may or may not change with treatment.
Yes there is a very high chance we have all been through gender dysphoria. Discussing this with the team today, our founder mentioned:
“I think I did, respectfully of course…I made my family call me Olivia Boy for a few years, instead of just Olivia. A family friend had told me what happens when we grow up and have babies and from then on I wanted to be a boy, I was petrified of growing in a woman and I started acting like a boy and thought that I could gender swap by adding boy onto the end of my name.”
Another example might be, a child may have refused to wear typical boys’ or girls’ clothes, or dislike taking part in typical boys’ or girls’ games and activities. In most cases, this type of behaviour is just a normal part of growing up and will pass in time, but for those with gender dysphoria it persists into later childhood and through to adulthood.
This should not be taken light heartedly. Adults with gender dysphoria can feel trapped inside a body that does not match their gender identity.
There is not point in asking what causes it, it’s one of those things that like always, is worth understanding HOW rather than WHY. Bruce, now to be referred to as Caitlyn Jenner is someone like several others who has not only endured gender dysphoria but has exposed herself through it. I reckon we’ll be seeing a lot more of this and it’s probably because of Caitlyn.
Musings or thoughts? Share below. What are your thoughts on gender dysphoria? Is Caitlyn Jenner brave?