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Heart

Different Dysphorias

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nerdperson777

I've got a question for people here.

Do you ever feel like you don't own your own body? Like you don't have the right to do what you want to/with it?

I'm also on that bandwagon of people who say yes to that statement due to how we were raised. From what I tell my friends, they say that I was enslaved by my parents. I never really had a say in what I wanted and I gave up on it. I stopped having a sense of liking or disliking anything. I simply didn't have a preference other than what I didn't realize was dysphoria. I tell people that my favorite color is blue just because that's the color of most of my clothes but I wouldn't say that it was much of anything. I just didn't like "girly" colors like pink, red, and maybe purple. And in the past year, I have noticed how controlling my parents were. I often stayed in the house, which meant that they were keeping me in their control. I rode a bike 20 miles to my friend's house just to get away and they became paranoid that I would get run over by a car. I got called 7 times that day. And my dad once posed an argument that he and mom owned me. The argument was incredibly BS. He said that I should get a haircut, but I wanted it long enough for me to cosplay one day. When asked what mom thought, I said that she wanted me to cut my hair too. He concluded that I was overruled and I must get a haircut. I started thinking about all the ways the argument was flawed and said that my hair belonged to me. He said that while it's true that I owned my hair, I was created from him and mom so they own me, and therefore my hair also. Since then, I've been trying to break away from my parents but they're always crawling back to me.

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Heart

I've got a question for people here.

Do you ever feel like you don't own your own body? Like you don't have the right to do what you want to/with it?

Yes. But I guess I differ in that I don't get the sense that my body belongs to someone else either. I just don't feel particularly like it belongs to me, or to anyone for that matter. Odd? It kinda is, now that I think about it.

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butterflydreams

I've got a question for people here.

Do you ever feel like you don't own your own body? Like you don't have the right to do what you want to/with it?

Yes. But I guess I differ in that I don't get the sense that my body belongs to someone else either. I just don't feel particularly like it belongs to me, or to anyone for that matter. Odd? It kinda is, now that I think about it.

I don't even think who (if anyone) else owns it necessarily matters. The sense that it doesn't really belong to you is the one I'm wondering about. It doesn't seem odd to me, because that's how I feel.

What is weird is that even though I'm not religious at all, arguments along the lines of "you shouldn't try to change your body (gender in this case) to be other than how God/nature/whatever made you" really give me pause. Like, who am I to muck with what I was given? It's like if I was renting a car, I wouldn't feel right painting it a new color. Maybe it's like a destiny thing. Feeling like you have to fulfill the destiny of your body :(

I know there are a dozen logical arguments even I could come out with against this, but it's a feeling that's hard to shake. Last night I got out of the shower. It was one of my "off" days for face shaving. Can't shave it every day, or it'll always show a little stubble. Better to have every other day be super smooth and bite the bullet on the other days. I got to thinking about how to eliminate this problem, laser, or whatever. And I had this feeling of who am I to make that permanent arguably unnatural alteration? I don't have that right. Even if having face stubble is easily a 50% increase in feeling like shit.

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littlepersonparadox

People have been altering there body for decades. Tattoos, piercings etc. Some body modification was been done in the past in the mane if religion, nature etc. if we were to say altering the body in any way is wrong we wouldn't have artificial hips, pacemakers, oscoliosis surgery to straighten out the back.

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Kappamaki

What is weird is that even though I'm not religious at all, arguments along the lines of "you shouldn't try to change your body (gender in this case) to be other than how God/nature/whatever made you" really give me pause. Like, who am I to muck with what I was given? It's like if I was renting a car, I wouldn't feel right painting it a new color. Maybe it's like a destiny thing. Feeling like you have to fulfill the destiny of your body :(

Heh, if someone tried to tell me that I shouldn't change my body because it's what God gave me, the contrarian atheist fate-hating preteen in me would have a fit! It wouldn't stop until I'd given myself retractable claws or something. And my body's endemic processes sacrificed their right to rule the moment puberty started. Sure, the unrest and rebellion took a while to overthrow them, but we aren't reverting to the old monarchy.

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Calligraphette_Coe

You know, looking back, I can't help but wonder if the reason I was so drawn to Paul in that scene was because of the idea that here was this dude, but he was special. Something about him was going to enable him to be one of the Bene Gesserit, a group of only women. And as she said, many men had tried to pass the initiation test and died. But here was this man, and he was different. He could be one of them. I like that.

When you think about it, Paul was like some of us-- possessed of Other Memory, but trapped by it. If I recall correctly, the Kwisatz Haderach was to be like a male Reverend Mother, but able to access Other Memory/genetic memory on the male side of the equation, something the Bene Gesserit were terrified of.

I feel like that, too. I get very uncomfortable to the extreme with the male gestalt. The feeling that it will catch me and devour me, assimilate me and make me lose all the feminine in me that makes up my inner world. Like Paul Maud' Dib, I'd rather go into the desert and take my chances, even if it means being lost forever.

I liked the Dune universe, but thought that Herbert could have done better with it. Even though the Bene Gesserit were strong women, he made them out to be too much like scheming witches who craved power a bit too much.

Other, more feminine sci-fi that I really identified with? Gawd, I felt like I could have been one of Anne McCaffrey's characters, The Rowan. Like her, I felt trapped by an accident of nature, and I screamed a telepathic scream to free myself. :::::sighs::::: I wasn't a very loud telepath like her, I guess. Because here I am, still at it....

As to your question about body ownership and mods? I guess I look at my body as a home, albeit not in the neighborhood or village where I'd feel the most comfortable, so like home, it feels like a nest that I should feather with what allows me to express my inner feelings in a congruent way. I've had sooo many things done to my body to mitigate disease and cheat death that I guess I couldn't see it any other way. It's just a vessel made of meat, and doesn't feel like home, so why not modify it to make it more comfortable?

Maybe even that religious quote, If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out. (I'd append -brow to that, though :)

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Fitzsimmons ♡

I also became extremely self-conscious about facial hair at that time, and leg hair, which was thicker and denser than anyone else in my immediate family. It was pretty lame, really. There were several years of summers in there where I just stopped going swimming. Prior to that, I loved swimming so much I never would've gotten out of the lake if my parents hadn't told me to. I eventually got back into it, but only years later, and even now, it's like I'm completely disconnected from my body if I'm sitting there on the beach in swim trunks and no shirt.

Hair is my only cause of dysphoria. I have a good relationship with my body despite the weight, despite the flaws, except for that. It really drives me crazy and tends to depress me because I don't like it, don't want it, and spend way too much time fighting a useless battle. I've been considering laser treatment for years, and now that I can afford it, I think I'll do that, though it'll cost me a lot of money to treat all the areas of my body that I'd like to treat. I really can't deal with this anymore, I just can't. :(

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butterflydreams

What is weird is that even though I'm not religious at all, arguments along the lines of "you shouldn't try to change your body (gender in this case) to be other than how God/nature/whatever made you" really give me pause. Like, who am I to muck with what I was given? It's like if I was renting a car, I wouldn't feel right painting it a new color. Maybe it's like a destiny thing. Feeling like you have to fulfill the destiny of your body :(

Heh, if someone tried to tell me that I shouldn't change my body because it's what God gave me, the contrarian atheist fate-hating preteen in me would have a fit! It wouldn't stop until I'd given myself retractable claws or something. And my body's endemic processes sacrificed their right to rule the moment puberty started. Sure, the unrest and rebellion took a while to overthrow them, but we aren't reverting to the old monarchy.

Hehe :) It's funny because I used to be like that too. The contrarian bit. "Oh you don't think I can/should/deserve to do such-and-such thing? Now I'm going to do it out of spite just to prove you wrong." I guess I've mellowed out over the years.

You know, looking back, I can't help but wonder if the reason I was so drawn to Paul in that scene was because of the idea that here was this dude, but he was special. Something about him was going to enable him to be one of the Bene Gesserit, a group of only women. And as she said, many men had tried to pass the initiation test and died. But here was this man, and he was different. He could be one of them. I like that.

When you think about it, Paul was like some of us-- possessed of Other Memory, but trapped by it. If I recall correctly, the Kwisatz Haderach was to be like a male Reverend Mother, but able to access Other Memory/genetic memory on the male side of the equation, something the Bene Gesserit were terrified of.

I feel like that, too. I get very uncomfortable to the extreme with the male gestalt. The feeling that it will catch me and devour me, assimilate me and make me lose all the feminine in me that makes up my inner world. Like Paul Maud' Dib, I'd rather go into the desert and take my chances, even if it means being lost forever.

I liked the Dune universe, but thought that Herbert could have done better with it. Even though the Bene Gesserit were strong women, he made them out to be too much like scheming witches who craved power a bit too much.

Yeah, that's right. He was the male Reverend Mother, and he could see everything they could, but also what they could not. I really liked the idea of the Bene Gesserit in that story. I guess he painted some of them as scheming witches, but overall as a class of people, I got the impression that they were strong, and did not take any shit. Though all the groups in that story were power hungry in their own ways.

As to your question about body ownership and mods? I guess I look at my body as a home, albeit not in the neighborhood or village where I'd feel the most comfortable, so like home, it feels like a nest that I should feather with what allows me to express my inner feelings in a congruent way. I've had sooo many things done to my body to mitigate disease and cheat death that I guess I couldn't see it any other way. It's just a vessel made of meat, and doesn't feel like home, so why not modify it to make it more comfortable?

Maybe even that religious quote, If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out. (I'd append -brow to that, though :)

<3 I like the way you phrase that. Feathering a home the best you can.

I swear everyone, I'm not religious! I just seem to have all the tendencies and fears of someone who is.

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Densoro

Ooh, just noticed this o: It's late, so I haven't read up on the discussion yet, but I thought I'd add a thing or two about my experience. Even though I just downed a pair of day-old sleeping pills.

It seems to me that society has attached so much baggage to sexual characteristics, and then conflates the baggage with the body parts themselves. As such, when somebody talks about being a 'man,' they're unknowingly talking about two totally different things that they're failing to differentiate: (not so) objective biology, and a sort of title or social archetype.

For example, cisnormativity dictates that people read me as cis, but my behavior, self-concept, and other things cause people to treat me a lot less like a 'man' without realizing it. They cut me off more often in conversation, dismiss me more -- and because of their attachment to the gender binary, they probably think of me as womanly. Conversely, people are more emotionally open with me as well, for much the same reason. Now, I'm not a big fan of gender essentialism: anybody could exhibit the same behaviors, gender be damned. However, with these titles hanging overhead, the concept of a 'man' rarely allows space for these things. Individual people can redefine masculinity to include these virtues, but in general, society expects that y'all color inside the lines.

All that is set-up as background for my dysphoria: it seems to tie in with my asexuality, because whenever I perform a sex act, it feels like, "This is the way a 'man' would use his parts." The implication being, it doesn't seem like the way a Den would use his parts. There's this sense of imposter syndrome that makes it feel like the pleasure was meant for a different type of person, so I don't feel it. I'm only receptive to the emotional energy of the encounter.

Because this triggers in such specific circumstances, I'm totally fine if people stay outside my clothes. I kinda forget I have genitals, myself; I count on other people having the same sort of experience. I'm just Den, prancing around in jeans or PE shorts and a T-shirt.

Hope that was vague enough that I don't need to spoiler anything :'D

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Heart

With regards to the body changes thing: whenever I settle on some kind of change, I tend to finalise it with myself by convincing myself that it is an improvement. Like, my body is in my safe-keeping for one lifetime, no more and no less. But it's a long-term lease, something I am meant to take care of. If, for example, someone had lent me a house for one lifetime, I would water the plants and clean and generally take care of it. It would be very rude not to. That's like eating and sleeping for my body; the basics. But because it has been lent to me for a lifetime and not a week or two, then there are more than just the basics for upkeep. With the house example, I may have a leak in the roof at one point. Then it's my prerogative to replace the roof, but with what tiles?

In short, because this is a long term lease, I feel like I can "move in" and improve the lot of this body. Whether that means getting and staying in shape, or keeping a healthy diet, or any other kind of improvements. If i can convince myself that it's an improvement, then it's a good thing to aspire to do :) And, the business person in me says, the more I feel comfortable in my own body, the more I will naturally be inclined to take care of it. As such, gendered things count as improvements; I have to keep myself feeling at home or I will neglect basic upkeep. Like showers. Showers are good, but I have to feel good enough about my body to be able to be naked for that length of time, so doing the properly gendered things for a while helps with that. It's like storing up a battery or something :)

All that is set-up as background for my dysphoria: it seems to tie in with my asexuality, because whenever I perform a sex act, it feels like, "This is the way a 'man' would use his parts." The implication being, it doesn't seem like the way a Den would use his parts. There's this sense of imposter syndrome that makes it feel like the pleasure was meant for a different type of person, so I don't feel it. I'm only receptive to the emotional energy of the encounter.

Because this triggers in such specific circumstances, I'm totally fine if people stay outside my clothes. I kinda forget I have genitals, myself; I count on other people having the same sort of experience. I'm just Den, prancing around in jeans or PE shorts and a T-shirt.

Hope that was vague enough that I don't need to spoiler anything :'D

Yes, that was plenty vague enough :)

But you're right. A lot of dysphoria tends to centre around genitals, and the role they play. Wanting to act "like a man" or whatever plays a large part in genital dysphoria for a lot of people. I actually do the same thing with genitals, except one step further; I just imagine that no one has genitals :P Not me, not anyone. And as long as I don't have to see anyone naked, then we're all good. I mean, it's great for people who like their genitals. They can be as proud of them as they like. But I'm gonna stay as far away as I can, and that's just that :P

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House of Chimeras

I've got a question for people here.

Do you ever feel like you don't own your own body? Like you don't have the right to do what you want to/with it?

Yes, but that comes from stuff dealing with multiplicity more than anyone's gender dysphoria in our system. None of us headmates (alters) looks like our body so their is a lot of dissociation there, and dysphoria between how we see ourselves and how our body is (one various levels) simply adds to the lack of connection to our very body.

Our lack of a right do what any one person wants to with it also comes from being multiple more than just anyone's gender dysphoria as well. After all, one headmate can't just make a drastic change to our body without discussing it with everyone else. That's why we don't even have little things like our ear pierced let alone any other kind of body modification done - because getting a majority to agree to one thing can be difficult.

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noparlpf

I own my body, but I'm still kind of hesitant to commit to permanent changes.

As a minor example: I've been thinking about getting the ace ring done as a tattoo for well over six months, but haven't been able to settle on a design (solid band vs. two stripes, width, &c.).

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Calligraphette_Coe

I swear everyone, I'm not religious! I just seem to have all the tendencies and fears of someone who is.

I think I understand, Hadley. You have a sort of reverence about you that has nothing to do with dogma. Sort of like this passage from The Prophet:

Is not religion all deeds and all reflection,

And that which is neither deed nor reflection, but a wonder and a surprise ever springing in the soul, even while the hands hew the stone or tend the loom?

Who can separate their faith from their actions, or their belief from their occupations?

Who can spread their hours before themselves, saying, "This for God and this for myself;

This for my soul, and this other for my body?"

All your hours are wings that beat through space from self to self.

It's a sort of reverence that constantly whispers to you, "Choose wisely"-- in everything you do on The Way, and everything you feel for the Wayfarers.

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Kappamaki

I kinda forget I have genitals, myself; I count on other people having the same sort of experience.

I actually do the same thing with genitals, except one step further; I just imagine that no one has genitals :P Not me, not anyone.

Just wanted to chip in here and say that this is also something I do. It takes a bit of willful thinking to remember that other people have genitals (something I do very, very rarely because there's no benefit from it) and it feels intrusive and wrong to remember that about people I know. I forget about mine unless I'm experiencing some form of physical discomfort.

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noparlpf

I just imagine that no one has genitals :P Not me, not anyone.

I almost have myself convinced that people I know just look like Barbie "down there" even though I know otherwise. I don't even bother to think that people I don't know exist, so their genitals or lack thereof are irrelevant.

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littlepersonparadox

the one envious aspect of barbie.

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butterflydreams

Heart, I love your long term lease analogy. That makes a ton of sense and is something I can easily relate to :)

The stuff about imagining you don't have genitals is interesting. I don't think I've ever explicitly thought in those terms, but I did always have concern about hiding mine. Like, people can't know what I have. I won't let them. Even though they probably do, and there's nothing I can really do about that.

Heh, I feel like a person or two have said things to me about how much they "loved their genitals" or "loved playing with them" or "loved sexy times". Not necessarily in those specific terms, but it was the first time I realized that people didn't think the same way I did. People actually like them? Enjoy all that stuff? WTF? Now I'm envious. I wish I could feel that way :(

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Heart

the one envious aspect of barbie.

I remember having to do a dance performance to the Aqua song, Barbie World. And, because I was the only blonde AFAB in the group, I was Barbie of course. There's a line in it:

You can do my hair

Undress me everywhere

And I remember being jealous. Doubtless it was supposed to be a sexual innuendo, but I thought it was just so nice that Barbie could be naked, because she had nothing to hide. Like, I always had to hide my genitals, otherwise someone would find out that I had a vagina. Ew. But Barbie? She could do whatever she wanted, and never show something so ew as a vagina. (Note: vaginas are awesome for those who enjoy theirs or want one. I don't, and this is only my personal view about my own vagina, not others :) ). Ken was also pretty lucky on that front. Nothing embarrassing ever down there. Can you imagine the freedom of being able to go about naked without feeling wrong? (Cue early hints of dysphoria that I never recognised until now).

Even to this day, I say that my ideal genitals would be Barbie doll genitals :P

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Calligraphette_Coe

the one envious aspect of barbie.

I remember having to do a dance performance to the Aqua song, Barbie World. And, because I was the only blonde AFAB in the group, I was Barbie of course. There's a line in it:

You can do my hair

Undress me everywhere

And I remember being jealous. Doubtless it was supposed to be a sexual innuendo, but I thought it was just so nice that Barbie could be naked, because she had nothing to hide. Like, I always had to hide my genitals, otherwise someone would find out that I had a vagina. Ew. But Barbie? She could do whatever she wanted, and never show something so ew as a vagina. (Note: vaginas are awesome for those who enjoy theirs or want one. I don't, and this is only my personal view about my own vagina, not others :) ). Ken was also pretty lucky on that front. Nothing embarrassing ever down there. Can you imagine the freedom of being able to go about naked without feeling wrong? (Cue early hints of dysphoria that I never recognised until now).

Even to this day, I say that my ideal genitals would be Barbie doll genitals :P

Here again, I'm reminded of a sci-fi novel-- this time, Arthur C. Clark's The City and the The Stars. Sort of ironic, too, that the name of the 'city' was Diaspar. Its far-in-the-future inhabitants had retractable genitals, such that it was almost impossible to tell who was male and who was female, and biological reproduction was obsolete and considered dangerous.

::::sighs:::: I still remember sneaking a flashlight to bed so I could read late at night because my religious parents didn't want me 'reading that garbage'. And I always wondered if they thought that my reading such things made me the way I was, and was the reason I never gave them any grandchildren. I sooo wanted to live someplace like that, though.

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JON

I must admit that when I saw pictures of the crotch on Ken(and Barbie) I heard a voice saying "That's me,,. But it was only after a couple of years reading/writing on AVEN or Eunuch Archive.

I still think that there should be someone in the medical society, not just saying, but actually perform the surgeries needed for those wants a genderless body(neutrois). I would prefer the 3 step type of surgery that I've writing about.

http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/98595-medical-mtn-the-short-end-of-the-stick/?p=1060712412

If the surgeries were performed we could have a forum(www.susans.org) telling those who are considering it, about the ups & downs. Problems with family, friends, employers & practical problems.

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butterflydreams

My sister hated dolls (and most things actually). She only had one or two barbies and they weren't fun at all. I was always most interested in the dolls that had weighted eyes that would close when you lay them down <3 I just thought it was the coolest, most realistic thing ever :lol:

Another question for you all:

Would familial relationships be a kind of social dysphoria? So, feeling like a daughter/son or sister/brother. Has anyone ever noticed that kind of thing as being very pronounced and noticeable?

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Reptillian

There's something that needs to be considered. For some people, feelings do not define their identity, and hence sometimes, dysphoria can exist even in cisgender individuals. There's also transgender individuals that rarely feel dysphoria, and still strongly identify as the other gender.

I'm sorry Reptilian! Is this the comment you were referring to? I thought I had responded, but looking back I don't see my response. Sorry, it wasn't mean to be personal :(

When I had thought I had responded, I had meant to ask what kind of dysphoria cis people experience? It is hard to imagine a gender-related dysphoria, but I don't want to rule that out without asking. Or did you mean something other than gender-related dysphoria? I see easily how a cis person can experience literally any other kind of dysphoria, cis is not a free pass to be happy with your life ;)

I am saying that someone could experience body dysphoria without identifying with the dysphoria. It's not hard to imagine such a state. Some examples are....

1) I feel like I have 3 arms, but I identify as someone who has 2 arms because that is what can be observed.

2) I feel that I have two arms, but I identify as someone with no arms because that is what one would see.

The key element here is not using how you feel as a basis for your identity. That makes it entirely possible for people to have feelings similar to a transgender individual, but yet carries the identity of a cis-individual because feelings aren't used as a basis of identity.

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littlepersonparadox

My sister hated dolls (and most things actually). She only had one or two barbies and they weren't fun at all. I was always most interested in the dolls that had weighted eyes that would close when you lay them down <3 I just thought it was the coolest, most realistic thing ever :lol:

Another question for you all:

Would familial relationships be a kind of social dysphoria? So, feeling like a daughter/son or sister/brother. Has anyone ever noticed that kind of thing as being very pronounced and noticeable?

I actually sort of found those blinking dolls creepy. Because inanimate objects should not appear to mystically move by their own accord. They would blink every now and again. At least the one my grandmother had. Every action has a equal and opposite reaction. The doll blinking appeared to break that for me back when i was little.

Yea sometimes when i hear daughter or some such it is a little odd. I almost called myself their son once :P. Most often i think of myself as their kid not their daughter/son.

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Heart

There's something that needs to be considered. For some people, feelings do not define their identity, and hence sometimes, dysphoria can exist even in cisgender individuals. There's also transgender individuals that rarely feel dysphoria, and still strongly identify as the other gender.

I'm sorry Reptilian! Is this the comment you were referring to? I thought I had responded, but looking back I don't see my response. Sorry, it wasn't mean to be personal :(

When I had thought I had responded, I had meant to ask what kind of dysphoria cis people experience? It is hard to imagine a gender-related dysphoria, but I don't want to rule that out without asking. Or did you mean something other than gender-related dysphoria? I see easily how a cis person can experience literally any other kind of dysphoria, cis is not a free pass to be happy with your life ;)

I am saying that someone could experience body dysphoria without identifying with the dysphoria. It's not hard to imagine such a state. Some examples are....

1) I feel like I have 3 arms, but I identify as someone who has 2 arms because that is what can be observed.

2) I feel that I have two arms, but I identify as someone with no arms because that is what one would see.

The key element here is not using how you feel as a basis for your identity. That makes it entirely possible for people to have feelings similar to a transgender individual, but yet carries the identity of a cis-individual because feelings aren't used as a basis of identity.

Fair. In fact, there do exist people who feel differently than their bodies in more ways than just gender too. I remember reading an article about trans-abled people, who feel that they shouldn't have a limb that they really have, or should be blind, etc. It is important to remember that dysphoria happens in all ways, and is very much an individual experience. Nor should dysphoria ever dictate who you are; your identity is for you to decide, not your dysphoria (or lack thereof).

Another question for you all:

Would familial relationships be a kind of social dysphoria? So, feeling like a daughter/son or sister/brother. Has anyone ever noticed that kind of thing as being very pronounced and noticeable?

I am going to go with yes and yes. Actually, familial relations aren't much of a problem for me, but labels from friends/significant others bother me more. I am no one's "girlfriend". Not in a significant other way, not in a "girl's night out" way. I just am not. And that kinda bothers me.

"Daughter" and "sister" though don't bother me at all for some reason. I think it's because the only people who use those words for me are my sister and dad, and I love them more than life itself. I have only fond memories of them both, they are essentially my best friends. So, to me, "sister" means best friend for life, not sibling; "daughter" comes from the most awesome parental figure I could ask for, in a loving manner... Emotionally, it's not gendered somehow. I am not sure how that happened or why.

Interesting how that happens. Ironically, my mother is the only one in my immediate family to really gender things, and she does so because she believes that women are oppressed. She is part of a wave of feminism that leads her to get an education as a nurse because women traditionally can't work, but she wanted to be able to do so to be independent. She places a lot of importance on being independent and came from a household where she was expected to basically be a housewife. Strong traditional gender roles. So she is the one who genders everything, in such a way as to make it possible for my sister and I to break gender roles... but it always bothered me that she gendered me as a female to start with. So she always was careful to use things like "children" instead of "daughers", but to me that was even more uncomfortable, because somehow when she says "children", we all know she means daughters, and is being self-conscious about saying the gender-neutral one. So, I experience dysphoria around my mother, because she unconsciously has strong gendering in her mannerisms and life, and that bothers me. But the superficial things, like the word "children" became associated with the persistent background gendering for me.

TL;DR -- I don't feel dysphoria with my dad referring to me as "daughter" or my sister calling me "sister". But I hate it when anyone calls me "girlfriend", or when my mother is so self-conscious and mechanical about using gender-neutral words.

You just can't win with me, can you? I don't like gendered language from anyone who is not my sister or dad, but I also hate it when someone is mechanical with their neutral language and it doesn't carry over to their mannerisms... I guess I just want deep change from everyone eh? I think the take-home message is that words don't mean as much to me as actions and mannerisms. So, my sister and dad are awesome because they don't gender anything except words, and everyone else needs to just learn that way :P

Wow... I don't think even I can decipher what I wrote there. I'll leave it in case anyone finds it useful, but that was disorganised and terribly written, sorry :(

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butterflydreams

Another question for you all:

Would familial relationships be a kind of social dysphoria? So, feeling like a daughter/son or sister/brother. Has anyone ever noticed that kind of thing as being very pronounced and noticeable?

I am going to go with yes and yes. Actually, familial relations aren't much of a problem for me, but labels from friends/significant others bother me more. I am no one's "girlfriend". Not in a significant other way, not in a "girl's night out" way. I just am not. And that kinda bothers me.

"Daughter" and "sister" though don't bother me at all for some reason. I think it's because the only people who use those words for me are my sister and dad, and I love them more than life itself. I have only fond memories of them both, they are essentially my best friends. So, to me, "sister" means best friend for life, not sibling; "daughter" comes from the most awesome parental figure I could ask for, in a loving manner... Emotionally, it's not gendered somehow. I am not sure how that happened or why.

Interesting how that happens. Ironically, my mother is the only one in my immediate family to really gender things, and she does so because she believes that women are oppressed. She is part of a wave of feminism that leads her to get an education as a nurse because women traditionally can't work, but she wanted to be able to do so to be independent. She places a lot of importance on being independent and came from a household where she was expected to basically be a housewife. Strong traditional gender roles. So she is the one who genders everything, in such a way as to make it possible for my sister and I to break gender roles... but it always bothered me that she gendered me as a female to start with. So she always was careful to use things like "children" instead of "daughers", but to me that was even more uncomfortable, because somehow when she says "children", we all know she means daughters, and is being self-conscious about saying the gender-neutral one. So, I experience dysphoria around my mother, because she unconsciously has strong gendering in her mannerisms and life, and that bothers me. But the superficial things, like the word "children" became associated with the persistent background gendering for me.

TL;DR -- I don't feel dysphoria with my dad referring to me as "daughter" or my sister calling me "sister". But I hate it when anyone calls me "girlfriend", or when my mother is so self-conscious and mechanical about using gender-neutral words.

You just can't win with me, can you? I don't like gendered language from anyone who is not my sister or dad, but I also hate it when someone is mechanical with their neutral language and it doesn't carry over to their mannerisms... I guess I just want deep change from everyone eh? I think the take-home message is that words don't mean as much to me as actions and mannerisms. So, my sister and dad are awesome because they don't gender anything except words, and everyone else needs to just learn that way :P

Wow... I don't think even I can decipher what I wrote there. I'll leave it in case anyone finds it useful, but that was disorganised and terribly written, sorry :(

No, I don't think this is disorganized at all :) I think it's super interesting actually that you seem to have such a differing array of feelings regarding terms used for you in relation to other family members. I think I'd even say something similar. It feels very natural to imagine my mom saying that I'm her son. That's always been our relationship since the day I was born. It's harder to shake. Lots of inertia there I guess. And despite the occasional emotional abuse, I've always felt I had a better connection with my mom. Things are much more informal with my dad.

I asked the initial question because I realized how excited it made me feel to imagine myself as my brother's big sister. And even though I have a really shitty relationship with my sister, it makes me feel good to think of myself as her big sister too. It's a difference in feeling like the difference between grey and boring, and bright colors and loud sounds. It makes me want to really cultivate the good and ever-improving relationship I have with my brother, and even work to repair the relationship with my sister. Sibling dynamics have always been a big part of my life for whatever reason, and aside from siblings disowning each other over transitions, it's something I haven't read much about.

I wanted to share an analogy I came up with recently about what's been going on for me with all this stuff. It relates to all the coping I've mentioned earlier in this thread. Not saying this will be the case for everyone, but you never know, so be advised. I know I created ways of coping over the years with feelings I didn't understand. My place in the world that I didn't understand. Those coping mechanisms are there because they work, and they're doing a lot of work.

I've noticed that as I shut them down, and just generally let myself be freer in the present, and freer in my thoughts of my future, things often turn kind of sour. Especially related to my body and to thoughts of potential relationships right now.

So if you've got coping mechanisms up and running, consider them to be like your foot on a clutch pedal. As long as you hold it down, the engine will keep humming and stuff will be ok. You won't be moving, but things will be ok. Transition is like engaging the clutch, getting on the gas, and getting that car moving. One smooth operation. Too little gas, too fast on the clutch, you'll be lurching, stalling, racing the engine, just not a good time. It won't feel good. Take it slow. Be thoughtful. Try to be as smooth as you can. Reduce those coping mechanisms slowly and smoothly while doing what you can to feel better about yourself. Definitely don't try too much of one without the other.

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Heart

So if you've got coping mechanisms up and running, consider them to be like your foot on a clutch pedal. As long as you hold it down, the engine will keep humming and stuff will be ok. You won't be moving, but things will be ok. Transition is like engaging the clutch, getting on the gas, and getting that car moving. One smooth operation. Too little gas, too fast on the clutch, you'll be lurching, stalling, racing the engine, just not a good time. It won't feel good. Take it slow. Be thoughtful. Try to be as smooth as you can. Reduce those coping mechanisms slowly and smoothly while doing what you can to feel better about yourself. Definitely don't try too much of one without the other.

That's.... so PERFECT. Wow.

But, hey, who ever manages a smooth transition the first few times they try to drive standard anyways, right? ...right? Sometimes life is about stalling a few times and jerking around until you figure it all out :P

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Light02

I remember that when I was 12 I refused to acknowledge my breasts growing and I did not want to wear a bra. Whenever my mom would say that we need to go buy me one I would tell her she's crazy and that I obviously don't have breasts. But then one girl asked me whether I'm wearing one and I got really embarrassed and thought "What if I do have breasts and everyone can see them?!". Since that day I was still uncomfortable with the thought of wearing a bra but I thought that maybe it will at least help cover them up or something. But I was still having thoughts like "OK, I can start wearing a bra when I'm 14 but only when I have to go to the doctor. Otherwise, I won't need a bra up until I'm 18, because that's when you're officially a grown woman, right? I'm not going to have boobs up until I'm 18.".

Another thing that bothers me is saying "boobs" or "breasts", especially when talking about mine. I prefer calling it "my chest". One time my dad told me that the word "chest" is for men and I'm supposed to say "boobs" for women. I told him that that is not true and I just see that area as "the chest" and that "boobs" is a bad word. He just told me that I'm crazy.

On the bright side, one thing that I've noticed is that I really like my name! It's Svetlina and it's a girls' name but I don't see it as such because it's also an actual word - it means light and that makes it more neutral sounding to me. Not only that, but my parents call me Sve for short. It's a unique nickname that they've made up for me and since Bulgarian is a gendered language and all the words that end on -o or -e are in the neuter gender that makes Sve neutral! It also makes my parents call me "it" ("It, Sve, did blah-blah today", for example) and I think that's pretty awesome.

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Unlabeled

Let's talk about dysphoria. There has been some interest recently expressed in sharing and bonding over experiences of dysphoria, as well as exploring how varied and individual it is.

I will be using the term gender dysphoria to describe any and all dysphorias related to gender (basically anything gendered that makes you feel uncomfortable or pained), including body dysphoria (a discomfort with how your body is configured in some way, usually but not always in relation to primary or secondary sexual characteristics), social dysphoria (a discomfort with social conventions relating to gender and how people gender you; a discomfort with the way that people perceive you to be gendered, including pronouns, washroom usage, and anything else that could count as a social convention), mental dysphoria (a discomfort with how your mental foundation is built; not liking the way your mental state seems gendered), and any other kind of dysphoria or combinations thereof.

So let's talk about it! Gender dysphoria is a very individual and personal experience. Everyone feels it differently. Not only does it manifest differently, but it also is triggered by different things or events, and everyone deals with it differently. Dysphoria is as varied a thing as favourite foods, and that's the beauty of individuality! Let's talk about our experiences, share stories, anecdotes, ways of explaining the experience to people who do not experience gender dysphoria of any sort, and ways of dealing with it. The good, the bad, the ugly. This is the thread to get together and share. Maybe we can learn from each other :D

So how do you deal with your gender-related pains and discomforts? What causes them or sets them off, or are they seemingly random? Do you call them dysphoria, or do you give it another name? How do you describe it to those who have never experienced it, to help them understand? Do you have any favourite articles or graphics to help with describing your experience to others, or that helped you discover a word for your own? What is your definition of dysphoria?

If you don't experience dysphoria, do you have any questions for those of us who do? Don't be afraid to ask away, anyone is welcome in this thread!

IMPORTANT GROUND RULES:

1) No one's dysphoria is any more or less important than anyone else's. Let's try to treat everyone with respect, and avoid "ranking" who is "more dysphoric" than who.

2) If you want to share something particularly graphic in nature, please add a content warning and spoiler the actual text. For example, if I want to describe in detail a penis, I would put "Content Warning: Penis description" and then put the appropriate text in between tags such as the following (delete the ~ marks, so it will work): [~spoiler~] text [~/spoiler~]. This will show like this:

text

That way, people can choose whether or not to read it by clicking on the "show" button.

3) If something you want to share is particularly likely to cause stress, dysphoria or a flashback for those who have been through traumatic experiences, please do the same spoiler trick and precede it with a trigger warning. For example, if I am going to describe a rape scene, I would do the following: "Trigger Warning: Rape" and then put the text in a spoiler.

4) Be nice. Just generally be nice. We're here to support each other and grow as a community, so let's get to it! ;)

Wish things like this didn't get labelled. President Rooselveldt was dressed like a girl in dresses until about age 5. Can google pictures of it. Yet no one calls him trans or says he musta had gender dysphoria because he dressed like a girl. When did we as a society decide that there's only one sort of boy or girl and anyone who deviates from that must be something other than "boy" or "girl?" When did we start labelling such people as transsexual/gender or as having a disorder called (most recently) gender dysphoria?

If you were successfully born at all you're exactly as your genetics say you're supposed to be. If your chromosomes identify you as male, female, of one of the other 4 possibilities I wont try and remember, you're that. Can make a choice to live however you like and call yourself whatever you want, but when medicine and mental health starts coming up with new words and things to label people with things have gotten out of hand. Why can't the boy who plays with his sisters dolls, and wears her clothes identifying as a girl instead of a boy just be 'that kind of boy?' Why do we need the label and to insert medicine and science into making him 'more like a girl.' His comfort, or our own? We tend to label things by how they appear don't we? So isn't telling boys who live as girls they're not boys but a transsexual-girl more about our inability to accept more than one kind of boy?

If an adult wants to go through gender-reassignment, more power to them. I'd never say they can't or shouldn't. I just worry we're pushing XX and XY's into transsexualism more for our own comfort than their's. We may have gotten better about homosexuality, but as with bigotry for ethnicity there's still massive prejudice in every society. Yet when we see a man and woman we have no problems with it. So wouldn't any insistence by people or groups into perpetuating transsexualism as literally changing your sex so same-sex sex became opposite-sex sex be more about eliminating homosexuality? Or at least hiding it?

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Calligraphette_Coe
If an adult wants to go through gender-reassignment, more power to them. I'd never say they can't or shouldn't. I just worry we're pushing XX and XY's into transsexualism more for our own comfort than their's. We may have gotten better about homosexuality, but as with bigotry for ethnicity there's still massive prejudice in every society. Yet when we see a man and woman we have no problems with it. So wouldn't any insistence by people or groups into perpetuating transsexualism as literally changing your sex so same-sex sex became opposite-sex sex be more about eliminating homosexuality? Or at least hiding it?

Except that some of us have been asexual as well as being trans. It's not about sex with other people that makes us feel this way, it's about identity and the meat puppet our existence quickens into human life.

I could well be fired from a job I excel at just because I identify this way. Sometimes people will indeed cut off their nose to foster their prejudice. Who is pushing whom?

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Unlabeled

If an adult wants to go through gender-reassignment, more power to them. I'd never say they can't or shouldn't. I just worry we're pushing XX and XY's into transsexualism more for our own comfort than their's. We may have gotten better about homosexuality, but as with bigotry for ethnicity there's still massive prejudice in every society. Yet when we see a man and woman we have no problems with it. So wouldn't any insistence by people or groups into perpetuating transsexualism as literally changing your sex so same-sex sex became opposite-sex sex be more about eliminating homosexuality? Or at least hiding it?

Except that some of us have been asexual as well as being trans. It's not about sex with other people that makes us feel this way, it's about identity and the meat puppet our existence quickens into human life.

I could well be fired from a job I excel at just because I identify this way. Sometimes people will indeed cut off their nose to foster their prejudice. Who is pushing whom?

I hear ya. Live in a state where for being defacto bisexual I could be evicted from my apartment of 16 years, fired or refused employment, admission to a school etc. Have been saying it's great I could get married now, but they can still fire me so maybe we did things out of order? :)

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