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Being Trans: Knowing When You Know

Discussion in 'Gender Identity and Expression' started by okherewego, Aug 16, 2020.

  1. okherewego

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    Hello everyone; new person and potential MTF here: been struggling a LOT with my gender identity (and sexuality to a degree) for the past couple of months after having a major and unexpected “Ah-hah” moment in June. My main hangup right now is that I never have experienced any kind of dysmorphia or dysphoria; I’m completely fine with my body and genitalia as they are now, and I think I’d be totally fine if I were to continue living my life as I am now (barring any unforeseen regret I may or may not feel down the road). But the “Ah-hah” moment I had was profound and undeniable – it felt (and feels) like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

    With that said, I wanted to see if there was anyone on here that had a similar experience to my own – that is, questioning your gender identity while lacking dysmorphia/dysphoria and being inundated in extreme uncertainty. When I say it out loud, the idea of being trans and not having dysmorphia nor dysphoria seems a little silly, given how much hurt and struggle the two cause to so many people trying to find themselves. I really don't know what to make of it.
     
  2. chicodeoro

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    It's a cliche but every transperson's journey is unique. There are many many people who identify as trans who have never had any sort of dysphoria to speak of. It's not a pre-requisite.

    In my own case it was only after I had that 'ah-ha' moment that the dysphoria made itself plain. For the first few weeks it was nothing less than agonising. I'd found, though, that the more I've come out to people, the more I've dressed in female attire, the more it's eased. The moments of gender euphoria are balancing out the dysphoric moments.

    But yes, everyone is different. And the idea of being trans and not dysphoric isn't silly at all, it's actually quite common.

    Beth
     
  3. okherewego

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    Thank you so much for sharing, Beth. Yes, I realize that everyone's journey is their different - perhaps the stories I've read about people transitioning have been only the truly harrowing ones.

    Its interesting that you say your dysphoria only became apparent after your own ah-hah moment. I can't say that I feel dysphoric now, but the unsureness in myself that I've been experiencing has been agonizing at times. Something fundamental about how I perceive myself has changed too, but this feeling is too abstract to put into words at the moment - a topic for a future post, perhaps.
     
  4. JessNC

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    Hi, okherewego. Love the name! My situation has some similarities to yours. I've navigated being hetero and male pretty well but a nagging discontent and a lack of an active sex life with my long-time spouse lead or pushed me to explore both my sexual orientation and gender identity. I won't go into details but while I don't feel a need to reject who/what I've been--or a great deal of dysmorphia (I wouldn't mind getting rid of this body hair, though)--I am transitioning to a more female me.

    Its still confusing, though. But I enjoy dressing en femme and thinking about being in the world that way.
     
  5. CyroStorms

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    Similar situation here. A year ago, I would have considered myself perfectly a perfectly normal cisgender male. I have been thinking what it would be like for the past 9 months or so now, just whenever I was walking to and from school, I think just enough to dismiss the ridiculous idea that I was somehow transgender without knowing it but enough to satiate my curiosity.

    But in the past month or so I decided to try creating an alternative account of my favourite game and play on it as a female, and whilst I have yet to come to any definitive conclusions, there’s both a sense of doing something taboo yet something that makes me ever so marginally happy about situation. My character looks cute, but I daren’t act cute, because I think that’s almost a step too far? I sort of want to, though.

    Today, I decided I had an opportunity to speak to one of my newly-found friends about my situation and ask them a few questions to determine if what I was feeling was normal. I described my situation as if I was in a Kayak stuck on the lip of a waterfall and the stream pushing me towards the edge; on one hand, I could go down that dangerous waterfall (ie identifying as transgender), knowing there’s no easy way back up, or I could simply go against the flow of the stream back to a familiar safety. He had suggested I try going over the waterfall, but I’m not quite sure myself. I sort of felt a feeling of hope at that moment, but I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. I know the reasoning behind what I felt should be obvious, but it’s like my brain doesn’t want to accept it.

    I decided it was reason enough to see if anyone else was going through a similar confusing situation like I was and, as it turns out, there is. Now that I think about it, I think about it probably more than the game I’m currently developing, so I would say that I’m thinking about it in one capacity or another about 10-20% of the day.

    I’d like a second opinion here please, if I could be so demanding.
    Thanks
     
  6. okherewego

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    I've since spoken to my therapist at length about the concerns outlined in my original post, and she made the excellent point that the road to discovering one's true gender and transitioning are both long processes that are undertaken in steps; that said, there is plenty of time to realize 'this is not for me' and to stop there. By the time you, me or anyone else gets to the point where we have a big decision to make (presenting as female in public for the first time, using new pronouns, starting HRT, etc.), we will have a pretty good idea of whether or not to go any further.

    I know it's not exactly concrete, but it really helped put things in perspective for me - I hope it helps you as well.
     
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  7. Gutterpunk

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    Im nonbinary, and at first i thought i didnt experience dysphoria, but upon my parents forcing me to cut my hair, and having a breakdown because of that, i realized that i do experience dysphoria. What i thought was just insecurities and depression was actually just dysphoria. Hope this helps a little
     
  8. ChescaC

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    I probably knew I was trans at a very early age, but I didn’t Know until I was 26.
    I had dysphoria about my body from an early age, but I couldn’t put words to it.
    The cosplays I did before transitioning that made me feel great were almost all feminine characters.

    As for haircuts, I never liked them growing up. A few times I had to be bribed to get one.
     
  9. chicodeoro

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    I 'knew' probably from the age of 6 or 7, but as this was the 1970s I didn't have the vocabulary. Well, nobody where I lived in suburban London had the vocabulary. All I knew was that these feelings were wrong, weird and strange and I mustn't ever ever say them out loud. Thus began decades of denial, burying and avoidance...

    Never liked haircuts either though I'm having to get one today! I've got five month's growth and I don't want to be an embarrassment to my stepson. I'm still some way off from coming out to him.

    Beth
     
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  10. Jaylah

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    I knew something was off about me when I was 4 years old, but I had no words with which to describe what I felt, I just knew that my body felt wrong somehow. I was a feminine kid, but that was quickly programmed out of me, through threats of violence and shaming.
    That programming and constant feeling of shame quickly took root and I started to behave, or at the very least try to behave, as I was expected. We can go to crazy lengths to protect ourselves from feelings of shame, I spent decades pretending to be cis, and I got so good at it that I totally forgot about who I had been as a child.
    Then when I started to realize that I was actually trans, I found myself in a very similar as you do now.

    I questioned if I was actually trans since I didn't feel any dysphoria. I felt like a fake, a phoney. From what I've read, a lot of trans have this feeling of impostor syndrome, because there is this narrative of trans people feeling like they're "trapped in the wrong body" or that they all hate their bodies. This causes a lot of new trans people to go around believing they aren’t “trans enough”.
    It is certainly possible that as you start to come to terms with your transness, that you will start to feel dysphoric, I certainly did.
    But if you don't, that's ok too, you don't need dysphoria to be trans!

    Good luck on your journey,

    Joanna
     
    #10 Jaylah, Sep 4, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2020
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  11. Ari721

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    I'm having a very similar experience to this and I have so much dysphoria about my body, it started when I was pretty young but I just kinda shoved it down and ignored it, and I was able to live with it since I was six years old, but it's getting a lot more intense and every time I look in the mirror or get called a girl or she/her, or go into the girl's restroom, I feel so uncomfortable and unhappy and I didn't really know why I felt that way. My family is very unaccepting and don't believe in trans people, so I never learned anything about lgbtq+, but I feel trapped in my body. It clicked a few years ago that I wanted to be a boy, and I never wanted to be a girl, but I shoved it down until recently, and now I feel like I'm going crazy and it's really affecting my mental health and I feel so invalidated. It feels like a crime because if my parents find out they'll tell me I'm not allowed to do anything to help, like binding. I made my own homemade binder and it helps so much, but I can't wear it in my house, only out because my parents will notice, and I'm super glad school's starting finally so I can start wearing it again, but still I feel so dysphoric at home and anywhere I go with my family. Does anyone have advice for what I should do? I'm 15 so I can't get out if someone outs me and my manipulative brother uses it all the time.