I don’t in particular identify as non-dysphoric, but I do think I experience my dysphoria in a very different way. In fact, I used to actually think I had no dysphoria. For me, this meant I experienced gender euphoria instead. Now, what is that exactly though, right?
Gender euphoria without gender dysphoria is definitely a thing that can and does happen. In my experience, I didn’t dislike my body, I wasn’t even in particular uncomfortable back in the early stages of my transition, but when I was mistaken for a guy I felt great. I could see myself living the rest of my life as a girl, but I knew that if I did that I would never be as happy as I could possibly be. I wouldn’t be content, I wouldn’t be comfortable, I wouldn’t be able to stand it once I’d known I had other options.
What I discovered as I began my transition is that I definitely still experience gender euphoria, but I do also deal with dysphoria. For me my dysphoria comes through in the form of derealization. I look to the body parts I dislike and feel a vague disconnect. My brain just subconsciously decides that these things aren’t permanent so as long as I can avoid them for now then eventually I won’t have to even think about them.
So, to conclude, gender euphoria can exist as a separate and independent entity from dysphoria. You can also start to experience dysphoria because of euphoria and vice-versa.
I recently had a friend say the following to me and it helped in my understanding a lot:
So, imagine, when you were in kindergarten, your teacher told you to write with your right hand, and your parents both wrote with their right hands, and all your friends and classmates do to. So, you also become pretty good at writing with your right hand and you assume that everyone in the whole world writes with their right hand because you’ve never seen anything else.
But maybe one day when you’re in fifth grade, or you’re a teenager, or you’re 50 years old, you get bored, and you pick up a pencil with your left hand. Maybe it’s because you saw a friend do it, or you read some article online about left-handed people, or you just felt like trying it for some reason.
And for some reason, even though you’re used to writing with your right hand and everyone in your life up until that point has told you to write with your right hand, writing with your left hand is so much easier, and once you start doing it, there’s no way you want to go back to your right hand because your left hand feels more natural and easier and you never would’ve known this if you didn’t just try picking up the pencil. And sure, if you had to, you’re still perfectly capable of writing with your right hand. You’re probably pretty good at it, since you’ve been doing it for years, and at times you might think it’s easier to write that way since everyone else does it and you’ve always been told that’s the only way to write and you’re scared you might get in trouble or get weird looks for writing with your left hand, especially if you’ve been writing with your right hand for years and have never had a problem with it until now.
But still, you can’t shake the feeling that you should’ve been writing with your left hand your whole life, even if there’s nothing particularly impossible about writing with your right hand. You feel like if someone had just told you that some people write with their left hand, you might’ve made the choice on your own, but no one ever told you, so you didn’t even know it was possible until you tried it yourself, and now that you’ve tried it, you don’t ever want to go back to writing with your right hand.
None of the mods of this blog are non-dysphoric, but there’s more reading on the topic here:
- Not All Transgender People Have Dysphoria – And Here Are 6 Reasons Why That Matters
- You Can Still Be Transgender If You Don’t Feel Physical Dysphoria – Here’s Why
- Gender euphoria
- Gender and pleasure
- Non-dysphoric trans people
- Jealousy towards non-dysphoric trans people
- Do I have to have Dysphoria to be Trans?
- You don’t need to be diagnosed with dysphoria to be trans
- Dysphoria Not Required
- Why you shouldn’t force a label on someone
- Discourse over being dysphoria
- A book that said not all trans people have dysphoria
- What about insurance coverage if transgender identity is demedicalized?
- American Psychological Association’s stance on nondysphoric trans people
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