GUEST BLOG: This is What Gender Dysphoria Looks Like

Rebecca

I knew a few days ago that I was going to finally publicize what I’m about to share with you, but something that was overwhelmingly daunting was the idea that a photo was to accompany the post.

But today was the best day I’ve had in a long time. Today I bought my first binder. I haven’t felt my cheeks hurt from smiling in longer than I can remember. For the first time in a long time, I can say that I feel more comfortable in my own skin.

Not only that, but this is kind of a big fucking deal to me.

I made my first “out-of-the-closet” appearance going in to first year. I’m gay and I love girls, but I remember when it used to freak me out to say out loud. Very specifically I came out as Bi, and I think that’s part of the discomfort I experienced, was because of the raging bi-phobia that exists in the queer community. It was at this time a couple years ago when I went out for some drinks with some colleagues (during presidential campaigning), and I ordered myself a vodka cran while the others ordered beer. I didn’t order a beer because beer makes me pretty sick and quite frankly I just didn’t want one. The phrase that still haunts me to this day was uttered shortly after we received our drinks.

“Beers for the real queers”

I stopped dead in my tracks. Was I just not “gay enough”? 
This time of year always throws me into a shitty place because of it, and now I’m caught in a dilemma that throws that line into my brain in overdrive.

I had a pretty big “a-ha” moment. I had all the puzzle pieces in front of me, and I have for quite some time, but now I’ve got this fucking echo in my head for a different reason…

Am I not trans* enough either?

With gender dysphoria, the discomfort with your male or female body can be so intense that it can interfere with the way you function in normal life, for instance at school or work or during social activities. Gender dysphoria used to be called “gender identity disorder.” But the mismatch between body and internal sense of gender is not a mental illness. Instead, what need to be addressed are the stress, anxiety, and depression that go along with it.

Soon enough I caught myself online researching til 3am, 4am every night trying to put words to how I was feeling, to search for explanations as to why the fuck I couldn’t feel comfortable in my body. It hit me like a brick wall. Maybe I don’t identify as female every day.

Something so exciting and wonderful that I came to understand through trying to validate my feelings was that gender identity, gender expression, and gender presentation are completely different things.

I think the worst part is that this whole “_______ enough” is a thought that not only consumes my sexual identity and orientation. but everything I fucking do.

Am I depressed enough to get help?
Am I anxious enough to be medicated?
Am I good enough for them?
Am I smart enough for this?

I could literally go on for days.

If you are reading this and are questioning even in the slightest capacity whether or not you are “enough” for something

The answer is fucking yes. 
You will always be enough.

So for all of you wondering, (not that I owe it to you in any capacity)
my gender identity is genderfluid and my gender expression is *predominantly androgynous in terms of the way I dress* but I’m so fucking excited to share that this is going to change soon to match how I feel like I would like to present myself.

If you are struggling with gender dysphoria like me, and you’re looking for help or resources please feel free to contact me or check out 
http://www.thetrevorproject.org/

This is what gender dysphoria looks like.