Why drive a mercedes when you could be driving a bentley?” On inducing gender dysphoria

The story we so often hear is that trans people suffer from dysphoria: a feeling of anxiety and depression because of the physical sex of their bodies or some aspects of it. This dysphoria is often cited as the reason that any aspect of transgenderism cannot be questioned. Whether it’s questioning why one’s mind has to “match” ones body, whether it is right to give young kids puberty blockers or hormones, or whether people with intact penises should have access to female changing rooms and other sex-segregated facilities, it is always met with cries of how difficult life is for this marginalized group, so one better not ask any critical questions.

If you look closer, the view that dysphoria is a necessary part of being transgender is now largely seen as obsolete. The new rule is that anyone who wants to be trans, is trans. Anyone who wants to be a woman, is a woman. (There is not 100% agreement on this in the trans community, and often the ones who want dysphoria to be a criterion are called “truscum”)-

“If I don’t have dysphoria but still enjoy the idea of being a woman rather than a man, what does that make me?”, asks this poster.

The commenters tell him not to worry – if having a feminine body would make you pleased, then that is a valid reason to transition.

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I never have any real dysphoria“, states another poster. That’s not a problem. If you feel trans, you’re trans.

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If we accept this, then transgenderism is more along the lines of extreme body modification than anything else. Not that there is necessarily anything wrong with getting body mods. Lots of people do, for various reasons. But is deciding to be trans actually making people happier? Let’s dig deeper.

“My dysphoria didn’t start until I started transition”, says yet another commenter, So much for transition being  the only cure to an otherwise incurable condition – apparently it can also be the cause of dysphoria.

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Another person who triggered dysphoria by starting to transition:

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Even more people chiming in talking about how transition actually caused them to have dysphoria:

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Huh. It’s almost as it trying to completely change your body and self-perception in ways that are actually at odds with reality can make you feel worse, not better.

And sure enough, a couple of other commenters chime in. “If you don’t have dysphoria now, you will when you realize all the things about your body that prevent you from looking more female”.

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Ans that’s the crux, isn’t it? Human beings can’t actually change sex.You can get body modifications that will make you look more similar to the opposite sex, and that might make other people think you are the opposite sex and treat you like the opposite sex. But if you have convinced yourself that you want to actually be the other sex, then that goal is bound  to cause distress.

Is it possible to be transgender without having gender dysphoria?“, asks yet another poster, and makes a car analogy:

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Yet again commenters assure the poster that dysphoria will come….

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…and that transition will make it worse:

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When discussing transgenderism and its implications, people should inform themselves about what this phenomenon actually is. For some people it entails discomfort with their physical bodies, and sometimes quite acute distress. Some try to explain this distress by claiming to have been “born in the wrong body”, that they have “the brains of the opposite sex” or that their “body maps” are faulty. This is the interpretations of people suffering distress, and should be taken with a grain of salt (note: we are not saying that their distress isn’t real, but that their explanations of why they are distressed is not necessarily accurate). The truth is that no one knows what causes sex dysphoria.

For other transpeople, their “condition” is simply a desire for “boobs and smooth skin”. For many it has a strong sexual and fetishistic nature. For others it is rooted in jealousy.

What it is not, is a single phenomenon that is even close to being understood. And for some people, the “cure” is actually part of the problem.

3 thoughts on “Why drive a mercedes when you could be driving a bentley?” On inducing gender dysphoria

  1. When I first started researching what gender dysphoria was I came across this article:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/zinniajones/2013/09/that-was-dysphoria-8-signs-and-symptoms-of-indirect-gender-dysphoria/

    I read it and immediately thought that the writer had depression (something I have personally been diagnosed with and have dealt with for decades now). If you read further on, you will find out that later the author (after going through transition to “become” a woman) later has his dysphoria return and is diagnosed with depression. I couldn’t help but feel that he misdiagnosed himself and is now stuck will the consequences.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think for some subgroup of people, there is a strong desire to be “trans” (quotes indicating that it’s their own personal idea of what they think “trans” is) because they feel that being trans will give them “neurological” (i.e. not psychological, no!) “justification” for their being gender non-conforming.

    You can see this in posts all the time, people who are afraid that they will turn out “not to be really trans” because they think if that if they’re not “officially, truly, trans” then someone is going to tell them to “man up” and they will have to accept that and actually change their personalities to “match” this “it’s male, fully male, you just gotta deal with it” non-trans brain. Because only trans people have a legitimate “reason” to have their personality or behaviors not “match” what is expected of people with their genitalia.

    (Note: This is obviously sexist in the extreme.)

    But so, you have some people who are starting from a place of “I want to be trans.”

    Quite a few of those people write about how they WORRY when they don’t have dysphoria, because it’s a sign that they might not be “really trans” and so they might have to stop their gender nonconformance.

    For that subset of people, they are not put off by tales of dysphoria happening when they start HRT. Quite the contrary. From that mindset, reading about dysphoria starting once you start HRT comes off like “finally the proof that I’m trans will arrive.” I mean, you might think you’re not trans now, but once you start HRT you’ll realize that you really did have dysphoria after all, you were just suppressing it, etc. Meaning, you’ll realize that yes, you were in fact trans all along. Whew! It’s okay to transition now.

    (Just to be clear, I’ll state for the record that I don’t think anyone needs to have any reason for gender nonconformance, nor do I believe in any sort of required “matching” between body and personality, or thinking style and genitalia.)

    Liked by 3 people

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