Why does gender dysphoria get worse when you realize you're 'trans'?
(Illustration from Reality Girl’s excellent thread ‘Why are so many girls deciding they’d rather be boys?”)
This question comes up all the fucking time:
That’s very normal, same thing happened to me. Honestly, every step I’ve taken in transition has increased the gender dysphoria I felt towards anything about me that is even remotely tied to my agab. I’d say before I came out my chest dysphoria was about 2/10, after coming out but pre T was about a 6/10, now it’s a full on 10/10 and nearly unbearable.
like i feel as [if] my hatred and the dysphoria sky rocketed
Think about getting T all the time, can’t stand showers etc. Since getting a packer, can’t go out without it and feel like somethings missing without it. Am highly dependent on a binder. It’s really normal for it to get worse when you’re aware of it, or know how good it feels without it
It happened to me to which made me question my validity but I came to the conclusion that when I thought I was a girl I had shoved my gd to the back of my mind and tried so hard not to focus on it but when I figured out what I was experiencing I started hyper focusing on what exactly I felt and disliked
A possibly useful metaphor.
you get a new car, something you've never had before, an Alfa romeo.
Now you are familiar with Alfa romeos, you suddenly start seeing a lot more of them on the road. Did a whole lot of people get Alf romeos over night? No.
Now that you know what Alfa romeos are, you can more readily recognise them in a sea of cars.
Now that you recognise Dyphoria for what it is, it sticks out to you amidst all your other emotions.
Its very normal and I went through the same thing.
And from every indication I’ve seen online that’s very normal. You’ve been repressing this for very long. That dysphoria is just [years] in the making coming out all at once most likely.
Yes. I had no problem looking in the mirror before, but now I can't any more
Yep, mine got a lot worse when my egg cracked, I went from mild discomfort to "holy shit, why is my body like this?"
That's normal. I used to only be dysphoric about my chest, clothes and how I was addressed. After coming to terms with my identity, I started feeling dysphoric about my height, voice, hips, lack of facial hair and a bunch of other things.
Happens to most people I think, it's totally natural. Your dysphoria was always there, you're just more aware of it now because you identified the source of the pain, that makes it seem stronger
It happened to me too, especially because I was able to just not view my body as me before I accepted myself and now I see my body as me and I have so many issues about being too feminine. I actually really liked my body before figuring out [I’m] trans because I saw it as not me and I'm attracted to women and femininity. Which I find kind of weird aswell and I'm also kinda scared I'm faking it.
So before I came out as trans I definitely had dysphoria and it was definitely noticeable. I also noticed after coming out and presenting as male my dysphoria became horrible. Ive started to get bothered by things that didn't bother me before like the way I look in jeans or the size of my feet. Im constantly worried about looking like a girl and feeling like im not "man enough". Has anyone else experienced this ? Why is this happening ?
Yeah, it happened to me too. Another thing I noticed is that before packing, I didn't have any bottom dysphoria, but as soon as I started BOOM I couldn't go a day without my packer because of the crippling dysphoria lmao
Once I figured it out, no going back at all. My dysphoria got way worse
Same! It's been a year i realized I was trans and my dysphoria keeps getting stronger. I ignored my feminine features before that, now i cannot unsee them and I wondered how I could ignore them. I asked myself the same question, wondering if I was faking. I guess faking for a very long time isn't faking,..? On one hand i don't like feeling dysphoric, on the other hand, i guess it means I'm really trans and not faking so I'm happy ?!? (But I know dysphoria isn't necessary to be trans though)
Yeah same dude. I always hated my body but when I realized I was trans it amped up to 100
fuck, I only really started getting dysphoria after i realised i was trans. Before it was always just kind of like, 'I wish my boobs were smaller' or 'being a boy would be so much easier than being a girl' now its like 'I WILL FIGHT GOD FOR A PENIS THEN HAVE A MENTAL BREAKDOWN AFTER BECAUSE MY CHESTICLES MOVED A MILLIMETRE WHILE I WAS WALKING' so yeah OP thats perfectly normal
i mean, i didn’t have any dysphoria until after i started IDing as trans, so
I've gotten way more self conscious due to imposter syndrome and trying figure out how I relate to and express my real gender in an authentic way while questioning literally everything about transitioning.
Yes, my dysphoria got exceptionally worse once I started actually transitioning and being myself.
Yeah, I sort of feel like I have to act a certain way or people will judge me for "not being really male". I'm not sure if anyone actually does but it's an annoying feeling
Now that I'm considering and making changes, the things I don't like and the reason for them are more obvious in contrast and that makes it hit harder. I guess it's like the difference between getting slapped and getting stabbed :P
now that you know exactly what’s wrong you’re going to start noticing it more. I thought I was a “non-dysphoric femme nonbinary” for a few months and then a few things shifted into place and I realized there were a whole bunch of things I hated about myself that were dysphoria.
For me it was all this internalised transphobia... Before, I'd been dysphoric and hadn't really known why or what it was, but once I figured out I was male I was suddenly comparing myself to male standards, and realising all the ways I didn't reach them.
for one, you start to pay more attention to the dysphoria once you have a name for it and for another, you become more hyper aware of things associated with your agab. so even things that didn't make you dysphoric before, may now and the previous things are felt much stronger.
As soon as I started questioning, I started noticing all kinds of things that I'd been trying very hard not to before. Turns out I've been experiencing dysphoria for most if not all of my adult life. Whoops.
Seems to be a common experience, not that more dysphoria randomly appears, but we can start labeling things as dysphoria. I started realizing random little quirks about myself all stemmed from dysphoria and it was much stronger in my daily life.
That was my experience, only it was kicked up a notch when I started to transition. Each thing I worked on made it more apparent, hence stronger.
In other words, it’s “totally normal!” for gender dysphoria to get worse once someone comes out as transgender and to worsen with every step they take toward transition.
Online trans communities seem so supportive when you first come out as trans. They’re there for you when you’re struggling to ‘accept’ yourself. Comment sections overflow with affirmations. No feeling or preoccupation is too small to share. Maybe you’re worried that you’re too short, that you’ll never pass. Maybe you fear you might be faking it for attention. But the trans community is there for you: You’re valid, no matter what. You’ll pass (if you want to pass, but if you don’t want to pass, who needs to pass?). If you’re worried you might be faking it that’s a sure sign you’re definitely not faking it. If you’ve longed for confidants and understanding, you’ll think you found it.
But the trade-off for sharing your darkest 3AM thoughts and being bombarded with affirmations is that you get exposed to everybody else’s darkest 3AM thoughts, too: if you cut your hair too close to the skull, will you just look like a lesbian? How can you make your hands look more masculine? Is talking about your day too girly?
So alongside the love-bombing for which trans communities are notorious, these communities constantly drip-feed members new sources of anxiety and obsessive fixation.
The explanation for why gender dysphoria worsens when you realize you’re transgender runs through the accounts I’ve quoted above: negative rumination, fixating on gender, being indoctrinated into a whole bunch of new ways to feel ill at-ease with your body and social interactions… of course you feel worse. Bind your breasts and suddenly your hips will stand out. Read every social interaction through the lens of gender—am I passing? did I just get clocked? would a man talk with his hands the way I talk with my hands? are my friends just using my new pronouns to be polite?—and you’ll turn your life into a minefield.
Or, as Aaron Terrell put it:
This post was first published on Writing Behavior by Eliza Mondegreen.
Yep, cult tactics through and through. Love bombing - the mantras, being part of a "trans family", ebing told doubts are normal, separation from opposing points of view.... I feel for these young girls who are sacrificing their fertility and breasts on the altar of GI.
Certainly a great description of the mental gymnastics required to believe something untrue and to join the cult. I loved this article from the other side as a refutation: https://4w.pub/avoid-saying-gender-dysphoria/