Dealing with Dysphoria

Gender dysphoria is a feeling of inner conflict between the gender you identify with and the body that you have. This is a really common thing among trans people (although not required to be trans). For example, I often wish I had narrower shoulders, a curvier frame, and no facial hair. On my rougher days I feel shame, embarrassment, or anger because I want to look as feminine on the outside as I feel on the inside.

A feminine-appearing person looks into a mirror and sees a reflection of a very masculine person looking back at them.

gender dysphoria” on Pinterest.

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Trans Starter Pack

Congratulations on coming out as trans! I know that’s gonna sound sarcastic, but I swear it isn’t. Even if you’ve only come out to yourself, you’ve done a brave thing, and I’m proud of you.

Being trans is especially hard at first. The way I got through was finding resources, role models, and community. There will be many more resource lists to come, but here are the basics I think every trans person should know about.

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A (Semi-Illustrated) Guide to Name and Gender Marker Changes

The legal process of changing your name and gender marker can be an extremely complicated and time-intensive. Many of these steps are intertwined, making the order of operations important. This article will cover how I would approach this process in my home state of Oregon. This process may vary by location (visit http://www.transequality.org/documents for policies in each US state), but hopefully this will help to show the general outline of the process.

A Flowchart explaining the process outlined in the article below

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I give you permission to

  • Not explain yourself
  • Put yourself first
  • Pass if you want to
  • Not Pass if you don’t want to
  • Like things that are stereotypically your assigned gender
  • Like things that correspond to your gender identity
  • Hate things your identity is supposed to like
  • Feel sexy as hell
  • Love yourself
  • Accept others’ love
  • Feel like you deserve that love
  • Treat yo self and have a fun day
  • Use whatever voice you want
  • Be fluid with gender
  • Be frustrated and impatient with the present
  • Feel stressed out and overwhelmed
  • Hope for the future
  • Feel scared
  • Ask for help
  • See a therapist
  • Be proud of yourself
  • Take a break and relax
  • Not know what the hell you’re doing
  • Explore yourself (physically and emotionally)
  • Make mistakes, lots and lots of them
  • Play dress-up anytime, anywhere
  • Say goodbye to those that hurt you
  • Forget the bastards from the past
  • Miss people you left behind
  • Be queer and stand out
  • Go stealth and blend in
  • Tell someone to apologize
  • Expect the correct pronouns
  • Try on a new label every day
  • Have a messy, wordless gender
  • Control your own pace and transition
  • Cry, scream, or punch a pillow in the face
  • Take up as much space as you damn well please
  • Strut your stuff like a badass motherf*cker
  • Fake confidence until you find your own
  • Spend time with people like you
  • Take a walk by yourself
  • Smile at the mirror
  • Stand up for yourself
  • Feel what you need to feel
  • Change the world forever
  • Resist by just existing
  • Take one step at a time

Her Story

When I’m sad, I watch videos and tv. Unfortunately, trans people aren’t always treated very well in popular media. We’re often depicted as the freaks, the punchline, and the ultimate strike-out when a guy tries to pick up a girl. We have enough shitty things happen to us in real life; we don’t need more of it. That’s why we need more media that makes us feel included, worthy, and empowered.

One of my favorite examples is Her Story, a YouTube mini-series. This show “looks inside the dating lives of trans & queer women as they navigate the intersections of desire & identity.” You can watch all six parts for free at herstoryshow.com or on YouTube.

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