A Bully Named Dysphoria
As we go through life we run in to challenging life events, challenging people and even just challeging thoughts. No matter what kind of hardships we have all encountered, we can all agree on one thing. We are our OWN worse enemy. As a transman who personally struggles with gender dysphoria, I hope to reach those of you who need the comforting reminder that you're not alone. And if I'm lucky, I'll even have the opportunity to educate someone in the process.
So let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Dysphoria.
You don’t have to be Trans to understand or struggle with dysphoria. It comes in all different shapes and sizes.
No one is safe.
But we’re going to talk specifically about gender dysphoria, my favorite.
If you are unfamiliar, gender dysphoria is, to put it very lightly, the discomfort of being born in the wrong body. Where your gender identity does not match your biological sex.
In case you’re wondering, I totally pulled that off of google.
Dysphoria to Me
All fancy definitions aside, dysphoria can be crippling and relentless. It doesn’t ever seem to go away and it never hits you when you’re confident and ready to take it on.
Dysphoria is looking in the mirror and seeing the person I was 10 years ago.
Dysphoria is looking at my body and holding back tears.
Dysphoria is walking into the men’s room, with the biggest beard, and feeling out of place.
Dysphoria is a demon that doesn’t stop haunting you.
Living With It
If you’ve never experienced this type of feeling, it’s pretty hard to imagine. Some of the most beautiful souls struggle the hardest with dysphoria.
Read that again and give yourself a high five if you’ve ever dealt with dysphoria. You’re perfect, dammit.
I’ve had my fair share of battles and still do. Some days I’m a winner and some days I’m not. What’s important is reminding myself that who I see in the mirror is not who everybody else sees.
That’s easier said than done, but the more you think and speak it out loud, the easier it gets to believe.
The hardest thing to understand about my dysphoria is that it doesn’t seem to get much better. When I started taking on more masculine features, I assumed it would go away.
Annoyingly enough, it almost seemed like it got worse. It's like someone is whispering bitter nothings in my ear.
They can still see your boobs.
Looks like you’ve gained weight, your hips are really showing.
A little thin on that side of your beard, y’know real men don’t have that problem.
Sitting to pee, again? What a joke.
It’s almost like being stuck in a box with those words floating around you without an escape route. And the more I listen, the louder they get. The more I fight back, the harsher they get.
Think about those mirrors in the fun house at the fair. You know you’re not all wavy like the mirror is showing, right? You know that when you walk away and look into the next bathroom mirror everything will be back to normal.
For me, that wacky image is there in every. Single. Mirror.
My mind takes my insecurities and magnifies them until it’s all I can look at. And once I acknowledge those insecurities in the mirror, those voices I mentioned wake up and start their day.
If I had to describe dysphoria in one word, I would say bully.
Because only bullies kick you when you’re down.
They wait until you’re weak and jump on you. And that’s exactly what dysphoria does.
Don’t get me wrong, I have days where I’m on top of the world and nobody can touch me.
But when I’m feeling low and not so stud-like, dysphoria is waiting at the corner to steal my lunch money.
Don’t let the bully steal your lunch money.
You are perfect. You are beautiful. You are loved.
Talk to you soon,