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Dysphoria (or the Lack Thereof)?


Jacqui

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Is it possible to be transgendered without having a sense of gender dysphoria?  I have had experiences and thoughts that have caused me to investigate gender identity topics with an eye toward how they apply to me, and others (including posters on these forums) have said that if one does that, they are almost certainly transgendered (since for cisgendered folk, the idea of engaging in such investigations never even occurs to them).

At the same time, I have not really had the kind of feelings that are said to indicate gender dysphoria.  I have heard gender dysphoria described as being like having a bad haircut and feeling a nagging discomfort because, until the haircut grows out, people are not seeing you the way you want to be seen.  I have also heard accounts of people with gender dysphoria so severe that they lie on the floor in a fetal position, clutching their genitals and sobbing uncontrollably.  I did a search on “dysphoria” in the Trans Pulse Forum topics and read the topic “What Does Dysphoria Feel Like?”  The posts in that topic provided additional evocative illustrations of the kinds of unease one could feel.  I have never been conscious of having any of these kinds of discomfort.  I don't seem to feel uncomfortable presenting as my cis identity, and I'm not aware of feeling anxious because I am prevented from presenting another more authentic self.  I also have no feelings of dislike for parts of my body.  I did experiment with crossdressing a couple of times in private during my college years, but I gave it up partly because it seemed 'unacceptable' and partly because it didn't feel as erotically stimulating as I thought it would (maybe if I had a taffeta petticoat or silk stockings to try on, I would have had a different opinion J).  The point I want to make here is that giving it up was genuinely easy for me – I didn’t have any subsequent buildup of dysphoric angst compelling me to crossdress again for relief.

What I do have is a lifelong history of autoerotic gratification in which the most prevalent category of fantasy involves various kinds of feminization or transition, frequently with a subtext of being compelled or forced.  I was and am a heavy consumer of things like the Sandy Thomas publications and stories on the 'Fictionmania' and other similar websites.  I also am aroused by images of attractive crossdressers and transwomen.  Is it possible that I have gender dysphoria, but am sublimating it through my autoerotic fantasies?

If it is possible to be transgendered without having a sense of gender dysphoria (and I noted that there was a comment to this effect in the topic “I think I finally understand 'gender dysphoria'"), then does an absence of significant gender dysphoria result in a conclusion that transition is not “medically necessary” from the viewpoint of Medicare and/or health insurance?

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  • Root Admin

The real answer to all of that is simple and misses us by a light year or two much too often.  Some Trans People do have all or some of the symptoms reported here, but all of them are different in degree and meaning.  Some have none of the symptoms at all.  Eroticism can be heavy or for those of us who are asexual, none at all. It is all up to you after you work through your questions with a therapist who is familiar with gender issues.  You will make the decision and then follow up on it.  You are you, no one else.  You tell me who and what you are, and I will accept it no matter what your history.  You could even be A-gender (without one) but still you have a right to be safe on the public streets.

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That's good advice, Vicky!  I have been emailing my gender therapist trying to get a second session scheduled and also trying to decide if I should use my insurance. 

 

I just noticed from your signature that Dr. Bowers (Marci, right?) did your surgery.  How did you like her?  Nice person?

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Hey Jacqui

Vicky is right on point.

As for me, there a days ( 1 or2) where I feel great, happy with whom i have become, but then there's weeks sometimes longer when i am afraid to leave my apt. When I have to wear a wig, make-up shave  twice ( morning and nite) So  I look passable to world and even then i will feel ugly..

However, I some TG that don't care they still have the breads, barely the have and still dress a bit male and totally happy.

 

 

 

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I've been starting to wonder whether "gender dysphoria" might be a much more general, vague term than I'd always assumed. I've always equated "gender dysphoria" with "I feel that I am truly gender A, but my body is gender B, and that shatters me to the core."

 

But now I'm beginning to question that assumption.

 

For example:

 

"I love the idea of being female, but I can see that I am male." Is that dysphoria? I don't know.

 

"I'd rather be the other gender." Is that dysphoria? I don't know.

 

"I love by moobies when I've shaved and exfoliated, but they feel strangely empty and unsensitive." Is that dysphoria? I don't know.

 

"I'm AMAB, but I'll often see a woman and evny her body/clothing/nails/mannerisms." Is that dysphoria? I don't know.

 

"I'm AMAB, never questioned it, always dressed male, but most types of men's clothing, especially dress clothes, are things I have ALWAYS despised and NEVER been willing to wear. Consequently my wardrobe is very limited, and I envy some of the options women have." Is that dysphoria? I don't know.

 

"I have a penis and I've never liked sports, don't even understand the appeal." Is that dysphoria? I don't know.

 

"My natural testosterone has turned by chest/back into disgusting shag carpeting and I hate it!" Is that dysphoria? I don't know.

 

Where is the line? I don't know.

 

What does "dysphoria" really mean? I don't know.

 

 

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Thanks everyone for your posts; they have helped.

 

The article posted by @RhondaS was interesting.  I accept the idea of dysphoria being technically a subset of expressions of desires or feelings as described in the DSM-V, and that those desires are associated with clinically significant distress or impairment.  (I think the article stretches things a bit semantically when it concludes that the word "associated" implies optionality.  If that were the case, the DSM-V would say "The condition may be associated with clinically significant distress or impairment" rather than "The condition is associated with clinically significant distress or impairment".)

 

Regardless of the semantics, I suspect that the presence or absence of "clinically significant distress or impairment" would have a bearing on whether Medicare (for example) would characterize gender-confirming surgeries as "medically necessary".

 

 

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2 hours ago, Jacqui said:

Regardless of the semantics, I suspect that the presence or absence of "clinically significant distress or impairment" would have a bearing on whether Medicare (for example) would characterize gender-confirming surgeries as "medically necessary".

 

That's always been my assumption, but I too, would love clarification from someone more in-the-know than I.

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3 hours ago, Heathick said:

I've been starting to wonder whether "gender dysphoria" might be a much more general, vague term than I'd always assumed. I've always equated "gender dysphoria" with "I feel that I am truly gender A, but my body is gender B, and that shatters me to the core."

 

But now I'm beginning to question that assumption.

 

That list mostly sounds like dysphoria to me.  I felt a lot of those but was managing to deal with it up until it got to a more serious stage. 

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22 hours ago, Heathick said:

I've been starting to wonder whether "gender dysphoria" might be a much more general, vague term than I'd always assumed. I've always equated "gender dysphoria" with "I feel that I am truly gender A, but my body is gender B, and that shatters me to the core."

 

But now I'm beginning to question that assumption.

 

For example:

 

Sorry, I realized this might have sounded off topic. The connection I meant to make is "If this is something you're concerned about, I wonder if its possible there may already be something in you that you simply didn't realize was already a form of gender dysphoria." I'm still pretty early in wrapping my head around just what "dysphoria" really means.

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  • Root Admin
On 9/13/2020 at 9:33 PM, Jacqui said:

I just noticed from your signature that Dr. Bowers (Marci, right?) did your surgery.  How did you like her?  Nice person?

 

Dr. Bowere is a wonderful and caring person.  Her care team made me feel important and a good human during the whole adventure.  Recovery is not comfortable for ANY of us and it was taken care of as if I were their more important patient all the time.  I was patient 980 something out of 2K+ now and she still remembers me 7 years later and we hug and talk when we see each other even now.

 

Dr. Bowers is also a superb reconstructive surgeon for women whose genitalia have be damaged or mutilated by accident, cancer, or misguided cultural/religious beliefs   She is part of an international team helping "female circumcision" to recover from the mutilation and gain back the injured clitoris and other areas of the vulva.  All of that is done for free for those women.  This is the kind of person Marci Bowers is.

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1 hour ago, VickySGV said:

She is part of an international team helping "female circumcision" to recover from the mutilation and gain back the injured clitoris and other areas of the vulva.  All of that is done for free for those women.  This is the kind of person Marci Bowers is.

 

OMG, that's amazing! I didn't even know that was possible! Let alone something being done out of the kindness of someone's heart!

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