[Warning – I will be talking about anatomy and Gender Dysphoria]
I don’t like talking about my gender dysphoria. Talking about it somehow acknowledges it and makes me focus more on it. Generally, if someone brings up gender dysphoria, I get this dark fuzziness of noise that starts blocking the conversation. Does that make me weird? Probably. But I am going to try to write about my gender dysphoria here and if you also get the dark fuzzies, I will not be insulted in the least. I know how you feel, you are not alone. You. Are. Not. Alone.
I never really equated my awkwardness of body to GD (it’s too long, going to abbreviate gender dysphoria to GD from here on). At an early age, I was aware of the differences between men and women. As a child, I was confused about my lack of vagina. Women on cable had vaginas, my cousin had a vagina and I had this thing there instead. I knew for a fact that this wasn’t right, that something had gone wrong. I started tucking at 6 or 7 years old, I had learned to push my testicles up into myself not too long after, which made it infinitely more comfortable. I remember that on some mornings I would wake up and for a moment I would think that the penis had gone away only to find that it had retracted into me. This was the next best thing really, but it never lasted. My childhood was filled with hopes and dreams of waking up a girl.
I was actually surprised, as I had always equated GD with sexual organs, but it’s so much more than that. I find that every body part can affect me, hands & feet too large, hips too man-ish. That feeling I get when I am shopping for clothes, that looming darkness hovering, that is the GD telling me that this body isn’t right. If I go online to look for a nice pair of boots, I am initially excited and happy but it doesn’t last. It’s not the disappointment in finding that every pair of cute boots is too small for me, that is just disappointment. It’s the bottomless drop of my heart, that these feet are not just too big they are wrong on a chromosomal level.
I have always had issues with having sex, while it could be pleasurable on a biological level, I was never emotionally invested unless there was a component I could identify with, which was rare. Anal sex or roleplay (before I came out, I could convince my partner that it was just role-play) being a few ways I could emotionally attach. Even now, sex with my wife can be more a physical action than an emotional act. For me, I suspect for some transgender women, sex can be complicated. GD usually gets in the way of emotional fulfillment.
The shock of waking up in the morning and being in a male body is more than I can handle sometimes. It doesn’t happen a lot, thankfully, that I am actually shocked, most times just disappointed and it is what it is. But this morning, it was one of those mornings in which I was staggered. The first thing, I felt the flaccid thing between my legs and just choked back a sob. My day has progressed from there, the dark fuzziness of GD at every turn. Shaving, try to avoid his eyes as I hide and just try to get through the process. The cloud of darkness descends upon me as I take off my nightgown and see my body in the mirror as I change into a man’s shirt for work. I get to work and I’m greeted with my masks name and I must respond, pretend that this is me. Then going to the bathroom at work is a horrible experience, wrong bathroom, wrong body part, wrong, wrong, wrong. Fucking, god damn, fuck, fucking wrong. I fucking hate it all and I want to die- Then I get out of the bathroom and put my shaking hands under my arms for a moment and then adjust and go about my day, pushing everything down.
Gender Dysphoria is such an innocuous-looking term, like a gentle day with a slight breeze. It’s actually a monster that hides under your bed, it preys on children and continues to stalk them throughout adulthood. The words aren’t harsh enough, it’s not enough. Ok, I must end this now. I’m at work writing this and I’m starting to cry. It’s fine, I started out intending to be emotionally detached and wrote myself into an emotional trap.
You. Are. Not. Alone.