Detrans man's take on the term 'Gender Dysphoria' and why we should stop using it
Love this. Reading this and trying to understand the community that is wrapped around the meaning of “trans” and now “GD” is confusing. Especially with the definitions you outlined from the NHS. Many, many young adults have every symptom that is outlined and are confused to find the meaning and origin of the feeling. It can come from many different areas and as it takes of their life.
Thank you for sharing your journey. Thank you for opening yourself up to those of us who have no idea the struggles that exist among many that can relate to you deeper than those of us who experience surface similarities. You are a beautiful soul.
Thank you TullipR! You have opened up dysphoria as a symptom (a complex one at that) rather than a diagnosis with a known treatment. I appreciate how you get deeper into what it means to feel dysphoric. This will be an invaluable guide for parents helping their children through a difficult time. I do wonder the extent of homophobia and internalized homophobia in much of the draw of adolescents and young adults to a trans identity. When there is a concerted effort to disconnect sexuality from gender identity I see many, my son included, using gender identity/dysphoria as a cover for their discomfort with their sexuality. Thanks again, you are brilliant ♥️
This is really good! I believe the term, "gender dysphoria" is another attempt by the psychology profession to pathologize normal human suffering. Markets must be created. Wondering if you know of the books, "Anatomy of an Epidemic" or "Crazy Like Us"? People in distress tend to adopt the symptom cluster that is currently getting attention. It's a cry for help and these general descriptors offer a possible, "clear-cut" solution and get trusted adults to pay attention and support you. Humans are quite susceptible to this. Read "Trans is Something We Made Up" over at The 21st Century Salon or Lisa Marchiano's paper, "Outbreak" published on a few scholarly sites.
I think you also demonstrate the asynchronous development of someone with overexcitabilities. Have you heard this term before? It's part of a different framework that I much prefer--one that avoids pathologizing and medicating human suffering; a "positive frame" if you will. If you've not read it yet, Jessie Mannisto's article, "Where Intensity and Gender Dysphoria Meet" is a good introduction.
Keep up your amazing work! Your perspective and voice are so important right now.
I love your essay! You are honest and unflinching. I think you should consider how you can position yourself to influence the medical and therapeutic protocols. What we have now, "affirmation only" and medicalized transition, is barbaric and overtly harmful.
To me your voice is clear and truthful & it should hold real power. I hope you get a bigger platform and that you can exert real power in the current policy world.
On the difficulty of loving yourself: you are totally right, giving oneself loving compassion can be incredibly difficult. It is a huge hurdle to emotional development and healing. Embracing one's own anger, scars, failures and traumas: that takes the courage to accept one's own pain and to love oneself in and through that pain. The renowned Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, has a lot of talks on how to achieve this. He talks about embracing our own anger as a mom embraces a small child -- holding with loving kindness. These dharma lectures are available on youtube & do a very real service for all of us. There are many lectures to choose from, but I might recommend starting with "the art of suffering".
On your early (mis)use of the internet: You mention this & have mentioned it in other posts, but I would really like to understand what happened via this dangerous internet use. I ask not out of curiosity but because my kids both fell into internet addiction (made worse by 2020 COVID lockdown) and both became very ill. One is now recuperating but the other is lost in GD and medical transitioning. That teen's profile seems so much like your own life! I would really like to understand what happened. I think my kids were sexually abused on the internet, but they won't admit it.
In modern society around the world there's a long tradition of neglecting mental health. Our health systems seem inclined to use as cheap resources as possible on mental health. I find it boundlessly cynical and abusive.
Your account of your brother 's reaction shows how well he knows you and how much he loves you. It also clarifies the deep unease and profound suffering which relatives of trans identified youth feel.
Your point about lack of consensus on the nature of gender dysphoria is very strong and will work in your favour.
Good luck and best regards
I am adding this: I would say that so-called "gender dysphoria" is 100% normal for same-sex attracted people. It takes individuals more or less time to learn how to manage our incongruence to the aspects of sex-based stereotypes to which most of us do not conform completely. Being same-sex attracted in itself is hugely non-conforming to the biggest sex-based stereotype, but some of us are bothered by this more than others are. It doesn't seem to bother people based on how non-conforming we are but more about how we feel about it due to various internal and external factors. Also, I would have been sucked in for some of the same reasons, but also I would have gone down this path to try to get attention from my parents (and everyone else in the world), because it was so hard to get any attention from anyone, especially regarding the distress you talk about. I was ignored, so I acted out a lot.
Yes, this is exactly it....it's so important for people to hear this. Thank you for expressing it so well!
I'm sorry you have gone through so much terrible stuff. Thank you for helping others find the way forward, but I really wish you had not been forged by this fire. Sending you wishes for the incredible kindness that you are sharing to be surrounding you also.
Hey TullipR - So great to see what you have to say. Thanks for putting the time and thought into this so that little old ladies like me can think intelligently about this issue and have a better sense of how to be ACTUALLY supportive of youth going through puberty and on in to adolescence, and then straight on through to adulthood. Thanks for being a voice for men who share experiences similar to yours. May we come to better clarity about all of this in the years to come. Meanwhile, stay strong.
One big obstacle to people understanding this is the "minority stress" myth which is part of the us affirmative model. This is a theory that isn't true which says that: if there is pathology, it more often stems from cultural reactions (e.g., transphobia, homophobia, sexism) rather than from within the child."
The Gender Affirmative Model: What We Know and What We Aim to Learn (Hidalgo et al, 2013) https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/355235
The American academy of pediatrics says the same thing in their guidelines which recommended american pediatricians adopt affirmation rather than looking at and supporting all the things you are talking about. It's based on observing some kids with gender dysphoria a long time ago and seeing when other things were going on. Not the case now.
But this means that many of these counselors inappropriately just assume they know why someone is having other problems. They just assume. They don't look. They "know" before they even hear one thing about the person. Before they meet them!
Of course, many case studies give great examples of exactly what you write about here. Their "theory" is just a guess, and it's not shown to be true for people now, but because they think they know, without checking, they make terrible mistakes.
This argument is also used to shut down debate of uncertainties about medical treatment from what I see. To claim it will hurt someone to hear that their gender dysphoria might come from somewhere else. Otherwise known as informed consent. The people coming in don't get a careful diagnosis since the clinician has already (incorrectly) ruled out one of the most likely causes.
WOW Ritchie, thank you SO MUCH for all the work and research and writing you do on this. It is really meaningful to this mom of a mtf (not yet medicalized). It has really helped me to understand him better.
Unfortunately doctors where we go can't or don't want focus on numerous problems my son has including depression anxiety or ASD . They labelled us gender disphoria and keep offering puberty blockers or hormons.It is scary outhere . Desperate mum
Always glad to see pushback against bullshit terminology.
The trans grift depends on WPATH, which in turn depends on the DSM. The entire DSM is an epic grift.
Every "mental illness" of the DSM is a check-list "disease". Every one. No hard-science evidence, but simply check-lists. And psychiatry has NO treatments or cures; it only has pharma it throws at feelings and behaviours.
"Gender dysphoria" is a meaningless term that allows the pharma grift. Every human, and every human at a different age, experiences discomfort in their body for different reasons. The reasons are broad and complex, but are never investigated. It's just called "gender dysphoria", AS IF those science-sounding words mean something (and thus require pronouns, pharma, and mutilation). They mean nothing, but everyone OOOHS and AAAHS at them while children are harmed and die.
That said, there ARE sick and dangerous people (BDSM/pedophile/autogynephile men) who appear to be the driving force behind the push to trans children. THEY need to be labeled and jailed.
This essay was a lot of contextualizing and compartmentalizing the symptoms but offers no conclusive benefits for people suffering other than “look elsewhere”.
It also doesn’t accept or address that life continues after trauma and that we as individuals live life on life’s terms. This means we are not in control of life and are simply put to deal with the pieces as they fall.
Dealing with the pieces of gender dysphoria is complicated but there are scientists, doctors, sociologists, professors, psychiatrists, all of which see the positive results of treating gender dysphoria and transition and support it through academic studies.
It is unfair to claim you are the authority on others trauma or you know better, you do not decide when someone is adequately traumatized and you don’t decide when they are better.
I have been reading a lot of your writings. Only difference is my age. I am older. And I am straight. Oh and one big thing. I have not transitioned all the way. But I have a rather large chest. Wanted one forever. I actually do like it. Along with not having a lot of hair. Oh the hair. Can’t stand it. And the lack of it on top. Don’t know if never looking female is what kept me from transitioning or my wife never leaving me and not wanting me to have surgeries. But here I am. 100% relating to everything you say. And don’t know my next step. I could just stop. But having a large chest and not wanting surgery, I don’t know what I want. Can I live my life as a male with DD cup breasts. My mind bounces back and fourth. I just want a normal life with my wife. Keep up the good work. I wish I could stop all the ones on my forum I know are making a mistake.
I see you've chosen to ignore all of the most important symptoms of gender dysphoria
"The way gender dysphoria affects teenagers and adults is different to children. You may feel:
certain that your gender identity conflicts with your biological sex
comfortable only when in the gender role of your preferred gender identity (may include non-binary)
a strong desire to hide or be rid of physical signs of your biological sex, such as breasts or facial hair
a strong dislike of the genitals of your biological sex."
Odd that someboody who got as far as physcially transitioning never thought of looking into the actual Symptoms page, and somehow managed to confuse gender dysphoria with a vague sense of unease about themselves...