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Dec 13 2015

Gender Dysphoria vs. Gender Euphoria

First I want to start with some definitions. Dysphoric: to experience dysphoria related around a topic or issue. Dysphoria: extreme dislike, unhappiness or disgust. Euphoric: to experience euphoria related around a topic or issue. Euphoria: extreme like, happiness, or delight. Gender Dysphoria is dysphoria related to your gender. Likewise, Gender Euphoria is euphoria related to your gender. A person who experiences these things is Gender Dysphoric or Gender Euphoric.

The psychological diagnosis for Transgender people is Gender Dysphoria. For me, the more appropriate diagnosis is the medical diagnosis I have received of Endocrine Disorder.  However, at some point, to have certain things be covered by insurance I will need to change that diagnosis. I am taking this post to explain the difference and introduce someone who will also be blogging on this site in the future. For him, the other diagnosis really is more appropriate.

When talking about life experience no two people have the same experience. Even twin siblings raised in the same house by the same parents that go to the same school will tell different stories, have different experiences, and grow into different people. So is it true with people in the LBGTQ+ community. I have never met anyone that shares my story exactly, however, there are always many similarities, epically in the transgender community. I as a transgender person have to tip toe around other transgender people sometimes. I know how sensitive they can be, because I am one. In some ways, it is very stressful; but in some ways it is very rewarding to know these people feel, at least partly, the things you have to. Yet different things will trigger different people to have different feelings. No two transgender people will react the same way to the same words.

In my mind I pull a dividing line between to different ‘types’ of transgender people. Within each group each individual has their own story. Group one is what I call the Gender Euphoric. Group two is what I call the Gender Dysphoric. These two groups are linked at the deepest levels, but also incredibly different. They are tied together as tightly as the genders are, yet they are divided just as deep as well.

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Gender Euphoric people are people, like me, who transition, not so much to avoid the pain they experience being their assigned gender but transition to experience the euphoria of being their affirmed gender. In all honesty, I probably could have survived my life as a male, but it would not have been a happy or good life. I transition, to be happy. Gender Euphoric people are generally more open, generally more willing to talk about their experiences. People in this category have a tenancy to be less depressed, and do less self-harm, and have less thoughts of the end of their life. That does not say they don’t have them, just that they experience them a little less. People like this usually find out around puberty that something is seriously wrong.

My group is more likely to build a shell around us to hide. The shell creates protection and a buffer between us and society. We will never let our heart be touched by anyone, it goes through this filter first. However, we continue to try to participate in society as a whole, and generally succeed to some extent. The Gender Euphoric are more likely to lie and create a life that everyone is expecting them to be. We create lives over the top of our own life. We hide our true feelings and emotions. For the most part if you have read my blog thus far, you know my story. You know what I did to cope with being assigned male at birth. There is so much more detail, there is so much more depth, but I feel at this point I’ve hit most of the bullet points in my story. I am a classic case of the Gender Euphoric transgender experience.

Gender Euphoric people are also more likely to embrace gender stereotypes. In my case I would love to be a housewife, mom, and writer for the rest of my life. I love being cute and pretty. I have ended up to be at a rather feminine place on the spectrum between male and female. We, the Gender Euphoric, still have depression over our assigned gender, we still have feelings of self-doubt, we still have difficulty building self-esteem, and self-confidence. However, even if we can’t transition, we can survive.

If you chart a day on a spectrum between (in order) Horrible, Terrible, Bad, Good, Wonderful, and Amazing. Most of my days were either good or bad. Terrible days where I contemplated or acted upon ideas of self-harm were somewhat common, but usually not too frequent. Horrible days, where I contemplated ideas or acted on ideas of ending my life were extremely rare. I could actively go back through my life and count them. There were some wonderful days interspersed in there, but I could count those, just like I could count the Horrible ones… Amazing days, never happened.

However, as hard as my life has been, it has been nothing compared to the other group…

The other group are the people I consider to be more Gender Dysphoric than Gender Euphoric. Their best days, are good, and those are quite rare. They have Terrible and Horrible days much more frequently. I look into the group and feel proud of each one that has stood up and done what they need to do to survive. This is the group that are more at risk. Each day so painful that life itself is not worth living. This is the group that needs to transition, in some way, to survive.

I can only speak to my observations of this group from the outside. However, I have seen that they are much more reserved, and abhor gender stereotypes. They are more likely to commit self-harm and succeed with regards to leaving this world. Both living in this society and living as their assigned gender is impossible for their mentality. These are the people that know very early in life what needs to happen. They need to transition to live. It is usually more clear to them at a younger age that something is wrong.

I have met people assigned female at birth and people who are assigned male at birth from both groups. Both groups are put under an umbrella term called transgender. And these groupings are in fact umbrella terms for infinitely many personal experiences. In many ways the two groups are very similar. We share similar feelings we share similar intents and we have a common goal. That goal is to throw of the shackles of our assigned gender. However, in the way we think, the way we see the world, the way we see gender, the treatments we need, and the way we transition the two groups could not be more different.

I have asked one of my friends who is from the Gender Dysphoric group to write with me on this blog. It took him a little while to find his voice and agree but I believe it will be extremely beneficial to him, me, and this site as a whole. One of the failings of this website is that it contains only my perspective on these issues. My perspective is not representative of all transgender people in fact it is far from that. My goal is to provide the space for him to write without filter and allow you all, the readers, to see another perspective on the process, and mentality of transgender life…

Here is a brief introduction he wrote about himself:

My name is Milo. I’m male/possibly agender but I use male pronouns (he/him/his). I suppose if I’m male I’m ftm transgender but I find this irrelevant to everything. I am who I am. Normally I would be doing this on tumblr but I’ve currently separated myself from that site for trigger reasons so here I am starting fresh…

About the author

Josie

I’ve never been good at writing about myself. I’ve never been good at ‘talking up my strengths’ but at least I should try…

I am a 30 year old (gasp), woman. To me, it is just that simple. My life is slowly coming together into a form where I can be proud to call it my life.

Who am I? I’m a strong, loving woman that was assigned male at birth and is finally correcting that egregious error by biology. For most women if they have an urge like wearing a sundress, they just do it. For my first 29 years on this planet, that wasn’t a possibility.

I write to heal, then publish to inform. I hope my journey can make the journeys of people that come after me just a little less painful.

I also have a ‘day job’ as a Data Center Technician. I do an incredibly physical job lifting fixing and moving servers. I daily, walk into and then maintain ‘the cloud.’ Servers are still quite a bit larger and heavier than your desktop at home. So much so that I am the only woman on my team of 20 and one of 5 in the entire building of about 75. Technology is without a doubt a male dominated industry. Which makes me quite sad.

I wish I could better express who I am. I don’t feel like I’ve done justice to my history, my life, and my story, but for now, this will have to do. To me the most beautiful thing in the world is understanding and empathy. If we can have only one thing for each other person on this planet, I choose empathy.

1 comment

  1. Marcy Browning

    I am looking forward to reading more about Milo and his experiences.

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