It’s weird feeling like something isn’t quite right about your body, yet having absolutely no idea of how to quantify or qualify that because there’s no comparison to go off of. Generally, it just feels real fucking bad.
That’s what dysphoria is like for me.
It’s both uncertain, and yet also all encompassing at the same time. It’s knowing that something doesn’t feel right, that you’re not seen or respected as your genuine self, and that it hurts and sucks, but there’s practically nothing to really do about it. For me, there aren’t really any solutions to work toward, let alone to even grasp the concept of. I don’t desire hormones, I don’t want any forms of affirming surgery, I am my authentic self right now even as I continue to explore what that precisely means to me. Yet none of that lessens the impact of being constantly misgendered and deadnamed by strangers day in and day out.
I’m not trying to “pass” as anyone or anything. I’m just wanting to exist and vibe in a world where I’m not gendered by others, where people don’t get pissy when I tell them to use they/them for me, and where I’m not treated like a burden or annoyance for wanting my identity, name, and pronouns respected. I want to be able to go outside for a walk, or to shop, or get some food without everyone starring, whispering about me, laughing, recording me with their phone, or screaming homophobic slurs at me from their truck as they drive by.
I can hear some folks saying it now: just ignore it then. Believe me, I tried. I tried real fucking hard.
But every single time I leave my house and interact with anyone, or enter into any public space in general, I gotta deal with the same toxic, invalidating, exhausting shit. At the worst of times it’s intentional, even malicious in some cases. Usually it’s some angry guy with aviators in a polo shirt and khakis who calls me a faggot, a freak, a degenerate, or a pervert, and goes off on a tirade about how much of a piece of shit I am for existing in public the way that I do. That I’m just some “special snowflake”, a burden, an inconvenience on him and the whole of society. Sometimes I don’t hear much of it other than the derogatory names as he and his buddies holler at me from their truck.
Luckily these aren’t as frequent, but it’s always scary and upsetting when it happens. And it does happen. A lot more often than I’d like too.
Most of the time it’s unintentional, it’s people just not understanding and it’s all part of life in a binary gendered words. It still fucking sucks though and it all adds up. Hundreds upon hundreds of instances of invalidation, dirty looks, micro-agressions, scoffs, sighs, eye rolls, all directed at me for daring to express my pronouns or ask to be called by the name I’ve gone by for the last 7 years.
Eventually I have a breakdown, falling into a depression pit where I feel inadequate, insecure, ugly, unlovable, unwanted, like a general burden and annoyance to everyone around me, even those who I love and who I know love me too.
What’s extra shitty about it is that it’s not even really anything about me that’s the problem here. My beard doesn’t make me feel dysphoric, people looking at it and assuming I’m “a man” despite everything else about my presentation being so extremely queer makes me feel dysphoric.
It’s not my voice that makes me feel dysphoric, people hearing it and deciding to call me sir or ma’am based on their best estimation of that, neither of which is accurate, is what makes me feel dysphoric.
Hell, it’s not even my body that makes me dysphoric either! I’m a fat, hairy, cute as fuck queer who gets an awful lot of action with some incredible how trans queers! I’m a great partner, love, and friend too! But when people make me feel like this body is a “mans body”, and otherwise attempt to undermine my self-perception and dictate who I am for me, then I start to feel like shit.
Basically… its not me, it’s you. And I’d real appreciate if y’all worked on that for me and all the other queers out there.