is this repressed gender dysphoria - can anyone relate ? Watch
About a year ago I came to terms with the fact I'm a lesbian and got to a point where I could actually accept and be proud of it but something just doesn't feel right. Recently I started hearing about peoples' experience of gender dysphoria as a child and I related to it a lot: I wore boys clothes (including boxers) daily and would have a complete breakdown whenever my mum would try and make me wear a dress; I acted like one of the boys and would try to be one of them; when imagining who I would be when grown up, I pictured myself as a man and assumed that my voice would break; I would always wish that I had a boy's name like Ben or Jaden.
But then I tried to think - When did this actually stop? I don't remember it stopping, I just remember feeling ashamed as people started to act like that there was something not right with me. When going swimming in primary school, the girls would go in one changing room with each other and the boys in another but I was placed in my own separate cubicle by teachers without being consulted. I don't know whether that was because they expected me to be self-conscious about my weight or the fact I was changing in and out of boys' clothes. But either way, after that I asked my mum after that to let me buy girl's underwear instead. On top of that, I knew that I was going to end up at an all girl secondary school and was terrified that everyone would bully me. So I tried to force myself to be more feminine but it would never really work, I was never comfortable with it and felt out of place.
One time in year eight a girl asked me if I had ever wanted to be a boy because I acted a lot like one and in that moment I didn't know how to react, it felt like I was going to burst into tears. It felt like I had failed, in a way? If that makes sense. A year later I cut all my hair off and being mistaken for a boy in public would always put me on the defensive, I know other people would have laughed it off but I couldn't.
I developed an eating disorder a few years ago and I'm confused about whether I just hate my body or whether I hate how feminine my body is.
But while it could be a lack of coming to terms with my gender, could there be another reason? Like maybe I'm just scared to express masculine characteristics in fear of a person having the first impression of "oh wow there's the lesbian" and then defining me by my sexuality alone? I don't know.
Does anyone relate to any of this or know how to make sense of any of it?
Something to be aware of. There is a LOT of stigma toward 'masculine' females, be it butch lesbians, 'tomboys', gender non conforming. It's really the same with 'feminine' males too. Basically if you don't act cis-hetero, there's something up with you, you don't fit in and others will start to point it out and even discriminate. Most of it is subtle (e.g that girl asking a really personal question and suggesting you want to be a boy cuz you act like one. It was less of a question and more an accusation, correct?), it shouldn't matter who you like or how you want to present yourself. I was accused of being a 'dyke' many times. I didn't think it was bad to be a lesbian at all, but I am not, i'm bi. The way they said it, like I was some sort of usurper, just made me think I need to be anything but that, whatever they meant. It was a direct attack on my gender expression, every time. Later, when I came out as ftm to a very close friend, he tried to rape me to make me 'feel like a woman'. People are nuts.
I thought I was ftm for years, I tried binding, I changed my name, came out to everyone. Still for me something was up. Sure, I still don't like my most glaring female features, (mostly boobs.) but I came to realize that I also didn't want to become male sexed. Why? Well, I just felt like if I did that i'd be always chasing this ability to 'pass' as a guy. I was always thinking, am I acting guy enough? It was the same when i felt pressure to be a 'regular girl'. For me, both were trying to fit into a box I didn't want to bother fitting into. I found it was more helpful for me personally to just throw all of it out the window and do what I wanted, and ignore the idiots who try to force gender roles or stereotypes onto me. Seek validation from yourself, cuz that's where it really matters. The other major part is that transition is a very slow, long process. Simply put, I cannot be bothered anymore. I was ignored for many years by health professionals (was 15 when I tried to get a referral. Was gatekept for ages due to whatever excuse, finally saw someone aged 19 and it was very good and saved my life), now I just want to move on and hormones at least aren't necessary for me. final nail in the coffin for me was that the psychiatrists tested me for autism (i requested as Im suspected and been ignored for years) and my screening test came back 41/50. Hormones affect people with autism differently and for me I dont wanna risk making my sensory issues worse as that'd be losing one thorn to earn another
I'd say try not to think of this as, 'am I a guy?' or 'should I be?', try think, how bad is my dysphoria, would I be willing to accept all permanent changes from hormones, good and bad, and undergo the process of a social transition. (you cant pick and chose what changes you get from hormones, even on a low dose). I still consider myself trans, I am diagnosed with dysphoria, though i feel im closer to agender, or at least that's my expression. When you leave highschool, it's less important to be gender conforming, people care less. I am also seeing the gender clinic, and they are helping me. I might be able to get chest surgery in a few years, specifically a reduction. My main point is, **** what anyone else says about the way you look or act in terms of gender. A lot of it is a social construct. I have an FTM friend who is on hormones and doing good, liking all the changes, we both think gender itself is stupid and confusing to people who dont fit. It is your body, your life. Please see someone as dysphoria is very serious and if you have an eating disorder and depression issues, you really need to get things checked out! Even if you don't transition, it will still affect you and you need to talk to someone who knows what's up and can help you figure things out. Take things slow to start with and see what you like in the meantime.