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gender dysphoria

a medical term describing the distress an individual feels between their gender identity and their sex assigned at birth. It was previously known as gender identity disorder.

Gender dysphoria is a complicated process that differs from person to person and intensity. Some aspects to gender dysphoria may be more easily assisted than others; for example, the use of preferred pronouns is one small and simple tonic for part of an individual’s gender dysphoria (that is, by using an individual’s preferred pronouns, you alleviate the dysphoria they feel in regards to being referred to the pronouns associated with their sex assigned at birth), similarly with using their preferred name.

An individual assigned male at birth, for example, may experience an intense gender dysphoria when they are masculine presenting (that is, when they look as males are expected to), and find that certain aspects or symptoms of their gender dysphoria are alleviated by being feminine presenting – for example, they feel much more comfortable or ‘themselves’ when they are wearing feminine clothes, make-up, etc, than when they are in a suit and tie and with a beard (this is a very basic example).

Other aspects to a person’s gender dysphoria may be harder to treat, and may require hormone therapy, top surgery or bottom surgery or other medical or cosmetic interventions.

Intense gender dysphoria is associated with transgender and nonbinary individuals.

When left untreated, gender dysphoria can have severe mental health complications for the individual experiencing it.

Originally published: 3rd December, 2020
Last modified: 3rd December, 2020