I feel like this post is important to write. There’s a tendency for us to feel forced to smile in every picture and reply “fine” to anyone who asks how we are. But I’m here to tell you it’s a-okay to feel not okay, and right now, folks, I’ve been feeling a lot of not okay. So prepare yourself for honesty, feels, and a banging good adventure. YEE-HAW!
Lately I’ve been feeling pretty consistently shitty. This doesn’t mean I’m going to off myself in the bathroom with the revolver. This doesn’t mean I’m on the verge of seeking out some small rodent to inflict suffering upon. This doesn’t mean I need to be hovered over, and you don’t need to do that thing with your eyebrows when you look at me with a face of condescending pity. It’s quite frankly unbecoming and reminds me of two caterpillars slowly approaching for whatever I’m sure can only be described as caterpillar sexy times.
What this means (not the caterpillar thing; the feeling bummed out thing) is that I have dysphoria and depression (which is really nothing new), and it’ll be fine eventually because things usually always turn out fine.
Let’s talk about dysphoria. Dysphoria, in basic terms, is the opposite of euphoria. It’s a feeling of dissatisfaction, discontent, discomfort, and a whole slew of other things that probably have the prefix “dis.” Gender dysphoria more specifically is when that feeling arises due to the way society is an asshole about your gender and/or biological sex (since society so often fails to make the necessary distinction between the two). In less emotional verbiage, gender dysphoria is discomfort brought on by the gender/ gender roles you were assigned based off your designated birth sex. I experience a lot of this.
A lot of transgender people undergo a significant amount of dysphoria, and, since depression is a preexisting (but largely well-managed) factor in my life, adding dysphoria to the mix can make life a bit difficult for me sometimes. I’m not going to go into specifics for the time being, but dysphoria can manifest itself in a lot of negative feelings about one’s body, presentation, image, self, etc.
Imagine if every day you walked into a CVS to get some OJ and the cashier was like, “Hey, Bill, it’s good to see you! How’s your wife?” And you’re like, “My name is Tom, and my wife died three years ago.” And the cashier says, “I’m sorry to hear that, Bill. You’ll have to give your wife my condolences.” And you say, “BUT SHE’S DEAD AND MY NAME IS TOM.” And the cashier is like, “Oh Bill, you’re a funny one. Tell Martha I say hi. And here’s a dog biscuit for little Sparky.” And then you have no choice but to stalk and kill that cashier’s entire family.
Okay, jokes on that last part about the stalking/killing, but this is kind of what being misgendered every day of your life is like. There are all of these people trying to tell me who I am, and I just keep saying “Nope, you’re wrong. Do better.” And they keep saying things like “but this is hard for me” and “but I was just basing this off your body…” and “that could make some cis people feel uncomfortable.” What they don’t realize is that no matter how hard it is for them to get my pronouns or my name right, it is nowhere near as hard as being trans*. Like, dude, MY WIFE IS DEAD AND I JUST WANT TO BUY THIS ORANGE JUICE AND HAVE YOU GET MY NAME RIGHT OKAY.
That being said, it’s no surprise that sometimes I feel shitty for a while. And whatever I do to feel not shitty again is my prerogative, and you’re just going to have to trust that I’ve got this shin dig under control. That being said, anyone else out there who is experiencing a lot of dysphoria, I’m always here to listen, and you are a stallion of awesomeness and can get through anything. Whatever you need to do in order to feel good, you should do (as long as it’s not shitting on someone else’s identity, and also please try to do things that are healthy for you). I suggest a hot tea latte green tea with banana and cappuccino from the Tea Garden if you’re into comfort foods/drinks. I personally am spending a lot of time knitting, avoiding homework, writing poems, researching various surgeries/hormones, sleeping, chatting it up at the garden of the teas, and trying to reestablish balance in my life. Remember, if you’re unsure if it’s you or the world that’s fucked up, it’s probably the world, because I’m sure you’re cool as hell. See here: http://binarysubverter.wordpress.com/2010/11/24/trans-101/