There are a few words that get tossed around in the realm of transgender people and most who don’t deal with them have no idea what they mean. We deal with a plethora of issues that many would never even consider in their everyday lives. Now somedays are great and others are hell in our heads but don’t think this is a pity party. This is what defines us and makes us who we are and this pain molds us in ways even we don’t know. I’m going to start with a major hurdle almost every transgender person you will ever meet deals with, Dysphoria.
Dysphoria is a short term for Gender Dysphoria. It is the mental portion of our hell and can very easily destroy much of ones own life. I personally have dealt with this most of my life. From my earliest days my body didn’t feel like my own. I felt like a passenger in some one else’s life. No matter what I did to be the man I was raised to be it all felt wrong.
When I look down at my body I see every flaw and every part that doesn’t belong. If I see a picture of myself I can see the changes, but once I see a mirror, all self confidence is gone and I feel like that same past keeps coming back. We are never immune to this and some of my greatest friends have suffered Dysphoria to extremes and I worry about them Daily. My Dysphoria found me on a path of self destruction and suicide. Not a pretty road to say the least.
Daily I struggle between the lines of being comfortable as myself and making those around me comfortable. I strive to be the person who just happens to be Trans and I hate pushing any issues because I think much should be earned and not given. This is especially true at work where I have been known as both Mike and Ali. I strive to be the best person I can be no matter what. I think this has paid off in many respects as most of my transition has been truly uneventful compared to the masses. Is this because of who or how I am or is it something more? I wish I had that answer but with bathroom bills, osha regulations, and society pushing their own ideas I just wonder where I stand in the bigger picture. I wonder if I am one of the girls or just some weirdo they tolerate.
In the end Dysphoria can be pain, anger, dread, depression and so much more. Some of us never truly feel whole while others can find the peace they need. It truly boils down nicely to something a friend of mine stated earlier. Covering the holes in the floor and ignoring the problem only makes it worse. One day that floor while fail and you will fall. The only way to fix the issue is to fix the structure. My body will no longer be a cage. I will no longer be told who I should be. I will be myself in hopes of providing a better tomorrow for someone else. I know in my head that I am one of the girls no matter what the mirror tells me. Maybe it is time to look for a better mirror.
Image credits to pixshark.com found in image search.