Hey, I have been struggling with what I'm pretty sure is gender dysphoria since puberty but I don't really know how to deal with it, because I don't want to transition but where I live it's considered conversion therapy and is illegal to not affirm these thoughts, so I'm concerned that if I bring it up to my therapist I'll be encouraged to buy into these thoughts and feelings and ultimately to transition. So if you know of anything that helped you to cope with or overcome gender dysphoria, please tell me about it

Hey, I have been struggling with what I'm pretty sure is gender dysphoria since puberty but I don't really know how to deal with it, because I don't want to transition but where I live it's considered conversion therapy and is illegal to not affirm these thoughts, so I'm concerned that if I bring it up to my therapist I'll be encouraged to buy into these thoughts and feelings and ultimately to transition. So if you know of anything that helped you to cope with or overcome gender dysphoria, please tell me about it


I have a few tips that really helped me a lot, personally.

The first one is, I found the more I talk about my (physical) dysphoria with my partners, the worse it becomes. Once I put it out there "I don't like my breasts," then suddenly I can't stop analyzing their response to my breasts and wondering "does she like my breasts?? What if she would prefer me with a flat chest too?"
With my current partner, I made a conscious decision to talk about my dysphoria as little as possible. He loves my body the way straight men normally love female bodies, and it feels so much less stressful. The dysphoria's not gone, but I don't have to worry that he might also not like my body. The thing is, once you tell someone "I have chest dysphoria," their response to your body is going to change. Even if they're doing it out of respect, there's going to be a little more hesitation. A little uncertainty. And once that hesitation and uncertainty is there, I can't help but interpret it as "see, he also hates my breasts. He wishes I had a flat chest. He wishes I was a man." Regardless of the reason for that hesitation, that's how I interpret it.
So by saying nothing, I just sidestepped that whole psychological minefield.

Another thing that triggers my dysphoria is the pronoun question, and discussion of gender identity in general.
I have a couple transguy friends still. One is my age, she transitioned a long time ago and the subject of gender doesn't come up much. That's fine, we're able to chat about our other interests and hobbies and I don't feel triggered.
But I have another friend who's younger, she recently bought her first binder and started talking more about dysphoria and all that. It was immediately extremely triggering for me, to the point where I haven't been able to talk to her since. Which really sucks, she was a pretty close friend. But it's just too painful for me. I start to feel the urge to preach to her, and I know it won't help. So I just have to stay away.

When it comes to daily social dysphoria, I've been pleasantly surprised to find it's actually getting much better with time. I'm finding the more time I give people to know me "as a girl," the more they come to understand that I'm extremely GNC in many ways. And you know what? They actually get it, for the most part.
Now that my hair is long, I pass for a relatively normal woman at first glance. And that's hard, at first. When I meet someone new, a lot of the time they try to foist their hand-me-down dresses on me. Or give me hair products, things like that, that I am absolutely not interested in. So I have to politely say "no thank you, that's not really my thing." It sucks. I don't want to spoil their fun, but what can I say.
But the longer they get to know me, they see me do stuff like install my own dishwasher or repair their laptop. They notice I never shave my legs or armpits. Yes I crochet and I'm a damn good cook, but I also assemble my own furniture and obsess over videogames. It's like a lightbulb goes off on their head and they realize "ohhh, you have long hair and you look kinda normal for a girl, but you're actually more of a genderless tomboy alien thing."
The key is to actually establish relationships. When I was presenting as male I was so hung up on that first impression, my outer appearance. But now that I've said "fuck it" and stopped trying, I'm finding most people "get it" on a level I never expected they would.

Of course that's going to be a bit different if you present more "masc" than me. People challenge butch women more. But still, even in that case, I think forming those stable long-term relationships is a big help when it comes to maintaining your sense of identity. It's hard to drop that instinct to grab the wheel and force people to see you as masc, but it's soooo much better when you show instead of tell. Don't overdo it, just have faith that the decent people in your life will eventually "get it" and see you as you are. Even if you're more femme, people will start to notice the small things that set you apart. "She always wears skirts and her hair is pink, but she never wears makeup. That's just how she is." Or "she never leaves the house without a full face of makeup, but she absolutely hates unicorns." Whatever it might be. When you find normal relationships, people do notice these things about you. For me, it helps a lot. Even if they pigeonhole you at first, you'll have twice the satisfaction when they realize they were wrong about you.

Anyway I had way too much coffee this morning so apologies for the small novel, but best of luck to you. This is all just my 2 cents, but I hope something I said will be helpful for you.

Hi, I identified as a TIF VERY briefly and I desisted a long time ago so some of the resources I had no longer exist. But as for some that are still around, are you familiar with Pique Resilience Project and 4th Wave Now?

If you don't mind just hearing some of my own personal thoughts, one thing that helped me greatly with dysphoria around just being female was realizing that there would be nothing wrong with having a female body if men did not objectify it and prey upon them. At the very least, that helped me realize my problem was not being a woman, my problem was (and still is) the way men treat women.

As for physical dysphoria, one thing that helped me with that was realizing it is truly no different from body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). I convinced myself that my more feminine physical traits (wide hips, for example), made me ugly and inferior. But when I questioned those thoughts by asking myself what I think of OTHER women with those traits, I realized how toxic, unhealthy, and insane those thoughts were. I never once considered another woman inferior or less valuable for the same traits that made me want to be a man, and realizing how poorly I was treating myself helped me snap out of it.

Lastly, seeing how TIMs act straight-up made me actually HAPPY I am not a man lol. TIMs are basically extreme men (higher rates of committing sexual assault, for example), and seeing how they act made me realize men actually seriously suck, lol, and I would rather be happy as a woman and show other people there isn't just one way to be a woman, rather than be a pseudo-man.

One thing I will say I have not totally figured out is how to stop being angry about ailments specific to women. For example, I have several conditions that only women have, or are far more prevalent in women, and I likely wouldn't have if I were a man. I also have shitty periods. The only thing that makes me feel better at times like that is knowing I'm still kicking ass and I'm doing it all while handling something a weak-ass scrote couldn't endure for 3 minutes lol.

Finally, it might not hurt to still go to a therapist. You can say from the very first appointment you are NOT trans, and you have no interest in transitioning. If they won't talk to you without trying to brainwash you, just don't make another appointment. You could also just go to therapy under the pretext of something else (intrusive thoughts, for example. The therapist doesn't have to know they're gender-related!). Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) helped me greatly with spiraling thoughts, and you can totally get a therapist to help you with learning DBT techniques without even bringing up gender if you don't want to.

I hope some of that helps.

[–] exftm 2 points Edited

I've been there so I know what it's like. The most important things for me were 1) giving it time and 2) not thinking about it. I spent a long time not going out much during which my dysphoria completely resolved because I wasn't under the scrutiny of other people. I do think this is far from the best option, though, so I think you should talk to a therapist instead. I'm just bringing this up so you know what worked for me, and that it is possible to get rid of it completely, even without therapy. I actually think gender dysphoria is the normal reaction of women to a world that is prejudiced against us.

I'm not that clear on what kind of gender dysphoria you're experiencing from your post, so I can't give much more advice. Understanding that being female means little more than just being born a female, is helpful to remind yourself. You don't need to prove anything to be a woman, you don't have to like certain things to be a woman, you don't have to be comfortable with femininity, or your body to be a woman, and you don't have to look or act in a certain way to be a woman.

I would advise you do bring it up with your therapist but contextualise it not as "gender dysphoria" but instead as discomfort with your body. Explain it without referring specifically to the gendered element, if you can. If the therapist tries to mention gender dysphoria, tell her you have absolutely no desire to transition. You are allowed to tell a psychologist how you want them to treat you. Only a bad therapist will hear that and decide to just keep treating you in a way that you don't want.

Additionally, you could try calling or emailing your therapist (from an email without your name, for anonimity) before talking to ask her if she would push you into transition if you brought up gender dysphoria.

I don't have 'resources' as such, but I have a lot of personal experience. First off, what type of dysphoria do you have - physical sex dysphoria (ie. hating genitals and breasts, bone structure etc?) or social dysphoria or both?

Both, but it's more physical sex dysphoria that is distressing me at the moment