Gender Dysphoria can be defined as “the persistent unease with the gender one was assigned with at birth, often accompanied by a strong dislike of one’s biological characteristics that are used to define one’s sex.”
Many people who identify within the transgender umbrella (both binary trans people and non-binary trans people) have a lot of feelings that would be classified as gender dysphoria. Dysphoria, for many trans people, is one of the key factors in how we come to realize that we are trans. It can also become a very big part of our identities themselves, and our everyday lives, as it can be a very heavy weight on out mental and emotional health, as well as our physical health (this could be from things like binding, hormone therapy, gender confirmation surgeries, etc.).
People within the trans community are often very supportive of each other when it comes to dysphoria- there are tons of Twitter threads and Tumblr posts meant to help trans people with dysphoria, help with binding do’s and don’ts, along with people reaching out to each other for emotional support- and this is all so wonderful. Recently, however, I have noticed a new trend of hate within the trans community towards trans people who don’t experience dysphoria. I have seen many twitter fights about whether or not one is really trans if they don’t have, or have never had, any feelings of dysphoria, and I would like to make one thing clear:
No matter who you are, even if you are trans, you have no right to police another person’s identity.
Trans people like to say time and time again that gender ≠ sex, or physical/biological characteristics; if that is true, then why would someone’s identity as trans have to incorporate negative feelings about those characteristics? But even more important than that statement: When we, as trans people, live in a world where we are shamed, invalidated, and killed every day for how we identify, why on earth would we want to put anyone else, within our own community, through even more of that pain? Our job as a part of the LGBTQ+ community, and more importantly the trans community, is to do our absolute best to make everyone who is kind and respectful of our own identities feel valid and included, rather than cast out and hated.
Just like any other identity, trans people experience being trans differently. Just because you and I have different trans experiences, doesn’t make either of us any less trans. “Like a lot of other aspects of who people are, like race or religion, there’s no one way to be transgender, and no one way for transgender people to look or feel about themselves” (NCTE). It is so important that as a community, we celebrate these differences, instead of shaming them for absolutely no reason.