Question: A Lack of Discomfort

Kass asks…

I’ve heard dysphoria defined as “discomfort or distress” at one’s assigned gender, but is that a prerequisite for being genderqueer? I’m beginning to think that I might not be 100% the gender I’ve always thought I was, but I’m not really “distressed” about it. I’m not uncomfortable with my assigned gender–but I’m also becoming less and less uncomfortable with exploring other gender identities in addition to it.

I haven’t had these feelings for very long, but could they be legitimate clues to me not being the gender I thought I was?

Please post your response in the comments below.

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Posted by on February 17th, 2015 at 08:00 am

Category: questions 4 comments »

4 Responses to “Question: A Lack of Discomfort”

  1. Lazy Orang

    I’m going to relay a little about my own experiences with this, because it sounds like they’re fairly similar to yours. For the majority of my life, I have been ‘male’ because my body was – I didn’t really feel it, but it was just a thing, and I didn’t feel any distress about it. Recently, though (gradually over the last year) I’ve found that my gender isn’t male because of my physical body, have worked out and come to terms with my real gender, and, while I never felt uncomfortable being male, I feel far more comfortable and happy now that I’ve worked out what I am. I didn’t feel much in the way of distress about working out who I was either (though I owe much of that to my exceptionally kind, understanding and supportive Mum who backed me from the start and in fact worked it out years before I did – but that’s neither here nor there). The point is, while I would feel some discomfort now in people close to me thinking of me as male when I know I’m not, I never felt any actual discomfort with it before realising what I really was. In short, no, dysphoria, while common, is not a prerequisite – the only requirement to being non-binary is being most comfortable in a gender identity that was not prescribed to you.


  2. minefloozle

    There’s actually a term for feeling happy when being viewed as the proper gender–“Gender Euphoria.” It’s a perfectly valid thing, and it sounds like maybe you’ve got a bit of that with how you’re feeling about exploring?

    As Lazy Orang said above, the only thing you need to be not the gender you thought you were is to feel that you’re not completely the gender you thought you were. Whatever you feel, that’s the valid thing, no matter how new it is.


  3. anta

    When you feel something, I think you’d do best to interpret it without thinking too much about any official “requirements”. When I first started questioning my gender identity, I immediately decided I was transsexual and after that interpreted everything with that frame in mind. It took me years to realise that there might be other options too.

    … not sure how much that has to do with your situation, though. I was just too gung-ho to get to diagnose myself as clearly as possibe, as soon as possible.

    I’m not sure if I’ve ever had actual dysphoria, though. Just this weird out-of-place feeling with certain aspects of my anatomy, and not even that at all times.

    These days, I find my feelings of euphoria more enlightening. It always makes my day when I “pass” as androgynous.


  4. Ryan

    This is a great question. I would guess most people would have a different experience with this. I don’t experience body dysphoria at all. I like my body quite a lot and I feel very comfortable in it, and I always have. I have also for the most part been comfortable with how I see myself and who I believe I am. What I am uncomfortable with is the way other people define me based on my body. My body is biologically male and I look fairly masculine, but for some reason people then ascribe stereotypical masculine behaviors and motivations and emotions. This feels completely arbitrary to me. It’d be like someone attributing my personality traits to the color of my hair. If I’m being sensitive and kind and emotional, other people see it as defiance of my masculinity, but I see it as simply being my unique self. If I’m being strong and stubborn and assertive, other people see it as confirmation of my masculinity, but I see it as simply being my unique self. It’s very painful when other people try to shove me in the gender box. Maybe that’s some kind of dysphoria, but I don’t know. I avoid using that word to describe my own experience.


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