There’s a lot of people going on against comparing the pedophilia and SSA point, and that one I’m probably not going to touch with a hot poker until I can better wrap my mind around what my answer is. However, the first question is one I see from a lot of “opposition” to transition, and someone who might be ignorant on it might actually not realize why it’s different.
What’s your take on dysphoria in terms of rating its cause to be physically caused verses psychological?
I mean take apotemnophilia or xenomelia? Both of these are obviously disorders. Obviously. I mean I’d have a hard time thinking anyone anywhere really thinks that wanting to cut your own limbs off is ever gonna be accepted as normal enough to have its own parade. They’re both accepted as caused by physical breaks in the brain. They’re not even so much psychological as physical brain wiring problems.
The problem with comparing to those two is that Body integrity dysphoria (BID) has a serious lack of research behind it; by contrast, Gender dysphoria is well documented by the medical community. Transition is by no means the same as desiring to remove a limb. Ignoring that the non-op segment of the trans community exists, the worst thing srs does is sterilize you, an effect that’s not unique to it, either. It is by no means a desire to disable your body, especially when you look into how much work is put into the neo-genitals (or at least the neovagina. The neophallus is apparently still underdeveloped, hence why the majority of transmasc folk I know are non-op.)
On top of that, while there’s few studies about BID, there seems to be an indication that amputation does not cure BID. Rather, amputation temporarily relieves the patient’s feelings, before returning at some point or another. In contrast, if/when GD persists during transition, it tends to be one of two things. The first is that it overcorrects, in which case fine tuning the individual’s HRT regiment remedies it. I’ve only seen it a handful of times, and when I have, it’s usually because the individual in question identifies as non-binary.
More commonly, in my experience, is that instead that the new point of focus for dysphoria has always caused dysphoria, it just wasn’t as large a source as the others. For example, my shoulders and voice. They’ve always contributed to my dysphoria, but not to the extent that, say, growing facial hair or the lack of breasts have. Now that I’ve been on HRT for nine months, developed small chest buds, and have a proper regiment for dealing with my facial hair (though being able to afford laser and remove it permanently is a long term goal of mine), I’ve focused back on my voice dysphoria, in order to relieve that. After that, the shoulder dysphoria will remain, because there is no cure for shoulder dysphoria. If there were, I probably wouldn’t have to worry about dysphoria at all.
And as far as the, “If there was a pill that cures dysphoria, would you take it?” question… If I follow the question literally, there is such a pill. I do take it. It’s called Estradiol and an Anti-Androgen (though I might try to convince my doc to switch me from Spironolactone to Cyprotone, as I hear it gives better results with less side effects) for transfemme individuals, and Testosterone for transmasc individuals.
Following more the spirit of the question, with a “cure” that somehow eliminates dysphoria and lets one live their assigned gender, that becomes a deeply personal thing that depends on who you ask, how far along they are, and how “acceptable” transition is where they are. For myself, who’s been on this road for almost half a decade now, has access to proper transition care and has been on it for nine months with a generally accepting community… Yeah, no. I wouldn’t trade it. If someone was still trying to come to terms with it, or lives in a situation where pursuing transition might lead ostracize them at best or lead to violence at worst… I can see why they’d rather take a pill to repress those feelings.
But it doesn’t exist. The most effective cure to dysphoria is, and continues to be, transition.
As far as physical versus psychological goes, there’s some indications that the brain of a trans individual more closely matches that of a cis person of their preferred gender identity, but from what I recall, the sample had so much variance that it was hard to find a trend for “male brain,” and “female” brain at all.
That’s interesting. You see the people I know with dysphoria fall into 2 camps. There are those who accept it’s something, but they don’t think it’s right to fix it (operate) because of their beliefs? And then there are those like that friend of mine who’s still pre-op.
So I don’t really know anyone who’s gotten to the other side of the procedure. I’ve got no connection with anyone who’s a survivor 3 years on and feeling great.
I’m assuming you’ve got more of a connection with people who’ve managed to go the full way. If so? Do you generally get the same solid feedback that it was the right thing to do? Or do you get a mixed message sometimes? I mean how much of a risk do you think you’d be taking if doing an operation? Emotionally, mentally, psychologically, whatever. I guess I’m trying to figure out if this is the lesser of 2 evils? Or if it’s guaranteed happiness and easy pacing from there?
I like the detail you go into to make things clear. It helps see through that lens a bit better.