Signs of Gender Dysphoria can be different for everyone.

My depersonalization was very bad and my depression was more or less life long – since about age 10. My trans-sister came out when she was age 27 and I was just baffled… simply baffled. You don’t feel like your gender? You cross dress? I literally had to see a photo of her dressed in women’s cloths to even believe it. I just didn’t understand it.

Ever since that day, I have investigated gender, watched transgender people on YouTube, and just tried to understand why someone would not feel like their gender. When I probed my own gender I didn’t really feel anything. Why would gender be so important to anyone?

Finally when I was age 37, about 10 years later than my trans-sister when she started her journey, I ran into an article talking about depersonalization and how Estradiol can help NMDA receptors function better. I could relate to about 70% of the first hand accounts in the article – just one thing was missing: I didn’t feel strongly about gender. I still don’t feel strongly about gender.

Depersonalization in gender dysphoria: widespread and widely unrecognized

So I figured, “what do I have to lose?” I started taking Estradiol. It didn’t make me feel differently about depersonalization, but wow, it seriously helped with depression. I could see colors better, I could feel my body better, and I slowly grew the capacity to feel happiness on occasion.

After the first month I bumped my dose up, then around 2.5 months bumped it up again when I switched to injections. By month 4 a blood test indicated I had a lot of serum level Estradiol and I dropped down to a single 0.1mg transdermal patch. This made me feel really depressed on a lower dose, but I figured I would see how things went. About 3 weeks on the lose dose and my feminine body fat distribution started to become masculine again; body hair was becoming masculine again; my swollen breasts were getting smaller; my arms were so much bigger that a women’s blazer I purchased couldn’t fit in the arms anymore.

Suddenly when I looked in the mirror instead of not relating to who I saw, I just didn’t like how I looked. But why? I don’t feel strongly about gender, so why does a more masculine appearance bother me? I guess I was just wrong. I have some kind of gender dysphoria after all.

As I slowly came to terms with realizing I really didn’t like looking masculine, I started to keep an eye open for other clues. One day when someone who knew I identified as non-binary/agender said goodbye, they started to say “See you next week miste[r]… [my name instead].” I noted it and chewed it over. I found myself smiling about it while driving home and had a little chuckle at the silliness of it. Something so small really did make me feel a little lighter and gave me a sense of relief. The weight of being called mister has been on me since I was a young adult, but I just thought I’d grow into it one day. It always felt kind of “off” or “wrong” and I just mentally shrugged when it happened.

For me it isn’t so much about which gender I am, as being boxed into a gender at all. I just don’t want to be thought of as a gender, and I don’t think of myself as gendered. Gender itself just feels kind of gross and heavy to me. I was fairly comfortable with who I was until puberty, and things seemed to get out of control around that time. Depression went into high gear and I just forced myself forward through life.

I never spent much time dwelling on the dissonance of being gendered externally whilst internally being genderless. At the same time I have always been hyper fixated on the female form, but also internally felt like something with more physical power than most women have. I want to be curvy like a woman, strong and tall like a man, and the genitals themselves I really don’t care much about. I like having a penis just fine.

Unlike my trans-sister I have no strong insights into my own gender or identity, and she also has never struggled with depersonalization like I have. With my trans journey I’ve had to be dragged into the reality of it and find myself more in retrospect. To me this really speaks to the legitimacy of the non-binary trans gender category, because I don’t think I would fit into a binary trans gender anymore than I fit into my binary assigned gender at birth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *