Physical vs Social Dysphoria

via Reader Ramblings: Physical and Social Dysphoria « Neutrois Nonsense.

Question

i just wanted to tell you that i’ve been reading a lot of your posts and that they have helped me immeasurably. there is very little online about non-binary trans people and their body/social dysphoria; that makes me feel a little lonely, sometimes. so your blog is awesome!

i’m having trouble with my chest, i guess. not when i’m naked, not when i’m alone (or alone with my partner). i only have trouble with my chest when i’m in public. i consider top-surgery now and then, but i know i’d miss my breasts when naked and alone. when i’m naked and alone, i feel whole.

i think you’ve been in a place similar to this place. i guess this message is asking for reassurance that this place is real, that real people have gone before me.

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So this is from the blog Neutrois Nonsense by Maddox and this question that one of their readers asked, and the subsequent answer from Maddox are both really good. I wanted to re-post it on here because in some ways this is an issue that I struggle with.

Like the reader who sent in the question, when I am alone, or naked or with my partner my chest doesn’t bother me, in fact, my chest in and of itself never really bothers me because I’m actually quite fond of my breasts. I like having them, I just don’t like being read as female and having breasts is seen as a rather obvious indicator of femininity by people who believe that gender is binary. I know I could never get top surgery because I know I would miss having breasts, but at the same time I also kind of like the idea of being flat chested sometimes. Really, binding should be the best option for me, but I’ve tried it several times (with ace bandages) and it’s been too uncomfortable to do for very long because it impedes my ability to breathe. I suppose I could get a chest binder, but I’m not sure I’m willing to drop that kind of money on this just yet.

I also like that Maddox points out the difference between social and physical dysphoria, because a lot of the dysphoria I experience is social. Most of the time I feel very comfortable and at home in my body, especially  in spaces with friends and allies where I know that my gender identity is respected, but when I leave that bubble, certain social situations make me very uncomfortable. The problem is, that the only real way to rectify those situations that make me uncomfortable would be for me to alter my body/appearance which is something I’m not sure I want to do because I like my body and I like the way I look. Plus, I’ve just never been particularly big on changing my appearance for the sake of others or to influence their perception of me and so to start doing so now would be… weird.

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