Coping With Gender Dysphoria | 5 Tips For Gender Dysphoria Treatment
3 years ago, I found it rather difficult to explain what gender dysphoria feels like to cis-gendered people. I spent a lot of time educating those as I transitioned with hormone replacement therapy and watched Aaron's transform from one of feminine appearance to the man I always knew inside me. If you asked me what it’s like coping with gender dysphoria, I’d tell you it’s a lot like as if you were Mr. Potato Head. If you grew up in the ’90s like me, you know what I’m talking about!
Mr. Potato Head meaning that I am feeling like I am constantly feeling like I need to add or take away certain characteristics of my body. Whether that's top surgery or trying different packers to try and fill the voids of being a man born in a woman's body. It’s not an easy task to endure this life when you’re body is biologically against you and I’m sure even those who aren’t transgender (called cisgender) can relate to that feeling at times.
To fight back against our dysphoria, let’s go over 5 tips for gender dysphoria treatment and help to overcome these mental roadblocks:
1. Gender Affirming Clothes
How we dress as human beings often exclude a lot more information about ourselves than we often realize. I didn’t feel comfortable in tight jeans, so much so that I refused to wear them and instead rocked the sweatpants and basketball shorts look. I remember in 8th grade borrowing a pair of cargo shorts to ride home in from my cousin at an impromptu swimming party and I remember thinking in the mirror to myself that I felt like a million bucks. Those cargo shorts unlocked a door that I would later open that would lead to where I am today.
2. Research Others’ Gender Dysphoria Treatment Tips
It can be super helpful when coping with gender dysphoria to hear the stories of other people’s experiences. YouTube was a giant resource for me that I found myself going to often for support and videos on what it meant to be transgender and how these people discovered their own gender identity. You never know who you may find that you resonate with and see how they battle their own dysphoria demons.
Also, for free you can choose to join Facebook groups that have many Q&A’s about being transgender in today's society and all kinds of experiences with gender dysphoria treatment.
3. Get Products That Help With Top Dysphoria
For some people who are transgender, their gender dysphoria is curbed with products that help them present as the gender that they most closely identify with. For example, you might have what’s called “top dysphoria” meaning you mentally don’t feel like you’re aligned with those body parts. For me, it’s my chest tissue that I hope to get off one day. Until then I use TransTape as my go-to method for coping with gender dysphoria. Another popular binding solution is the GC2B chest binder that helps flatten your chest appearance or in the case of transwomen, use prosthetics from GenderCat to assist in helping you feel more you.
4. Prosthetics To Cope With Bottom Gender Dysphoria
As personal as it may sound, bottom dysphoria is no joke. If you’re a cis man and you’re reading this, can you imagine having the opposite equipment and extra chest tissue? If you’re a cis-woman reading this, can you imagine having extra ‘equipment and nothing up top? These are serious problems that some (not all) transgender people struggle with every day. To help remedy this, we created stand to pee (STP) devices that are in the shape of a cis-phallus or penis shape for trans* people to feel mental validity in order to reach their confidence deep inside. The good thing about our stand to pee devices, is that they can triple for packing, peeing and pleasure rods coming soon designed to turn your STP into a toy that you’d use in bed with a sexual partner.
Other than STP options, you also have the ability to get different prosthetics that are penis-shaped silicone prosthetics for packing (stuffing your boxers with something phallic but no function) only to help you feel validated when you go about your day as a trans* person.
5. Physically Transitioning
It’s important to note that not all transgender people need/want any medical form of transitioning and that’s okay. Some do and that’s also okay. For those who choose to learn about the medical options for transitioning, the most common among trans* folk is either hormone replacement therapy (in the form of injections, gels, patches or tablets). For those transitioning from assigned female at birth to identifying as male, you’ll receive testosterone (prescribed by a doctor while monitoring your levels) via one of the mentioned options which will “induce the physical changes in your body caused by male hormones during puberty (secondary sex characteristics).” (source)
Common characteristic are found to be present while undergoing hormone replacement therapy (also more recently known as GAHT Gender Affirming Hormone Therapy) are:
- Stopping your period. This will occur within two to six months of treatment.
- Voice deepening. This will begin three to 12 months after treatment. The maximum effect will occur within one to two years.
- Facial and body hair growth. This will begin three to six months after treatment. The maximum effect will occur within three to five years.
- Body fat redistribution. This will begin within three to six months. The maximum effect will occur within two to five years.
- Clitoral enlargement and vaginal atrophy. This will begin three to twelve months after treatment. The maximum effect will occur within one to two years.
- Increased muscle mass and strength. This will begin within six to 12 months after treatment. The maximum effect will occur within two to five years. (source)
As you look more into the best ways at coping with gender dysphoria or gender dysphoria treatment, you’ll see that not one solution is for every single body out there. We are all differently created and not one person is the exact same as the other which is why we have a variety of prosthetic products to choose from. Regardless of how you cope, just know that you are not alone in these feelings. There is nothing wrong with you. It gets better.