Learn more about gender dysphoria and how it can make you feel. We’ll also share some tips to help you understand and cope with these feelings.
This page was written with the help of young people at Trans Youth Glasgow
What is gender dysphoria?
Gender dysphoria is a sense of discomfort or distress in your gender, sometimes related to your body. This can include other people not seeing you for who you really are.
Experiencing gender dysphoria
Remember, you don’t have to experience gender dysphoria to be trans, and not everyone who experiences dysphoria will go on to transition.
Gender dysphoria can cause a lot of difficult feelings that can be tough to cope with. For some people, dysphoria is a temporary experience, and for others it is a long-term part of their lives.
Young people told us it can feel…
- “Ahhhh! Internal scream”
- Like they are misunderstood
- “Not a vibe”
Everyone’s experience of dysphoria is different. It may be triggered by your appearance, the environment you’re in or a specific event.
How people cope with gender dysphoria is very personal – what works well for some people might not work at all for others. Here are some examples that help other young people.
Experimenting with your appearance and learning what feels good to you, can help to reduce feelings of dysphoria.
Learn more about styling your hair
Look for some hair cut inspiration online
Change the type of underwear you use
Stuff a bra
Experiment with different makeup – you can find inspiration on YouTube or TikTok
Get your eyebrows dyed
Wear a packer – an object you can wear in your crotch to create a bulge
Wear baggy clothes and layers
Wear a sports bra to flatten your chest
Not everyone can experiment with their appearance or you might be ready to share your transition yet. There are still things you can do to reduce feelings of discomfort:
- For voice dysphoria – lip sing to a song with a voice that you prefer.
- Find examples of your gender and how you would want to present.
- Online spaces that let you play around with a character can help you explore.
- Create an account where you can use your preferred name or gender to get validation.
- Distractions help – go for a walk, spend time on YouTube, or try listening to your favourite music.
- Listen to songs that reaffirm your gender – for example “young man” in YMCA.
- Remember, your gender is what you are inside – your body doesn’t make you who you are.