Non-binary and dysphorics.

So after I wrote my last post on the difference between being dysphoric and trans*, I went on search of feedback. I posted my blog around to a few people and found that some thought I wasn’t addressing non-binary people at all. I disagree, I definitely addressed them, although they weren’t really bought into focus at all. But if you read between the lines, non-binary people are definitely included in that post.

There was also a video by Shoe0nHead which had special guest star Blaire White commenting on a few things. I feel they presented an over-simplified argument, where they sacrificed nuance for witty banter, using cherry picked examples. Which is fine, that’s their style and that’s okay, I just wanted to fill in the gaps as it were.

So I figured I should do a quick follow up to explain how and why non-binary people can also fit into the medically accepted idea of gender dysphoria. As I said in my last post, gender dysphoria is what makes people dysphorics and is a medically recognised condition. It presents a set of symptoms which lead to the diagnosis, a list of the diagnostic symptoms can be found in the previous post. Typically this will mean the person will begin transitioning their gender presentation to make them more comfortable.

Non-binary fit all of the above qualities. Some suffer dysphoria, and they do take steps to transition to a more comfortable state of being. To your typical dysphoric this means embracing your gender with your presentation, to people who identify as non-binary, this means rejecting gender presentation. The key point being that we both suffer the same medical condition, we just handle it differently. This is part of what I meant in the previous blog post when I spoke about how enforced genital reassignment had been dropped to allow dysphoric people more agency over their bodies. This applies to non-binary people too.

I guess the best way to think of it is like a flu. The flu is a virus, if I get it I may decide to eat spicy chicken soup. If you get it, you might decide to load yourself up with flu medication. We both have different ways of dealing with the same condition, but its still the same condition through and through. This is what the relaxing of the regulations surrounding gender dysphoria ultimately comes down to. They allow people to make a choice on how they deal with their condition that they’re going to be living with for the rest of their lives. That’s a great thing.

The problem is that like with Shoe0nHead’s video, there are a lot of people who are using the non-binary label who don’t actually suffer from dysphoria. They are not people I would include in my idea of dysphorics. Whereas people who identify as non-binary, but suffer the same medical condition, gender dysphoria, most definitely are dysphorics too. It’s just that they choose to handle it differently.

Its a massive over generalisation to group all non-binary people into the transtrender category, when a lot of them do suffer legitimate dysphoria. These particular ones are as dysphoric as any typical male to female or female to male with gender dysphoria- they’ve just chosen a different path towards comfort. Though just like with trans, their label has been co-opted by people who don’t fit the original definition, and I’d argue that either the trans* non-binary, or the dysphoric non-binary people need to change label to avoid confusion.


7 thoughts on “Non-binary and dysphorics.

  1. ramendik says:

    I think you are losing a lot of nuance here, and in that other post, about the non-dysphoric trans* (and non-dysphoric non-binary) people. You describe them as basically making a political statement and this is unfair. Many of them are expressing important sides of themselves, sides that do not fit into their assigned gender.

    They don’t hate the genitals they have and perhaps don’t hate their bodies at all – but they hate the limitations placed onto their presentation and identity by the existing gender system, their sense of themselves does not fit into these limitations. This is not the same as just making up their expression to make a political point.

    Yes, I strongly agree that “depath” is dangerous. I think it came into vogue. however, not because of the non-sysphoric trans* people as such but because for a long time there was no hope of such coverage in the US anyway. Things are different in Europe – and would you happen to know any non-dysphoric trans* people in Europe who called for depath? I am not aware of any, except in Russia, but the state position in Russia is the biggest issue with insurance coverage anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cursede says:

      Russia is pretty terrible with lgbt stuff in general though. So I kinda expect it to not be super there. They still see homosexuality is a disorder.

      And they also tend to argue that gender is a social construct – so it’s most definitely a sociopolitical statement. It’s a push back against that system they dislike. It’s not really quantifiable as anything else.

      (thanks for these comments BTW! I love chatting stuff out with people!)


  2. ramendik says:

    Come to think of it,I do know of one particular activist in Russia for whom it might be a sociopolitical statement, Yana Sitnikova, also the person who wrote about depathologization.

    However, this is not the case for your typical nonmedical trans / nonbinary in Russia. I know quite a few of those. Most of them don’t do politics at all. (And also most are biologically female). They simply seek to redefine their own relationship with society.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cursede says:

      Yeah but that to me is still a sociopolitical statement and shouldn’t be held in the same light as trans the medical condition imo.

      I’ll look up Yana and keep an eye on ’em though for sure! 🙂


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