Everyone experiences dysphoria differently, so my experiences might not be an accurate reflection for some of y’all. However, there are some noticeable differences between trans and nonbinary dysphoria.
Before I begin, it is important to understand what dysphoria is. One of the other admins on the blog said, “Dysphoria is like the feeling you get when you scratch a holographic bookmark the wrong way.” Essentially, it is the realization (and the aftermath of the realization) that one doesn’t perceive themselves as how their body represents that person. You know that makeup scene in Mulan where she wipes it off with her sleeve because she doesn’t recognize her reflection in the water? These are examples of what dysphoria feels like.
First, let’s discuss transgender dysphoria. A central issue here is not feeling aligned with the genitalia you possess. Many trans people undergo surgery to help combat this feeling. Another great way to help combat dysphoria is by taking hormones to make oneself either more feminine or more masculine. Another method to relieve dysphoria is by binding. Other strategies include packing, changing names, and changing pronouns. These strategies allow a person to feel more aligned with their body.
Nonbinary dysphoria is less obvious. Instead of the jarring holographic bookmark example from above, it feels more like being called by your sibling’s name. It throws your brain for a loop, and you’re left feeling confused and distraught afterwards. Nonbinary dysphoria is a balancing game; for me, I feel dysphoric if I present as too masculine or too feminine on a given day. To combat this, I tend to wear over-sized flannels and mom-jeans. Coping methods for nonbinary dysphoria range from changing pronouns, changing names, dressing a certain way, taking hormones, getting surgery, and sometimes just flat out dying your hair a wonky color.
The most important message from this should be that everyone experiences dysphoria differently. It feels different to everyone, and it fluctuates in severity. This does not make anyone’s experiences with dysphoria any more or less valid. There is not an ideal level of dysphoria that you have to reach in order to claim the term.
-August S. 2194
About LGBTQ+ of FIRST
LGBTQ+ of FIRST is an organization dedicated to raising awareness and acceptance of LGBTQ+ participants in FIRST Robotics. LGBTQ+ of FIRST was started to spread visibility of the LGBTQ+ community within FIRST and help teams become safe spaces for their members.