what can you do to help a person who is dysphoric?
While there's no real way you can cure someone's dysphoria, there’s ways you can at least avoid making them feel worse.
1. Use the name and pronouns the other person wants you to call them by. This one may seem obvious but it’s important.
2. If you haven’t already done this, make sure your friend knows that you accept them for the gender they are and that you’re there for them if they need you.
3. Ask them if they want to talk about it. If they do, then listen and let them talk. Don’t try to offer advice, just listen. If they don’t want to talk about it, then drop the subject.
4. Don’t make comments about what gender they look like. Even if you’re trying to compliment them or be encouraging, this tends to make people feel more self-conscious.
5. Don’t offer advice about how they can look more like their gender, or what boys, girls or another gender are like. If they want your advice, they’ll ask for it, but otherwise just keep it to yourself. (This advice usually just reinforces faulty gender stereotypes anyway and can be offensive.)
6. If they want you to leave them alone, then leave them alone. Don’t take it personally - sometimes dysphoria is so bad that just being around other people is painful. (The exception here is if you think they’re at risk for hurting themself or others.)
7. Watch out for gendered language. Pronouns, sir/ma’am/mir, Mr./Ms/Mx. are obvious, but there’s also more subtle stuff, like how “man,” “dude” and “guys” are sometimes used gender-neutrally, and sometimes aren’t. Or how words like “handsome,” “beautiful,” “tomboyish” and “hysterical” often have gender connotations. Ask a person if they’re comfortable being called any of these before you use these words for them.
8. Try to help them take their mind off of their dysphoria. Do things that make them laugh, engage them in fun activities, and just generally give them something else to think about for a while.
(continued in the comments)