as things come and go in waves, I learn to ride them #tbt
I remember the first time I felt gender dysphoria in my body. I had been uncomfortable with parts of my body since puberty, but didn’t have the language to describe those feelings as being about gender. It was a month after I changed my gender expression from feminine to masculine. The comfort that came with finally feeling satisfied with my masculine gender expression also came with a hyperawareness that I could not find that masculinity in my body. Once the clothes and binder came off, I no longer felt like me. —
When I started wearing “men’s”briefs instead of “girls” underwear, I noticed I felt really different. The thick waistband and hugging fit made me feel more confident. I began to carry myself differently. There were days when I wished all the world could see my men’s underwear— perhaps then they would see and understand me more. I often sagged my pants just a bit so people could see my intentional display of masculinity. For many years, clothes helped me manage the ups and down of my gender dysphoria.
As years went on, the distress I felt around my chest quickly intensified. The fact I was wearing men’s underwear didn’t matter because when I was out in public, it felt like all people could see was my chest, which would lead them to label me female. My binder became a constant reminder of my troubled relationship with this body part. The physical discomfort it caused contributed to the internal pain I was experiencing. For about two years, all I could think about was top surgery. —
After getting top surgery, I felt amazing. I was more at home in my body than ever before. For a few months, it felt like the weight of the dysphoria I carried with me for so long was totally lifted. I thought to myself, “maybe I’m in the clear.” Little did I know what was coming. It wasn’t long until I experienced bottom dysphoria for the first time. I had never felt this before— particularly in such a specific way. I was super freaked out by this feeling. Did this mean I needed to get bottom surgery too? I never thought of myself as someone who would need or consider bottom surgery. (More in comments...)