So, in my last post, I mentioned that I have dysphoria, and that it’s not limited to gender dysphoria. I want to expand on that a bit, because it’s a complicated subject for me given the multiple axes involved. The dysphorias I experience are age, gender, and species, and I’ll tackle them in that order.
Content advisory: brief mention of underage sex
“What the heck? I thought ‘dysphoria’ only referred to gender dysphoria…”
Dysphoria comes to us, ultimately, from Greek “δυσ-” (dus–, “bad”) and “φέρω” (phérō, “I bear/carry”). It actually refers to the overall state of feeling unwell or unhappy, which is why the axis of dysphoria is often prepended. So, ‘gender dysphoria’ indicates that the reason one is in a state of unwellness or unhappiness is due to the incongruity between their gender identity and their physical body (hormones and all).
“Okay, so…what about age and species dysphoria? How does that work?”
Ageplay, when one roleplays, or acts out, an age different from their actual age, is a common entryway to addressing gender dysphoria, because it’s often the consequences of puberty that cause dysphoria. A deeper voice and body and facial hair, for trans-feminine people. Breasts and menstruation, for trans-masculine people. By roleplaying a younger person, one can return to the shape they were happy with. It’s not until we’re able to perceive our gender identities that we discover gender dysphoria, though this is far more common for people who realise that they’re trans after they’ve entered adolescence.
Species dysphoria is different, in that there’s no real overlap between it and age and gender dysphorias. Here, the bridge is the furry community. For a lot of people, the furry community was their first real exposure to queerness, and it’s an extraordinarily welcoming one. Here, one can experiment with their gender identity and sexuality in a variety of ways; often, people find themselves in the process of that experimentation.
“So…how’s this apply to you, then?”
I was typefucking (they call it sexting when it’s via text, these days) in 8th grade, around the onset of puberty. I was roleplaying nonhuman characters from the beginning, and I’ve pretty much always had an aversion to playing human characters when I had an alternative. These days, even human faces bug me, which is not a development I really expected, but at least there are a lot more furry games than there were, 20 years ago.
I learned about the furry community and ageplay in high school, and I spent several months (I don’t have logs for precision, unfortunately) around early 2004 being female online. For reasons I haven’t really been able to unpack, I put the mask back on, and it finally fell off last December after I tried being they/them nonbinary for about three weeks.
There are things other than my dysphoria that led me to concluding that I’m trans, of course, but I’m still trying to catalogue them all. Another major one, however, was the realisation that I can’t see myself in my sex fantasies from a masculine viewpoint, which is fairly common for trans-feminine people.