Understanding gender dysphoria and gender euphoria
When you’re talking about gender transition, it’s important to understand the concepts of gender dysphoria and gender euphoria. Gender dysphoria is the distress or discomfort someone feels when their gender identity does not align with their physical body or their innermost self. Anyone can experience gender dysphoria (even cisgender people!). However, it is more commonly discussed in regards to the transgender and nonbinary community.
Many people begin their gender transition in order to get relief from gender dysphoria, but this uncomfortable feeling isn’t required to access the health care you need. Gender-affirming clinical support such as hormone therapy or surgeries can help lessen or alleviate gender dysphoria.
Gender euphoria, on the other hand, is the positive feeling that someone experiences when their gender identity is affirmed. For some people, this might be a fresh haircut or a new outfit, a compliment from a friend, or loving how your body feels.
It is also important to recognize and celebrate moments of gender euphoria. This might be through wearing clothing that aligns with your gender identity or being referred to by the correct pronouns. Doing anything that is gender-affirming, from wig shopping to flirting, can give you gender-euphoric feelings. Whatever your experience, know that your joy is just as valid as your struggle. You do not need to be defined by the experiences that caused you pain, but by the ones that filled your heart with light.