What is Gender Dysphoria?

My standard-gender (aka cis-gender) friends ask me this at times, looking for a better explanation of this vague term.

Since many know my story, I’m going to create several posts in smaller chunks in an attempt to help explain this concept as it’s far too lengthy to digest all at once.

The template we will follow is what Zinnia wrote in her excellent blog 4 years ago, “That Was Dysphoria?” She outlines indirect things in her life causing her grief yet were fixed upon transitioning & hormones. Please open this link in a separate web browser window and follow along with her write-up.


Let’s start today with the first of eight items she lists in the link above:
1. “Continual difficulty with simply getting through the day”.
Reading her text was like reading about my life of constant fatigue, as if a 200 pound blanket was strapped to my back all day every day.  I was accused of being lazy, but to me, I wasn’t lazy, I always intensely fatigued.  Always. It was an inner fight just to get off the couch to get to the bathroom.

Regular tasks took extraordinary effort to achieve. Zinnia mentions tasks that were equally as stressful to complete: getting in the shower, cleaning up the house, anything I was asked.

“Clean the car?” That’s a ton of work, sigh.

“Paint the room” I’d do it but I’d be discontent.

“Fix this or that in the house”. My constant fatigueness would trigger a snapping, almost angry response from me.

Like Zinnia, I could never truly unwind. I was always more tired than there were hours in a day to catch up on sleep. And I never really slept that well, always broken sleep.

“Nothing came easy to me”.  Emotionally speaking this is 100% true. Everything was an emotional uphill battle just to the little things, or anything. Check the tire pressure on the cars? Staple the insurance card to the vehicle registration then place them in the glove box of our cars once per year? Ugggh….so draining.

People don’t understand the hell this is. But I didn’t know any different, not at all. I thought this was the way life was for everyone else but that they overcame their obstacles to be happy, energetic, fun, etc.  Not me. I could never figure out how to get past this issue, how to shed my person of the 200 pound blanket always weighing me down. No formula I tried back then helped out this constant state of grumpiness even though I didn’t know I was grumpy.  My ex spouse said I was grumpy often. Evidently, she was right.

I thought I was just not happy with our marriage and situations in life such as stresses at work, I wasn’t. But I was so very naïve, I had no idea the larger picture at play. I didn’t know.