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What Gender Dysphoria Taught Me About Looking Past Appearance

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You’re trapped inside a body that isn’t yours. Now, ever since you were little, you knew something wasn’t right; it has always felt like something was off, like you were different from the other kids your age. And they always made fun of you for it. It isn’t until one day you ask yourself, Why am I like this? You look down at your body, wondering what connection you must be missing with it, like everyone else feels at home in their body except you. Then there comes the disconnect from looking in the mirror at your body, like the body you’re seeing reflected back to you isn’t yours, like you’re looking at someone else’s. This doesn’t feel right to you so you start avoiding mirrors. Start avoiding places where you can see your reflection. Start avoiding bathrooms. Start avoiding places where the two genders are separate.

This is what Gender Dysphoria feels like. And this is my life on a daily basis. However, certain people in my life just don’t seem to understand.

“You’ll never be a real man” he says to me

His words stab me In the chest

But he doesn’t even notice me


“You’ll never be a real man”

The words pour out of his


Making their way through the

Thin dry air And into my ears

“You’ll never be a real man”

Waterfalls start to form at my eyes

Giving them a glassy look

And through all this,

He doesn’t notice.

But I do not cry

Because I love him.

I do not cry

Because I know that he loves me

Even when he has no filter

I know that he loves me

Even when he doesn’t support me

As a man But regardless I stand

With my head held high

Arms reaching towards the sky

A glint of happiness in my eyes

And he may try to hurt me With his

Harsh words

But he never even stopped to ask

Never even heard

That I am proud to be me.

Don’t you see?

But I am so much more than just a transgender male. However, some people refuse to see past this. To see past the high voice, feminine features, and short stature. They let it obscure their vision, so much so that that’s the only thing that they see about me; that I’m different from the average person. But even through all of this,

I rise. I rise for the


The forgotten

The broken

Because I have been there.

But here I stand today

With solid ground beneath my feet

And I will rise.

Imagine a world where everyone is accepting of each other. Where we look past someone’s identity, and see into the person, so we not only see the heart, but also the soul.  So I challenge you to look past appearance. I challenge you to look past gender, sexuality, race, or anything else that might separate someone from the “norm”.

And when we one day can see past our differences, we will be free. Free of the harsh words that people have said to us, for they will mean nothing. Free of the prejudicial, artificial concept of who we think a person is, just judging by the outside.  And as Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty we are free at last.”

Photo by kylewilliamurban on Unsplash

Originally published: May 6, 2020
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