Properly Suppressing Your Gender Dysphoria

Narrate a play when you are seven. Protest your wardrobe convincingly. Don’t pretend the robe is a dress. Squirm when they let you wear lipstick and blush. Do not say they “let you.” Forget this memory.

Hate your long eyelashes. Avoid androgynous haircuts. Blush when the lunch lady thinks you are a girl. Do not like this, but remember this — it is embarrassing.

Don’t watch The Jetsons. Don’t dream that you have a machine that showers and dresses you in the morning. Don’t dream that it always messes up and dresses you like a girl. Consider this “messing up.” Do not have this dream again.

Don’t go to water parks. Don’t hate your swimsuit. Don’t like hers. Don’t dream of futuristic water slides that can change your gender. Don’t always find ways to accidentally go down the girl’s slide. Consider this “accidental.” Stop having this dream. Stop having this dream. Stop having this dream.

Stop dreaming.

Forget that time in third grade when Kyle got to dress up as a cheerleader for Halloween. Don’t say that he “got to.” Become too old for Halloween when you are nine. Do not tell anyone why.

Don’t envy that girl’s outfit, her hair, or her body. Do not envy her genitals. This is not envy; this is attraction.

Don’t watch Mulan.

Don’t tell your sister that you wish you were a girl. Laugh with her when she points out your bulbous Adam’s apple and tell her that you are kidding. Don’t hate your Adam’s apple. Do not push it to the back of your throat and wish that it would stay.

Don’t ask your mom what she would’ve named you if you were a girl. Elizabeth.

Don’t go to the Woodstock Fleece Festival. Don’t look at all the cute knit hats. Don’t cry in the car in front of your aunt. Do not cry over knit hats when you are twenty-three.

Don’t go to The Stumble Inn with Karen. Don’t sit on the patio, and don’t order a drink. Don’t let her tell you that you have feminine features — you don’t. Don’t let it make you happy. Do not be happy.

Don’t pretend to be a girl online. Consider this “pretend.”

Pretend to be a boy in real life. Consider this “real.”

Wait until you are older — it will go away.

Pretend that it does. TC mark

image – Shutterstock

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  • Tena van der Sigmund

    This made me sad.

  • Jackiemreese

    I feel like I’m going to burst into tears, which will be hard to explain, since I’m at my desk. At work. :(

    • Hannah Moire

      I excused myself to the bathroom to cry.

  • Alexander J. Allison

    Excellent writing on a potent subject. Wonderful work. This is not said lightly.

  • Gregory Costa

    I want to hug you.

  • leah

    i want to print this out and hand it out and make people read it. maybe it’d make them muster some understanding.. there’s no evidence more empirical, more substantial than our own experiences. they’re proof of what the world is, and what it can do to truly beautiful people who are just trying to exist honestly–and on top of that, to those of us who have to work simply to convince the world that we exist at all (though it’s not so simple..). 

    thank you for these words.

  • laura jayne martin

    I really liked this; it didn’t make me sad because it seems like it’s written with a great deal of self-awareness, especially with respect to the forces either inside or outside of the person that are giving the “don’t” commands.

  • Anonymous

    And here I thought I was the only one.

    • Chase A Harvey

      nope :)

    • Moo

      Not in the slightest.

  • Adam Doyle

    This left me breathless. For a piece about denial, I have never felt so fulfilled. =)

  • anonymous

    amazing. thank you for this candid, heartbreaking piece; and yet, thank you for making me feel so understood at the same time.

  • Confusedbilliam


  • Abc

    holy shit. switch the gender pronouns and I don’t think I’ve ever read anything I understand more.

    and yet I’m scared to say “identify with”

    and yet I’m scared to comment because oh god what if someone knew it was me

    you all are far braver than i am.

  • 123

    I wish it would go away.

    It never does.

  • Antonio is not an Angel

    I don’t have feelings like this, but it was beautifully written and really made me think.

  • friend

    this is absolutely perfect. thank you so much

  • Sarah Murphy

    Don’t listen to your inner voice or your heart. Believe instead the voice of everyone who looks at the outside covering. Allow yourself to be gaslighted.

    Don’t allow yourself to explore who you really are.  Instead allow your guilt and shame to overtake you.

  • Kristen Kelly

    I felt like this, the minute I truly accepted who I am my life began to be much clearer. I found my inner voice, and my life changed.

  • Anon

    these scares are still bleeding me dry…. they will eventually kill me. it doesn’t get better.

  • Moo

    Beautiful.  Although I’d add (for me personally) “Decide gender is a fiction, and it doesn’t really matter anyways.  Continue.”

  • Gavranchet

    F**k, in tears. The specifics are different, but the emotion is Truth. Thank you for writing this.

    • Gavranchet

      Also. Auto-Correct is malovent!

  • Jessica Doyle

    Don’t be jealous of the girl in kindergarten with shiny red shoes, line up to hold her hand.
    Imagine a playground game, where if you are tagged “it” you have to trade clothes with the girl wearing the gold sparkly dress

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on joslynalana and commented:

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