I think at least a small group of people with gender dysphoria are girls like me. I won't speak for the boys since I don't really know much about their world experience but I can speak for the girls. Bisexual, even heterosexual girls who get lost in the gender binary, not necessarily because they are masculine or would function better as men, but because they don't associate with the heteronormativity. They refuse the gender stereotypes, all of them, the "normal" heterosexual lifestyle, the way media shows them how to behave, how to be submissive, even when they're tough, how to bitch at their friends about the evils of men when they get rejected, how they have to handle the average heterosexual man, playing by some rules to not rock the boat. All those things are still going on despite the fact it's been years since the feminist movement started. Look at adverts, romantic comedies, sitcoms. There are rules and I see them whenever I accidentally stumble into the heterosexual groups I'm somehow still connected to.
I had severe gender issues until I had a breakdown and started taking medication. I didn't really want to be a man, but I sure as hell didn't want to be a woman either. I've come to accept being a woman because I realized that being a woman didn't have to mean playing by 'their' rules. I just remember glorifying homosexual relationships because it was two men and I'm still more comfortable with writing and reading gay romance/erotica/porn because two (or more) men stand on an even ground and any imbalance of power doesn't carry with it the negative politics and worries that crop up as soon as there's a woman present.
I always kind of failed at being with heterosexual men. I didn't like playing by the rules, even the simplest ones made me feel ridiculous like playing coy and helpless. Can you help me get out of this dress? ...How the hell would I get out of it if you hadn't come home with me? Oh, that's right, I'd just reach back here and god damn unzip it myself, how about that. To be desirable, women play helpless and the media encourages this. I watched a fantastic documentary that you can watch for free online (albeit with a giant "PREVIEW" watermark over the whole screen but it's worth it). It's called the Codes of Gender and it analyzes and explains just what happened in advertisement and how women and men are displayed in the media. Also, how it was really a planned thing by one man... You can watch it here
In case you don't want to hunt this down and watch it, here are a few examples:
# When a woman is shown holding something, she never holds it fully. She barely touches it, just lightly rests her fingers against it in an "elegant" way. A man 'holds' things, he controls his environment.
# A woman is usually posed in submissive poses or off kilter. Balancing on one leg while fixing her heel, lying down, crawling. A man stands up straight, usually facing the camera.
# A woman arches her neck in a vulnerable way, almost in an inviting way as if to display herself as prey. A man usually poses with his head lowered, looking up like a predator.
# A woman is often infantilized, dressed like a little girl, sucking on her thumb or with her fingers near her mouth in a way that suggests thumbsucking. Women and little girls are often shown together wearing the same kind of clothes. There is however always a difference between a man and a boy. You become a man but a woman is always a girl.
# A woman is often shown displaying emotion but it's always exaggerated, like she can't control herself. Look at any catalogue and you'll find a woman laughing in an almost hysterical manner, mouth open wide, maybe covering her mouth partially, out of control
as if to suggest a woman can not have any control. A man is always in control of his emotions.
I was stunned when I watched this documentary. Even when I began protesting that no, there are plenty of adverts that do this with men too, they had an answer to that. Yes, men have begun being diplayed in adverts lying down and almost feminized but there are reasons for it and the target audience is still men.
What do these things tell us? What kind of ideas do they plant in our heads? How do they shape our self perception? I saw so many things in that documentary that made me go, "So THAT is why this particular thing rubbed me the wrong way!" or "Oh so I was RIGHT to feel mad, even when I didn't really know what I felt mad about!"
I gained weight when I had my breakdown and at first, I did it on purpose. It drove me up the wall how I was treated when I was thin and pretty because I'd regularly run into people who somehow felt like they had some sort of ownership over me just because they found me desirable. If they didn't give me that creepy treatment, they were literally hostile toward me because I didn't behave as a young girl should. Is it any wonder that I wanted to be a boy and be loved as a boy would be loved? Note that I never wanted to be a man, I didn't like how men were supposed to be either.
I think these are among the reasons that are the root of why gender dysphoria is on the rise. I don't know how many girls I've met on the internet who are single or in semi-asexual relationships with other girls, writing gay fiction, not wanting a relationship with men even if some of them would by sexual definition be defined as heterosexual. The heteronormative has more victims than just homosexuals and transsexuals. Every heterosexual person who doesn't fit the mold gets swept aside as well. Or more accurately, sweeps themself aside to avoid the harrassment that comes with moving in the straight world.
I've never felt I fitted into any of those molds. I sometimes even doubt that I'm as pansexual as I say I am because I don't have that rawr-lust toward the female body as I do the male body. I know I AM but thinking back on when I was trying to fit in with the gay crowd, I couldn't. Maybe it was just because I've always been dysfunctional sexually, messed up and damaged but I didn't fit in with the lesbians either. Not until I met my 'dykes' anyway, but they're freakin weird as well.
Another thing? If it wasn't for a few wonderful people I know, I'd be so fed up with the whole transsexual issue. I've met so many people whose whole demeanor makes them seem like their sexual identity is more like a fetish. Like they should stick to crossdressing for kicks instead of claiming to be another gender. Hyper-feminine MTFs who behave nothing like any girl I've ever met, no matter how much of a princess. Butch little FTMs who seem more like slashers gone too far. It's sometimes easy for me to see why people roll their eyes at gender dysphoria and call it a psychological disease, if those are the only people they ever see. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying those people don't have the right to do whatever they want with their bodies as well, but at the same time it was a breath of fresh air to meet people who genuinely felt like they really were born with their bodies the wrong way. People I could never really think of as anything but their gender which really doesn't match their biological sex.
It just makes me sad that I think - actually I feel like I KNOW for sure - that so many people are going through these changes and living a certain livestyle because of these boxes society puts us in. I don't want to be loved as girls are loved, I don't want to gossip to my 'girlfriends' about men being assholes and how they can't discuss their feelings and how they are just like kids that need taking care of etc etc etc. I don't buy into it and I always feel a little sick to my stomach when I stumble into the heterosexual world. I don't belong there and yet men turn me on. I guess it's a good thing I'm happy being single.
This is rambly and maybe a bit incoherent, I just wanted to get my thoughts down before going to sleep... :3
It's a flammable material too so... if you're offended, please read more carefully. I don't think I'm being offensive and if I am it's by total accident and because I didn't finish a thought somewhere... It's five in the morning! But yeah, if you're offended, just comment and ask me about it and I'll happily talk to you about it. And stuff. Thingeys.
and wow look at that, an actual update! Love you guys, thanks for not dumping me for never updating xxxx