Do You Need Dysphoria to Be Trans? | Epically Curious [CC]

You know, the Internet is the best
possible place to have an unpopular opinion… Hello, everyone! Welcome back! My
name is Madelyn Jones, and here on this channel, I make videos about LGBT stuff,
spirituality, and just making the world a better place, so if that sounds like your
cup of tea, consider subscribing! So truth be told, I’ve been thinking about making
this video for years now, like since I first started thinking about making a
channel back in 2016, but every time I’ve started preparing to film this video, I
started thinking about the potential for backlash. But I think it’s time for me to
just finally share my thoughts on the issue and whatever happens happens. My
one request is that if you’re watching this video, please watch all the way
through before you comment down below whether you agree or disagree with me.
The question, of course, is “do you need dysphoria to be trans?” But before I answer
that question, I kinda want to define some terms and rephrase the question
accordingly. So as you probably already know if you’re watching this video, the
word transgender refers to people whose gender identity doesn’t match up with
the gender they were assigned at birth, and gender dysphoria is the sense of
discomfort that one feels because of that mismatch between your assigned
gender and the gender that you truly are. And I want to take a moment to note here
that there are different types of dysphoria, the most common being body
dysphoria and social dysphoria. Body dysphoria is where you feel intense
discomfort with some part of your body because of its association to gender. So
it’s not just a matter of “oh, I think I’m too fat” or “oh, I think I’m too skinny” or
“oh, I don’t like the way this part of my body looks.” When it comes to gender
dysphoria, it’s more along the lines of “what is my body doing? It is not supposed
to be doing that” or “why isn’t my body doing what it’s supposed to be doing?”
I’ve heard some people describe it as a feeling of betrayal, where a person’s
external body is betraying their internal sense of who they are. And then
there’s social dysphoria, which is an intense discomfort that stems from
people not seeing you for who you are. It’s the uncomfortable, painful sensation
you feel when you get misgendered over the phone or when you get hateful, suspicious glares for being in the “wrong restroom” even after you spent hours trying to pass. It’s when you tell the world who you are and the world tells you time and time and time again that it disagrees. And I definitely
don’t think you need both types of dysphoria. There are people who are
perfectly happy with their bodies, but they wish that people would see them for
who they are. And on the flip side, there are plenty of trans people who are
completely unbothered with how people see them, what people think of them, but
certain parts of their body still cause them dysphoria. The question here becomes “can a person experience a mismatch between their gender assigned at birth and their gender identity without experiencing any type of discomfort, whether bodily or social?” And personally, I don’t quite understand how that’s possible. I’m a trans woman who experiences a lot of dysphoria, all of the trans people I know experience dysphoria, so I can’t quite conceptualize how a person can have a mismatch between their assigned sex and their gender identity without at least a smidgeon of the discomfort that comes with it. But at the same time, I don’t have to understand something for it to be a possibility. After all I’ve had people tell me that they don’t understand how I can have a mismatch between my assigned gender at birth and my gender identity, but does that mean that trans people don’t exist? Our inability to understand something does not negate the possibility of its existence. That being said, if you’re a trans person who falls under this category of not having dysphoria, I’d really love to hear from you down in the comments below so that me and everyone else who’s watching this video can understand where you’re coming from and what your experiences are. And if you’re like me and you don’t quite get it, I ask that you keep the conversation civil. I mean, feel free to ask questions but let’s not attack each other, especially if you’re trans, too. We get enough hate from outside of the community, so let’s not give it to each other. If you enjoyed this video, make sure you like and subscribe for more content just like this. Whether you agreed or disagreed with what I said in this video, I look forward to a civil conversation down in the comments below. And as always, thank you so much for watching and I’ll see you again in the next video. Bye!


  1. appreciate you sharing your thoughts! I'm agender and experience some body dysphoria and social dysphoria, but from talking to other trans folks it seems to be quite mild, relatively speaking. from my perspective, not having body dysphoria is pretty easy to conceptualize – no body is inherently of a particular gender. if you ended up with a brain that doesn't feel your body is at odds with your self, but your conception of self is still different from your assigned gender, that clicks for me. in trying to conceptualize what it's like being trans and not dysphoric i try to overlay the two theoretical examples you gave of just body dysphoria and just social dysphoria. so someone without body dysphoria could also not care what other people think they are.

    looking at the bare bones definition of trans – not identifying with your assigned gender – the concept we're trying to grasp is: how do you not identify with an assigned gender without feeling dysphoria about it? and i think it's that you can know something is incorrect without having any further feelings about it. i think a lot of trans people realize that they've been assigned a wrong gender because of negative feelings associated with that incorrectness. but for some folks maybe it's more like "this assigned gender isn't actually mine. i have been carrying it around, and it doesn't bother me when people think it is mine, but it just isn't. i conceive of myself in a different way."

  2. Hmm that’s a really interesting topic I’ve been looking into to. Honestly, sometimes I feel invalid because I didn’t always feel a mismatch between my sex and gender, and it was only until I turned 17 that things kind of hit me. I’ve might’ve been unaware, but it led me to a deep depression of guilt and fear, and I wasn’t understanding why it was happening. I think I have moderate dysphoria with ups and downs, but sometimes my mind tells me I’m wrong. I think that if you don’t identify with your birth sex exclusively then you’re trans, regardless of how you identify or the amount of dysphoria. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  3. In my country you need body dysphoria can go the sugary,
    But also my native language (Hebrew) is based of gender (he or she) and sometimes really not fun

  4. I’ve been watching all of your videos recently, very informative! Thank you for that. I have a question for you, as I’ve noticed your transition is flourishing. Are you still identifying as non binary? Or are you identifying as a trans woman full time now? I also have a few questions regarding HRT that I don’t feel comfortable with asking via public comments. We are very similar from what I have heard from you so I would be interested in picking your brain if that’s okay? Lol. Feel free to reply here and maybe I can message you privately. Thanks again for all of your help! You’re inspiring! 💕

  5. I know I’m not cis but I feel as if I don’t know what gender feels like that I don’t even know what to say about it, and it’s the worst. I can spend hours thinking about it and i feel as if I’ve been in one of those old video games where the background stays the same and you can spend forever running towards the volcano but you’ll never be any closer to it(if that makes sense). I’ve tried taking brakes but I still feel as lost as ever and as soon as I think I get close to it when I reach my hand out to grab it it fades farther out into the distance.

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