Explaining Nonbinary Dysphoria 💙 (and other assumptions)


Hey everyone! So I’ve wanted to do the assumptions tag for a while now because there is just so much material to keep it light ish. I’ll probably break this into installments and sprinkle in some silly misconceptions along with the heavier stuff. Assumption 1: I’m short. I don’t know, I’m 5 7, you can decide if that’s short or tall. Usually though when I meet people from the internet for the first time they say Whoa you are so much taller than I expected So, yeah If you meet me expect taller than you’re ready for. Assumption 2: I experienced the same dysphoria as other non-binary people because non-binary folks all experienced the same dysphoria No This rebuttal is gonna be long. Buckle up There are about a million and a half thousand quatrillion ways to be non-binary and everyone’s relationship with dysphoria is unique to them. For me, I’ve struggled with my hair, chest, hips and a ton of social things Let’s talk about hair because that dysphoria is completely gone. Before I cut my hair, I was constantly and debilitatingly fixated/anxious about my appearance because I could never recognize myself in the mirror and I didn’t even realize that was what was happening at the time I just knew I didn’t like what I was seeing. Back then I used words like ugly, awkward, unattractive and other descriptors often associated with typical insecurities rather than dysphoria Because that was the language available to me. Now I understand that I didn’t recognize myself because I felt my hair made me look like a woman, and I’m not a woman. At that point in my life I had never heard of an afab person looking at themselves and feeling a disconnect mismatched negative confusion or thinking their appearance literally looked wrong before, unless they were a trans guy and I’m not a trans guy I also wasn’t sure what it felt like to look right. That’s why cutting my hair was so scary What if I did it and felt no relief? A lot of trans men feel relief when they cut their hair But again, not a trans man. Feminine gals get cute pixie cuts But that definitely wasn’t me either and there’s this women who go short for a more masculine look But I didn’t want to be a masculine woman. Basically most of my confusion and inability to name my gender dysphoria right away Came from having minimal exposure to non-binary representations and/or healthy role models. What if I cut my hair and still felt this ugly weirdness forever? Thankfully that didn’t happen. I chopped it off and since then there have certainly been days I felt like I looked hideous and I’m hecka self-conscious but that disconnect or my hair is foreign to me feeling was gone Now when I feel not cute at least it still looks like me. Not who is that person in the selfie I just took? I litterally don’t understand. Cutting my hair was the first time I drastically felt dysphoria being relieved So it was incredibly profound. For me, it cemented understanding the difference between being dysphoric about something and not liking a personal feature unrelated to dysphoria. Because I don’t just blame everything I’m not into on dysphoria. Although that is another assumption some people have For example: (content warning discussion about menstruation until) There’s my period. While I dislike my period I’m not disphoric about it. Which brings us to this video sponsor: Clue. The clue app is a free period tracking app that is available for iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets. It’s not a contraceptive, if you want to avoid pregnancy utilize birth control. I use Clue because I find it helpful for identifying patterns that occur in my body. For instance, I learned that I break out a day or two before my cycle Also the third day of my period is the worst for back aches So I make sure I’m armed with my doll and heating packs. Also, I can set reminders for stuff like that So I never forget and I’m always prepared. Look at it. You’re such a cat! I love you cat. And while all those things are neat, the reason I really like Clue is because they work so hard at being super inclusive the app doesn’t assume anything about your sexuality, gender, and it actively uses gender-neutral language and design. This means it’s not all pink and butterflies and you can turn things off like the ovulation or fertility windows if they make you uncomfortable to see. This makes clew a great choice for trans and non-binary people who want to track their cycle and get more info on their body without feeling misgendered the whole time. Plus Clue is always open to feedback If you ever have a suggestion for how the app could become even more comfortable for all kinds of folks. And, on top of all of that, their website is full of useful resources on safer sex, coping with gender dysphoria and how to find LGBTQ+ friendly health care Rad, right? Like actually incredibly cool and necessary It makes cycle stuff accessible for people beyond cis women which is so dope! Download Clue for free by clicking the link in the description or search period tracker in the app store and choose Clue. All right back to feelings on my Red Scare. I don’t dig it. I get shitty cramps, nausea isn’t fun, and I dislike spending cash money on menstrual products My monthly oil change is anything but pleasant. If I could pay to never have Shark Week again? I’d totally do it. Sign me up! All that being said my period doesn’t make me feel confused, unlike myself or panicked because there’s a distressing incongruence between what’s happening to me and what should be happening. I don’t feel less like my gender on my period. I’m still non-binary, I’m just bloated. And I’ll loop this back to assumption 2: just because I’m whatever about my Crimson Tide doesn’t mean that all NB people are. Some folks are very disphoric about that time of the month It’s okay and valid for people to be different Also another fun on flow related fact: Several humans commented on my Lube video Link above, it’s a really good video I dissolve a dildo in it And said that Lube can be a surprisingly helpful tool for inserting a menstrual cup so there’s a hack for you! More things I don’t like but I’m not dysphoric about. My voice. I feel connected to my voice in the way that my brain thinks my voice is my brain What? I feel connected to my voice in the way that my brain thinks that my voice is my voice. But boy, oh boy am I self-conscious about it? Whenever a video of mine finds its way outside my regular audience My voice is the first thing they go for Viciously I am aware that I sound unique, high-pitched, chipmunk-like, squeaky, expressive, annoying and grating in some people’s opinions. Comments have told me to go on testosterone even if it causes me dysphoria Because my voice is a travesty and I should spare people from having to listen to it. Got it. So while I kind of wish my voice was Less polarizing, it doesn’t cause me distress in relation to feeling as if it doesn’t belong to me It doesn’t make me feel less non-binary. Dysphoria is more than just hating your body or some feature. It’s about something making you feel uncomfortable because it conflicts with your gender. At least that’s what it’s like for me It gets complicated when you’re both insecure for non dysphoric reasons and disphoric about something simultaneously (Content warning: mentions of negative body image and body shame until) I’ve had personal challenges with my relationship with weight that I’ve been working on and will keep working on for non dysphoric reasons but also weight can make me feel dysphoric about my hips because in my head Prominent hips make me look like a woman and I’m not a woman. dysphoria and insecurities can be like a Venn diagram Some things are totally separate but overlap is possible. Side note, folks on the internet like to call people’s physical insecurities “dysmorphia” sometimes, even though they aren’t licensed psychologist doctors or therapists, which is interesting to me since BDD is an official diagnosis we shouldn’t just be assigning to strangers And often involves things like obsessive compulsions Hallucinations as in perceiving or exaggerating flaws that are either non-existent or slight extreme measures and cause of clinically significant distress Body dysmorphia is not the same as an insecurity the same way dysphoria isn’t. And that’s my hot take on that! My cat’s just been here the whole time Oow did I wake you up? Sorry. Yeah, close your eyes cover your eyes up with your paw I love you little kitty. when you’re non-binary, understanding what you might be dysphoric about versus what you just don’t like unrelated to dysphoria can be confusing. Or it can be easy! It’s easy for some people. My personal advice, feel free to take or leave it, what works for me might not work for you, is if this stuff is really stressing you out, or you can’t decide if you want to make a transitional change, especially an irreversible one, is don’t rush into anything. Take your time. If you can. Give all these feelings and thoughts room to breathe and eliminate outside expectation You are not a weirdo if you decide to make a change, and you’re not a disappointing not trans enough person if you decide not to. You don’t have to do anything. And on the flip side, your body and yourself are yours. You have total agency to alter something about your physicality, expression or identity if you want to and there is no time line and there is no timeline you should be sticking to with any of this stuff. You are doing good as long as you’re doing whatever makes you happy and healthy and keeps you safe. Try to ignore any pressure you may feel from friends, society, the medias, etc Because it’s not great to be making these kinds of decisions in order to make others happy or gain their approval and approach choices slowly, thoughtfully and safely. These issues can be tough. It’s okay to not know, be unsure or move gradually. You can also just sit in there not knowing that’s okay You can just exist there and you don’t have to hide if you’re not sure either. You can tell people, say: Hey, I’m unsure! I don’t know what’s going on. Want to talk to me about it? There’s no pressure to do something if you’re not ready or not sure. It took me 27 years to get to where I am today. Assumption 4: many of you think I’m 16. I’m 27. Figuring yourself out is not a race. And if you’re looking for external support, opening up to trusted, loved ones, doctors and licensed therapists can be helpful I so recommend therapy to anyone who can access it. I therapy the crap out of myself and it’s nice. I also unapologetically asked my doctors nine hundred thousand questions. Yeah. I hope this pep talk helped at least one person. Assumption 5: I make up weird songs and jingles about just about everything. True! Maybe I’ll insert some of Grace and I’s bizarre original tunes here. Okay, what tune should we start with? I think we need to start with [I honestly have no idea what’s going there I’m so sorry I dunnot know how to write that part down] That might be it. I mean it’s not it, there’s more, there’s more but that’s like five. Yeah, what do you want from us people? Five is enough! We can’t give you all of our material! Yeah! Assumption 6: I like my coffee super sweet Yes and no. I do love me some obnoxious Cramer’s like Butterfinger and thin mint but sometimes I find myself in the mood for a hot black cup of joe. But I usually dip a doughnut in it. Is that cheating? Does that make it sweet? Assumption 7: I make sex education vids because they are scandalous and get lots of clicks and views Actually, confession: I lose subscribers every time I post a sex ed video. Like a lot of subscribers, like 500 to a thousand subscribers But I’m not gonna stop because I’m passionate about safer sex And I think the loss is totally worth it for the information to be put out there and made accessible Yeah, alright, that’s it. Leave more assumptions about me in the comments below Oof. That’s a scary request Don’t be too mean and I’ll see you later. Okay. Bye Hey there, ho there before you go there. Don’t forget to click that link The YouTube algorithm works in very strange ways a click’s the best way to give Ash Hardell your praise. So hey ho before you go. Don’t forget to click that link

100 comments

  1. CW: Dysphoria, menstruation, body image issues. Times stamps in the video for when and where this occurs.
    Interested in Clue?? Check it out here 🙂 https://is.gd/qxtfPU
    Also thoughts on some of the things I said? On people conflating dysphoria, insecurities, and BDD?
    Also, also if you are a trans person who has a hard time every ~time of the month~ what do you do to feel more comfy? Share your coping tips with others <3

  2. When you talk about your voice at around 6 minutes in, it was surprising to me that there were negative feedback comments on your voice, because I've always loved it (does that sound creepy? haha) I think it's cute and beautiful, and it suits you perfectly in my opinion though of course, your own opinion matters the most. It's more like a feelgood voice rather than an annoying one to me. On a side note, I can't stop watching your videos, love your personality, your education and educational style, humor and everything 🙂 Thank you for making these videos <3

  3. Hey, im a closeted non-binary….. I really want to come out, it would make my life sooooooo much better and less stress. Help…someone….somewhere. (im afab btw)

  4. Idfk what the fuck my gender is. I'm a girl. I have proof. But the thing is that being called a girl makes me feel weird. I really like the neutral pro nouns. I know I am a girl, but part of me feels not like a girl but not like a guy.

  5. On the point about ppl saying you should change your voice – your voice is incredible, delightful, fairy-like, and fun to listen to!

  6. I love every video I’ve seen so far. Your voice is one of my favorite parts about you:) the way you word things and teach your audience is amazing.

  7. Ash thank you so much for this video. A lot of what you described regarding dysphoria is stuff I’ve experienced and I never knew that other ppl experienced. Like not recognizing yourself in the mirror and uncomfortable with period but not dysphoric abt it and this really helped me. I couldn’t find much on other ppls experiences with non-binary dysphoria and I couldn’t tell what was dysphoria and what was insecurity and this really helps

  8. Yeah my nonbinary dysphoria often affects my hair chest and hips and I have asked my mom if I can cut my hair but she always says no so I have to stick to wigs I usually wear a Todoroki wig to school actually and I always where a binder well it’s a tight Bikini top but it works but I wish it was tighter but something I do get incredibly dysphoric about is hipsssss I have a hourglass shape so it makes really difficult and I want to talk to my teachers and parents about using the right pronouns but I’m just really scared to what if they don’t except me if you guys have any tips please let me know

  9. I’m genderqueer. My hair is ab as long as yours but I still see it as feminine so I’m hopefully cutting it shorter for Christmas. So my hair gives me dysphoria, as well as my chest and how skinny and bone-y I am. :/ my voice is eeeehhhhhh. I think I just don’t like it :/ and my name gives me dysphoria but feminine pronouns don’t (I don’t have preferred pronouns)

  10. I think I might be non binary but I don’t know if Im actually dysphoric and Im scared. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time and the idea that I might just be a girl makes me panic a bit but I don’t know if that’s because I have been thinking I’m non binary or because I actually am. I felt so light and amusing the first time I wore a button up shirt but I don’t know if that was euphoria or that im just finally expressing myself how I want to. I feel so self conscious and I panic a little when I have to wear shorts but I don’t know if that’s insecurity or dysphoria. When I think about using they/them pronouns I like that but women can use them too and it doesn’t mean I’m non binary.
    I’m scared if I tell my friends I might non binary they won’t understand, and it’d be even worse if I am just a girl. I have a gay squad too, but 4 out of seven are trans (3 are ft, one is gender fluid) have come out as trans over the years I don’t want to seem like I’m just jumping on that train, and I worry they might think less of me or something if I talk to them, which sounds a little silly now that I say it out loud.
    And if I am non binary, that means one day I’ll either have to tell my entire family or I’ll have to keep quiet forever and that’s either decision is terrifying. My mum isn’t homophobic, although she has I think unknowingly been transphobic in the past (I don’t know if she’s just a misinformed boomer or if she would actually just not understand/doubt if I was trans/non binary). I’m also going to live with my grandparents soon anyway, and theyre my grandparents so I can’t see them understanding that I’m non binary even though I love them more than anything and would want if not anyone else, for them to understand.
    Sorry for writing so much and if my comment offends anyone, I just need to put it out there somewhere.

  11. Hey Ash! I just wanted to say that your voice is beautifully unique, just like you. Thanks for all the amazing videos, you've really helped me. You're awesome! 🙂

  12. i have a question for the comments. my pronouns are they/them (i dont have a particular identity atm) but i like to present myself in feminine ways, like long hair, makeup, and occasionally skirts. even though i know in the back of my mind that it doesnt matter and im valid, i cant believe myself and feel that im an invalid enby because i dont look the part with them. is this dysphoria or pressure or insecurities in your opinion? help a gay out😅

  13. i am currently 17 and i’ve had questions about my gender ever since i was 13. for a while i didn’t want to identify as anything because i wasn’t sure if a label would completely define how i felt…until i came across non-binary, and more specifically, gender-fluid. i just came out as nb to my dog, and i know that probably sounds absurd but i don’t have the most accepting parents.

  14. I can get this stressed feeling that is hard to explain about my feminine curves. I am almost always trying to lose weight for this reason. Ash, or others, what do you do about this constant feeling??? It bothers me almost every day, and has for many many years. Is there anything I can do about it?

  15. (I'm non-binary)
    I really can't cope anymore. Dysphoria is extremely strong now. As unhygenic and gross as it is, I haven't used menustral products in about 6 months. I can't take my clothes off in the shower at all anymore and I can hardly use the toilet without crying. Even though I cover my lap with towels and stare at the ceiling, I still dry heave at myself when I pee. My existance, even. I recently got a haircut; it helped slightly. My voice bugs me so much even though I'm often mistaken for a cis guy (deep as the grand canyon for an AFAB with no testosterone). My chest is too large, my hips are too wide, my thighs are too curvy, my face is too soft and round.. I hate my appearance. There's more but, you know, everything is uncomfortable to even think of. I don't know what to do.

  16. I feel confused about if I’m really nb. I think I have more social dysphoria then physical. I definitely have hair dysphoria though. I would love for people not to assume I’m afab and identify with it. I would 100% love to only use they/them pronouns rather then the ones I’ve been given. I remember as a child I’ve always been uncomfortable as a male or female.

    I’ve hated typing out girl or she/her in this. It was rough lol

  17. “My brain thanks my voice is my brain” Ash Harrell lol I laugh so hard I love you and you make me feel happy when I feel alone and help me explain my self

  18. Hair, chest, and period dysphoria are big ones for me. Tbh having some current dysphoria right now. Just trying to keep sane while watching your vids, and trying not to rip my hair out.

  19. So I've been questioning myself lately and looked up non-binary videos to help me sort things out. I had cut my hair short about 5 months ago and had been wanting to cut it for months before I asked my mom to, and it instantly made me feel better about myself but didn't think too much about it. But now I realize that that might have been dysphoria. Thank you

  20. I very much dislike my period, not because it makes me feel any less like my gender. But because I feel like it’s stopping me in life. I can’t function like a human for 1/4th of a month. Sooo I spoke to my doctor and am now taking birth control for 6 months straight and then have 1 week where I stop talking it and have my period. I feel like I’ve gotten my life back! And NO it won’t beat up my reproductive system 😊

  21. I like your voice! You actually helped me being okay with my voice. I’ve been lowering it for 6 years and I now realize that I don’t have to go through the effort of hurting my voice every time I talk, all because of you 😊

  22. I’ve been struggling a lot with my gender lately. I don’t feel like a female but I don’t feel like a guy, I’m not sure if I’m non-binary or not though. I’ve been going back and forth with this for weeks, almost a month and it’s weighing heavy on me. I’ve thought about it before but it’s only lately that I’ve finally paid any mind to it. I’m not entirely sure why I chose to write this but I needed somewhere to vent and I feel like my friends and family just wouldn’t quite understand. I also have a question, which is probably seems a little silly, but if I were non-binary, would going by he/him pronouns still be considered non-binary? I’ve done my research and such, but I still feel like I’d be judged if I told people I went by he/him even though I was non-binary.

  23. So I told two people that I was a trans guy but I don’t feel to right with a male or female pronoun ,and I feel bad about saying that to them because now I don’t know how to say to them that I’m nonbinary.And I feel very happy with the pronouns they/them ,but if I told my parents about me being non-binary they’d be so disappointed in me and probably tell me that I’m just saying it to be trendy.But I never really understood gender rules and they usually are just so confusing to me and I don’t follow them at all i am a biological girl but never really liked wearing dresses or “men’s” clothes I just like things that are normally labeled unisex because it’s just always been more confutable.And they say girls are supposed to be a little bit less stronger than the male ,and stay home ,cook ,clean and other things and they say men are supposed to go to work and make the money and play with cars but for me I feel like that’s just stupid and anyone can work or play with a car or clean and cook if they’d like.And I’m just feeling so happy saying that I’m non-binary because it makes me feel a little free of the trapped states I’m in.And I look up to you very much you are just a amazing person that inspires me to be me.(sorry for the bad grammar)

  24. thank you for setting timestamps to skip some things . something you set a time stamp for, triggers me so thank you so so much for the time stamps

  25. thanks for this, I'm NB and just starting to come out but I have a VERY Christian family that doesn't really support pride, so it can be hard … oh also i like your voice

  26. hii, i’m not getting a good answer anywhere, what about if i felt really bad with my gender characteristics but i neither like the other gender characteristics too?

  27. I’m crying. Thank you so much. This is the first time I’ve actually accepted who I am and related to something. I’ve felt like my reflection wasn’t me for so long. Like the way I looked wasn’t correct at all and I just never recognise myself in the mirror like I’m shocked at how I look every time because I look at myself and don’t see myself? Idk if that makes any sense but yee. So I’m getting my hair cut in a week rly short and I’m so excited. Obviously a little scared but now, thanks to this video I feel so confident about myself. Thank you so much for making me feel valid and also ‘I’m still non binary just bloated’ is a fat mood lmao thanks for that I’ll be using it. Thank youuu

  28. Once I was making an account for something. I am a child of transphobic parents, so being non binary was out of the question. I was thinking was calling my self ace but I couldn't since my parents would kill me. I stared at the screen starting to cry….. Great.

    Ps. I love your videos keep up the good work!

  29. I mainly have chest, menstrual, and voice dysphoria. Is this normal? I'm pretty much certain on my gender identity (nonbinary) but I always have doubts like, "Are you sure?" But maybe that's my anxiety talking. Is there any way to cancel out that doubt and does me having it make me invalid? Idk anymore honestly. I don't think so but I also don't know very many nonbinary people and if they ever had doubts. Oh well.
    Everybody's gender expression is valid! Have a great day!

  30. My problem is that I don’t know if I’m a lesbian stud or if I’m non-binary/genderfluid because I want to look masculine and I want to look feminine…it just depends, because sometimes I want to look like neither! So idk what’s my problem! If you or anyone else could help…that would be greatly appreciated!

  31. This video has help me so much with my gender identity and dysphoria and just figuring out myself in general ( Thanks so much Ash for helping me out with this video 🙂

  32. I’m nonbionary and I really wanna cut my hair short my mom won’t let me because “I’ll look to much like a boy” What do I do?

  33. This video was very helpful, I’ve been confused if I’m trans or not, but I don’t identity as a man even though I like a more masculine appearance, like cutting my hair and wearing less feminine clothing most of the time thought I still don’t mind the female restrooms and like you I don’t care about my period much and I only get dysphoria in my chest area and maybe hips. This does help me figure out I might be NB and I’m grateful you made this video.

  34. Your voice is fine. You remind me a bit of the actress who does the voiceover for Lisa Simpson. You should market your voice for voiceover work actually. 🙂

  35. I thankfully don’t cramps or nausea so I just think “oops the void killed someone again.” But I also felt the hair one when my mom wanted me to grow a bob it actually killed me I’d always carry scissors around because If I ever got too discomfortable I’d just cut it off. Thankful when I visited my stepmom i needed a trim and instead of a trim I got it cut to where my mom wouldn’t let me go to the barber again for 6 months and I really realized it then I was nonbinary because before I’d had my hair neck and up since I was 10

  36. Narcissistic privileged white kids who need special divisive labels to feel special about copying the exact same look – short haircut, nerdy glasses, androgynous fashion and anime/art that was traced off deviantart

  37. It’s like we’ve all arrived at the same time “non-binary” identities lol.. Your cat’s adorable by the way Ash 😂

  38. for some reason i just watched and read a lot of people saying the non binary isn't real or that it's toxic and this is something i really needed

  39. I’m 12 and nonbinary when I looked in the Mirror I saw just a body not a girl or a boy I just saw a person and I hated my name now I’m Parker🥰 but I’m not out☹️

  40. There are boys and girls. The average i.q. of the population drops drastically with each new generation. This is proof. Stop disregarding hundreds of years of science done by geniuses. This is a girl

  41. Wooaaaahh the way you described how you aren’t dysphoric about that time of the month but some people are was mind blowing.

  42. I feel strongly like a guy and a girl. I also have dysphoric feelings both ways. But I've never heard of this. Is it a thing? Like I don't feel one way, or neither, I feel strongly pulled both ways. Which means I also love things about myself both ways, so I feel kind of lucky. It's like feeling…di-binary?? What does this mean

  43. Hey there, an enby who just discovered your account here! My assumption is that you have a heart of gold. When I watch your videos it makes me feel like I'm in a tiny safe space created just for me. thank you!

  44. I feel 0% dysphoria during my cycle, I just feel a little uncomfortable like a normal person… (top/hair/buttox are my insecurities)

  45. Soooo…. um, contrary to my profile picture, I am non-binary and I really want to cut my hair so… got any tips on how to convince my mum to allow me to cut it? My mum is very supportive about things like this but she believes that "girls" (unlike me) should have long hair.

  46. Hey just found your account resently and i just wanna say thank you. You're amazing and have helped me more then my own family with coming to terms with who i am. Keep doing you!

  47. beautiful, charming, young woman, making life way more complicated than it needs to be. she was not served by gender activists.

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