*This blog contains sensitive material.

“You’re not a girl, you’re just an imitation of one.”

Seems like today’s going to be a dysphoria day. And that thing between your legs is proof. And on the way to Italian food too, it does not know when to quit. Then the Mulan classic, “Reflection,” starts playing in my head for the umpteenth time: 

Who is that girl I see?

Staring straight back at me?

When will my reflection show? 

Who I am inside?

As I begin to burrow my face in my phone debating whether or not I want to get the lasagna, this cute server asks if our table is ready to order. And all throughout the meal I’m taking every chance to look at his tall, slender physique under a mess of curly brown hair. Attractive, too bad he’s only into “real” girls. 

But somehow

I will show the world

What’s inside my heart 

And be loved for who I am

As the server gives the bill, he slips a little scrap of paper with his phone number written on it. Oh no, he’s one of those fetish chasing creeps. And by the time I get to my room we’ve picked a time and place to hookup, dysphoria 0 – Illise 1. Yes, I know sleeping with guys to feel more feminine is unhealthy, but it’s better than arguing with my insecurities all week long. Plus, there’s no strings attached. At least that voice inside my head that keeps invalidating my girlhood isn’t as loud or as prominent than when I first started transitioning 4 years ago. Turns out that social, medical, and legal transition really does help with gender dysphoria, even if I’m not fully cured. I can’t help but wonder that when I finish my transition to a woman if that dysphoria will go away completely. Well, a girl can dream right?

As I finish up my schoolwork before 5th period, someone stops in front of my desk and says, “I really like the way your outfit goes together so well”. After I recover from this girl’s spell of ‘my heart-ium is lesbian-osa’, I find out her name is Heather. Just in time for Conan Gray to start singing in my head:

Why would you ever kiss me?

I’m not even half as pretty

You gave her your sweater, it’s just polyester

But you like her better

Wish I were Heather

And that’s the other side of my dysphoria, comparing myself to every girl I see and lowering my self-confidence in the process. See? Her makeup and outfit are cuter than you could ever pull off, not to mention her breasts are bigger than yours. These feelings of inadequacy & discomfort multiply even more so if I happen to have a crush on her, which is unfortunately true in this case. Leave it up to my gender dysphoria to make an otherwise good day turn to shit in just a few moments. On top of all that is the overwhelming fear that my dysphoria is right, my depression is right, my anxiety is right, and that still scares the hell out of me. I’m only 17 and I’ve thought way too much on killing myself so that I wouldn’t have to deal with this anymore. Ariel says it better than I do in “Part of Your World”:

Look at this stuff

Isn’t it neat? 

Wouldn’t you think my collection’s complete?

Wouldn’t you think I’m the girl

The girl who has everything.

At least I have the most supporting family ever, who’s been financing my transition for the past 4 years without much of a second thought. Then the guilt comes in and says that my negative feelings are invalid, that I should be so happy because I’m in a much better position than a lot of my transgender peers. 

But I watch your eyes as she walks by

What a sight for sore eyes

Brighter than the blue sky

She’s got you mesmerized while I die

Forgot that I was talking about Heather? 

Great, because I didn’t even get her number yet. As this little blurb comes to an end, I don’t want you to feel pity for me because I don’t need it. The reason I wrote this is to show a little bit of my internal struggles, to understand the insane and complex mess that is gender dysphoria.