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Is Gender Dysmorphia an acceptable term?

(40 Posts)
georgethefeck Wed 18-Apr-18 21:13:13

Is it considered offensive to say that someone trans has gender dysmorphia? I'm not asking for personal opinions on this I just wondered if it was generally accepted that's what it is and if it's generally acceptable to say or not?

Terfmore Wed 18-Apr-18 21:34:20

Gender dysphoria is old hat now.

Some people now come from the position that gender dysphoria/ morphia is wrong -
tgeu.org/issues/health_and_depathologisation/depathologisation-health_and_depathologisation/

Trans activists seem to be saying that trans is because they were assigned wrong at birth and have always been the sex they have come to identify with.

The assigned at birth thing is very important as is the idea of cis as both underpin the argument.

MaisyPops Wed 18-Apr-18 21:35:12

If someone tells you they are trans then to say you're not trans you have gender dysmorphia would be a dick thing to say.

If you are debating ideas then to say your views would be fine.

Temporaryname098 Wed 18-Apr-18 21:35:24

My understanding is that only a few trans people have it - hence the call to demedicalise transition.

Jayceedove Wed 18-Apr-18 21:35:36

Gender dysphoria is the term from when I transitioned 45 years ago.

And, no, it is a medical diagnosis of what was wrong with me and why I went to see doctors.

Nothing offensive for anyone transsexual who is so diagnosed.

But to others in the much wider trans community the idea that there is anything wrong with them seems to be something they dispute.

So you might get a different answer from them.

NotTG Wed 18-Apr-18 23:10:26

I’m Transsexual. My diagnosis was transsexual/gender dysphoria. That’s what was submitted for medical reasons.

If someone said “You had gender dysphoria”
I’d say “Duh!”

thebewilderness Thu 19-Apr-18 01:20:20

Transgender advocates are adamant that no dysphoria is necessary to identify as one of the many genders that now reside under the protection of the trans umbrella.

CharlieParley Thu 19-Apr-18 01:59:45

I've been told that it is, yes. Since then I've learned that people who actually have gender dysphoria do not find it offensive, but those that do not have GD have a problem with the rest of the population thinking that being trans means having GD.

It's all a bit strange now. In order to medically transition you need the diagnosis, so there's not much transitioning going on without it. But it seems expressing a personal preference for behaviour, attire and mannerisms associated with the opposite sex from one's own now makes people trans.

Jayceedove Thu 19-Apr-18 14:40:16

Charlie, that more or less covers it, I think.

Transsexuals go to doctors for help because we KNOW something is wrong with us, because we accept the reality of what our biology says, and want to modify it as best as possible to match what we somehow feel instinctively inside it ought to have been. So in any language that needs medical assessment and help to resolve in the way best determined by science after a thorough investigation of why you have what is self evidently something that has gone awry .

The wider trans umbrella sees it more as a form of self expression, lifestyle choice, or just wanting to live as who they feel they need to be to feel better than now and without in many cases suffering any significant dysphoria. Indeed, many will be older and so will presumably have coped with their condition for years which most transsexuals struggle to do past childhood.

So extreme medical intervention is not sought if the dysphoria is not there.

The GRA today only allows legal recognition for someone with dysphoria who is willing to go through the medical and psychiatric gatekeeping process and fulfil the other conditions such as a two year hold to establish that transition has been successful.

The push for self ID to lead to legal recognition comes from those who do not believe they have any medical condition. so do not need to see a doctor, or get medical help, as they believe it is a free choice to express who they feel they are.

Theresa May has backed this by saying being trans should be demedicalised.

That about covers it I think. Though someone will hopefully correct me if I am misunderstanding anything as I only really 'get' the transsexual part from direct experience.

Bloodmagic Thu 19-Apr-18 14:49:23

It wouldn't be 'gender' dysphoria though would it? Trans people don't have a discomfort with their 'gender identity' they have a discomfort with their sex, which is why sexual characteristics are altered. So it should probably be called 'sex dysphoria' or 'body dysphoria' to be completely accurate but 'gender dysphoria' is the common term.

Wombman Thu 19-Apr-18 15:00:44

But how about the lady penis - that seems a non-dysmorphic term. Surely that's the difference between transsexuals and transmtfs a lack of dysmorphia.

Jayceedove Thu 19-Apr-18 16:04:46

In the early days - over 80 years ago - these things were called 'sex changes', because the treatment was to alter the sex characteristics (things like ovary transplants were attempted before world war 2).

This why the medical diagnosis was trans - sexualism - as in crossing sexes not crossing genders.

At first those who had surgery were recognised as being legally of the opposite sex and some transsexual women even married men as early as the 1960s. However, the law was changed to prevent this largely on the testimony of Dr John Randall at a society divorce trial where the man claimed he had been 'duped' by his bride.

Randall was the psychiatrist who transitioned most UK transsexuals in the 60s and 70s. He was my doctor at Charring Cross in the mid 70s. He was proud of what he did and was responsible for transsexuals being made aware that their biological sex could not be changed and so legal recognition should not in his view ever happen.

The term transsexual stuck but you were made to sign a waiver document before surgery that you accepted your sex was not being changed and they were 'reassigning gender'.

This is where the confusion started. It was entirely a way to stop 'sex changes' marrying basically. Because the law involved sex they altered the word to gender.

This has really created ongoing confusion ever since as the lines between gender and sex are blurred in law.

Generally speaking the Gender Recognition Act legalises gender transition. Because that is mostly what is covered in law. In 2004 same sex marriage was still a decade away and the only provision was made for 'sex' to be legally changed on a birth certificate if you had gone through the process of the GRA and your doctor supported issuing a new birth certificate 'altering' sex. Making it easier to get married over the next decade when it had to be between a man and a woman in law.

Elendon Thu 19-Apr-18 16:48:19

Gay Men were given oestrogen replacement therapy because they were gay in the 'good old days'

Gay Women were just ignored - nothing new there then.

The only people in the good old days who were penetrated without compunction were women. No change there then. To rape a woman was seen as a burglary on a man, who owned her.

I can understand the thought process behind self id but the consequences are, as usual, thrown to the ditch.

Caldonia Thu 19-Apr-18 17:21:11

Someone asked last week when the word 'sexism' dropped out of usage, and wondered if it was linked to the GRA 2004 and EA 2010. I agree Jayceedove, so much confusion in how we use the two words (gender and sex), and it is crucial to sort out.

WipeYourFeet Thu 19-Apr-18 17:40:16

Thank you JayceeDove. That was a really informative post.thanks

HopScotchy Fri 20-Apr-18 20:51:56

It's an interesting one from the trans activists point of view. They tell us it causes / worsens dysphoria if we 'misgender' but also state dysphoria isn't something people should associate with trans because it's not an issue for many who ID. From my point of view if you don't have dysphoria then why are we paying for the 'treatment' for something you don't have?

HopScotchy Fri 20-Apr-18 20:57:42

Btw not to be pedantic but dysmorphia is a different condition - along the lines of perceiving your body in a distorted way. Dysphoria is about distress about your body as it actually is.

HopScotchy Fri 20-Apr-18 21:03:23

Thanks JayceeDove. So transpeople got the right to same sex marriage before LG in effect. I'd wondered why some transsexuals were arguing that same sex marriage meant the GRA was no longer required.

georgethefeck Fri 20-Apr-18 21:08:28

Thanks for the replies all and yes oops I got the word wrong. X

Teacuphiccup Fri 20-Apr-18 21:09:48

Fascinating Jay!

Jayceedove Fri 20-Apr-18 21:16:20

Yes, except, of course, those who married did not see it as same sex marriage and the law didn't either.

That is the difference between biology and legality in terms of decision making and where a lot of the arguments over transgender definitions arise.

In fact, what it also meant was that a number of transsexual women who had married (when legally male) a woman, and had stayed married to that woman for many years, were not allowed to apply for a GRC unless they divorced first.

Because otherwise that would mean two women were married legally and that was disallowed for another decade.

So married trans women (and possibly some married trans men married to men) had to choose to either divorce and get legal recognition or stay married and remain legally their birth sex.

A number did choose love over legal recognition and so did not claim a GRC.

Teacuphiccup Fri 20-Apr-18 21:22:36

That’s very sad Jaycee, I’m glad same sex marraige is allowed now.

HopScotchy Fri 20-Apr-18 21:25:45

I see that now you've pointed it out. So now the marriage aspect is resolved what is the reason for a GRC to get a birth cert? It's a piece of paper only now unless to be used to access sex segregated spaces/places or just validation alone? Other ID documents can have the sex changed without one and most needs to provide ID can be met without a birth cert?

Jayceedove Fri 20-Apr-18 21:25:56

In fact one trans woman who chose not to divorce her wife and so remained legally male later tried to claim back her pension that she did not take early as a woman by remaining male after the point when the same sex marriage act meant she could have legally changed gender and remain married.

She rightly lost the case, as it was a free choice of love over money.

Where love meant more in this instance, despite the cost.

HopScotchy Fri 20-Apr-18 21:30:42

And also one case where a GRC has no legal affect? Along with inheritance and hereditary peerages etc. The law puts money and power above a GRC.

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