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Gender Dysphoria Definition & Terms

Importantly, Gender dysphoria’s definition is different for everyone with it.

Obviously, biological sex and gender identity are the same for most people. However, this is not the case for everyone. For example, some people may have the anatomy of a man. However, they identify themselves as a woman.

Meanwhile, others may not feel they are definitively either male or female. However, this might mean they are agender or non-binary.

For many reasons, this mismatch between sex and gender identity can lead to distressing and uncomfortable feelings.


Gender Dysphoria is not a mental illness.

Firstly, It is a recognised medical condition for which treatment is sometimes appropriate.

Above all else, this treatment aims to help reduce the distressing feelings. Of Course, these feelings are caused by the mismatch between biological sex and gender identity.

For some people, this can mean dressing and living as their preferred gender. For others, it can mean taking hormones or having surgery to change their physical appearance.

Today, there is a much greater understanding of gender dysphoria. Contrarily,  people with gender dysphoria can still face prejudice and misunderstanding.


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What are the signs of Gender Dysphoria?

  • You are, with certainty, a gender identity different to your biological sex assigned at birth.
  • You feel, with confidence, happy with the social role and gender role of your preferred gender identity.
  • You are, with vehemence,  making decisions that hide certain gender features that don’t align with your preferred gender.

With that in mind, gender dysphoria can have a diverse range of signs. Moreover, It’s important to understand that everyone’s experience is different. Evidently, the above notes are just guidelines and by no means representation of everyone’s experience.


Importantly, some people with gender dysphoria have a strong and persistent desire to live according to their gender identity, rather than their biological sex.

Moreover, these people are sometimes called transgender, transsexual, or simply “trans.” Even so, many trans people have treatment to change their body permanently.

They get this surgery, with confidence, so that they are more consistent with their gender identity. Interestingly, the vast majority are satisfied with the eventual results.


What’s the Difference Between Gender Dysphoria, Transgender, and Transvestism?

Opposingly, gender dysphoria is not the same as transvestism.

Contrastingly, transvestism is the practice of dressing and acting like the opposite sex. Normally, in a style or manner that’s traditional. Alongside this, transvestism can usually be more performative and seen in arts such as drag or film.


What is Transgender People’s Sexual Orientation?

Conclusively, transgender people with the condition may identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, or asexual. However, their sexual orientation may change, or rather become clearer as a result of treatment.



  1. Davy, Zowie. (2018). What Is Gender Dysphoria? A Critical Systematic Narrative Review. Transgender health. 3 (1), p159-169. Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6225591/ Last Accessed: 25/10/2021
  2. Meyer-Bahlburg, Heino. (2019). “Diagnosing” Gender? Categorizing Gender-Identity Variants in the Anthropocene. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 48 (1), p2027–2035. Link: https://link-springer-com.dcu.idm.oclc.org/article/10.1007%2Fs10508-018-1349-6 Last Accessed: 25/10/2021




Dr Helen Webberley is the founder of GenderGP. She is, with certainty, a passionate advocate for the transgender community, she continues to campaign for real change in the way that trans people are treated in society and particularly in relation to the barriers they face when accessing healthcare. At GenderGP, Dr Webberley believes in gender-affirmative care and that the individual is the expert in their own gender identity.


Photo by Dainis Graveris on Unsplash