Gender dysphoria is a term that describes a sense of unease that a person may have because of a mismatch between their biological sex and their gender identity.
This sense of unease or dissatisfaction may be so intense it can lead to depression and anxiety and have a harmful impact on daily life.
What is gender identity?
Gender identity refers to our sense of who we are and how we see and describe ourselves.
Most people identify as “male” or “female”. These are sometimes called “binary” identities.
But some people feel their gender identity is different from their biological sex.
For example, some people may have male genitals and facial hair but do not identify as a male or feel masculine.
Some may have female genitals and breasts but do not identify as a female or feel feminine.
Some people do not define themselves as having a “binary” identity. For them the concept of gender is not relevant to their identity.
They may use different terms, such as agender, gender diverse, gender non-conforming, to describe their identity. However, as a group, they are often called “non-binary”.
Gender dysphoria and gender identity
Many people with gender dysphoria have a strong, lasting desire to live a life that “matches” or expresses their gender identity. They do this by changing the way they look and behave.
Some people with gender dysphoria, but not all, may want to use hormones and sometimes surgery to express their gender identity.
Gender dysphoria is not a mental illness, but some people may develop mental health problems because of gender dysphoria.
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