I have no idea whether I’m trans or not

Obligatory disclaimer: No random Internet people can possibly tell you if you’re trans or not. Seek advice of qualified therapist. Blah blah.

Now that that’s out of the way: Yes, you’re trans.

Gender dysphoria doesn’t have to constitute a strong feeling of hatred of your current life or body. It doesn’t have to involve active discomfort with those things at all. The APA’s diagnostic criteria for gender dysphoria require only two of the following list of symptoms:

  1. A marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and primary and/or secondary sex characteristics
  2. A strong desire to be rid of one’s primary and/or secondary sex characteristics
  3. A strong desire for the primary and/or secondary sex characteristics of the other gender
  4. A strong desire to be of the other gender
  5. A strong desire to be treated as the other gender
  6. A strong conviction that one has the typical feelings and reactions of the other gender

You’ll see that only one of these six criteria is “negative.” The rest all involve wanting things you don’t have, or feeling a disconnect between what you are and what you appear to be. From your story, you probably meet five out of six of these criteria. You only need two to qualify for a diagnosis.

You do also need to experience “distress” over your condition in order to meet the APA’s criteria, and it sounds like right now you’re managing that distress well enough, such that it’s not debilitating. I did this too, for a long long time. But like so very many trans people, over time it became harder and harder to manage the distress. What used to be a constant and invasive wish to be female turned into a feeling of self-hatred for not being female. What used to be a tolerable discomfort with acting male and being seen by others as male turned into a persistent need to disconnect from my life, to socially isolate myself so that I never had to interact with anyone, to live inside fantasy worlds, to escape into alcohol and video games, etc. Not being able to be who and what you are really wears you down. And then you end up breaking and transitioning anyways, and you have to face the fact that you could have lived X number of years as you instead of this person you were pretending to be, a person you never even wanted to be.

/r/asktransgender Thread