How to weigh a feeling

Here again – trans people can absolutely say what it’s like to have gender dysphoria, but no one else can. Trans people and trans people only know what gender dysphoria is and what gender nonconformity is and that they are different and exactly how they are different.

Let’s be absolutely clear, cis women claiming they had “gender dysphoria” as kids because they were tomboys are lying. They are deliberately conflating gender nonconformity with gender dysphoria, not because they believe it, but because it is useful to muddy the waters.

But why? Why would that be true? Why should we believe it? Why is it the case that they know all about what it’s like to be what we are, but we don’t know a damn thing about what it’s like to be what they are? Where did they get this absolute knowledge that we have no access to?

TERF women claiming “I got made fun of for being a tomboy” is the exact same thing as “I wanted to die because everyone kept calling me ‘she,’ and that’s not who I am” need to check themselves. You have no goddamn idea what dysphoria is like.

How do they know that? How can they know that? If their experience is a black box to us, how can our experience be a transparent box to them? Do they have magic powers?

Sorry, but none of this adds up. It’s true that we can’t know what anyone else’s experience is like from the inside, but that applies every bit as much to trans people as it does to everyone else. All we can do is talk and describe, and we’re all on the same footing that way. I think it’s probably true that my experience of pretending to be a lot of boy characters (as well as a lot of girl characters) as a kid, and of hating skirts and dresses, was not miserable enough to qualify as gender dysphoria, but I’m not at all sure about it, because it’s not clear exactly what gender dysphoria is. It’s a Feeling in the Head and there’s nothing more precise about it than that.

We’re not lying and we don’t need to check ourselves.

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