Gender Dysphoria (Ex-Gender Identity Disorder – GID)

“Distress arising from an incongruence between a person's felt gender and assigned sex/gender (usually at birth) is the key symptom of gender dysphoria.

'Gender Dysphoria' has been adopted as the new tern used by the DSM 5 in replace of GID (Gender Identity Disorder).

'Gender Dysphoria' in those assigned male at birth tends to follow one of two broad trajectories: ‘early-onset’ or ‘late-onset’.

Early-onset ‘gender dysphoria’ is behaviourally visible in childhood with symptoms including:

  • preferences for opposite sex-typical toys, games, or activities.
  • great dislike of their own genitalia; and
  • a strong preference for playmate of opposite sex children.
  • Some children may also experience social isolation from their peers, anxiety, loneliness, and depression.
  • Please note that these symptoms do not necessarily mean that your child is diverse gender.

Sometimes gender dysphoria will desist in this group, and they will identify as gay or homosexual for a period of time, followed by recurrence of gender dysphoria. This group is usually sexually attracted to members of their natal sex in adulthood.

Late-onset gender dysphoria does not include visible signs in early childhood, but some report having had wishes to be the opposite sex in childhood that they did not report to others.

Trans-women who experience late-onset gender dysphoria will usually be sexually attracted to women and may identify as lesbians. It is common for people assigned male at birth who have late-onset gender dysphoria to engage in cross-dressing with sexual excitement.

In those assigned female at birth, early-onset gender dysphoria is the most common course. This group is usually sexually attracted to women. Trans-men who experience late-onset gender dysphoria will usually be sexually attracted to men and may identify as gay.

Dave Wells views the term 'Gender Dysphoria' as offensive and stigmatising due to many defining the term as inferring that Trans people are unwell, or they have a condition that can be cured. In reality, dysphoria experienced by trans people is often caused by the reactions of others in relation to a person’s gender, as a result of living in a society that is not inclusive. Therefore, it is the judgement and discrimination placed on trans people that causes dysphoria.