What brings you euphoria? A question for all!

Questions and discussions about gender, gender roles and identity.
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What brings you euphoria? A question for all!

Unread post by valerie4 »

When talking about gender expression, especially in the trans commmunity, the topic of dysphoria often becomes front and centered. While dysphoria is an important topic and needed conversation, it can leave little room for conversations of euphoria. Recently, I gave a presentation with another trans friend about gender identity and we asked the class what brings them gender euphoria and how do they define their own gender experience. We found that for our cisgender classmates this is a hard but important question to try to find the answer to. One of the best ways to be an ally to the trans community is to interrogate the ways gender shows up in your own life so we thought it was an important question to ask.

Everyone has gender euphoria; it is not a concept unique to the trans community. We all express our gender and internal identities externally in some capacity. Euphoria is focusing on those parts of expression that bring you joy.

So I've come to the boards to ask the same question and focus on the positives of people's experiences: What brings you euphoria in your own self expression?

For me, there are many things. My hair, as a site of expression and regrowth into something new is euphoria to me. Currently, my hair euphoria is a long-haired mullet with neon green bangs. Euphoria is adding spikes and flames to my mobility aid because my gender and disability are permanently linked. I have one large grey button down t-shirt that flows in the wind and looks amazing with any outfit I put it on. For me, that t-shirt has won the euphoric item of clothing for the month award. Euphoria is being the dad friend and mom friend at the same time.

I could endlessly write about my own euphoric experiences but I would love to hear from you all! What brings you joy in your self-expression?
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Re: What brings you euphoria? A question for all!

Unread post by Emily N »

I love this question! Living with other queer people, I have been supported in exploring my gender identity and expression the past year. I had mentioned to my housemates that I was interested in trying a different, more gender neutral name. Without even asking, one of them switched immediately and I felt so much joy in having someone open to trying it out with me. I started a new job a few weeks ago, and got really nervous beforehand about how to "dress professionally" with gender neutral clothing. I've ended up really loving wearing men's dress shirts with Doc Marten's! (But if people have suggestions for "professional" gender neutral clothing, pleaseee let me know!)
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Re: What brings you euphoria? A question for all!

Unread post by Theansweris42 »

I'm not sure if all of this applies here, I've never thought about those things are related to my gender but I wanted to share them anyway :)

First is my hairstyle, I've wanted short hair since childhood but just around a half year ago my parents allowed me that even if only because they wanted me to regret it and admit they were right. I was so happy to prove them wrong, I still remember leaving the hairdresser grinning like an idiot because of how funny and good it felt. That was also the day I took my first selfie ever :D Maybe it is only because I've received some compliments about my hair, but sometimes I'd just randomly pass a mirror and couldn't help smiling at myself, this has never happened to me before. The only problem is that my hair grow really fast and I can't afford to go to hairdresser that often and am not able to trim it myself.

Second thing I really love are my button up shirts. The first time I wore one, it took me two days to figure out why I was so happy the whole day. Now I'm a bit more careful with wearing them since for many people that in combination with my hair means automatically being into girls and some, well mostly my family, have had some not kind remarks about that. But they're still my favourite piece of clothing together with a suit I found in a second hand shop.

The other two things are a bit silly, one is that I sometimes use my dad's shower gel, I don't if it's because noone can find out and the forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest or why else I'm doing it but it's just feels good to not act always like I was learned I should and for no other reason.
The last things is kind of my personal joke, when I like to occasionally botch the etiquette rules and for example hold a door for a boy when it "should be" the other way round :D
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Re: What brings you euphoria? A question for all!

Unread post by oliver-kittycat »

I'd say it's mostly just when people use my name/pronouns - I tend not to feel body dysphoria, and I really enjoy dressing fashionably, no matter if that's feminine or masculine! But being called Oliver and he/him pronouns irl really makes me happy
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Re: What brings you euphoria? A question for all!

Unread post by bikinksterboy »

for me, my facial hair, jackets, and flannel shirts are very affirming to my masculinity. They're all cliches but I had my own personal journey of allowing myself to feel like I was "worthy" of them and it's like I don't need to be a hulking beefcake or a macho jackass to adopt these things! I can just be me! and it's a part of my own style now! I think accessing older images of masculinity also helped me find mirrors of myself that were validating. Like, it isn't a *thing* really anymore, but back in the 60s-80s long hair + beard was like THE combo!
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Re: What brings you euphoria? A question for all!

Unread post by Sunshine »

Interesting question, may I chime in?

I don't know whether "euphoria" is the most accurate term to describe how I feel about my gender but I've always found great comfort in my femininity. No matter how many other issues I had with my body at any time during my life (I suffered from an eating disorder for years, among other things), the fact that it is female has always made me happy. I even have positive feelings about getting my period, despite the discomfort that brings sometimes.

I grew up in a culture that from my perspective today I would call subtly misogynistic. The adults around me were "pro equality" but what that meant to them seemed to be the ideal girl is a boy with breasts. We were encouraged to be as traditionally "masculine" as possible, to be competitive, ambitious, "rational", prioritize a career over almost anything else, etc. Wearing "girly" clothes such as flowy dresses or anything pink was looked down on, as was showing "too much" emotion or being interested in pretty things or romantic stories.

Of course we were also expected to be sexy.

I tried for a while to meet the "cool girl" expectations and then I gave up. It just isn't me and there are so many different ways to be a woman.

It makes me super happy now to wear florals and dresses and and skirts with lace and all that stuff. To grow my hair long and wear delicate jewelry. To have nice bras and cute little shoes. And if someone takes me less seriously because I lean into my femininity, seriously, that's their problem these days.

I also try not to apologize or put myself down for my hobbies and interests any more. Or to think of my desire for harmony and lack of competitive energy and adventurousness as a weakness. I'm just a little hobbit who wants to brew tea and grow flowers in her cozy little hobbit cave and that has to be ok.

The funny thing is that I absolutely love an androgynous or butch or edgy look on other people. It just isn't me.

I feel so lucky and grateful to have a body that brings me joy and to have found a way to accept and celebrate my personality and my aesthetic and I so want this experience for everyone else as well.
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Re: What brings you euphoria? A question for all!

Unread post by sandpiper »

Hope it's okay to chime in, I was just reading and this is such an interesting question. I'm going to have to think about it for myself over the next few days!

As a cis woman (well, really when I think about it for any length of time I feel utterly agender, but I am not bothered by being called she so I've just never done much public exploration of it and have largely kept to traditional feminine aesthetics) who doesn't often think of gender as relevant in a euphoric, intentional, joyous way, just in how I'm perceived by others, this is a hard and important question.

Recently I've been getting an unexpected thrill from a bunch of people in forums for my hobbies and side projects online assuming I'm a guy from the way I write and responding to me with things like "enjoy it, bro," "appreciate the love, dude," recommending things to wear on account of them being "super masculine," and so on. I don't really know what this is, but there's an elicit sort of thrill to feeling like "one of the boys" despite an icon or pronoun or profile picture revealing I'm not if they pay attention. I know this isn't about self-expression but rather something in how people address me, and probably rooted in feeling respected on the level of a man in male company, but it's something interesting I've observed lately.

There's also something that feels really right to me about dressing a bit like a dorky middle aged man from some Silicon Valley startup circa 2003. I'm wearing my favorite shirt right now, a brown long-sleeved collared shirt with buttons that go halfway down, and big non-fitted, not-irritating-my-pelvic-pain jeans with a big bold wide brown belt. I have a few of my dad's old plaid button ups I've stolen that I also really love. There's something about the loose-jeans-and-dorky-men's-buttoned-shirts look that feels so right in the mirror. I'd like to find more clothes like this. It just feels really fun to me.

Also, earrings. The weirder the better. I have a pair that are giant shiny red plastic lobsters that I don't wear enough. Right now I'm wearing some that are dainty glass oranges my boyfriend surprised me with. I also have small wide gold hoops that I love a lot. I often forget about earrings for a long period because my ears were super badly pierced at Claire's as a kid and I basically have to re-pierce them every time and one regularly bleeds so sometimes when I overdo it I have to stop wearing them for a couple days and then I forget. (I know, I know -- I should get those redone. Typing this out is making me realize that lol.) But then I come back to them again, like today, and it makes me happy.

I think I'm going to cut my hair tomorrow. It's waist-length, and this is my second time growing it out to at least this long and then chopping it all off and donating it. I basically always had super long hair growing up and am really reckoning with it; my hair is super fine and tangly and a nightmare to manage even when it's shorter, and I've pretty much never liked it, but felt like I needed to hide behind limp long hair as a symbol of femininity to excuse what I think of as an ugly and unfeminine face. As if beauty, and traditional feminine expression, is something I owe the world just for being here.

I think I'm going to go for something around the shoulders -- in many ways I feel like that's one of the most attractive hair lengths of anyone of any gender. It makes me think of warriors, of all the tousled and messy wavy hair of men and women alike in Lord of the Rings, of brave Ghibli movie boys and girls, of knights and Joan of Arc. There's something that feels really powerful to me about that sort of haircut motif in this genderless mix of really brave, adventurous, persevering people and characters, because that's who I want to be. I have always hated my hair and thought it looked bad most of the time at any length, so I really hope this turns out well (or at least okay) and leads me to explore this sort of gender expression question for myself more.
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