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The Difference between Gender Dysphoria and Sexual Orientation

The Difference between Gender Dysphoria and Sexual Orientation

When it comes to gender and sexual orientation, there are all sorts of concerns, issues, and other problems one can struggle with. Two of the more common problems people can experience are gender dysphoria and sexual orientation.

 

Gender Dysphoria

 

What Is Gender Dysphoria?

Gender dysphoria used to be called gender identity disorder. It was changed because the term made it sound like the person with the condition suffered from a form of mental illness, which is not the case. Rather gender dysphoria is where a person is struggling with and can experience distress over issues relating to the sex they were assigned at birth.

Oftentimes, people with gender dysphoria have feelings and emotions of the opposite sex than the one they were born with. Dysphoria is defined as unhappiness, so gender dysphoria simply means gender unhappiness and the distress, concerns, problems and other issues which can arise due to gender identity unhappiness.

How Can a Person with Gender Dysphoria Get Help?

Dealing with gender dysphoria on your own is never a good idea. You may encounter peers and other people that simply cannot relate or provide the support and guidance you require. This is why it is highly recommended to seek help from a professional counsellor.

Counselling allows you to speak your mind in a caring, supportive and non-judgmental environment. Your counsellor will listen to your concerns and provide advice on how you can determine what solutions would be the most appropriate for your particular situation.

It is important to remember, just because a person is suffering from gender dysphoria does not always mean they will undergo sexual reassignment surgery. Some people may find all they want is to be able to be identified as the opposite sex, but never actually physically change the sex they were assigned at birth.

What Is Sexual Orientation?

Sexual orientation is separate from gender identity. It refers to the gender of the people you are sexually attracted to. For instance when a male is attracted to females or a female to males, their sexual orientation is considered to be heterosexual.

If a male is attracted to other males or a female to other females, they are considered to be homosexual. In cases where a person is attracted to both males and females, they are considered to be bisexual. If a person is not attracted to either males or females, they are considered to be asexual.

Please keep in mind these terms are used for informational purposes only and does not imply or infer your own sexual orientation nor may not include all the terms currently being used by people to define their sexual orientation.

Can Someone Get Help If They Are Struggling with Their Sexual Orientation?

Counselling is a viable resource to utilize when struggling with one’s sexual orientation. Counselling allows you to explore your sexual desires and fantasies free from judgement. It gives you a safe place to talk about your feelings and the type of people to whom you are sexually attracted.

If you are struggling with gender dysphoria or sexual orientation issues, please feel free to contact Toronto sexual therapist, Ellen Starr at 416-488-3102 to schedule a consultation appointment today!

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