Afternoon Inqueery

AI: Common Misunderstandings

I saw a friend talking about his own body dysphoria today on a social network. Some responses were helpful and some were less so. In response to one person who was trying to be supportive but actually wasn’t really my friend said “Body dysphoria is not the same as having poor self-esteem.” This line really struck me. It is true – I have had both feelings about my own body and they are really different. However, for people who have never experienced dysphoria it’s a common misconception that body dysphoria is the same feeling as the more common expereince of disliking some things about your body.

What are some other common misunderstandings you run into? What do people around you seem to think are the the same thing, when in fact they’re really different?

The Afternoon Inqueery (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Queereka community. Look for it every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 3pm ET.

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Benny Vimes

Benny Vimes

Benny Vimes is a queer polyamorous transman, curious skeptic, and enthusiastic seeker of knowledge. He's an undergraduate student in his 30's and loves teaching people about alternative sexuality and gender issues.


  1. July 2, 2013 at 5:34 pm —

    People who think a migraine is just a bad headache and offer me aspirin.

  2. July 2, 2013 at 10:25 pm —

    I have an identical twin sister. People seem to think we have this super special relationship. It’s … not that special. She’s my sister. Shrug.

  3. July 2, 2013 at 10:25 pm —

    Disclaimer: I love her very much, but she is still just my sister. Nothing mystical about it.

  4. July 4, 2013 at 1:30 pm —

    Every person I have ever been close to, save one, who has told me “oh yeah, I totally understand wanting a lot of alone time. I need that too,” has later proven that they do not, in fact, ‘totally understand,’ because their ‘a lot’ is at least an order of magnitude less than mine.

  5. July 8, 2013 at 8:51 pm —

    One that happens to me is that saying no to food is an invitation to discuss why I’ve refused or a chance to see if I can be pressured into changing my mind.

    I’ve taken to saying “no, please” to repeated offers. It’s polite but enough different that people are mroe likely to actually think about what I said. I know it’s the custom and wah de wah, but really, after I’ve said “thanks but I can’t eat that”, repeating the offer immediately I finish saying that is rude. As is an inquisition as to why, exactly, I don’t want to eat it. Why should I discuss my medical issues and/or religious beliefs with some random stranger who’s already demonstrated a willingness to ignore my lack of consent?

    Every now and then I am malicious enough to accept gluten-heavy food, because that upsets my gut just enough to make me fart. A lot. And smelly. *I* said I shouldn’t eat it, but you insisted. *I* said my bowel would be upset by it, but you said it was worth it…

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