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.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Linkedin
  • Pinterest


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

Leave a Comment

This div height required for enabling the sticky sidebar