Mind & Body

Non binary gender euphoria

What is gender euphoria? It’s when someone feels good about about a gender-affirming experience. Cis people can experience gender euphoria too: think having fun trying on a fancy dress or having a girls night out, or attending a men’s discussion group or walking with a manly swagger. Trans people tend to notice gender euphoria more specifically, because they may not have many opportunities to do fun gendered activities (for their correct gender). Non binary gender euphoria can stem from gendered traits, the absence of gender stereotypes, or something else entirely.

Gender euphoria doesn’t have to come from clothing or an activity. Thinking about yourself in an accepting and supportive way can allow you to feel gender euphoria also.

This post is all about non binary gender euphoria.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

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Non binary gender euphoria

What does it mean to feel gender euphoria as a nonbinary person? Everyone’s feelings and experiences are different, but it might involve being affirmed in a gendered way that’s not entirely male or female. Some nonbinary people (including myself) can find some masculine or feminine things affirming. Or, nonbinary people can feel affirmed by gender neutral, non gendered, or gender bending experiences.

Three people walking together and laughing
Photo by Alexander Suhorucov

Moments that make you feel good about yourself are something to treasure. I’ve felt gender euphoria (among other emotions like fear, uncertainty, amusement, and comfort) when expressing myself in the following ways:

  • Changing my first name to a gender-neutral name
  • Wearing masculine clothing
  • Introducing myself as a nonbinary writer
  • Explaining to people that I’m not a woman or that I am nonbinary
  • Switching between lead and follow in partner dancing
  • When people refer to me as “one of the boys” or similar
  • When I make people question their gender stereotypes
  • When I am outside in nature and feel separate from society’s stereotypes

I think we lose something if we take gender very seriously, or consider gender dysphoria as the only reason to express ourselves differently. Dressing up, drag performing, cross dressing, or experimenting with different ways to express yourself can be fun and a joy.

Many gendered aspects of culture can be toxic and unhealthy (boys taught to repress emotions, for example). Embracing a healthier way to express masculinity or femininity can lead to joy or appreciation of gender expression. I know men who have created discussion groups to work on the positive aspects of masculinity. Forming community around gender is very common and can help to find people with some shared experiences and traits. These community groups (women’s groups, men’s groups, trans groups, etc) can be a great and healthy way to share the positive aspects of gendered expression with others.

Laughing friends having fun at picnic
Photo by Ashford Marx

Sometimes people experience gender euphoria as the absence of gender dysphoria after they have taken steps to transition. It can be hard to tell what is gender dysphoria before transition, because each person’s experience is unique. It’s hard to tell how much pain you feel compared to everyone else – whether what you feel is normal or whether it can be improved. Dissociation or disconnection from self can also make it hard to identify gender dysphoria. Feeling better, with less gender dysphoria, can feel very good indeed.

Transitioning socially and/or medically can lead to gender euphoria for trans and nonbinary people. Taking steps towards your body or appearance representing who you are is generally a really positive experience that improves quality of life.

What makes you feel gender euphoria or good about your gender? Let me know in the comments!

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