Understanding Transgender OCD

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Transgender OCD involves intrusive thoughts around gender identity. Examples of this subtype include the worry that one is secretly transgender and denying it, or openly transgender and faking it. This subtype affects both the transgender and cisgender community.

OCD often provides us with false beliefs, beliefs we do not want to have. 

Transgender OCD is becoming more common- or at least more discussed- with more support needed for those with it.

 

What does it mean to be transgender?

The National Center for Transgender Equality states the following on what it means to be transgender: 

Transgender people are people whose gender identity is different from the gender they were thought to be at birth. "Trans" is often used as shorthand for transgender.

National Center for Transgender Equality

Being cisgender is described as:

Denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender corresponds with their birth sex

Oxford Languages

Understanding Transgender OCD

Transgender OCD is a subtype of obsessive-compulsive disorder that works in very similar ways to other forms of OCD.

Transgender OCD can occur as the following:

  • Being transgender and having intrusive thoughts about not being transgender (i.e. ‘This isn’t who I really am’)
  • Being cisgender and having intrusive thoughts about not being cisgender 

OCD can make us question if we are indeed the person we say we are. 

It can also make us question whether we are lying to ourselves and others about who we are, with thoughts such as:

  • ‘I say I am transgender but I am not really. I am faking it’
  • ‘Although I say I am cisgender, I know I’m not. I am just in denial about being transgender and pretend to others that I am cisgender’

Transgender OCD is not to be confused with transphobia

Those with transgender OCD may feel like they are being discriminatory, or be perceived as such by others as such if they are open about it.

OCD results in thoughts we do not want to have. These are the intrusive thoughts mentioned above.

Obsessive compulsive disorder feeds on thoughts that often contradict who we are or how we feel, and makes us question our own reality.

It is very different to discriminating against someone for who they are.

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