Understanding Transgender OCD

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 bombards us with intrusive thoughts. Thoughts that contradict our beliefs, our interests, our lifestyle

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

The National Center for Transgender Equality states 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.

Being cisgender is described as:

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

Understanding Transgender OCD

Transgender OCD is a subtype of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

It 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 

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’

It 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 if they are open about their struggles.

TransActual defines Transphobia as the following:

The core value underlying all transphobia is a rejection of trans identity and a refusal to acknowledge that it could possibly be real or valid. Transphobia has no single, simple manifestation. It is complex and can include a range of behaviours and arguments.

The consequence of transphobia is that trans people struggle to live openly and comfortably in society.

OCD results in thoughts we do not want to have. These are intrusive thoughts and despite being unpleasant or scary, are normal and extremely common in society.

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 not the same as discriminating against someone for who they are.

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Disclaimer: Articles contain lived experience and research but cannot be used to diagnose. Diagnosis can only be obtained from a licensed professional.

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