In this episode of True Life, these two people, Daniella and Amanda are both faced with gender dysphoria which used to be called Gender Identity Disorder (GID). Daniella was born a man and has been living as a female for seven years. She has had top surgery (implants) but has yet to have bottom surgery. Her and Amanda both are having issues in really finding themselves and whom they are meant to be when it comes to their gender identity. Amanda was born female and has begun taking testosterone in order to eventually transition into a male but is now questioning her transition. This type of narrative is a quest. These two people are on a quest to find who they are most comfortable being when it comes to their gender identity. In the American culture, homosexuality is slowly but surely becoming more accepted and acknowledged, but transexualism is typically misunderstood, stereotyped, and tends to come with a cultural stigma. There are cities and areas that are known across the United States that openly accept this type of diversity; places like Chicago and San Francisco. In this True Life episode Daniella is having difficulty finding love with a male because of the stigma that most males would not want a male to female transgendered individual. Daniella and Amanda both had to confront medical professionals for the initial transition and for the upcoming one. As Amanda went to a physician to start and stop taking testosterone, Daniella went back to her plastic surgeon in hopes of getting her breast implants removed.
I feel that some would not think that gender dysphoria as a type of illness, but after having someone close to me deal with it and watching this episode, I undoubtedly think it is. It has to do with the mental processes of the brain – thoughts, feelings, emotions. The YouTube story about being bipolar was also an interesting narrative provided in our course materials for this week. It is important to have illness narratives sharing these stories and difficulties of these illnesses so that hopefully society can better understand how people’s lives are affected by them and eventually lessen and/or abolish the stigmas they hold.