Hollywood is filled with glamorous people who seem to live perfect lives, and each one of them looks happy to be who they are. But underneath the surface lies a secret that has existed in the industry since the beginning. It’s rooted in gender dysphoria, and more stars deal with it than most fans realize.
In fact, stars are beginning to question the morality of binary gender assignments and ponder the ramifications it has on modern society, music, movies, and self-expression. “What’s normal anyway” is the new question on everyone’s mind. Thus, it’s clear to audiences that gender dysphoria isn’t just a casual thing, so it’s certainly time to start this conversation.
What is gender dysphoria?
According to the DSM-5, gender dysphoria (previously called “gender identity disorder”) is a psychological concept that involves distress and/or impairment related to a person’s perception of their gender. It is not bound by biological factors and may even contradict biology altogether.
GD almost always leads to a transition in understood or underlying ideals. This is especially true as it pertains to femininity or masculinity. So, people struggling with gender identity often change their behaviors or sexual characteristics to match how they feel on the inside. This contradiction is what can cause a dysphoric state of mind.
Issues with one’s gender can arise for many reasons, including trauma, stress, anxiety, or mental health. Sometimes, however, they’re merely the effect of a strong desire for a different persona. Thus, many people (stars included) consider their genders to be fluid, meaning they can change at any time and for any self-serving purpose.
The fluidity of gender may be confusing to some people, especially to fans who watch their favorite stars perform on live TV or in the media. Gender roles are often synonymous with a person’s identity, although that’s changing fast. It’s more important than ever to keep an open mind and maintain a loving heart.
To accept people for who they are or to help better define your own gender identity, take a gender identity test at Mind Diagnostics. And if your favorite star’s authenticity doesn’t inspire you enough to be yourself, talk to a licensed clinical therapist for some help.
5 stars who are open about gender identity issues
Hollywood movie stars aren’t immune to mental illness or gender dysphoria. In fact, their openness about the situation is what has encouraged many people to begin identifying with their true selves for the first time. Meanwhile, here are five famous names that have helped usher in this new type of talent:
Formerly known as Ellen Page, Elliot transitioned from a female to a male identity back in December of 2020. So far, fans have been extremely supportive of his newly enhanced way of life.
Laverne Cox became famous for her role in “Orange Is the New Black” on Netflix. However, she has continually dealt with backlash about her gender identity and suffers bigoted attacks regularly.
Sports Illustrated made history by putting the first transgender swimsuit model on the cover of their magazine in July of 2020. Valentia Sampaio worked extremely hard to make that a reality in her life.
Michael D. Cohen
The guy who does the voice of Schwoz Schwartz on Nickelodeon’s “Henry Danger” transitioned decades ago from female to male. His mystery was finally revealed back in 2019 to help empower transexuals.
Chaz Bono, formerly known as Chastity, became an activist and author celebrating the LGBTQ+ community alongside his famous mother, Cher, after transitioning from female to male in 2009.
These five famous faces have helped define the gender dysphoric community while providing inspiration to those who question their identity. With them are a whole host of other famous names, including:
- Isis King
- Zaya Wade
- Miriam Rivera
- Caitlyn Jenner
- Alexis Arquette
It’s now obvious that people can suffer from gender dysphoria while being in the limelight. So, it’s certainly a possibility for someone to question your gender identity without being famous. The first step is recognizing the signs of discontentment.
The most common symptoms of gender dysphoria
Gender identity disorder may look different for each person depending on which gender they identify with. In general, however, adults and adolescents typically experience the following symptoms:
- An overwhelming desire to erase or prevent primary sex characteristics
- An overwhelming desire to adopt secondary sex characteristics
- A strong need to be treated as gender other than the one biologically assigned
- Significant distress or impairment as a result of biological gender identity
Issues with gender dysphoria can begin at any stage in life, from early childhood to late adulthood. Most of the time, though, it begins at or around puberty but may not manifest itself for many years.
How to deal with gender dysphoria
To get help dealing with personal or relational gender dysphoria, talk to a mental health professional for a behavioral evaluation. In some cases, the issue may not be about gender identity at all but instead may be the result of untreated depression, anxiety, mood disorders, or underlying socioeconomic factors. For those who do get diagnosed with gender dysphoria, hormone therapies, psychotherapies, and surgeries a few of the best treatment options.
Hollywood is often a reflection of real life, with personal issues about gender identity inspiring the blockbuster performances we’ve all come to love from our favorite stars.
About the author
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with Mind-Diagnostics.org. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.