This presentation will discuss my autoethnographic research regarding my experiences as a nonbinary individual, and my relationship to an understudied aspect of trans experience called gender euphoria. The purpose of this research project is to highlight, via my personal experiences, how academia, activism, and mainstream social discourses surrounding gender identity and the complexities of experiences regarding gender are not discussed with enough variety or nuance. This research explores my relationship to my body, my communities, my spirituality, and as an act of resistance against cis-heteronormative ideals of gender identity, sexuality, and appearance. It is explored via a critical lens of affect theory, which explores the labour that emotions perform for individuals, collectives, and societies as a means of social control and cohesion.
The theme of empathy dovetails with my research, as this thesis explores how to be empathetic toward oneself and one’s gender identity, and more broadly, how to be empathetic toward trans people and our experiences. Outside of a purely academic standpoint, studying gender euphoria and asking trans individuals to share their experiences can help in shaping policies regarding trans peoples’ rights and freedoms, medical care, planning therapeutic strategies, reduce social stigma, and encourage trans individuals to develop healthy coping strategies and to propagate self-love and resilience.