Episode 20

20 - Gender Dysphoria in Boys: Part 1

Published on: 23rd April, 2021

Many presume that ROGD only impacts girls, but there is a significant number of boys who appear to show the hallmark traits of Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria. Not quite fitting in with Ray Blanchard’s classification of homosexual transsexualism or autogynephilia, these boys tend to be softly spoken Mommy’s boys, highly intelligent and hyper-ruminative. Many prefer to remain safe at home in their bedrooms and become fixated on medical transition. In this first of two episodes, Stella and Sasha introduce some of the different ways that gender dysphoria can manifest in boys.


Ray Blanchard (1989). “The classification and labeling of nonhomosexual gender dysphorias.”  Archives of Sexual Behavior. 18 (4): 315–334. doi:10.1007/bf01541951. PMID2673136. S2CID43151898.

Blanchard R (August 2005). “Early history of the concept of autogynephilia.”  Archives of Sexual Behavior. 34 (4):

439–446. CiteSeerX10.1.1.667.7255. doi:10.1007/s10508-005-4343-8. PMID16010466. S2CID


Michael Bailey (2003). The Man who would be Queen. Wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_Who_Would_Be_Queen

Anne Lawrence — (2013).  Men Trapped in Men's Bodies: Narratives of Autogynephilic Transsexualism. Springer Science+Business Media. ISBN978-1-4614-5181-5.

Angus Fox (2021) — “When Sons Become Daughters: Parents of Transitioning Boys Speak Out on Their Own Suffering” Quillette.com/author/angus-fox/

Donna M. (2021) — “You’re not trans, you’re just weird” Newdiscourses.com/2021/03/youre-not-trans-youre-just-weird/

Kellie Jay Keen Minshull — “The locker-room has a lot to answer for” Lesbianandgaynews.com/2021/02/kellie-jay-keen-the-locker-room-has-a-lot-to-answer-for  

Transin’ the Suburbs — Ellen McEvoy



Extended Notes

  • Boys and gender dysphoria; the conversations have been lacking when it comes to how, and why, they want to transition.
  • What do we currently know about transsexualism in males?
  • What is an autogynephilic transsexual?
  • What turns people on just turns them on. There’s very little we can do about changing that.
  • Erotic behavior becomes problematic when you force other people into participating without their consent.
  • Stella shares the different types of men who struggle with their gender.
  • Cartoon porn is terrifying because it distorts reality and it can influence a young person’s sexuality very deeply.
  • Wallflower children think it might be better to adopt a female persona. They think they’d get noticed more.
  • For males who are interested in female identity, they have more of a “performance” practice to their persona.
  • When an identity crisis occurs after a traumatic event, they spiral out of control trying to find meaning. Sometimes, becoming a girl is what makes the most sense.
  • Stella has noticed a lot of these males are very bright and intelligent people. Almost to a perfectionist quality and once they hit a ceiling or intellectual wall, they end up losing it and start questioning “who” they really are.
  • A lot of these men don’t want to be part of the privileged class. They want to be part of the solution.
  • Stella wonders if video games have something to do with this. She shares her thoughts.
  • If you find a boy who is struggling with gender, they often don’t want to talk about it. They just want to find a solution, which is often medical intervention.
  • When it comes to clothing, it’s so limited for boys. The girls have all the options!
  • For a lot of people, being able to name it, call it out, and talk about their gender dysphoria, has a lot of healing associated with it because they’re no longer in turmoil.

This podcast is partially sponsored by ReIME, Rethink Identity Medicine Ethics:


Learn more about our show: Linktr.ee/WiderLensPod

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About the Podcast

Gender: A Wider Lens Podcast
Two therapists explore the expanding concept of "gender" from a psychological depth perspective.
Gender dysphoria has become a minefield for public discussion, with many afraid to express their views or question the narrative. Our mission is to examine this important and complex topic from a range of perspectives, but always through a psychological lens. By openly considering and examining gender identity, transition, and the transgender umbrella, we hope to give all interested parties permission to engage these fascinating topics with less fear and more honesty. Interviews and discussions will involve clinicians, medical professionals, academics, transgender people, parents, detransitioners and other interesting individuals whose lives have been touched by the concept of gender.

Conversations between two practicing therapists give listeners an opportunity to contemplate gender from a depth perspective not currently taken up in most of today’s accessible debates. As a result of their work with gender dysphoric therapy clients as well as their personal divergent experiences with gender, Stella and Sasha hold a refreshing and informed perspective.

Is gender identity a facilitation of development and expression of creativity, or can it be a defense against painful existential realities of living in a human body? What can we discover about masculinity, femininity, identity, gender performance, and sexuality when we peer beneath the surface and dive into a deeper psychological exploration? What is the relationship between body, mind, identity, culture, and psyche?

This podcast engages listeners in an intimate and fascinating behind-the-scenes inquiry about a topic as taboo as it is salient today.

Thank you to our sponsors:
Genspect - an international organization which offers an alternative to WPATH. Providing a range of education, resources and supports to anyone impacted by gender distress, Genspect unites many different organizations globally, and gives voice to 1,000s of previously untold stories. For more info, visit genspect.org.

GETA - an association of therapists who believe that individuals experiencing gender related concerns ought to be treated using a whole person approach. GETA connects like minded clinicians, provides educational resources and trainings, and helps people with gender dysphoria find support. For more info, visit genderexploratory.com.
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About your hosts

Stella O'Malley

Profile picture for Stella O'Malley
Stella O’Malley is a psychotherapist and author who works in private practice in Ireland. Her work focuses on parenting, family dynamics and working with teenagers.

Much of Stella’s counselling and writing focuses on mental health and the importance of well-being and she is a regular contributor to the media. She is also the resident psychotherapist for the current TV series, Raised by the Village, a family programme that helps troubled teenagers reconnect with themselves and their families.

Stella's first book, Cotton Wool Kids, was released in 2015 while Bully-Proof Kids: Practical tools to help kids grow up confident, resilient and strong was released in 2017. Stella’s latest book Fragile, was released in 2019 and focuses on overcoming anxiety and stress.

Stella was the presenter of the documentary Trans - Kids: It’s Time To Talk broadcast on Channel 4 in November 2018 and she contributed a chapter to the 2019 book, Inventing Transgender Children and Young People.

The Jungian analyst, Lisa Marchiano, and Stella launched Secrets of the Motherworld in September 2019, offering thoughtful exploration of the most intimate aspects of motherhood in a bid to help mothers feel less alone.

Stella is a Clinical Advisor for the Society for Evidence-based Gender Medicine and a founding member of the International Association of Therapists for Desisters and Detransitioners. She is also the lead facilitator for the Gender Dysphoria Support Network.

Stella holds a B.A. in Counselling and Psychotherapy and a M.A. in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Sasha Ayad

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Sasha Ayad is a Licensed Professional Counselor who works in private practice, and has treated adolescents for over 10 years. Her work focuses on teens and young adults struggling with issues of gender dysphoria and gender identity.

She became interested in the sharp rise in teenagers who declare a trans identity for the first time during adolescence. She discovered, through working with hundreds of families, that many teens were developing gender dysphoria only after adopting a transgender identity. She questions the practice of medical transition for children and teenagers, and her clinical work focuses on developmentally appropriate, least-invasive-first talk therapy.

Sasha is also a founding member and Clinical Advisor in the Society for Evidence-based Gender Medicine and a founding member of the International Association of Therapists for Desisters and Detransitioners.

Sasha’s previous work experience includes:
- School counselor for middle and high school students at a charter school for underserved communities

- Behavioral therapy with children on the autism spectrum

- Individual and group counseling for women and children impacted by domestic abuse and sexual violence

- Developed and ran the first counseling program at a large state supported living facility for adults with intellectual disability

Sasha holds a B.S. in Psychology and an M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology.