Trans man

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A trans man (also known as transman or trans guy), is a transsexual or transgender man: a person who was assigned a female sex at birth, but who feels that this is not an accurate or complete description of themselves and consequently identifies as male.

The common term "FTM" (sometimes FtM, F2M, or F→M) is short for "female-to-male", and identifies the general direction of transition (from assigned to actual), and not a conscripted "start" to "finish" process.[1]

Even after transitioning, trans men have biological differences from cisgender men. For example, most have XX chromosomes. However, man does not necessarily refer to biological sex; it can also refer to cultural gender role distinctions or, most importantly for many transpeople, a personal gender-identification choice.


The term "trans man" is used as a short form for either identity (transsexual man and transgender man), and sometimes transsexuality is seen as a type of transgenderism.[2] Trans men may identify as transsexual, as transgender, neither, or both.[3]

"Transgender man" is an umbrella term that may include anybody who was assigned female (sex) at birth, but identifies as male. For instance, some drag kings,cross dressers, androgynous, bigendered, and genderqueer people might identify as trans men.[2]. Because "transgender" is an umbrella term, it is imprecise and does not adequately describe specific identities and experiences. For example, the identity and experience of a post-operative trans man will probably be very different from that of a female-identified drag king who performs on weekends, but both are often lumped together under the term "transgender".[4]

Transsexual men usually seek medical interventions, such as hormones and surgery, to make their bodies as congruent as possible with their gender identity. They usually live or wish to live full-time as members of the gender opposite to the gender they were assigned at birth.[2]

Some trans men who feel that their gender transition is complete prefer to be called simply "men," considering "trans man" or "female-to-male transsexual" to be terms that should only used for people who are not fully transitioned. Likewise, many may not want to be seen as a "trans man" owing to society's tendency to "Other" individuals who do not fit into the sex/gender binary, or have personal reasons beyond that to not wish to identify as transgender post-transition. For this reason, many see it as an important and appropriate distinction to include a space in the term, as in "trans man", thus using "trans" as merely an adjective describing a particular type of man; this is in contrast to the usage of "transman" as one word, implying a "third gender".


"Transition" refers to the process of adopting a social and personal identity that corresponds to one's own sense of the gendered self.

Originally, the term "trans men" referred specifically to female-to-male transsexuals who underwent hormone therapy and/or surgery. More recently, the definition of "transition" has broadened to include theories of psychological development or complementary methods of self-acceptance.[4][5]

Transition may or may not include medical intervention (hormone treatment, so called "top surgery" or bottom surgery", etc.), changes in legal documents (name and/or sex indicated on identification, birth certificate, etc.), and personal expression (clothing, binder use, voice, body language).

Every case is unique and options available greatly depend on one's access to medical care providers and financial support. Many do not undergo any form of surgery beyond chest reconstruction (top surgery), for either personal or monetary reasons. Genital surgery is not necessary for trans men to identify as male or be accepted as such by others.

Being socially accepted as male (sometimes known as passing) may be challenging for trans men who have not undergone HRT and/or surgery.[6][7][8] Some trans men may choose to present as female in certain social situations (e.g. at work) until they are in a better position to transition into preferred gender role.[6][7][8]

Similar to trans women, trans men have a multitude of decisions and choices depending on what culture(s) they are presently in and what gender roles they and their supporters feel they should attain. Those who fall under the queer identity spectrum may not engage in things considered stereotypically masculine.


In the United States the ratio of trans men within the general population is unclear, but estimates range between 1:2000 and 1:100,000.[9][10][11]

With respect to transsexual men who choose to seek sex reassignment surgery (SRS), outcome studies indicate that when three conditions are met: a proper differential diagnosis, a significantly long trial period of living in the gender of choice, and a satisfactory surgical result, there is only a small incidence of post-operative regret. Indeed, in a review of the outcome literature Pfafflin (1992) reports that less than 1% of the female-to-male transsexuals who had undergone sex reassignment had any regrets.[12]

Sexual orientation

The sexual orientation of trans men is usually expressed with respect to male identity, not the assigned sex at birth (e.g. a trans man who prefers female partners is considered heterosexual)[13]. The FTM community has coined the phrase transfag to describe a trans man who desires other men, whether they be cisgendered males or other trans men. Some people may consider the term "transfag" offensive, as it may be taken as an derogatory term against MTF trans women, but generally most gay trans men are comfortable with this label of self-identification.[14]

Publicly known trans men


See also

Further reading


  1. Notes on Gender Role Transition
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Answers to Your Questions About Transgender Individuals and Gender Identity
  3. Transgender Glossary of Terms
  4. 4.0 4.1 Hudson's FTM Resource Guide,FTM Basics: Terminology
  5. Institute for Judaism and Sexual Orientation, Glossary of Terms and Usage
  6. 6.0 6.1 The Game of Vice Los Angeles, December 2004, Vol. 49, No. 12, ISSN 1522-9149, Emmis Communications; pp99-103, 155-159.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Transgender emergence: therapeutic guidelines for working with gender-variant people and their families (2004), Arlene Istar Lev, Routledge, ISBN 0-7890-2117-X, 9780789021175.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "The Misconception of 'Sex' In Title VII: Federal Courts Reevaluate Transsexual Employment Discrimination Claims" (2008), Amanda S. Eno, Tulsa Law Review, Spring, 2008, 43 Tulsa L. Rev. 765, University of Tulsa.
  9. "How Frequently Does Transsexualism Occur?" by Lynn Conway
  10. "There are more of us than you think" by Joanne Herman
  11. The Alliance of Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgendered and Straight Ally Students, FAQ - Transgenderism
  12. "Notes on Gender Role Transition" by Anne Vitale Ph.D.
  13. Factors Which Influence Individuals' Decisions When Considering Female-To-Male Genital Reconstructive Surgery
  15. [1]
  16. [2]
  17. [3]
  18. [4]
  19. [5]

External links

Medicine and Psychology


Related Forum on Susan's Place:

Female to Male Transsexual(FTM) Talk
A place for female to male transsexuals to talk about issues they face in their daily lives.

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