lou sullivan


A transman or transguy (often referred to as FTM) is short for transsexual or transgender man - a person who was naturally born or physically assigned as female at birth, but who feels that this is not an accurate or complete description of themselves and consequently identifies as a male. "FTM" (sometimes FtM, F2M, F→M 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. Some transmen reject being seen as FTM, arguing that they have always been male and are only making this identity visible to other people and sometimes calling themselves MTM, (short for "male-to-male").


Even though the same term "transman" is used as short form for both identities (transsexual man and transgender man), and sometimes transsexuality is seen as a type of transgenderism, in reality many transmen will identify as either transsexual or transgender, but not both.

"Transgender man" is an umbrella term that may include anybody who was assigned female sex at birth, but identifies part or full time as a male. For instance some drag kings, androgynous, bigendered, and genderqueer people might self-identify as transmen.

Transsexual men usually seek medical interventions, such as hormones and surgery, to make their bodies as congruent as possible with their preferred gender. They usually live or wish to live full time as members of the gender opposite to their birth sex.

Sometimes the term "new man" is used to identify a post-operative transsexual man.


For different transmen, transition might involve some or all of the following steps:

  • social transition - name change, wearing clothing seen as gender appropriate, disclosure to family, friends and usually at the workplace
  • sex reassignment therapy - hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and/or surgery
  • legal affirmation - name and often sex marker correction in the legal documents.

Originally the term transmen referred specifically to female-to-male transsexuals who undertook a physical change by HRT and/or surgery, but in recent years the mode of transition has broadened to include theories of psychological development or complementary methods of self-acceptance.

Social aspects of transition

Most transmen prefer to live part-time or full-time as male. Being socially accepted as male (sometimes known as Passing) may be challenging for transmen who have not undergone HRT and/or surgery. Thus, some transmen may choose to present as female in certain social situations (e.g. at work). After physical transition, transmen usually live full-time as male.


In the United States the ratio of transmen within the general population is unclear, but estimates range between 1:2000 and 1:100,000. Female-to-male (FTM) transsexuals and transgenders usually self-identify during their teens, 20s or 30s, often following a long period of self-identifying as lesbian.

Although there is still disagreement as to how gender dysphoria begins and who should qualify for hormonal and surgical intervention, there is agreement amongst psychologists that gender dysphoria should be the subject of clinical attention separate from other disorders and that gender identity of these people are profound, deep seated, and non-delusional. 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. Not all transsexual men wish to undergo SRS, nor is surgery necessary for transmen to identify as male or be accepted as such by others.

Sexual orientation

The sexual orientation of transmen is usually expressed with respect to male identity, not the assigned sex at birth (e.g a transman who prefers female partners, is considered heterosexual).

Publicly known transmen


See also


External links

National and international organizations

  • FTM International
  • FTM Australia (also known as Men's Ts Resources in Australia) for all men with transsexualism, family members, healthcare providers
  • Transgender Law Center - The Transgender Law Center (TLC) is a civil rights organization advocating for transgender, transsexual and gender-variant communities in California.
  • FTM Alliance - Los Angeles community-based advocacy group FTM Alliance
  • FTM London - London-based FTM support group
  • Lou Sullivan Society San Francisco- based FTM support group

Online resources

Medicine and Psychology

Further reading

  • Becoming a Visible Man by Jamison Green
  • The Testosterone Files: My Hormonal and Social Transformation from Female to Male by Max Wolf Valerio
  • True Selves: Understanding Transsexualism--For Families, Friends, Coworkers, and Helping Professionals by Mildred L. Brown and Chloe Ann Rounsley
  • Both Sides Now by Dhillon Khosla
  • Dear Sir or Madam: The Autobiography of a Female-To-Male Transsexual by Mark Nicholas Alban Rees
  • FTM: Female-to-Male Transsexuals in Society by Holly Devor
  • Just Add Hormones: An Insider's Guide to the Transsexual Experience by Matt Kailey
  • What Becomes You by Aaron Raz Link and Hilda Raz

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