What is a transman?

Transman/trans man/trans*man is the generic term for a transgendered/transsexual male.  There is some debate about whether transman is an umbrella term to include all female-at-birth people who identify as trans* in some way (genderqueer, FtM, etc.) or a specific term that applies only to female to male transsexuals (FtMs).  On this blog I’ll use it to mean FtMs simply because that’s where my focus lies.

What is a female to male transsexual (FtM)?

A female to male transsexual is a person who was born female/assigned female at birth, but has a male gender identity.  I know, it seems a bit complicated when it’s phrased like that, but really it’s pretty simple.  Most cispeople would say that an FtM has a female body and a male brain.

Note that I don’t say anything about whether or not the guy in question is changing their body.  In this case an active change doesn’t really matter.  There is some debate about whether or not a desire to change your body is a requirement of being a transsexual, but that’s a bit out of the realm of this page.  For my purposes a desire to live as a man is the sole requirement of being a transsexual.  How a person does that is up to them.

Are all transmen straight?

No.  Not even close, actually.  I’m certainly not straight.  The people this blog is written for aren’t straight.  Some straight readers may have stumbled on here, but they’re not who I’m writing for.  Just like any other men, transmen are gay, straight, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, etc.

But you’re all butch, right?

Not so much.  I’m one of the most flamingly gay guys I know.  The two who beat me are both cisgendered and I figure if they can be camp then so can I.

What’s this “cisgendered” word you keep throwing around?

Cisgendered/cispeople/cis- is just another way of saying “not trans”.  Kind of like homosexual and heterosexual, cisgender was designed to avoid the assumption that transpeople are somehow not “normal” (whatever the fuck that means).  I tend to use non-trans rather than cis, but most everyone else in the trans community will use some variation on cisgender so you may as well get used to it.

I just found out the guy I’m crushing on is trans/I think I might be crushing on my trans* friend, does that mean I’m gay/straight?

Are you a woman who likes men?  You’re still straight.  A man who likes men?  Still gay.  We’re men.  Men with an interesting medical condition, but still men.

If you consider yourself a lesbian/straight man…well, you’re going to have to do some soul searching.  One of my best friends is a straight man who happened to fall for a (non-trans) gay man so it’s not completely unheard of for people to love an individual outside of their usual gender orientation.  That’s something you’ll have to work out for yourself though.

Ok, so I’m still gay/straight.  What about sex?

Go have some!  Different transmen have different boundaries when it comes to sex, the only way you’ll know whether or not you’re compatible is to get naked and have fun.

Yeah, but…penis.  What about the penis?

Depends on the guy.  Lower surgery is bloody expensive if you don’t live in a country that covers it.  Testosterone does enlarge certain parts of the anatomy (I’m sure you can guess which one) so that small amounts of penetration are possible if you happen to be shaped in a certain way.  More often we use strap ons.  Personally, I think this is a bonus.  Got a size preference?  We can work with that.

Ok.  Do I have to go near…that?

Again, depends on the guy.  Me?  You’re not going near it.  I can’t even say the name.  Sorry.  Other guys enjoy it, have pet names (bonus hole, cockpit, front hole, trannycave), and take joy in being comfortable with the parts they were given.  You’ll have to ask.  And I mean ask, not assume and suddenly stick a finger (or more) up there.  That’s a good way to get you decked no matter who you’re sleeping with.

So you don’t have a penis and do have a vagina.  Are you really even men?

Is Mr Bobbit still a man?  Is a man with bionic dick due to cancer of the penis still a man?  What about a guy who got his junk blown off in war?  There is more to being a man than a penis.  Just as all of the men mentioned didn’t suddenly become women, transmen are not women simply by virtue of not possessing a penis.

But you like guys.  And you’re effeminate.  Why not just stay a girl?

Why don’t butch lesbians become men?  Gender identity is very different than gender expression (the effeminance) and sexuality (the interest in men).  Think of it this way, if sexuality is who you want to go to bed with then gender identity is who you want to go to bed as.  I don’t want to be with a man as a woman, I want to be with a man as a man.  It seems like such a minor detail, but to transmen they’re two very different things.

Who the hell are you anyway?

I’m a gay guy who happens to be trans.  Very few people in my current city know I’m trans so that’s as much as you’re going to get from me.  There’s a little more in the bio, but for the most part I prefer to remain anonymous.

3 Replies to “FAQ”

  1. “Think of it this way, if sexuality is who you want to go to bed with then gender identity is who you want to go to bed as. I don’t want to be with a man as a woman, I want to be with a man as a man. It seems like such a minor detail, but to transmen they’re two very different things.”

    Well stated! I will definitely add this to my ‘arsenal of clarifications’ that i often use when ‘enlightening’ people about what it means to be not only trans (ftm), but a *gay* transman.

    I am thrilled I stumbled upon your site, Not Aiden! I am finding lots of ‘inspriation’ in your thoughts and opinions. I am a 41 year old gay ftm. As a gay transman, I often feel that we are a very marginalized group within a larger, already marginalized community (ftms). Don’t get me wrong…I’m not whining…I love what and who we are! But it’s not always easy, especially where other gay men are concerned. Like I said, though, I truly love your way of seeing things…thanks for sharing it all with us on this site.

    • Glad you liked it. A friend said that to me once and it’s been one of my favourite explanations ever since.

  2. Pingback: Boys who love boys who used to be girls | Montreal Mirror

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