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Not to be confused with Transhuman.

A trans man (also trans-man or transman) is a female-to-male (FTM) transgender or transsexual person. A trans man is assigned female at birth, but identifies as male.

The label of transgender male is not interchangeable with that of transsexual male although the two are often combined or mistaken for the same thing. The difference is that while transgender males identify with the male gender identity, transsexual males may intend to undergo physical changes to align their body with their gender identity. A transgender male is someone whose gender identity is male, but who does not necessarily change himself physically.

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.[1][2][3]


The term "trans man" is used as a short form for either identity (transsexual man and transgender man).[4] Trans men may identify as transsexual, as transgender, neither, or both.[5] "Transgender man" is an umbrella term that may include anybody who was assigned the female sex at birth but identifies as male. For instance, some drag kings, cross dressers, androgynous, bigender, and genderqueer people might identify as transgender.[6]

The term "transsexual" originated in the medical and psychological communities. However, unlike the term transgender, transsexual is not an umbrella term, and many transgender people do not identify themselves as such.[5][7]

The FTM community has coined the phrase transfag to describe a trans man attracted to other men.[8] However, this phrase is still controversial because of its previous usage as a derogatory slur directed towards trans women.


Originally, the term "trans men" referred specifically to female-to-male transsexual people who underwent HRT and/or surgery. In recent years, the definition of "transition" has broadened to include theories of psychological development or complementary methods of self-acceptance.[9][10]

Transsexual men may seek medical interventions such as hormones and surgery to make their bodies as congruent as possible with their gender presentation. However, many transgender and transsexual men cannot afford or choose not to undergo surgery or hormone replacement therapy.

Many who have not undergone top surgery choose to bind their breasts. There are a few different methods of binding, including using sports bras and specially made binders (which can be vest-type, or wrap-around style). Tape or bandages, although often depicted in popular culture, should never be used for binding as they tighten with wear and compress the ribcage, and could result in injury.

Some trans men might also decide to pack, to create a male like bulge in the crotch of clothing. However, this is not universal. Trans men who decide to pack may use anything from rolled up socks to specially made packers, which resemble a man's penis. Some packers are also created for trans men to be able to urinate through them (stand-to-pee, or STP, devices).

Transitioning might involve some or all of the following steps:[11]

  • 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 (sometimes) sex marker correction in legal identification documents.[12][13] Being socially accepted as male (sometimes known as passing) may be challenging for trans men who have not undergone HRT and/or surgery.[12][13] Some trans men may choose to present as female in certain social situations (e.g. at work).[12][13] After physical transition, trans men usually live full-time as male.[12][13]

Notable trans men


  • Boys Don't Cry, drama
  • Southern Comfort, 2001 documentary
  • Transparent, documentary
  • Pick Up the Mic, documentary (features two FTM artists)
  • My Dearest Senorita, 1972 Spanish drama film
  • TransGeneration, documentary miniseries
  • Gender Rebel, 2006 documentary
  • Mom, I Didn't Kill Your Daughter, 2007 Israeli documentary[37]
  • Pregnant Man, 2008 documentary about Thomas Beatie in the final weeks of his pregnancy and the birth of his first child, Susan[38]
  • My Friend from Faro, 2008 german drama
  • Gender Resignner, 2010 documentary
  • Enough Man, 2010 documentary
  • STILL BLACK: a portrait of black transmen, 2008 documentary about black trans men
  • Becoming Chaz, 2011 documentary about Chaz Bono's transition
  • Tomboy (2011 film), 2011 drama
  • Romeos (2011), drama
  • Boy I Am, documentary

See also


External links

  • DMOZ
  • ISBN 0-9773250-0-8
  • FTM International An organization serving the female-to-male trans community.

Further reading

  • Becoming a Visible Man by Jamison Green
  • Just Add Hormones: An Insider's Guide to the Transsexual Experience by Matt Kailey
  • Transmen and FTMs: Identities, Bodies, Genders, and Sexualities by Jason Cromwell
  • FTM: Female-to-Male Transsexuals in Society. by Aaron H. Devor
  • Second Son: Transitioning Toward My Destiny, Love and Life by Ryan Sallans
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