Monday, May 08, 2006

10 Most Damaging Myths about Transmen and FTMs

These came from the 1999 True Spirit Conference. Since True Spirit is a predominately Caucasian FTM gathering I decided to ask one of my transbrothers whether these myths apply to African-American transmen. Thanks Kori. His comments are in bold type.

1. Transmen are really just butch lesbians who change sex to justify same-sex relationships or to avoid harassment.

*buzzer sound* Most transmen are "born" into the lesbian cmty because we didn't know what to call ourselves until we found out about transsexualism. So since we're attracted to women, it would be natural for us to initially think we're lesbians! Duh!

2. Historically, all women only chose to live as men to pursue careers that were otherwise unattainable to them, to seek economic opportunities, or to justify lesbian relationships.

While this is true, we don't need to become men to be in any industry these days. Hell, even heterosexual feminine women are in construction, law enforcement, and the list goes on.

3. All FTMs want genital reconstruction as the driving force of their transition. (not necessarily the social aspects that go along with masculinity)

I for one do not want anyone messing around with my stuff. Technology hasn't made the male genitalia yet that is acceptable for me.

4. Taking testosterone makes Female-to-Male transsexuals much more aggressive and angry than they were before taking hormones.

We're not as bad as women that are PMSing ... however, it is true that T, or the mixing of hormones can make one a little irritable at times. As for the anger part, I actually feel more balanced since I've been on T.

5. All transmen exhibit stereotypically male behavior and want to be as macho as possible.

Yes, I've always exhibited male behavior, but that's because that's of who I AM, NOT because I just want to be macho. When I was a kid until my thirties, I was still thought of as a tomboy. My maleness has ALWAYS been instinctual.

6. Transmen seek to live as and be recognized as male in order to obtain male privilege and economic advantages.

Really? Maybe for the white transmen, but as a black transman I have been "lumped" up with the rest of the black male population. I certainly won't get any special favors now... my special favors came when I was a black woman because they are the minority.

7. Female-to-Males are far rarer than Male-to-Female transsexuals.

Not sure about this. I just feel that FTMs might be more private concerning their transition. I personally know of a few transmen that refuse to acknowledge they were ever a woman, and won't ID as trans in the "real world". An anonymous census would have to be done to test the validity of this statement.

8. FTMs did not exist until after World War II, with the advent of hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery.

Not true. FTMs date back to the 1930's.

9. Transsexualism/transgenderism can be "cured" by psychotherapy. Transsexual men are really just lesbians.

Lesbians/butches do not feel that they are men. For the most part, they are happy with just being a masculine woman. The distinct difference between an FTM and a butch is that FTMs feel, with everything in them, that they were born the wrong sex/gender and donot identify with anything female, while most lesbians/butches have no problem with their gender or id'ing as a woman.

10. All FTMs come from the lesbian community, and after transition are heterosexual. (that is, attracted to women)

No, no, no... MOST FTMs came/come from the lesbian community, but there are those that never id'd as a lesbian, and they went for straight women....I know many bisexual, pansexual transmen.. and guess what? that's their business. I personally don't get down like that, but I've come to respect the differences. I am a straight male and I am attracted to women, well, one woman in particular

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