In this ground-breaking study, Aaron Devor provides a compassionate, intimate, and incisive look at the life experiences of forty-five trans men. Emerging into 21st-century political and social conversations, questions persist. Who are they? How do they come to know themselves as men? What do they do about it? How do their families respond? Who are their lovers? What does it mean for everyone else? To answer these and other questions, Devor spent years compiling in-depth interviews and researching the lives of transsexual and transgender people. Here, he traces the everyday and significant events that coalesce into trans identities, culminating in gender and sex transformations. Using trans men’s own words as illustrations, Devor looks at how childhood, adolescence, and adult experiences with family members, peers, and lovers work to shape and clarify their images of themselves as men. With a new introduction, Devor positions the volume in twenty-first century debates of identity politics and community-building and provides a window into his own self-exploration as a result of his research.
|I often say that I decided to pursue a gender transition despite what I read in the books that were available to me—a handful of harsh, challenge-filled biographies about trailblazing transgender pioneers. With the notable exception, that is, of ‘the trans man’s bible’—Devor’s big red hardcover that still sits, 20 years later, prominently on my bookshelf. FTM was hot off the presses right when I needed it most. Devor—gently, insightfully, starkly, and respectfully—put forth a beautifully written illustration of how life could be for me, made evident by those who bravely chose to share their lives for this book. I like to think this book provided me with the how-to for grabbing my amazing transgender life by the balls!In this new edition of FTM, Devor, who so brilliantly previously captured the remarkable stories of transsexual men, continues to illuminate the need for insight into the transsexual man's life experience. Years ago, as a transsexual man searching for a reflection of my experience and guidance on my impending journey, I found what I was seeking in the pages of this book. In this day of increasing trans visibility there still remains a lack of trans male images, histories and experiences leading to a continued lack of visibility and opportunities for mentorship, which Dr. Jamison Green so eloquently states in his pointed new foreword. Perhaps the time has come for a more equitable representation of transsexual men in the movement for trans justice.
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Table of Contents
Foreword, 2016 / by Jamison Green
Foreword, 1997 / by Jamison Green
Part I: First Questions
1. Have Female-to-Male Transsexuals Always Existed?
2. Theories about Transsexualism
Part II: Childhood Years
3. Finding Out about Gender: Theories of Childhood Gender Acquisition
4. Family Scenes
5. Who Would Want to Be a Girl?: The Women (and Girls) in Participants’ Families
6. Men Rule: The Men (and Boys) in Participants’ Families
7. Lessons Learned at Home: Summary of Family Relationships
8. Childhood Friends and Foes: Relationships with Non-Family Members
Part III: Adolescence
9. Adolescence Is about Change
10. Crises at Puberty
11. Adolescent Friendships
12. Women Are Different: Relationships with Female Relatives
13. Access Denied, Restrictions Apply: Relationship with Male Relatives
14. Looking for Love, Groping for Identity: Adolescent Sexuality
15. Concluding Adolescence
Part IV: Pre-Transition Years
16. Finding Identities
Part V: Changing Over
17. A Long Road
18. Making the Decision
19. Making the Changes
20. Coming Out Stories
21. Are We There Yet?
Part VI: Life after Transition
22. Nature Calls: Toilet Traumas and Medical Necessities
23. The Naked Truth about Sexuality
24. Visions of Genders
25. Lessons from the Journey
Part: VII: Concluding
26. Conclusions and Questions