Question: Explaining the FtM Feeling

PeaceLoveTriathlon asks…

What’s a good way to explain the ‘FtM’ feeling? When someone asks, I say that I feel as if I’m trapped in the wrong body,and feel I should have been born a man, but they just get really confused. All ideas very much appreciated. Thanks!

Please post your response in the comments below.

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Posted by on April 10th, 2014 at 08:00 am

Category: questions 6 comments »

6 Responses to “Question: Explaining the FtM Feeling”

  1. Danielle

    Well… I’m not FtM, but the way I understood it best for the first time was when it was explained like this–

    “Imagine that people keep getting your gender wrong. You’re a guy, but they call you a girl. And what’s worse, it’s not a simple mistake that they apologize for when you set them straight. They insist that you’re a girl, and when you try to correct them, they say you’re the one who’s wrong. This doesn’t just happen occasionally–it has been happening all your life. And not just with strangers, either; the people you love, and who love you, are doing the same thing. It really starts to wear on you.”


  2. german dude

    “They insist that you’re a girl, and when you try to correct them, they say you’re the one who’s wrong. This doesn’t just happen occasionally–it has been happening all your life.”

    This reminds me of the movie “The Truman Show”….and this is, for today, the way I (Ft…M?…or…whatever, but not F!!) would describe it. For me it feels like…someone has stolen my REAL body and my REAL youth and life, like they put me into this “life” of a girl, like I had been given this role, but found out just now that it is not only wrong from now on, but it was wrong all along. I found out that there has been something missing or wrong all the time. But there is no one to blame. I cannot climb out of that door in the “sky”. I have to work my ass of and go to therapy and all that.

    I can only describe MY FtM feeling, I don`t know about the feelings of others who label themselves as FtM.

    Very often I describe my growing up without knowing I am trans myself as if there had been a huge pane or a frosted window between me and everyone else. I could see them and I really thought I would share their lives and live my life as well, but I never took part in any life. There was always something missing. I was just not really connected to the others. To no one. Not even to me, to my body. The first time I could get through to my own and REAL emotions was when I started to accept the thought of beeing trans. When I was about to give in and die, I opened my ears to that voice of that little boy inside me. It was like I had put him in there and forgotten him over years. And the moment I “heard” him, I was shocked, but I let him speak, I listened. For the first time. And he grew and I grew. Like something heavy dropped from me…like I saw the real me underneath a very very fat body. A body I had ignored over all those years.

    FTM for me is not necessarily just wanting to be a “Man”, because I don`t think I have any concept of “Man” in my brain, either. I am ME. But there is this body that does not fit me. It is not the one I should have been born with. I have no idea why I think I KNOW this, but I do. Since I stoped ignoring this body and since I started to confront myself with looking at it and getting to know it, since this time I more and more remember the reason and all those littel moments in the past, WHY I ignored it all the time.

    And now I have lost all that weight I had put on to keep others in distance in my past (beeing fat was a good reason to stay away from people and a good answer to “why don`t you have a boyfriend?”), and I am on my way to transition. I slowly find all the pieces that puzzel me. My life is a rollercoaster since that night I started to listen and to reflect my emotions, and I think I have the worst parts bevore me, but I have a real ME now and that is more than I could say four years ago.

    I don`t feel like I should have been born a man, but I know I should have been born with a male body. I feel much more confident in androgynous or male clothing and do NOT ever want to meet other peoples expectations for me to behave like a girl or a woman. In a future relationship/sexlife I do defintely feel the desire to be the more “male” part, but at the end of the day I think the concept of male and female is not really set up in my brain.

    Sometimes I think, wanting to be more masculine is the only way in this binary society to dissociate myself from beeing a woman. I have no idea what else I can be, bu I am definitely NOT a woman.

    So, this is my “FtM Feeling”. But it may be too long to make a good Explanation. To one friend I explained it like that image they use in moivies, when a ghost like a cloud of dust finds itself a human body. Sometimes I feel like my mind, my ghost just slipped into the body of this girl. A body I have no real home in. So since my mind, spirit, or soul cannot leave this body unless I am willing to die, I have to try and make this body a place I can live in better than before.

    I whish I had my own words for all that and would not have to take movies and things like that to explain it. But I have no better words for it,
    So I would love to read more descriptions on here, too. Maybe someone can bring it to the point way shorter than I did?


  3. Deven

    I guess I can go with what I don’t say, now that I’ve been out for awhile. I don’t say “I wish I was born a man” or “I’m in the wrong body.” Because that sort of erases the learning experience I guess. To me bodies don’t have genders, people do. Now I understand some people may identify some parts of themselves as this or that, which is cool. But I am not female bodied, because I am male. It doesn’t matter how I was born, or anything like that, because I have always been male. It just took me awhile to get out of the otherness, that was not female, to realizing I was male.

    To me being socialized as female, while being male, or really being socialized/ raised as any other gender than your own, is suffocating. Imagine you’re born, like a glass figurine, and then everyone around you starts scribbling all over you, the way that they want to, without ever asking you, and thus you’re mislabeled, and some horrible looking community art piece. But then when you try to claim that they indeed are forcing you into this identity they point to your genitals, or how happy they currently think you are, and refute your claim as false.

    You lose out, at least partially, in the ~hood you would’ve experienced if you were cisgender. Physically, for me, it’s like having useless limbs, or not having ones that could actually function. Cool I have this arm growing out of my foot! How comfortable! How useful! In that same sense, I would appear differently than every other human being.

    If you’ve ever seen one of those Above The Influence ads about being in control of your own life, they have an analogy that could easily work for those who aren’t cisgender. The ftm experience is like institutionalized peer-pressure. I hope this makes sense.


  4. Shaun

    Deven – “Institutionalized peer pressure” is absolutely perfect.


  5. Morgan

    I know that I’m Trans because I feel disappointed when people use female pronouns to describe me. I wish they used male pronouns without question or even the slightest hesitation. I have always been quite masculine of center and my family always explained it away as a phase. I am 24 years old. My entire life people have periodically flat out asked: “are you a boy or a girl?” (more or less, the wording varies) before I allowed myself the honesty and simple truth behind saying “I’m a boy/guy/man etc” I had to force “girl/woman” out of my mouth, it didn’t sit right on my tongue, it didn’t sound right to my ears.


  6. Anonymous

    I just stumbled across this page and am really thankful for getting some insights into all this genderqueer stuff that used to be very unknown to me. :)

    If people ever ask what FtM feels like, I’d just ask back: What is it that makes you feel like a woman or a man? I mean seriously, I tried to answer this question to myself (being nonqueer or -trans) and what’s the answer? I just feel like it. There is nothing that really defines me as a woman on my inside. So maybe when people try to explain why they are so sure about their gender they will realise that it’s not as easy to explain. And maybe then they realise that you just FEEL like it, nothing more, nothing less. :)

    For me that was the easiest way to understand. :)


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