Hey … NotAshamed,
Good to be connecting with you once again.
There are many personal journeys and medical sites dealing with the topic of FTM and the world around, but I would recommend that anyone interested in the topic should make The T Male, a compulsory stop towards a better understanding of the matter. http://www.thetransitionalmale.com
As an aside, the webmaster there, as well as the one from FTM Int’l, is one of several TGs who guided my research. Seriously priceless support.
After all, why limit to what we, mere lesbians on this All Things Lesbian/Queerious forum, might know while there is in-depth information to get from the ‘horse’s mouth.’
Having said that, because I find the FTM station on the gender continuum totally fascinating, I’ll share a bit of my understanding on the matter.
Statistics show that about 1 ‘woman’ in approximately 25,000 needs to present as male in all aspects of her life, 24/7.
BTW: I choose to write ‘woman/she/her’ inside inverted commas out of consideration for the FTMs who, in spite of visual incongruity, do not consider themselves ‘women’ at all.
Such a ‘woman’ is formed in utero as a perfectly formed baby girl, but one who has a set of connections hardwired into her brain that are those Nature usually templates into a baby boy’s brain.
This condition is known as Gender Dysphoria i.e. gender unhappiness. An FTM person is not intersex and is not a hermaphrodite.
On the lesbian scene: a ‘woman’ who identifies as butch or stone dyke acts out an expression of her sexual identity, which is a different matter entirely.
[It would be usual for a vanilla dyke such as myself to, one day, think about transing]. Further down the track, this same ‘woman’ might decide to discuss the matter with a psychiatrist who might help ‘her’- if the diagnosis is gender dysphoria – embark on the Benjamin Standard of Care, which will set ‘her’ on the path to safe transitioning [transing].
Self-diagnoses are a trend on the uptake, but that makes me very edgy, as unguided transitioning is regarded as a very unsafe path for any woman to travel.
By the time the ‘woman’ seeks professional advice, she’s known all along, if only subconsciously, that she didn’t really ID as a lesbian – a woman lover of women.
What ‘her’ gendered brain really needs is for her to be perceived as male – with all the semiotic signs to make her congruent by matching ‘her’ inside with ‘her’ outside.
Therefore, this person needs to make love in a way that is as close to the manner of a straight male as possible. Nothing kinky about it.
Phalloplasty is one way to approximate the male-gendered body, but the very complicated, very expensive and very painful series of operations it involves seem to be somewhat out of favor these days.
Many [younger] FTMs prefer waiting for further medical technological advancement before proceeding with irreversible surgery that often fails to deliver to expectations.
As breasts do seriously get in the way of anyone presenting as male, chest reconstruction, aesthetically different from a mastectomy, is quite common and relatively easy to access – but of course totally irreversible.
About your question, NotAshamed: Morgan, in Morgan in the Mirror, did the lesbian thing for a few years but ended up transitioning as a straight male.
The bottom line, as I see it: “Gender and sexuality have never been frozen in binary oppositions of either/or, but have always existed as mere stations along a rich and gloriously multicoloured continuum.”
Warm regards to you,