Understanding FTM Journey: A Comprehensive Guide

Understanding FTM Journey: A Comprehensive Guide

Understanding FTM Journey

Gender Identity is an essential marker of one’s sense of self, and for many FTM individuals, the right to transition, discover one’s self, and come out can be the difference between a life well lived and that which can be bound by crippling unhappiness. FTM individuals have the right to have a supportive and caring transition process to own who they are. In this blog, explore what it means to be an FTM, the process involved in transition, and the legal challenges you are likely to face as you transition.

Defining terms

As an FTM, you will likely come across medical and casual terms in your transition journey. Some of these include

  • Human replacement hormone therapy (HRT)

Understanding FTM Journey

This is the process of attaining testosterone shots to increase the secondary and primary male characteristics in an FTM. HRT will give you male facial features while growing your muscles akin to a man.

  • Bottom growth

botton growth

Many FTM desire to have masculinized sexual reproduction features and HRT offers this by allowing the development of the clitoris. This is bottom growth and it can be a gender-affirming process.

  • Gender affirming care

Gender affirming

This includes all procedures and activities that help alleviate gender dysphoria. It can range from a simple action such as wearing a packer for a bulge to having surgery to get a phallus.

  • Phalloplasty

The cosmetic surgery of getting a penis implant.

  • Packers


These are objects used to create a penile bulge that Transmen can use to step into a more masculine frame. Packers can be simple-made such as DIY using rolled socks or can be bought such as soft or hard packers.

  • Transman

A transman is a man who is born female at birth but identifies as male. Most Transmen have to deal with vast gender identity issues such as gender dysphoria.

  • Gender dysphoria

Trans men often feel as though their bodily anatomy does not align with their gender identity. This can cause feelings of anxiety which can affect overall well-being.

  • Bottom surgery

bottom ssurgery

Bottom surgery entails the cosmetic surgery of removing and editing the vaginal, clitoral, and vulval tissues to create a new penis for Transmen.

The Emotional Journey

As an FTM, the emotional tapestry of navigating your current gender identity needs can range from positive to negative.

  • Anticipation

Understanding FTM Journey

A personal and multifaceted process will affect your emotional health and well-being as you transition. Some of these emotional issues may have been present before your transition, while the whole process of transitioning may compound others. You will likely feel a sense of anticipation about coming out and how people around you will receive you as you transition.

  • Anxiety from Gender Dysphoria

The anxiety that you may feel stemming from the conflict between your gender identity and the gender identity assigned to you when you were born can be an uncomfortable feeling.  As you transition, your desire to indulge in male clothing, hairstyles, and aesthetics, in general, can be hampered by the persistent feeling that you do not understand where you lie in your gender spectrum.

gendere dysphoria

The National Center for Transgender Equality suggests these internal conflicts are one of the many emotional hurdles FTM individuals face. Nikki Hayden, 26, states that while she was starting the transition, she could not even go out in public for fear that he was in the wrong body goes to show how uncomfortable gender euphoria can be for FTM.

  • Loneliness due to feeling of non-Belonging

The innate nature of being a human being is a feeling of belonging. However, as an FTM, you can feel a sense of disconnect when the community you live in sees you as an outcast for your gender identity as it deviates from heteronormative ideals. You may feel a sense of dread when coming out as you may experience apprehension about exposing yourself to the world, which may be judgmentally or outright unaccepting of who you indeed are.

  • Stress from Discrimination

Understanding FTM Journey

Another factor that is likely to affect your emotional well-being is the discrimination from your social circle or community at large, who do not understand your plight as an FTM. For instance, you may meet people who disagree that you are a real man, affecting how they relate to you. Remarks such as that you are still a woman and cannot perform some male roles or tasks will leave you feeling discriminated against.

The Physical Journey

An overview of the physical changes that occur during transition include the following

  • Enlarged clitoris (Bottom Growth)

enlarge clits

As FTM individuals undergo hormone therapy, the clitoris is bound to increase in girth and width due to the effect of testosterone.  This is called bottom Growth and is accompanied by feelings of increased sexual appetite.

  • More body muscle and angular face

Understanding FTM Journey

Depending on the phase of the transitioning, FTM individuals can notice a slight increase in the body muscles. Testosterone can weaken the tendon for more muscles, leading to chest atrophy.

  • Facial hair and Body Hair

Understanding FTM Journey

The transition phase can often come with increased facial and body hair for Transmen. This is due to the increase of testosterone, and more doses can lead to a restructure of the facial muscles as less fat is deposited in the cheeks, leading to an angular facial structure.

Options for medical transition

As you envision your transition, you may experience a host of procedures to help you masculinize your body to meet your gender identity needs. These include;

  • Surgeries

Surgery is often likened to trauma as the body undergoes enormous physical transformations before and after surgery (pre- and post-operative aspects, respectively) for individuals who want to have a more permanent transition, bottom surgery such as phalloplasty can go a long way.

Understanding FTM Journey

Phalloplasty: This is where your surgeon will use tissues from your groin region to create a penis as a form of bottom surgery. This surgery can accompany other gender-affirming procedures such as vaginectomy, or scrotoplasty to give you scrotum to accompany the new phallus.

  • Hormone therapy

Understanding FTM Journey

There are physical changes that come with starting Hormone Replacement Therapy, where you are given a shot of testosterone to masculinize your features. Hormone therapy comes with a host of changes in your emotional and psychological being.  The process can feel cathartic, like a rebirth to who you were meant to be, as you can feel the tension and anxiety fading away.

Navigating Social Changes

Your social life may become inundated with challenges that border the personal and professional spectrum. However, you can navigate this by;

  • Personalized Therapy

Understanding FTM Journey

Once you are aware of the challenges that surround you as an FTM and those that come with transitioning, getting personalized therapy can be crucial in helping you manage emotional and mental health challenges. For instance, personalized therapy options include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which gives FTM individuals a safe space to share and explore the tapestry of their transition and is used to mitigate gender dysphoria.

  • Self-Care Practices

Self-care is an integral aspect of maintaining a balanced emotional, physical, and mental health for FTM individuals. For instance, taking care of yourself through healthy dieting and exercising can build internal strength and confidence as you interact with others.

  • Social Self-care

Understanding FTM Journey

Having social self-care options can help one combat the challenges of transitioning. For instance, setting clear boundaries with your social circle about your pronouns will be beneficial in helping you protect your mental health. It will also help you avoid digesting inappropriate questions and comments.

  • Social Support from the LGBTQ+ community

Understanding FTM Journey_ A comprehensive Guide

One of the most valuable social resources you can tap into as you transition is the LGBTQ community, which can help you connect with others who may suffer from the emotional and physical changes that come with the process. Joining LGBTQ support groups such as Trans Pride support groups online and offline can be rewarding as it can give you a sense of belonging. Online forums such as Trans/FTM Facebook groups such as the FTM Support Network can help provide guidance and solidarity.

  • Self-acceptance and self-compassion

Whether other people support you or not matters; nothing can thwart the sense of self you build if you practice self-acceptance and self-compassion. Accepting who you are as an FTM, your hobbies, desires, goals, and the stamina to experience life despite the transition hurdles will make it all worthwhile. Loving yourself and being kind to yourself is the number one cure to all emotional and mental issues you may face in your transition.

Legal considerations

Legal changes such as changing your birth name, certificate, driver’s license, and passport can be challenging. Some choose to go for nicknames instead of changing birth names as many others may choose to change pronouns, preferring (He or Him)

  • Legal Sex Change

Understanding FTM Journey_ A comprehensive Guide

Some jurisdictions offer FTM individuals to have legal sex changes after surgical operations. In This case, the healthcare provider can provide name-changing options depending on the law. However, if you live in a country with strict LGBTQ laws, you may be unable to change your gender markers.

  • Employment Requirements

Understanding FTM Journey_ A comprehensive Guide

Consider issues on employment as hiring, promotion, and job promotions may be stringent upon one’s gender identity.  It is always important to familiarize oneself with the ongoing laws and regulations about being and identifying as Trans in the workplace.

  • Healthcare Rights

Understanding FTM Journey_ A comprehensive Guide

Healthcare needs that border on hormone therapy, bottom surgeries, pre and post-operative care, mental health, and physical examinations should be taken seriously for FTM individuals. Being aware of gender-affirming clinics that cater to one’s Trans needs is important for transition-related procedures.

  • Travel Considerations

Understanding FTM Journey_ A comprehensive Guide

As an FTM, knowing the requirements about one’s gender identity as it relates to documentation of passports and visas will give one a hassle-free traveling experience. Some countries are stringent on gender identity issues hence having gender identification documents updated is important as a legal process.


Understanding FTM Journey_ A comprehensive Guide

Your gender identity matters not only as an FTM but also as a human being who deserves to feel loved and a sense of belonging. You do not have to undergo the emotional and physical turmoil of transitioning alone. A supportive network such as friends, family, and Trans offline and online groups, self-care practices, personalized therapy, and educational resources to keep you abreast of all the things required to navigate your transition. Even so, it is worth noting that you are not alone, and once you have love and compassion for who you indeed are, it will get more accessible and worth it.

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