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Does FtM imply an end point?

February 11, 2009

I’ve heard a few transmasculine and genderqueer people say they’re uncomfortable with the term FtM because it seems to imply a beginning and an end — you start in the female box, and end in the male box. So many boxes.

I prefer to see FtM as a neverending arrow: firmly rooted in a female past, pointing in the general direction of “male”, but never quite meaning to reach it.

In Sanscrit, ti means “arrow”. It also means “life”.

I marvel at how adaptable words like “FtM” are; I wonder how many different, colorful interpretations it might hold.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. February 11, 2009 3:38 pm

    I agree with your interpretation. The FTMs who want to wind up in the M box with no other qualifications often simply refer to themselves as “male” once they reach a stage where they no longer feel FTM applies to them. I think it can mean different things for different people.

    I like FTM because it explicitly refers to my female departure point. But I understand why some would not like it as applied to themselves.

  2. February 11, 2009 6:47 pm

    I have started to adopt the term ftq or ft? for myself because I feel like it embodies a journey away from not just the ‘female’ box but away from all boxes…

  3. genderkid permalink*
    February 11, 2009 7:01 pm

    Helyx, I had totally forgotten about those terms — I actually used to identify as FtX. Thanks for the reminder!

  4. February 11, 2009 8:06 pm

    i have actually never really seen them…

    but they seemed to embody what i wanted…

    where did you see them??? i like FtX

  5. genderkid permalink*
    February 11, 2009 8:19 pm

    Hmm, where did I find the term FtX… oh, right! I heard about it on a GenderTalk show featuring Gunner from GenderCrash and several other FtX individuals; they used it as an umbrella term to encompass FtMs, genderqueers and other people who were assigned female at birth.

  6. February 12, 2009 3:02 am

    People are so hung up on labels. I suppose the need to place everything and everyone into a specific category that is hardwired into our brains, or at least it ends up being essentially hardwired at a very young age due to socialization and gender indoctrination.

    I used to label myself “Hispanic” and “gay” when I was younger. Then I discovered the repugnant gender fascism that is so rampant in the gay male community. Even though most people would describe me as more or less “gender conforming” (whatever the hell THAT means), these days I nonetheless choose to identify myself as a queer Latino homofaggot. And I categorically reject the so-called “gay community”.

    You are doing great things with this blog. Hopefully it will raise awareness of the fact that, at its core, gender is violence. And maybe, just maybe, the truth you are speaking will seep into the consciousness of one of the many self-proclaimed “straight-acting gay dudes” (the key word there is “acting”) who worship at the alter of gender bifurcation. The HRC could stand to read through this blog as well.

    Thanks for sharing your story on this wonderful blog. I am definitely going to include it in my blogroll on my site Queers Against Obama (the url is merely a ruse to attract unsuspecting gay gender fascists and other assorted assimilationist types.

    In solidarity,

    Elián Maricón

  7. February 12, 2009 3:58 pm

    I suppose that I never want to be “fully” male. I’m much more genderqueer than trans, although I identify more strongly with the trans community. I agree, I’m moving from female to SOMEWHERE, but I’m never going to be a man. Maybe a boy, but never a man. Even when I’m old and grey I won’t think of myself as “fully” male. And I’m okay with that.

    • March 19, 2010 6:07 pm

      I feel the same way.

      Genderkid – Thanks for starting this topic.

      I hope and wish that the world will evolve to a place where there is less and less need to define gender as a binary where a person has to declare themselves either Male or Female. The binary does not allow for the wonderful spectrum of gender expression.

      More than defining myself at some location on the gender continuum, I would like to always allow myself and others to be as fluid with their gender as they would like to be. To be free to move around with their gender day to day, week to week, year to year.

  8. February 12, 2009 5:00 pm

    I like that you say you will never be a man, a boy maybe but not a man…
    that is something I find myself thinking about on a regular basis…

  9. eyoki permalink
    November 8, 2009 10:40 am

    I think of myself as a geek. It’s handy because that’s how most other people think of me too. Seriously, FTM, trans – whatever as long as it’s self-respecting and no more than a few syllables long. Main disadvantage of “trans” is if you use it as a search term you get loads of people wanting to tell you all about trans fats. They’re bad for you btw.

    [P.S. I know this is an old post. I’m just in a random tag surfing kind of a mood!]

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