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'FTM' or 'Female to Male' is a term used for people who were born biologically female but identify as male. The terms 'transsexual man' or 'trans man' are also often used.

FTM / Female to Male

FTM or Female to Male refers to a person who identifies as male despite being assigned the female gender at birth. However, the term 'female to male' is often rejected by those affected. Instead, the term 'trans man' is usually used, as this better clarifies that the person is a man. Transman is short for 'transsexual man' or 'transgender man'.

Conversely, 'trans men' refers to biological women who identify as men and live entirely or partially as men. This refers to the external appearance including the clothing as well as the social gender, the psyche and the behavior. In this case, they are transgender men. On the other hand, men who were previously women and have undergone gender reassignment can also be referred to as 'Female to Male' or 'FTM'. In this case, they are transsexual men. A female to male usually feels like they were born in the wrong body.

The designations FTM, female to male or transman were originally reserved exclusively for people who were born as women and wanted to change their gender permanently through hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery or had already changed it. In the meantime, the meaning of the term has broadened somewhat and can also be used for people who do not want to undergo surgical or hormonal sex reassignment. Accordingly, a woman who identifies with the male gender but does not want to undergo gender reassignment is now considered a 'trans man'.

Transgender is a category used to describe a person's gender identity. It exists completely independent of sexual orientation. Transmen can therefore be heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual or asexual or live out any other imaginable sexuality.

History of Transgender Identity

Since the phenomenon of people changing gender roles has been known since ancient times, FTM / Female to Male is by no means a new phenomenon. In historical times, however, the possibilities for physical gender reassignment were probably limited, which makes it difficult to judge, whether specific historical cases were transsexual or other transgender identities such as intersexuality or transvestism.

In Greek mythology there is the figure of the seer Tiresias, who was born a man, then lived as a woman and then became a man again. In some Near Eastern religions there are also goddesses who were born as men but led a life in the role of a woman due to a gender change. So, in ancient times, the topic of gender reassignment was widespread. Only in the course of the Middle Ages did the change of gender become an absolute taboo subject, due to the introduction of dress codes and other regulations and thus receded into the background for a long time.

Many centuries and perhaps even millennia ago, groups of people in many countries around the world did not feel that they belonged to their biological gender and identified with another gender or at least adopted its characteristics. These included. among others. the Thai kathoeys and the Indian hijras. Despite their widespread occurrence, however, they were often rejected by society and viewed as second-class citizens.

Cases of transsexuality and transvestism are also known among North and East Asian shamans and among some Native Americans. Up until the 20th century, these were even largely accepted in many societies. In some Amerindian cultures, for example, transsexual children, biological boys with a female identity, were allowed to express their psychological identity freely. This phenomenon has been reported by numerous travelers and explorers since the 16th century. In addition, among the Native Americans there were also biologically female people who were allowed to live as men, warriors and hunters. These people can therefore be regarded as trans men or female to male/ FTM.

Differences and similarities between FTM and other groups

FTM / Female to Male is one of many different gender identities. The key similarities and differences between each group are explained below.

Transgender and Transsexual

Transgender is a term for all people who do not identify with the gender they were born with. This includes both biological males who identify as females and biological females who identify as males.

Transsexuals form a subgroup within the transgender group. Transsexuals are people who feel so uncomfortable with their biological gender that they permanently change it through sex reassignment, i.e. hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery.

Accordingly, although all transsexuals belong to the group of transgenders, not all transgenders are also transsexuals. An FTM/ Female to Male can thus be counted among the group of transgender as well as the group of transsexuals.

Transmen and transwomen

FTMs or transmen belong to the group of transgenders or transsexuals just like MTFs (Male to Females) or transwomen. An FTM or MTF is referred to as a transgender once he or she has adjusted their gender through surgery and/or hormone treatment.

Trans men and trans women are people who do not identify with the gender they were born with. In contrast to an FTM/ Female to Male, an MTF/ Male to Female was born a biological male but identifies with the female gender.

Ladyboys and Kathoeys

'Ladyboy' is the English translation of the Thai word 'kathoey' and refers to female homosexual men and transgender women. However, the two terms are mainly used in Thailand and other Asian countries and refer almost exclusively to people of Asian origin.


'Shemale' is a term that is often dismissed by the trans community as it is mostly associated with the porn industry. These are mostly transsexuals with male genitals and female secondary sexual characteristics, i.e. a female face and breasts.


A 'femboy' is a biological man who is usually under 30 years old. Femboys are characterized by a very feminine appearance and often wear feminine clothing. In addition, their behavior and character are usually characterized by typically female behavior. The female behaviors are displayed by femboys either permanently or only occasionally.


'Bigender' refers to people who identify themselves through two genders at the same time. Most Bigenders consider themselves both male and female. Both sexes are constantly present in the person concerned, but at times one of the two sexes can dominate their behavior and sense of identity.


'Crossdressers' are people who either occasionally or continuously wear clothing that is typical of the opposite sex. Crossdressers include women who dress as men and men who dress as women. The motives for crossdressing can be political, for mere entertainment or to express a sense of one's own gender identity or sexuality.


Non-binary is a collective term for all non-binary gender identities. Non-binary people perceive and define their gender outside of the two-part (binary) gender spectrum of male and female. Nonbinary genders include various subgroups such as genderfluid, xenogender, bigender, and pangender.