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The term 'femboy' is a made-up word, which consists of the syllables 'fem' for 'female' and 'boy'. Accordingly, it denotes a boy or a young man, with a feminine appearance or feminine traits. An alternative, less common term for femboys is 'Tomgirl'.
The meaning of the term 'Femboy'
The term 'Femboy' is primarily used by certain groups of people of a younger age on the Internet. Although there is no clear age limit for femboys, they are generally boys and younger men under the age of 30.
From a biological point of view, a femboy is a man - so femboys have male sexual organs and were usually born male. Femboys are characterized by the fact that they identify with certain female interests and character traits and consciously show them to the outside world. This usually happens through their clothing style, the use of make-up and women's fragrances or a woman's hairstyle. In addition, femboys often present themselves in public with typically feminine manners and behavior.
The term 'femboy' does not provide any information about the gender identity of the respective person. Despite his feminine appearance, a femboy could very well define himself as a man. For this reason, a femboy should not be confused with a trans woman, i.e. a biologically born man who identifies as a woman. More commonly, the 'femboy' identity is an expression of a certain phase in life and a temporary form of behavior that is discarded over time. For this reason there are rarely any femboys who are over 30 years old.
The term 'femboy' is not indicative of the person's sexual identity. The idea that a femboy is automatically homosexual is by no means true. Femboys can have all sorts of sexual orientations and can be, for example, heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual or asexual. Accordingly, it is also possible for a straight femboy to consider himself a man and enter into a relationship with a woman.
The history of femboys
The term 'femboy' first appeared in the 1990s and was originally considered a derogatory term. Initially, the term was primarily used for male crossdressers, i.e. men who wear female clothing. Very small and thin men, boys with a more feminine appearance or typically feminine behavior were also referred to as 'femboys'.
Since the early 2010s, the term 'femboy' has gradually acquired a more positive connotation as it has been embraced by the LGBT community as a form of gender expression. A special femboy flag was designed in 2017 to further increase the social acceptance of femboys. Unfortunately, to this day the term has not been able to completely shed its negative connotations and is still occasionally used as a derogatory term for feminine boys or particularly small men.
Although 'femboy' is a relatively new term, the concept behind it has been around for a very long time. Many centuries ago, men occasionally wore particularly feminine garments or exhibited typically feminine mannerisms. For example, in the 17th and 18th centuries, many men wore high-heeled shoes. In contrast to earlier appearances, however, femboys today consciously choose feminine clothing or accessories to emphasize their feminine traits and present them in public.
Femboys on the internet and in art and literature
The term 'femboy' has been around on the internet for several decades and has been used in various forums in particular for a long time. The term 'femboy' and the lifestyle associated with it have become increasingly popular in recent years, particularly through social networks. Meanwhile, femboys are very present on the internet, but also in other media. There are more and more communities around the world that are specifically geared towards femboys and give them the opportunity to exchange ideas with like-minded people.
Femboys can not only be found as real people in real life, but have also found their way into art and literature. In particular, there is anime, manga and anthropomorphic furry art in which the feminine boys increasingly appear. Such art representations are consumed almost exclusively by the younger generation. In the over-30s age group, femboys and femboy-themed art are virtually non-existent.
Differences and similarities between femboys and other groups
In addition to femboys, there are a number of other groups that question gender norms and in some cases completely break them. So there are some similarities between the femboy and members of other groups, but also some significant differences. For this reason, the different groups should not be confused with one another.
A 'crossdresser' is a term used to describe people who, through their clothing and appearance, slip occasionally or permanently into the role of the opposite sex. Crossdressers thus include women who wear men's clothing as well as men who wear women's clothing. Crossdressing can happen for a variety of reasons. Most crossdressers have political or artistic motivations and want to express their sexual orientation or gender identity through their crossdressing. A femboy differs from a crossdresser primarily in that, in addition to the feminine appearance, a femboy also exhibits feminine behavior.
'Bigender' means 'bisexual' and denotes a gender identity. A bigender person identifies their identity via two genders. Most often, these genders are male and female, but other combinations such as male and nonbinary or female and nonbinary can also occur. The two gender identities can occur either continuously and simultaneously or alternately. It is also possible for one gender identity to dominate the other.
'Transgender' is a collective term for all people whose gender identity does not match their biological gender and for people who reject a binary, ie shared gender identity. Transgender people with a female gender identity are referred to as 'trans women'. Transgender people with a male gender orientation are 'trans men'.
'Shemales' is a term used nowadays, especially in the porn industry. Because of this, many transgender people reject it and see it as a pejorative term. As a rule, shemales are originally biological men who have male sex organs but a female appearance including female breasts.
Ladyboys and Kathoeys
'Ladyboy' is a term for transgender women and homosexual men with a very feminine appearance. The term is used almost exclusively for people from Asia, especially Thailand. A synonym for 'ladyboy' is the Thai word 'kathoey'.