Transgender men

Transgender (‘trans’) is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity and expression do not conform to norms and expectations traditionally associated with their sex assigned at birth. Transgender men, or transmen, are people who were assigned ‘female’ at birth and have a male gender identity and/or masculine gender expression. Transgender people may self-identify and express their gender in a variety of ways and often prefer certain terms and not others. Some who transition from female to male do not identify as transgender at all, but simply as men. In general, transmen should be referred to with male pronouns. However, if you are unsure it is best to respectfully ask a person what terms and pronouns they prefer. Accurate information about the diversity of transmen’s bodies is not widely available. Transmen have different types of bodies, depending on their use of testosterone and gender confirmation surgeries (which may include chest reconstruction, hysterectomy, metoidioplasty, phalloplasty, etc.; see www.ftmguide.org for further information). Transmen use a broad range of terms and language to identify their sex/gender, describe their body parts, and disclose their trans status to others. For instance, some transmen are not comfortable with the terms ‘vagina’ and ‘vaginal sex’ and may prefer ‘front hole’ and ‘front sex’ or ‘front hole sex’, although this is not true for all transmen. This diversity creates unique needs and barriers for negotiating and adhering to safer sex practices that are not addressed by current HIV prevention programs.

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