FTM stands for the female to male. Someone who describes themselves as FTM is likely someone who identifies as a man, specifically a transgender man, or trans man for short. A trans man may have been assigned female at birth but identifies as male.
Many trans men use he/him/his as their pronouns, though it is always best to ask someone’s pronouns or ask what they would like to be called, including their name which may be different from the name of their legal documents or name assigned at birth.
It is important to never assume if someone identifies as trans or if someone who identifies as trans and looks masculine-presenting is a trans man. A person may identify as trans but also be non-binary, bigender, or genderqueer.
Generally speaking, however, trans men identify as both transgender and male.
There is no exact age when someone may realize they are transgender or decide to transition. Many trans men have known since they were very young that they are trans and begin to transition as they get older.
Trans men likely felt out of place and uncomfortable with their gender assigned at birth and instead feel much more comfortable and at peace identifying as men.
Every trans man has their journey and background. Some may undergo surgery, such as surgery to remove female reproductive organs and breasts or bottom surgery to alter their genitalia. They may also utilize hormone replacement therapy to help raise male hormones, particularly testosterone.
Many trans men alter their appearances, such as dressing in masculine clothing and, if they have not had top surgery, wearing Chest Binders to minimize their breasts and create a flat chest. These changes may help to alleviate gender dysphoria.
Regardless of how a trans man looks, he is a male.
Ultimately, it is important to remember that trans men are men.
Trans men are real men; there is no such thing as fake men.
Always remember to never assume someone’s gender and ask questions, such as pronouns or names, if you are unsure how to address someone. Trans men may face stigma and discrimination due to being trans.
The best way to be an ally to trans men is to affirm their gender identity, use their correct pronouns and name, and encourage them to live their authentic selves.