Have You Noticed Any Difference Between Cis Gender Men and Women Regarding Their Acceptance of Your FTM Transition?

It’s been about 3 years since I started identifying as transgender, and I recently noticed a trend in the acceptance I’ve received from my cis gender friends:

  • Women seem more hesitant and awkward about my transition, and still cling to incorrect pronouns;
  • Men have been more outwardly accepting, and this has been expressed by some rather humorous (and sometimes alcohol-inspired) displays of brotherly affection.

It’s as if the women are hesitant to “let me go” while the men are happy to have me “in the club.” If asked about this pre-transition, I probably wouldn’t have expected this outcome.

What about you? Have you noticed any difference between cis gender men and women regarding their acceptance of your transition? If yes, why do you think this is the case? Please leave your comments below.

Note: While this question is aimed at trans guys, comments from trans women are welcome.

24 Comments

  • Ethan says:

    I have an amusing story myself on this. Long-to-short, the upstairs neighbours (when they were a couple) got me INCREDIBLY drunk and managed to get me into a kind of half-threesome. Well, I’m completely pre still, so, yeah. Since then the girl has been messing my pronouns up, though she remarked on how I am so definitely male in bed. The guy however, never, ever messes up. Even when he’s pissed. This is completely opposite to how I expected it.
    I dunnoh, I guess I just thought it’d be ‘Ugh you’re a girl forever blahblah..’ but in actual fact I seem to be welcomed much more by guys. It’s the girls that think it’s odd. I get the same thing at work (because I’ve been on the job for four years and only publicly male rather than butch for the last six months) – the blokes don’t give a damn, the girls think I’m crazy!

  • Jay says:

    I wasn’t especially close to girls when my physical transition began, and sometimes a set of girls from high school cross my path. I hate those days.

    They call me a girl, they use my former legal name, and they act like they are entitled because they “knew me before”. Uh they didn’t, and even if that was a reason to act that way that they verbally harassed my high school boyfriend two years after high school when word got to them of my transition they certainly nulled any “entitlement” they had to my identity.

    My guy pals are awesome, and save for my Russian friend nobody butchers pronouns.

    The only females in my life from “before” who are chill are my little sister (who really always knew of me as her older brother without the words being said) and my friend who is doing her masters in philosophy and gender studies.

  • I will have to agree with what Jay said about the high school girls and how they would feel “entitled” to call (in this case) me by my legal name. It is very annoying and sometimes nerve wrecking. A lot of my female friends from back in high school are like this. They can’t seem to wrap their head around it, even after going on and on about completely supporting me and my choice to fully transition.

    The guys on the other hand are very supportive. Even the guys from back in high school, that I almost never talk to are completely cool with it. There was this welcome back party for a high school friend of mine a few months ago, and I haven’t seen most of the people there for about 3-4 years (since I graduated). We have all friended each other on social networking sites of course and on my facebook I am changed everything to my chosen name and even changed my sex info on there. Every time I posted something, I refereed myself to a guy. At the party, without even vocally coming out to my old pals, all of the guys automatically called me by male pronouns, called me by my chosen name, and even let me in on guy talk and all that without me having to say anything! That made the party 10x more fun! The girls on the other hand was kind of… awkward. Back in high school, I actually told them I was going to transition…they knew about it from the start, but they had a hard time referring to me by male pronouns and my chosen name. It’s just very weird.

    I think though, because women have been a minority in our society, the fact that when a FTM comes out they do feel like they’re losing “one of them”. And guys, well, we don’t care! Bros for life, yeah?

  • John says:

    What I have discovered in my particular case is, age and often cultural/social cliques and education levels seem to have a lot to do with my being accepted. People under 30 seem to be very accepting and treat me no differently. Under 25 even more so. Relatively uneducated, blue collar people between the ages of 50 and 65, especially cis males tend to be relatively hostile. Purposely calling me “Little Lady” to see how I will react. In fact, in this particular grouping, there is only one cis male who is openly supportive. He has no idea how much that really means to me either…

  • Marc Smith says:

    I’ve noticed that most of the women in my life, seem to be at ease and are great about using the right pronouns etc. Most of the YOUNGER guys seems to be pretty excepting also. It’s the older men that have the issue…. I feel like they think I’m intruding on the “all boys club” Like I’m a spy or something.

    It really ticks me off because some of these guys are the ones I was hoping to get some wisdom from. What men should and should do, if they want to be gentleman and respected.

    I guess if they’re that uptight about it, I don’t want to be like them anyways. I mean, I really haven’t changed WHO I AM, just what I look like! Although I can say I’m happier and more comfortable in my own body.

  • Scott says:

    Ah, well, I’m still in high school, so there’ maybe one person I’ve come out to who actually uses the right pronouns, considers me male, et cetera. They all just think of me as a confused kid going through a stage, or some kind of lesbian bravado. Even though I’m a gay transman. But fuck ’em, I don’t really care. “What I must do, and not what people think concerns me,” right?

  • Danny says:

    I find all of my friends have been very accepting most of them all use correct pronouns. I have only female friends haha mainly because any male friends I made wanted more than friendship and I am not down with it. I guess I have maybe one that isn’t good with the pronouns but other than that they are all awesome! I especially love my girl for being the most supportive gf she can be. I put her through hell and back but she stands by me and I love her so much. She identifies as a lesbian with a bf and that is fine by me. We been together since I identified as butch lesbian so we have been through so much but she calls me by my male name and uses proper terms in regard to certain areas so it is amazing. I am lucky to have no friends who have blatantly disrespected me regarding my transition.

  • Saren says:

    I am non-op, but still genderqueer, and i live in Appalachia Kentucky. While i am generally accepted into doing male things and joining male conversation with little adversity, strangers who hear my voice immediately revert back to she and treat me extra lady like, as though they feel very bad they’d been calling me he and are overcompensating for it. I would complain but i got out of an issue with police due to it.

  • Alex says:

    I hadn’t really thought about this until I read this article, but now that I think about it, more men have been accepting of my transition. A lot simply don’t care, haven’t really thought of me as a girl before they found out, or other reasons. I had one male friend that was very against it, but otherwise, I’ve noticed female friends clinging to pronouns more while male friends have tried to change what they say.

  • Theodore says:

    To be honest the girls I’m friends with have been pretty supportive, but that’s partly due to how confrontational I was from the start when someone got it wrong deliberately.
    Regardless of how chivalrous and normal I was in the real world I didn’t think twice about making a girl cry if she wrong-pronouned me when I was at school…
    While the majority of my friends are men the majority of people that have hassled me have been other guys as well; equally I’ve had my friends stick up for me until the other guy backs down.

  • Ket says:

    Still completely pre.
    As far as teachers are concerned, male teachers have been more supportive than females. Actually when I talked about the pronouns to my female teacher she proceeded to emphasize SHE instead of using “he” or just calling by name.
    My male teachers have been very supportive and even offered that if I need to miss class for a doctor or something related that it wouldn’t be counted on my attendance.
    For friends, the two skeptics are the guys, ironically one is a gay male and the other is the one who was pushing me to come out and stop trying to force myself to live as is. He’s supportive to my face, but his girlfriend tells me that he talks to others that I’m just going through a phase, always refers to me as she, and just general condescending. She on the other had really tries to call me he, and has always shown support. Even finding research on things for me.
    I think the hard thing for the guys in my case is that while I am a guy, I also like men, that they can’t seem to wrap their head around. :/

  • Drew says:

    I have noticed more men have accepted my transition than women.All the men in my department at work do a great job with pronouns.There are 3-4 women at work that regularly screw up.Its annoying as hell.

  • MB says:

    My experience has been pretty similar. My straight guy friends enjoy having me as one of the guys. My gay guy friends and a lot of my women friends (of any orientation) were hesitant to believe it, like it was a phase they were waiting for me to come out of. That’s a generalization, though, because my best female friend was there for me when I was first coming out. By letting me be myself, she made me feel more like a boy than I did with anyone else.

  • Yevgeny says:

    I didn’t notice much difference between the reactions of males and females to my transitioning, but coming out to people since who have only known me as a guy, I tend to find the women ask a lot more questions but seem marginally more uptight. Some of the straight(ish) men look positively relieved, which always makes me smile because it suggests they fancy me and have been stressing over what this says about their sexuality. Once they know I’m a special case they stop stressing; not like they start to see me as a woman but just like they feel able to tell themselves all bets are off (while I’m thinking, ‘You’re bi and you know you are…’ Ha!). I find young people and old people are the most accepting, while middle-aged people have the biggest problems. I also find it’s the upper-working to middle-middle classes who have the biggest problems, while the poles of the class spectrum don’t tend to fuss so much, but the effect is marginal and there are a lot of exceptions. The reactions that surprised me the most, though, were those of my brother and sister. My brother had always been very aggressive towards me and I thought he’d be no different about me transitioning, but in fact it turned around our relationship, to the extent that I suspect part of the reason he had issues with me before was simply because he felt humiliated that his ‘sister’ was more adventurous than him – now I’m his brother he can relax. I was close to my sister though and thought she’d be supportive, but it took her ages to come round and for months we hardly spoke. We’re good friends again now, I’m glad to say.

  • Will says:

    I noticed a rather large difference in reactions between my male and female friends, and even random strangers. My male friends sort of figured it all along and were supportive– except my brother, who is sort of a bigot anyhow– whereas my female friends didn’t seem to “get it” or gave me the cold shoulder for a long time. One ex-friend even told me not to transition because I “wouldn’t be ME anymore”, she’d “miss me”, etc… it was terrible, and ended our friendship.

    I’ve also only ever had one male stranger get weird about me (post-T but just starting to pass), yet I’ve had several females gawk at me and make rude comments; the one guy who got weird didn’t even say anything, he just acted like I was some cool new toy to play with, which was very creepy (and illegal) but not overtly hostile. I find it sort of sad that the dude who pretty much publicly molested me was the least of my worries.

  • a says:

    It was never one way or the other when I was pre, both girls and guys were viscious, now that I pass completely, and work with all guys, they have no idea so when they talk about it, they openly say what they think which is always ignorant and judgemental, it takes a special type of friend or person to really accept you bc guys talk just as much shit about eachother as girls do, somtimes worse. So honestly both men and women are both equally unaccepting depending on their own beliefs whether or not they say it to your face, people tend to avoid uncomfotable confrontation

  • Cruz says:

    The women have always looked at me as a guy, but now the men do too. It’s cool because we always party together and once I stand in the next urinal with them they will not see me as a female from then on.

  • Fantasy says:

    Well, i say its half and half, there are just as many women and other guys who are accepting and non accepting, dont know about the rest of you guys, but i do think there are more women accepting than men. perhaps the other guys feel uncomfortable with us? but why call them cis guys? we are just as cis as they are, according to theory some of us could have a male mind due to the exposure of testosterone in the womb when we were infants, we are kinda cis guys too 🙂

  • Lane says:

    I hang out with cis-males almost exclusively as buddies. I don’t know many trans people I am that close to and I have struggled to feel as if cis-women are interested in this kind of friendship- they certainly aren’t occurring spontaneously! The lesbian circle of women thing has eternally eluded me, but after a convo with my therapist I decided that I didn’t fit there since I am not female I.D’ed and thus to me, not a lesbian. I am more of a straight guy- but don’t like orientations to define my sexual partnering up.

    My cis-male friends refer to me in male terms or call me by my name, and treat me accordingly in person; while many of them have known me as a female they seem to grasp who I am consistently now and go with it. My bud’s will still say things sometimes that just rip me, like referring to ‘real’ men etc…BUT they acknowledge the masculine me, speak to him, support him/me…if they weren’t there for me, that level of convo would never be safe enough to be occurring. I have conversations with them that are honest and fulfilling and they seem good at understand wanting to be a whole, not a part: for many bio & cis-men are reduced societally to sperm donors and wallets, not individuals with deep feelings and passions; this is a disservice. When I pass to an unknown male and he later realizes it, the effect has been much less of a big deal than when women do this. Men let it go more often, women tend to ‘overcorrect’ for the ‘mistake’, leaving ALL of us very uncomfortable.

    The cis female friends that I do have have been much slower in accepting me and validating through language/inclusion: they embrace being ‘ladies’ at restaurants (I loathe this heavily gendered ‘lumping-in’ term and others of it’s ilk tremendously), they continue to say SHE or HER and then follow it up with “oops- I’m just so used to knowing you as female”…and other painful to endure excuses. I always suggest neutral language if calling me Him or His is just too damned difficult;) It seems ok for them to think of me as a butch lesbian when I wear a shirt, tie and dress slacks, but not as a man- their love for the binary is strong!

    When and if I gripe later that a server called the female bodied? diners “ladies’ everyone thinks I’m a blowhard with a personal agenda; maybe, but why is it so difficult for servers to call people (How is…)Everyone, or (Are) You All (ready to order?) neutral terms. I do not feel it is polite to misapply gender to other people and get tired of this being the excuse: it’s polite language. To me it is offensive. Again, the pattern- male servers, clerks etc seem to go with it or let it go, female seem to need to push it. Strictly my own observations and experiences here 🙂

  • Cody says:

    I am trans and gay. I’ve noticed that my cisgender gay male(any age) and cisgender lesbian friends(my age or older) generally are less accepting of my transition than my cisgender friends of other orientations.

  • Ver says:

    I don’t really have that many friends, and most of the friends I do have live so far away that I see them about once a year. A male friend I have, the only friend who I see regularly and have come out to, thinks I’m insane, and doesn’t understand what I mean when I say that I identify as a man. It’s kind of frustrating. I’ve told two of my female friends online(the ones who live far away), and I haven’t gotten much of a reaction from one of them, and the other was very supportive. Although it is difficult to tell when you’re not talking face to face. I’m not sure whether they see me as male. On the other hand, my brother has been really accepting, and even though I don’t live as a man full-time, he doesn’t refer to me as “sister” anymore. He also did call me brother once, when we were by ourselves. I think that he’s afraid of making our parents mad by referring to me as male around them/someone else. My parents SAY that I have their support and all that stuff, but when it comes to transitioning, they definitely don’t support it. To be honest, they don’t take me seriously when it comes to my being a trans man. I haven’t told anyone else.

  • Mike says:

    In my personal experience, my cis female friends treat me better than my cis male friends. The guys are awkward to talk to sometimes – “let’s avoid this subject” – and tease me about stupid things. I can talk to my female friends about it, and they always have questions, and try to be more understanding. My family is a different story, but I won’t get into that lol.

  • Sebastian says:

    For me it has been split into two categories as far as the type of reactions I get. Gender and sexuality. Straight cis men have given me the best reactions. 9 times out of 10 their reaction if I tell them is “Oh that’s cool. Wanna get pizza?”. They could just care less and accept me immediately.

    Cis gay men are 50/50. The two most common reactions I get from them are either confusion and curiosity (confusion being really big there and the curiosity often being very sexually inappropriate and disingenuine) or they actually find it appealing (I’m gay, so this is mainly from a dating perspective).

    Bisexual cis men and women are usually very accepting, but sometimes ignorant. I’ve never enjoyed being called “the best of both worlds”, so the ones who say that bother me. Otherwise, they’ve been cool.

    Cis lesbian women are also 50/50 like gay men, but a bi more starkly contrasted. They are either completely supportive or they completely reject, seeing trans men as people who give butch lesbians a bad name.

    The worst for me have been cis staight women. Although I have many cis female friends, the reaction is almost ALWAYS the same (90% of the time). They always act super shocked and proceed to ask a million inappropriate questions about my body. It’s as though they seem to think that because they technically have the same physical biology as me, that gives them the right to ask me whatever they want with no context or permission at all. They ten to get incredibly overly excited about it as well, as though they feel like it’s some incredible revelation that is the most amazing and unbelievable thing in the universe. They are also the group with the highest rate of rejection I have experienced; sometimes acting uncomfortable and on occasion even untrusting, like I’m a pervert who might jump them if they turn their back, despite the fact that I’m openly gay. They are the ones who have the least tact and seem to make everything about how I’m trans after finding out, whereas the cis straight men that I have encountered don’t give a crap at all and it’s rarely even brought up again.

    Obviously this isn’t a blanket statement. There are plenty of people who don’t fit the mold. But on average this is what I’ve experienced.

  • François says:

    I do not understand how cis men can be more accepting. I am scared of them… I stay away from them. Only cis women accept me and understand me. My female friends are very nice. We got even closer after my coming out. But cis men… I am scared even to look at them and in streets I ran away from them as far as I can.
    In my case: cis women are nicer and more accepting. Cis men hate me… I had to suffer for 12 years at school of them… I had to fight to survive… And now I avoid them in all ways I can.

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