Very little is known about female-to-male transsexuals. Who are they? How do they come to know themselves as transsexual? What do they do about it? How do their families cope? Who loves them? What does it mean for the rest of us? "FTM: Female-to-Male Transsexuals in Society" answers these questions and more. It provides a detailed, compassionate, intimate and incisive portrait of the life experiences of 45 female-to-male transsexuals. Based on a series of in-depth interviews and years of field work and friendships with transsexual and transgendered people, Devor traces the everyday events and significant moments which coalesce in transsexual identities and culminate in gender and sex transformations. After an introduction which grounds the discussion in historical and theoretical contexts, the author takes a life course approach to understanding female-to-male transsexualism. Liberally using their own words as illustrations, Devor looks at how childhood, adolescent, and adult experiences with family members, peers, and lovers work to shape and clarify female-to-male transsexuals' images of themselves as people who should be men and males.
With passion and pathos transsexual men tell their stories about how they decided to, and proceed to, alter their lives and their bodies so that they could live fully as men. With humour and determination they disclose how they, and the people around them, adjusted to their radical transformations and the many lessons which they learned along the way about the mysteries of life on both sides of the great gender divide. Throughout and in conclusion, Devor's perceptive, erudite, and insightful analysis shows that, in the end, the biggest differences between female-to-male transsexuals and other members of society probably lie not so much in the nature of the identity-supporting processes through which they must pass, but in the anguish and consciousness with which they must negotiate them. "FTM: Female-to-Male Transsexuals in Society" is highly readable, emotionally engaging, intellectually rigorous, comprehensive, sharply analytic, and theoretically wide-ranging. It will be an invaluable resource for transsexual people and their loved ones. It will be a key reference work for professionals and for students.
Anyone who has ever wondered about gender, sex, and sexuality or who simply enjoys reading absorbing real-life drama will find "FTM: Female-to-Male Transsexuals in Society" to be both fascinating and challenging.