by Julie Nagoshi

Typical 6am wake-up. Don’t want to get out of bed. Brush my teeth, carefully avoiding the mirror. Quickly bathe myself. Don’t want to touch or even look at my body.

Soap doesn’t feel good against my skin. Use a rag and clean everywhere. Everywhere, but not there. My breasts are foreign to me. Wish that they would go away. “I should take them off.” “Cut them off and sell them to someone else.” Why do I need these anyway? I don’t want them, I don’t need them, and I hate my clothes…These boobs are going to kill me, drop a dollar down my thong and you can touch them. Freak show, I’m not a hooker, circus act, he-she, guys just want one thing. I want one thing, high libido, “Man I need to get laid.” Testosterone injections, needles, pumped up, anger, release.

Women don’t feel sorry for me. To them, taking my breasts off is extreme, liberal, not right. Women are supposed to fight to keep them, to make them larger, to own them. They are lumps of fat to be worshiped and acquired. The “mine are not big enough syndrome.” “A” cup, not good enough, put silicone in my body and call it a day. The Barbie doll, Playboy, Marilyn Monroe ideal. Give me a needle and I could pop those things. The women who love me, the women who hate me. The person I want to become.

“Cover my body, strap my breasts down, and put something bulky in my jeans. Confident, strong, aggressive. Cocky, boy I love that word. I look good today.”

Out of the shower, quickly dry off. Shave my beard. Look at these whiskers! I would love a moustache. Shaving cream, forget my hairy legs, sleek, smooth, not today…rough, tough….

No slinky dresses for me. Pumps that make my feet hurt. No froufrou, frilly lingerie or dressing lightly on a summer’s day. Long pants and a shirt would be good. No bra for me. “I’ve got to push these suckers down.” Cloth wrapped around my chest, pulled tightly. Can’t see my breasts anymore.

I should pack today. Forget the sock, jock strap, kick me between the legs, long and strong, boy she is going to love me in bed. Artificial, cold, flinging around, is this supposed to be real? Cover my body, strap my breasts down, and put something bulky in my jeans. Confident, strong, aggressive. Cocky, boy I love that word. I look good today.

Surgery, create my rod? Not in this country, flying far, far away. Foreign land, put me under, something smells, burnt skin, cutting open, won’t be peeing anytime soon. I feel that…Is it over?

Who am I?


My name is Julie Nagoshi and I am currently a PhD student at Arizona State University. My current research focuses on LGBT issues and topics. More specifically, I am working on the comparison of gender roles, gender identity, and sexual orientation. I have interviewed over twenty gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender, and transsexual individuals and I have asked them about their thoughts on gender roles, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

I want to be able to talk about the area of human sexuality without creating porn. At the same time, I would like to break the “hetero-normative spell” that this country is under. Hetero-normative can be defined as the privileged life that a heterosexual leads in society due to the fact that he or she does not question his or her gender role as masculine or feminine, his or her gender identity as only male or female, or his or her heterosexual orientation.

This entry focuses on the journey that a Female to Male (FTM) Transsexual may take. From my experiences, I have walked away with certain feelings and thoughts that have stayed in my mind. This entry is reconstructed from the informal talks I have had with many transsexuals, but not being transsexual myself, I can only try to understand what it is like to make this journey. This writing is not intended to capture all transsexual’s beliefs and feelings regarding their journey from FTM. I am not trying to make broad generalizations, but am merely trying to capture my experience of what they have gone through. As I try to capture their experiences, I also realize that this may only capture a portion of what each person has told me, merely bits and pieces of their whole selves.

Some of the transsexuals that I talked to provided feedback for my entry. Some of these comments included, "Not raw enough", "don’t hold back", "elaborate more", "use more short descriptive words", "use more puns", "don’t talk about the surgery/talk about the surgery", "use more sensory elements such as touch and taste", "be more rhythmic." Some of the people that I know have agreed to contribute to [sic] magazine in the future. I am their stepping stone and I hope that they will take this opportunity to share their stories in the future.

My next entry will explore the experiences of a Male to Female Transsexual, MTF.


8 thoughts on “FTM”

  1. You hit the nail on the head. That is exactly how I feel. I’m a FTM and I’m disgusted with my body. I’m broke and can’t get hormones let alone surgery.

  2. Twenty is a small sample size. And when you try to take the experiences of such a small number of people and extrapolate some larger truths about groups of people… well, there are strange distortions, right?

    I am confused as to why it is necessary for trans people to speak through a non-trans person. We are capable of expressing ourselves. We are capable of journaling our dysphoric, intimate moments and putting them online. If you’re an academic, study us and don’t pretend to be us. You haven’t explained what this project is for, except really to satisfy your own fascination.

    Why don’t you put your own pain and difficulty online? Wouldn’t that be infinitely less exploitative and infinitely more interesting? Cut your own guts open.

  3. @Theo

    In my personal experience, Ms. Nagoshi is a woman of intelligence, integrity and genuine compassion. She has worked hard at understanding The Trans and rather than dismiss her efforts as exploitative I would offer that it’s important to encourage thoughtful and compassionate efforts on the part of cisgender allies to alleviate the stigmatization and “exotic othering” that has confronted the trans community to date.

    I know her well. She has a good heart – there’s no guile in her.

    She should be acknowledged for making the effort, not harshly criticized. Give her the chance to learn and grow. I think I know her well enough to know that, in the fullness of time, she won’t disappoint you.

    Full disclosure – I’m MTF

  4. I could tell you weren’t legitimately male or trans from just reading that, it was strange and artificial. Thanks for trying to make the world a better place, but writing weird insincere stuff like this doesn’t cut it.

    I can’t stress more highly how awkward the piece you’ve written is, and how it doesn’t reflect reality. I found it incredibly uncomfortable and hard-work reading.

    Maybe try some different angle rather than trying to hash all these interviews and suggestions together?

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