How to ftm masculine?
By the time I realized I was trans, it was 2003 and I was just out of college. 4 years prior, I'd left the conservative little town where I grew up and moved to the LGBT haven of Atlanta, GA. I was still close to my family, but I was also fully financially independent. For me, it felt like my life was finally my own. I could go where I wanted, do what I wanted and forget what anyone else thought about it.
In hindsight, it was the perfect time in my life for me to discover that I wanted to make a drastic change.
Don't get me wrong, I was still nervous about coming out. What if my family didn't accept me? (Some of them didn't.) What if my friends rejected me? (Some of them did.) What if I got fired from my new job? (I didn't, but it wasn't exactly a healthy work environment.)
Despite my worries, I knew that what I felt was the truth and I wasn't about to let any of my fears stop me. So I jumped and never looked back.
I honestly don't have any regrets about the way I transitioned. Yet, I also know that a lot of people's coming out processes are really different than mine. Right now, trans representation is at an all-time high. Of course, we still have a long way to go, but it's a lot easier to see what the possibilities are. YouTube and Instagram are teeming with other trans folks sharing their glorious stories.
Today, it's not uncommon for someone to discover their truth long before they leave home. Because of this, there are a lot of reasons why a person might know that they're trans but are unable to act on that truth. Perhaps you have unsupportive parents. Or maybe you're afraid that you'll be bullied at your school. Or perhaps you're just not ready to come out yet, plain and simple.
You should never let anyone else dictate your coming-out timeline. Coming out is your choice and your choice alone.
But that doesn't mean there aren't things you can do to make yourself feel better while you're in the closet. This is the first article in a series of articles inspired by @transmasculinehelp. These articles will cover a variety of topics for guys who just aren't ready to tell the world they're trans.
In this first article, we cover tips on how to shop if you want to shop from the men's section of the store, but can't. We hope it brings you some relief.
Just a quick note here that we are by no means saying that masculine-identified people have to dress in any particular way. We firmly believe that anyone can wear anything regardless of their gender identity. Your sartorial choices have nothing to do with your validity as a trans person. This article is meant to specifically help guys who want to dress in a way that society sees as more masculine but who can't shop at men's stores.
This might seem like a no brainer, but you'd be surprised. It actually took me a really long time to realize that I liked the way clothes looked on my body when they're a little boxier. I'd been out for many years and on T and still buying medium shirts. I hated the way I looked in my clothes and thought that it was just because I wasn't cis. In my head, my "trans body" made it so clothes didn't look how I thought they should look. In reality, I just should have been wearing larges instead of mediums.
I blame this partly on GQ Magazine.
Let me explain.
There was a time in the not so distant past when many cis men committed the "fashion crime" of wearing everything several sizes baggier than they should. As a reaction, men's fashion magazines implored readers to size down. This constant narrative led me to believe that tighter clothes were proper and fashionable. What I failed to realize is that there's a difference between wearing something that FITS loosely and wearing something that clearly doesn't fit.
Start by going one size up from what you normally wear. Your clothes should have good movement around your body. You shouldn't feel as though you're stumbling over excess fabric, but your clothing shouldn't hug you either. You're not being shot into outer space and you don't need to be cinched into your clothing.
Tighter clothes are generally read as more feminine and looser clothes will have the added benefit of hiding any curves you don't want the world to see.
Unless you are shopping for yoga gear, there's a good likelihood that you'll be able to find gender-neutral clothing and accessories at sporting good stores. Sometimes the colors will differ, but there is almost always black, grey or white available.
Basketball shorts are one such option. There is very little difference between those sold in the "women's" section and those sold in the "men's" section of the sporting good store. And these days it's perfectly acceptable to wear basketball shorts off the court. You don't even have to be a basketball player to rock them.
It should be noted that any shorts that hang past your knees will make you look shorter. This might not be ideal for shorter folks, but if your dysphoria is triggered more by tight short shorts than your height, then basketball shorts are your jam.
Joggers and Sweatpants can often be more gender-neutral as well. Also, unlike basketball shorts, you don't have to worry that wearing them will make you look shorter.
Athletic watches are another sporting good store item that is shared across the gender divide. My whole family actually wears the same model Fit Bit - mom, dad, sister, and I.
What is tartan you ask? Tartan is a pattern of crisscrossed horizontal and vertical bands in many colors. It's often incorrectly referred to as "plaid" in the US. Honestly, if you're more comfortable calling it "plaid," we're not going to judge you. But plaid is actually a large piece of tartan cloth - like the ones that kilts are made of.
Anyway, tartan shirts are generally easy to find on both sides of the shopping gender divide. This style of shirt had a fashion resurgence in the 1990s, that never really went away. The initial rise in popularity coincided with the burgeoning grunge music scene. But today, they're considered a fashion classic. This means that tartan shirts are almost always available.
In the fall and winter, you'll see tartan flannels pop up everywhere. And in the summer, lightweight cotton shirts with this pattern are hard to miss. The best part about tartan is that the striping can help hide your chest in a way that a solid shirt cannot. The pattern also makes the gendered differences in cut less noticeable.
Button-down shirts come in many different styles and color. They can also be found at thrift stores. For folks who are just discovering themselves and want to overhaul their image, thrift stores are a great option for guys on a budget. Like flannels, the center button line draws the eye and can hide any conspicuous lumps you might have underneath your shirt. Eyes naturally travel up and down the centerline of your body instead of focusing on your chest.
If you aren't binding yet, but still want to find ways to hide your chest, wearing layers is often the best way to get the job done. Unfortunately, this can mean wearing lots of clothes even when it's blazing outside.
Knowing this, you may want to fill your calendar with indoor activities in the summer: movies, bowling, hanging around the mall. In fact, these places often keep the AC blasting, and you'd be cold without the extra layer.
For layering that effectively hides your chest, hoodies, oversized sweatshirts, and jackets are obviously great for covering up. Hoodies and sweatshirts, in particular, tend to be the same no matter which section of the store you're shopping in. It should be noted that tight versions of any of these aren't going to do you any favors. Like we said go for one size up from what you normally wear.
A jean jacket is also a fantastic outerwear choice. People of all genders have been rocking these for decades and there are virtually zero differences between those marketed to men and those marketed to women.
When it comes to layers, the general rule is the more you wear, the better you can hide your chest.
The boyfriend trend started over a decade ago and thankfully for closeted transguys, it's still going strong. Specific clothing items may come and go within that trend, but "boyfriend underwear" is fairly mainstream these days. I recently saw Hanes selling this style of underwear at Target. It doesn't get more mainstream than that. These super-simple boyfriend briefs are also a good choice.
In addition to boyfriend underwear, these days it's not too difficult to find boyfriend jeans, boyfriend chinos, and boyfriend blazers.
As a transgender man, it can be difficult to figure out the best way to present yourself to the world. You want to look masculine, but you also don't want to stand out too much.
In this blog post, we will discuss 15 tips on how to look more masculine as a FTM (female-to-male) transgender person.
We'll cover everything from clothing and hairstyles to body language and attitude. So whether you're just starting your transition or you've been living as a man for years, these tips will help you look and feel your best in your own body!
Considering GAHT to look more masculine?
Trans guys can masculinize their bodies by undergoing GAHT, but there are other ways to look more masculine. You don’t need to transition or even be on hormones to make some changes in how you look. Of course, how masculine you want to look is entirely up to you!
Here are a few tips for how to look more masculine:
One of the easiest ways to look more masculine is to change the way you dress. Wearing typical "masculine clothing," such as a long sleeved shirt, jeans, and suits.
Avoid anything too flashy or feminine, like ruffles, floral patterns, or nail polish. And make sure your clothes fit well; baggy clothes can make you look larger and more masculine, while tight clothes can make you look smaller and more feminine.
The clothes you wear can also make a big difference in how masculine you appear. Avoid clothes that are typically seen as "feminine," like dresses, women's pants, skirts, and bright colors which can draw attention. Instead, opt for darker colors, clothing that is typically seen as more "masculine," like pants or jeans. Skinny jeans, muscle shirts, and baseball caps are good options too!
Another way to look more masculine is to stop wearing sports bras or tank tops. These articles of clothing are often what "women" wear, and by avoiding them you will automatically look more masculine.
If you're not comfortable going without a bra completely, try wearing a t-shirt or another type of shirt that covers your feminine features
Can also help you look more masculine. If you're worried about your chest, binding is an option (but be sure to do it safely). Chest binders can help appear like you have a flat chest and make it look more masculine. Hip binders can also help give the illusion of a narrower waist and make you look more masculine.
If you're interested in binding, or already have one and experience trouble breathing please be sure to do your research and find a binder that is safe for your body!
Is another great way to achieve a more masculine look. Packing refers to wearing prosthetic devices (usually made of soft material) in your front pocket to give the appearance of a bulge.
This can help make you look more like you have male genitalia, even if you don't yet have surgery.
If you're interested in learning how to make a DIY sock packer? Visit this cool YouTube Video. https://youtu.be/Y9Tmzlkv7c0
Your hairstyle can also make a big difference in how masculine you look. A masculine haircut is typically short, and cropped, while long hair is often seen as more feminine.
Trans guys who are not ready to cut your hair short, try styling it in a way that looks more masculine, such as slicked back or parted to the side. You can also use products like pomade or gel to give your hair a more structured look.
Try looking for a barber or hairstylist who has experience with gender affirming haircuts and who understands your style and how you want your hair to look.
Facial hair is another great way to look more masculine. If you can grow a beard, go for it! Otherwise, try a mustache or goatee.
For a trans man who can't grow much facial hair, there are products that can help, like beard oil or fake mustaches.
Your body language also says a lot about your gender identity. Men are often seen as more masculine when they take up more space with their bodies, so try to stand up straight and take up as much space as you can.
Avoid crossing your arms or legs, which can make you look closed off or insecure. And make sure your voice is deep and confident; speak slowly and clearly, without using a high-pitched voice.
For FTM guys who want to masculinize their voice, I suggest trying some vocal exercises or considering seeing a speech therapist to help you with pitch and resonance.
Your attitude is also important in how masculine you appear. Be assertive and confident in yourself; avoid being too shy or passive.
Be decisive and clear in what you want; don't hesitate or second-guess yourself. And don't be afraid to be a little aggressive; it's okay to get angry or argue with people, as long as you do it in a constructive way.
Your hobbies and interests can also affect how masculine you appear. "Masculine" hobbies include sports, cars, and working with your hands. "Feminine" hobbies include shopping, cooking, and sewing.
Of course, you can like both "masculine" and "feminine" things; there are no rules about what men and women are supposed to like. But if you want to look more masculine, focus on the "masculine" hobbies.
Physical activity is also often seen as more masculine. So try to get regular exercise and participate in sports or other physical activities. This will not only make you look more masculine, but it will also make you healthier and more fit.
Having more muscle mass can also help you achieve a more masculine shape. So if you're looking to add some muscle, and achieve broader shoulders then hit the gym and start lifting weights. You can also do bodyweight exercises like push-ups and pull-ups to build muscle without going to the gym.
Your body fat percentage can also affect how masculine you look. Men typically have less body fat than women, so if you want to look more masculine, try to lower your body fat percentage. You can do this by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
If you're interested in learning more about exercising, increasing testosterone and building muscle mass, be sure to check out our blog post on the Top 10 FTM Workouts That Will Increase Testosterone and Build Muscle
Another way to look more masculine is to use male pronouns when you refer to yourself.
If you're not out as transgender yet, you might not feel comfortable using male pronouns in public. But if you're around family, friends, or people who know you're transgender, using male pronouns can help you feel more comfortable in your own skin and make you look more masculine.
For many FTM transgender men, top surgery is a great way to masculinize their appearance. Top surgery is a gender affirming procedure that removes breast tissue and creates a more masculine chest.
Top surgery can also help treat gender dysphoria which can have a profound positive effect on your mental health and quality of life.
If you're considering top surgery, be sure to consult with a qualified surgeon who has experience performing this type of procedure on transgender patients.
Another way to look more masculine is to change your name to a more masculine
If you're considering top surgery, make sure to do your research and find a surgeon who has experience performing this type of surgery on transgender patients.
If you're interested in learning more about how to treat gender dysphoria be sure to check out our blog post on How do I treat gender dysphoria without transitioning?
Following these tips should help you look more masculine as a transgender man. Just remember that there is no one "right" way to look masculine; ultimately, you should do whatever makes you feel comfortable in your own skin.