Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 449–461 | Cite as

Coming Out for a Third Time: Transmen, Sexual Orientation, and Identity

Original Paper


Female-to-male (FTM) transgender persons are often assumed to have been lesbian in sexual orientation prior to transition and to have maintained a primary attraction for women after transition. However, limited research and anecdotal information from clinicians who work with FTM have indicated that many identify as gay men post-transition. This article described the results of a qualitative study that employed interviews with 17 FTM in order to understand their experience of transition and sexual orientation. Of the 17 participants, seven identified as lesbian prior to transition, three as heterosexual, and seven as bisexual or queer. After transition, 10 identified as gay men and the remaining seven identified as bisexual or queer. Four patterns of sexual behavior emerged from the data and were described and discussed. These patterns were named steadfast, aligned, shifted, and fluid. These findings bring additional options to the belief that there are two distinct types of transgender: a homosexual subtype and a nonhomosexual subtype.


Transgender Gender identity Sexual orientation Gay community 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Nursing and Health ProfessionsUniversity of San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.San FranciscoUSA
  3. 3.School of NursingUniversity of California, San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA

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