FTM: Arriving, No Arrivals

FTM is an internet acronym that people use to identify themselves as someone who has transitioned, or is transitioning, from female to male, as well as someone who has transitioned, or is transitioning, into a first-time mom. FTM is an identity but it is also a hashtag: a sorting tool that creates a digital community, a grouping mechanism. When the #FemaleToMale and #FirstTimeMom tags collide, an accidental abbreviation of experience is turned into a digital community, and the hashtag becomes an intersection. The personal narratives we articulate below are meant to explore this intersection.

The Then and There of Transmasculine Pregnancy

The first epigraph above is taken from the climactic scene in Thomas Middleton’s play, More Dissemblers Besides Women (1614), in which a Page swoons and calls out for a midwife after rigorous dancing lessons. Cinquepace, the speaker, assumes a miracle, an upside-down world, a strange case, and that a woman must have impregnated the Page—all of which allow for the possibility a young man could be pregnant (5.2.224-29). The audience has more insight into this moment, however. In the first scene of the play, Lactantio recognizes the Page as a former lover in disguise, and the Page informs Lactantio they are “with child” (1.2.142). (Because the Page is given no names other than Page or Antonio in the play, I refer to them throughout this piece with they/them pronouns). Over the course of More Dissemblers Besides Women, the Page waits in vain for Lactantio to marry them, while the other characters perceive the Page as “sweet a breasted page as ever lay at his master’s feet in a truckle-bed” (1.4.100-3). Even after the Page goes into labor, Cinquepace is none the wiser and exits the stage “supporting the Page” (1069).

The Politics of Outing and AIDS Activism in the 1980s

  John A. Carranza // “Archibald Anson Gidde, a prominent San Francisco realtor and social leader, died Tuesday at his home in Sea Cliff after a bout with liver cancer. He was 42./Mr. Gidde was a witty and flamboyant figure who distinguished himself by spearheading some of the City’s most notable real estate transactions…/A member…

Outing Oliver Sipple: The Health Effects of Being Outed as a Gay Hero

John A. Carranza // Last month, Love, Simon the film adaptation of the young adult novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli was released. The movie has garnered recognition for being one of the first major motion pictures that addressed the experience of being a gay teenager struggling with his identity under…

Tales of the City as Primary Source: AIDS, Fiction, and History

John Carranza Contemporary understanding and empathizing with minority groups, such as the gay and lesbian community, requires historically grounded knowledge. For example, the AIDS epidemic became a defining moment in gay and lesbian history. The disease due to its complex and lethal nature, bewildered and stumped scientists, causing death to loom large over the gay…