The Transman Mapping Project
I used to follow the Grateful Dead around North America. Good times! Whether you were on tour or between tours, there was a secret language of sayings and symbols that you could use to recognize other members of the Deadhead tribe:
- “Are you kind?”
- “Jerry loves you!”
- “Friend of Bill”
- Steal Your Face icons, dancing bears and skeletons
While I originally thought of the Dead as quasi-spiritual leaders of a minority counter culture, it became obvious over the years that Deadheads actually came from all walks of life, in all shapes and sizes, and in great numbers. (Admittedly, the queer quotient appeared to be low.) We weren’t just an insignificant band of colorful freaks—we were everywhere!
When I started transition, in my small community of 1200, I had very limited exposure to transmen. While I remembered seeing transwomen on talk shows as a teenager, I couldn’t recall seeing transmen in popular media (aside from tragic stories like Boys Don’t Cry), and concluded that we must be a rare breed indeed. In the time since then, I’ve realized that I couldn’t have been more wrong in that assumption.
The more I delve into the FTM community, the more I am able to judge the large scope of it. Just like Deadheads, transmen are everywhere!
To celebrate this, I’ve initiated The Transman Mapping Project. The idea is simple: just add your name or alias (it can be anonymous) and a marker to the map so that we can create a bird’s eye view of how transmen are spread out around the world.
If you’ve ever had that feeling of being alone in your transition, a quick look at the map will show you otherwise. We really are everywhere!