Many LGBT people, especially transgender people struggle with finding community and people that share similar experiences. Surveys estimate that only about 4.5% of the population of the U.S. is LGBT, with that number being as low as 2.7% in North Dakota. The number of transgender people is even lower, although statistics vary greatly, most studies agree that about 0.3%-0.6% of the population self identifies as transgender. Depending on where you live, this can make finding a sense of community very difficult.
Studies suggest a sense of community and belonging decreases risk of suicide, has a positive correlation with mental health, and increases success with overcoming addiction. Other trans people can offer you advice, give you info on local resources, and may even be willing to give you a hand in a time of need.
Many people don’t live in or around a big enough city to have a physical trans community. Online communities are a great way to still connect with others, they are also a great way to maintain anonymity while being yourself and experimenting if you are not out.
- Reddit. Reddit is easily taking our first spot for online communities. All’s you need to sign up is an email, a username of your choosing, and a password, there is no other identifying information. The trans community here is rather large and has a good spread of ages, background, and location although the number of trans women seems to greatly outnumber the number of trans men. Make sure if you are under 18 that you have safe mode turned on however because Reddit does allow adult content. You can see our subreddit r/FtMResourceCenter here. Our menu has links to other subreddits all geared towards LGBT or trans people and hopefully you will find community in at least one of them.
- Facebook. The social media giant does offer some great pages and groups for LGBT people usually run by LGBT people. However, Facebook severely lacks any sense of anonymity, as they strongly filter any profile that may be fake forcing you to use your real identity. If you are living out and proud then Facebook can be a great way to find trans people in your area, but if you are not then you will probably have to skip this one.
- TransQueer Nation. A lesser known social networking sight for all manor of trans identified people and their allies, TQ Nation is a community that has a very large proportion of FtM users. You have to apply in order to start using the site, but you are very unlikely to be denied if you are trans. However, since its launch in 2007 it has only gained about 12,000 international users. They also have a Facebook page under the name TQ Nation.
- Beef Heads. The Beefhead’s website offers a place for FtM’s who are into fitness to get together. At the time of writing this their website was under maintenance, but their Facebook page is still up and running along with their Instagram. Beefhead’s Fitness is a part of Point 5cc, a transgender clothing and apparel company run by Aydian Dowling, the first Trans Man to get on the cover of Men’s Health. (Also you should totally check out Aydian’s YouTube channel which is full of helpful videos).
- Trans Mentors. If you are a trans man who feels they could use a mentor or a trans man into their transition who would like to be a mentor than you might consider joining Trans Mentors. They offer a chance to find someone in your area (and yes they are international) and either get help or provide it. They mainly operate through Facebook groups, with a group for FtM people, MtF people, and a main page. However, their use of Facebook does once again force you to use your real identity, so if you are not out then this is a difficult resource to use.
- TransPulse Forums. Forums may seem a little bit old fashion, but TransPulse makes it worth giving them a go. They offer a suicide prevention live chat, as well as a database of doctors, and online resources. Their forums really are something I would recommend checking out, especially if you are in need of support dealing with addiction, self harm, eating disorders, past sexual assault, or transphobic violence. This is the link to their FtM specific forums.
- Susan’s Place. It seems most trans people have ended up on Susan’s website at one point or another. While it may look a little iffy at first Susan’s is completely legit, it is run by a trans woman mostly on donations, and while it may seem rather MtF centric, it is very welcoming to FtM people as well. Susan’s is also a forum based website, but they do have a discord chat. Their website also offers a host of other resources and links to all sorts of stories and news.
Online Community for Minors
While most of the places above are welcoming to minors, most also allow content that is not safe for minors, or are not easily accessible to minors who may be in an unsafe environment. Here are a few websites that are much more suited for minors as they both offer safe search functions and their userbase is mostly made up of minors.
- TrevorSpace. TrevorSpace is an affirming international community for LGBTQ young people ages 13-24. It is run by possibly one of the best known LGBT suicide prevention programs out there: The Trevor Project. The community here is extremely friendly and this is by far the first place I would recommend to any LGBT youth to find friends and community no matter what background you are from or what you are going through. (You can also find the Trevor Project and the services they provide here).
- Tumblr. We do not recommend tumblr. Yes, it is a website who’s userbase is largely made up of LGBT teenagers and a very large percentage of them identify as transgender, but the community is very toxic. There is a lot of drama, a lot of rude adults, and technically it is designated for people who are 18+. The anonymity that the website provides combined with the type of people it attracts makes it a cess pool of cyberbullying.
If you have found community in other online places or feel we left someplace out let us know in the comments below!