Although much research has been conducted on the embodied experience of tattoos across cultures and subcultures, there is little research which focuses directly on trans men with tattoos, and how these tattoos help shape their body image, masculinity, and identities. Therefore, the question this research aims to answer is: what role do tattoos play in the development and perception of masculinity, identity, and the self, for transgender men?
The most significant theme discovered through the author’s interviews was how tattoos are related to one’s trans identity. Other significant themes discovered include: tattoos as permanence; as therapeutic; as storytelling; as reclamation; and as visibility. The author explores tattoos in the lives of trans men, as intimately related to their trans identities, as well as to different aspect of their lives.