Roberta Angela Dee and transgender people

Roberta Angela Dee (October 31, 1950-March 13, 2003) was an American author and transgender rights activist. A longtime critic of sexologists Ray Blanchard and Anne Lawrence for their promotion of the disease “autogynephilia,” Dee was the journalist who broke the story of Lawrence’s unconsented genital examination of an unconscious Ethiopian patient during a surgical procedure. The incident led to Lawrence’s resignation as an anesthesiologist.

Background

Dee was born in Brooklyn, New York, grew up in Long Island, and lived in Atlanta before becoming a resident of Augusta, Georgia. She had a journalism degree. Her writing was published widely, and she was founder of the Women on the Net (WON) website, an early online resource for women of color. Her work includes:

  • novels for Reluctant Press
    • Roberta Dee: TS Girlfriend
    • Roberta & Ren
    • Sasha
    • Roberta, a Lesbian Transsexual
    • The Business of Being a Woman
  • erotica for The Gay Café Library
  • columns for print periodical The Transvestian
  • columns for Roberta Angela Dee’s Haven on The Transgender Guide

Lawrence exposé (2002)

On October 10, 2002, Dee published the following post to soc.support.transgendered. It included the November 20, 1997 letter concluding the Washington State investigation and the 2-page Activity Report summarizing the case. While Dee says the patient was a minor, the documentation does not support that assumption. The patient was anesthetized by Lawrence prior to a hysterectomy, and the surgeon told Lawrence that the patient’s genitals appeared that way due to aging.

File on Anne A. Lawrence, M.D.

Dear Members:

I am in receipt of the document from the State of Washington, Department of Health, concerning the allegations that Anne A. Lawrence, MD, had, inappropriately examined a female minor.  Of the 10 page document provided to me, I have reproduced the most pertinent three pages as text.

Appendix G indicates that Anne Lawrence plea bargained in order to avoid a complete investigation. This, in my humble opinion, is not indicative of someone who is innocent.

If a charge of sexual impropriety had been directed at me, I would seek a thorough investigation to clear my name and remove any suspicion. Why would an innocent person do any less?

Lawrence, at one point, had two attorneys defending her. I doubt that the little girl’s parents could afford the ensuing legal battle. Consequently, Lawrence is cleared by default.

Each of us, I’m sure, will reach his or her own conclusions. However, I must say that the activities do not sit well with me.  I’ve seen this kind of thing before. A dirty doctor walks away unscathed but an innocent child, though not physically harmed, is emotionally scarred for life.

With Kind Regards,

Roberta Angela Dee

PS   If anyone suspects that I might have doctored the document or that I omitted any pertinent information, the address is provided and you may request a copy of the original document.

STATE OF WASHINGTON
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
1300 SE Quince Street  ·  P.O. Box 47866  ·  Olympia, WA 98504-7866

Full Lawrence file (2003)

Following Dee’s exposé, I requested the full file from the state to confirm her transcription independently. Dee’s version was not redacted and included some material that was removed in the version I received upon request in 2003. Among the notable changes:

05-22-97 Call from Lee Norman. Lawrence resigned. Reason threat of adverse action. She plea bargained to stave off investigation. Unauthorized exam of pateint. [… redacted* …] The patient was not harmed. Question of moral turpitude.

* Dee’s version said the edited line about Lawrence said: “Respondent has been having bizarre behavior for a while.”

References

Dee, Roberta Angela (October 10, 2002). File on Anne A. Lawrence, M.D. soc.support.transgendered [via Google Groups archive]

Dee, Roberta Angela. The Myth of Autogynephilia. The Transgender Guide. http://www.tgguide.com/question/rad/autogynephilia.html

Roberts, Monica (February 8, 2007). Roberta Angela Dee. Transgriot. https://transgriot.blogspot.com/2007/02/roberta-angela-dee.html

Roberts, Monica (March 13, 2013). Happy Birthday, Roberta Angela Dee. Transgriot. https://transgriot.blogspot.com/2013/03/happy-birthday-roberta-angela-dee.html

Resources

The Transgender Guide (tgguide.com)

WON: Women on the Net (members.aol.com/aawon1)