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Stephanie Alejandra Velasquez on"autogynephilia"

Stephanie Alejandra Velasquez is the nom de' plume of a poster on the "autogynephilia" support group. Like many on that tiny list, she used to post on USENET and on some of the online lists devoted to theory. She is a friend of Kiira Triea and like Triea has used many online aliases.

She wrote an online review of The Man Who Would Be Queen by J. Michael Bailey which was censored during the Amazon purge of negative book reviews in early 2004. A saved version appears below:

Some stuff wrong... but something important right

May 4, 2003

Reviewer: Stephanie Velasquez from USA

Trannyland is having a collective cow over Michael Bailey .

Ever since autophallometrics went out of style as a part of the evaluative process involving transsexuals there has been a kind of conceit at play that both acknowledged and simultaneously denied that there did exist two definite poles of biologically male people who would want to redefine their sex identity. The problem was, one of these groups, the ones Bailey calls homosexual transsexuals, were completely invisible, their lives and stories subsumed and appropriated by a social understanding in which we appear only theoretically in the "Transsexual Discourse". I have no complaint that I am being misrepresented by Michael Bailey as it is an improvement to having my life colonized and "disappeared" by autogynephilic transsexuals and the strange, to me at least, notion that the desire to change sex is all about deep internal feelings, passages and conundrums. Despite its flaws, his book is the only book on the subject that allows me to see some glimpse of my life as a teenaged trans-kid runaway.

In my opinion Michael Bailey gets it right when he writes that redefining sex identity is part of a process that makes sense in an overall social/sexual and in his view, possibly biological context, for obviously feminine androphilic transsexuals and that it is part of a dynamic that involves sexuality, rather than based on some deeply felt, but unshared, internal ideation that one is actually a "woman".

Where I feel he goes very wrong is in making sweeping generalizations about sexuality based on his contact with a very marginalized population. It is hard to get much further down the social ladder than being a Latina transsexual sex worker. Maybe it would be much better to save the observations about homosexual transsexuals being especially suited for prostitution until such time as we are able to allow children to grow into their lives with understanding and support, rather than requiring them to prostitute themselves in an all or nothing gambit to become complete.

Stephanie Alejandra Velasquez

Velasquez claims she was an "extreme" transkid. She seeks to cast herself as the outermost or ultimate type of gender-variant person, as a strategy to rob others of their subject position in what she likes to call the "Transsexual Discourse."

She and I would certainly agree that assimilated women who are not public about their transitions are grossly under-represented, and most of them would like to keep it that way at this time.

Velasquez seems to like the "autogynephilia" group because they affirm her belief that she is "more transsexual" than they are (or the "other pole" of this constructed "extreme").

Velasquez is kind of like those people who claim they are an extreme homosexual because they had sex a few years earlier than anyone else they know, and who claim they are more gay than people who came out later in life.

I have had the pleasure of meeting and corresponding with plenty of transkids and their supportive parents who are way more "extreme" than Velasquez, who has set age 14 as her personal de facto standard for "extremeness." Liminality of this sort is common among transwomen, who frequently use their own life trajectory as the yardstick of validity.

As time goes on, more children will have understanding parents like Just Evelyn. Governments will be more accommodating like The Netherlands. Oprah will have more 5- and 11-year old transkids on.

As more and more children and parents have access to information and resources at earlier and earlier life stages, the runaways, loners, and social outcasts like Velasquez will become increasingly rare. And that's a good thing. Most of these people don't play well with others and would prefer to heckle from the sidelines than to collaborate and look for common ground that will help everyone. The sooner our children don't grow up so damaged, the sooner society will no longer see us as an "extreme" type of anything.


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More options Oct 17 1998, 11:00 pm
From: (Deni)
Date: 1998/10/18
Subject: A hello

Hello, I would like to introduce myself and say hello to this newsgroup. I had SRS in 1977 at the Johns Hopkins Gender Identity Clinic. I hadleft home at age 15 and used estrogen on my own - and Hopkins thought that I was a year older at the time.

I was told for a while that i was the youngest person to undergo SRS but I am not at all sure how true that is.. the surgeon I had is quite old and doing IVF now and things were rather weird at the GIC.

I am hoping to find other people who were at Hopkins GIC before it closed in )I believe) 1979 ??? Or also other Ts people who had surgery w/ Dr. Jones .. or not (meaning at the PRU but not by Jones/Whalen/Momey). Or also peopele who had sureger at an early age (before 18).

I am curious and very alone, have been completely closeted sinces the 70's. I work as a therapist w/ autistic children.

I would also like to talk to other women who has surgery over 20 years ago.

thanks... Deni

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More options Oct 18 1998, 11:00 pm
From: (Deni)
Date: 1998/10/19
Subject: A hello

In article <> you wrote:

: It's a funny thing, you posting at this time. Some of my family members
: were just asking about the program that Johns Hopkins used to have. Do
: you know the reason they closed it down? I would be interested in
: hearing from those who are alumni of that particular program. I have
: one VERY skeptcal brother and a couple of cousins who seem to never want
: to let this be and are always trying to "cure" me.

It closed down because of internal politics at Hopkins. From what I remember of what I saw, SRS was dispensed almost purely on the basis of passability - this was great for me but not so great for the confused DQs and TVs who also had surgery and then discovered they could not orgasm any longer. I have learned all this since I was there. Once I got from them what I wanted I left and never went back. It was not a good place. Mark McHugh, the current head of psych there, accepted the job stating that it was his mission to shut down the GIC and put an end to sex change surgery.


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More options Jan 17 1999, 12:00 am
From: (Deni)
Date: 1999/01/17
Subject: "Being a Woman"

Emi Melissa Briet wrote:
> *sigh*

> Again with this...

> Ask GGs someday how much they like having to take 30 minutes on their
> appearance! Sure they may like the results, but I doubt very many like
> the fact that they feel they have to do so much to get the look.

Women do not _need_ to use makeup to proclaim their sex however, they
will be accepted as female with or without makeup.

> Would you say that a GG who decides not to specifically style her hair
> or decides one day not to put on make up has "flaws" in her
> presentation? Would you question that maybe she's FtM and doesn't
> know it?

Well her mother might complain - her friends might ask if she is depressed or admonish her to "fix herself up" and pay attention to her appearance. This is especially true of women who are attractive - they certainly do not need to use makeup or wear dresses to establish their sex identity but there is often social preasure for them to conform. This is a different dynamic than that facing _most_ m2f TSs.

>Obviously MtF's need at least a makeup job to hide a beard if it's not
>electro-removed, and FtM's with significant breast growth need to bind
>them, but other than that, should we really have to worry that much
>about our presentation? We're men and women, not streotypes of them!

So that's it? A little makeup for M2Fs, some breast binding for FtMs? It seems to me that you are contradicting yourself because if you:

>When I see myself in my mind, I am female. I self-identify as a
>woman. That is how I know I *am* a woman, despite the fact that my
>body is male.

then you would not need to hide your beard. I think it entails a great deal more than just the acquisition of female aspect - but that is a definite starting point if you have been socialized as a male and have a male body. For whatever reason, M2F TSs want female bodies and female social acceptance. You may see yourself as any number of identities in your mind but humans are social creatures and the way that other people see you is a part of your identity too.

I can't help but to perceive your assertion that you *are* a woman, despite your male body, as an expression of delusion or male privledge. If you go to a girl's bar will you be perceived as a butch lesbian, a man or a transsexual? It is a bit paradoxical but you would need to be _very_ feminine as an M2F to be accepted as a butch lesbian or lesbian at all. I consider acceptance by lesbians to be pretty much the acid test for "passing". :-)

I've only written here once or twice. I use a friends computer. Next month I am 20 years post-op. I had surgery at 17 at Hopkins GIC in 1977 and transitioned when I was 14 YO.


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More options Feb 15 1999, 12:00 am
From: (Deni)
Date: 1999/02/15
Subject: amazing...

In article <7a9r25$> you wrote:

: The "bitter and angry" people who run around this group didn't bother saying
: anything to Chaundra about being "careful" and "don't be too naive" or
: anything of that sort. I like to think of Chaundra as both an IQ test and a
: humanity test.

Humanity test? Now there's a paradoxical little phrase that speaks volumes. Did you ever stop to consider (it's also called "empathy" in this context) how people might feel who have been deceived into offering their sincere support? Will they be pleased to have gained membership in *your* club, to have passed your test? Or will they feel a bit more cautious next time around?

In my 24 years post-transition I've really never encountered the phenomenon of women constructing IQ tests for other women. Most women generally refrain from such arrogant and hierarchal behavior.


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More options May 11 1999, 11:00 pm
From: (Deni)
Date: 1999/05/12
Subject: SRS: the good *AND* the bad

This is a hard question to answer honestly but I think it is a good one to ask. I had surgery when I was very young at the GIC at Johns Hopkins, 1977, and they did a very poor job there.

Best things

1. No longer needed to worry about getting srs.
2. healed very quickly

Worst things

1. anorgasmic
2. appearance would not fool a blind celibate gay priest
a. no labia
b. no clitoris
c. no introitus (just looks like a hole in my perineum)
d. mostly scar tissue from urethral opening to opening of "vagina"
e. ugly scar from graft
3. no depth, 2" maybe, if I would try hard with a small dilator
4. many UTIs from unprotected urethral opening
5. Would not be able to have sex with men if I wanted


Despite these problems I feel I did the right thing by transitioning extremely young (and on my own). I could have waited 10 years for better surgical techniques perhaps but instead I bypassed male puberty and did not pay for surgery. I am in a weird position though because I "pass" perfectly but my genitals do not.


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More options Jun 27 1999, 11:00 pm
From: (Deni)
Date: 1999/06/28
Subject: Reversing SRS? a message for Alan
Reply to author | Forward | Print | Individual message | Show original | Report this message | Find messages by this author> you wrote:

: The original SOC required a period of RLT before HRT, and there are
: still places around (e.g., the Clarke and many European clinics) where
: that is still a requirement.

: Some therapists have required their clients to wear skirts all the
: time, to wear their nails long and wear nail polish, and even to wear
: breast forms--and not too long ago at that.

In 1977 when I had surgery at Hopkins GIC one was required to pass very very well and behave in very gender-appropriate fashion for a female. I worked as a waitress as I was very young - they fell all over themselves getting me to surgery because they wanted results. This also happened with some very passable people who really should not have opted for surgery though - they got all caught up in seeking approval and "making the grade" so to speak only to discover post-op that they were very unhappy and being a DQ or TV was not so fun anymore.

This is ancient history now I know but just a few years ago a very passable person came out to me (not knowing my history) and told me how her therapist asked her to try wearing dresses, makeup, etc. and urged her to quit her job working in a bicycle shop. This was in spite of the fact she looked just fine with no makeup and jeans and t-shirt and had been living on her own RLT for three years since age 18 before she went to get her letters. This therapist had also told her that "I am the only game in town, you have to go through me to get approval". So it's probably not a bed of roses for everyone even today even though from the accounts I read when I lurk here it sure seems to have improved.


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More options Feb 23 2000, 12:00 am
From: (Deni)
Date: 2000/02/23
Subject: TS/IS dynamics

Hi Julie,

I have posted here a very few times and I also know Kiira in real life. I went to a lecture she gave at a college in 1997 because I knew from her published writing that she was also at Hopkins (I had surgery at Hopkins when I was very young in 1977) and I had never met anyone else who was there.

First though I really want to say how honest and real your previous post, talking about surgical results and your girlfriend, seemed to me. I think that you hit the nail on the head. My surgical results are quite bad, but it is something that I CHOSE to do. Kiira doesn't tell the half of it, Hopkins is a terrible place, but I could have walked away and did not. I chose not to. I have the peace that comes from needing something, going after and paying a certain price and living with my choices. Kiira and the few other IS people I have met through her do not have that in their lives at all. From what I have learned, most of them were not asked anything AT ALL about what they wanted or needed.

Julie wrote:
:Karen A. wrote:

:> Also why would that *have* to be the case for intersexed infants
:> that are operated on (IO am not advocating that they are
:> operated on)?

I find it appalling that you would even ask such an insensitive question.

Look at it this way. I'm a surgeon and I don't like the way you look, or your genitals. I've decided that you should be a man and since it is 2019 and laws have been passed giving all surgeons UTTER and COMPLETE control over sexual anatomy, it's off to the OR for surgical re-reassignment as a male. You will be very pleased because phalloplasty is VERY effective now!

:> BTW, the adult TS's who went to certain doctors 30 years ago got
:> *exctly* that type of surgery...

: No, they didn't. I know a number of 30+ year post-ops and they
: had SRS that was much better than what those girls get.

I had the same surgeon as Kiira (and also the boy David Reimer who has been in the news lately). He sucks. But *I* walked into Hopkins and *I* TOLD THEM I wanted surgery. It doesn't matter whether my surgery is better or worse than Kiira's (it's better). What matters is that it is WHAT I WANTED. I determined at a really young age that I was a primary transsexual, wanted surgery desperately and DECIDED to do whatever was needed to accomplish my goals. I lied (about my age), broke the law (was a runaway, obtained hormones without a doctor) and got what I needed. Not only do I not regret it, I'm proud of it.

Karen A where did you get the idea that being a women means being a victim? Do you see girls and women in literature or on television acting like victims? Which women do you admire? Are they victims?


Alejandra Alvarado


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