hoaxer Kiira Triea's sockpuppet "Deni"

In 1998, Kiira Triea, aka Denise Tree, began dabbling in the sockpuppetry that would culminate in the hoax site. was a successful enough hoax to be published as legitimate in textbooks and peer-reviewed journals by gullible academics like Alice Dreger, J. Michael Bailey, and Simon LeVay who didn’t bother to do any independent confirmation. Denise Tree said things these “scholars” wanted to hear, and sadly, there’s really no consequence for this sort of substandard fact-checking these days.

Throughout the 1990s, prior to the development of web-based forums, USENET was a key information resource for trans people. One key USENET group was, which ultimately succumbed to netkooks and flame wars a few years ago.

On October 18, 1998, Kiira introduced the world to “Deni,” the first of many “transkid” sockpuppets she would go on to create. “Deni” claimed, “I work as a therapist w/ autistic children.” Deni’s story shifts over the years, just as all of Kiira’s stories do. Sometimes “Deni” had vaginoplasty in 1977:

I had SRS in 1977 at the Johns Hopkins Gender Identity Clinic. I had left home at age 15 and used estrogen on my own - and Hopkins thought that I was a year older at the time. [1]

Other times, “Deni” claims to have had vaginoplasty in February 1979 with Howard W. Jones when she was 17.

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. [2]

“Deni” is of course a friend of Kiira’s, as are all the sockpuppets Kiira enlists:

I have never met another TS from there but I have met one intersexed person who was there. [3]


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. [4]


I had the same surgeon as Kiira (and also the boy David Reimer who has been in the news lately). He sucks. [4]

Not content with limiting the use of “Deni” to make her own story more credible, Kiira incorporated aspects of the “Deni” persona for use in her own fabricated medical history, including presenting at Hopkins at age 14 and surgery at age 17 in 1977. Here’s Kiira feeding this line of B.S. to author John Colapinto (before she added the second “i” to her main pseudonym):

Kira Triea was assigned as a boy at age 2 and did not learn of her intersexuality until puberty, when she began to menstruate through her phallus. She was a patient of Dr. Money’s at the Johns Hopkins Psychohormonal Research Unit from age 14 to 17; this was in the mid-1970s, concurrent with John Theissen. They have never met, but Triea’s story bears striking parallels to his. [...] At 17 she agreed to undergo feminizing surgery to create female genitals, but when she became sexually active for the first time, at age 32, her erotic orientation was toward women. [5]

She even eventually claimed to be the same age as “Deni” (born in the 1960s). Kiira told several reporters she was born in either 1960 or 1964, but she was in fact born in 1951.

Kiira became fond of using the anonymizer as a trolling method of choice

- “Deni”
- “Arika Aeirt”

I’m sure once the truth all comes out, all these people who got paid to publish Denise Tree’s nonsense will fall all over themselves to explain that they are innocent victims in all this. Let me be the first to lay the blame at their feet. People like Laura Albert or Herman Rosenblat or James Frey or Kiira Triea can’t exist without gullible people who want to help them revel in victimhood and make themselves look magnanimous in the process. They will claim that they are victims, too, but let’s call them what they are: lazy, unprofessional chumps who didn’t bother to do the kind of basic vetting their professions require.


1. "Deni" anon-22628 (October 18, 1998). A hello.

2. "Deni" anon-22628 (January 17, 1999). "Being a Woman".

3. "Deni" anon-22628 (June 28, 1999). Reversing SRS? a message for Alan.

4. "Deni" anon-22628 (February 23, 2000). TS/IS Dynamics.

5. Colapinto, John (December 11, 1997). The True Story of John/Joan. Rolling Stone. pp. 54-97.


Posting history for

Further reading:

Denise Tree and the hoax