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Dallas Denny and transgender people

Dallas Denny (born August 18, 1949) is an American author, counselor, and transgender rights activist known for publishing and archiving community resources. Denny is one of the most important transgender figures of the 1990s.


Denny was born on August 18, 1949 in Asheville, North Carolina. Denny earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Middle Tennessee State University in 1974 and a master’s degree from University of Tennessee-Knoxville in 1977. Denny also did postgraduate work at East Tennessee State University, Georgia State University, and Vanderbilt University.

Denny worked for the State of Tennessee from 1979 to 1990 as a caseworker and analyst. From 1990 to 2008 Denny worked as a behavior analyst for the DeKalb Community Service Board.

Transgender activism

In 1990 Denny founded AEGIS (American Educational Gender Information Service), later renamed Gender Education & Advocacy. Denny also founded the print journal Chrysalis Quarterly. In 1993 Denny founded the National Transgender Library & Archive.

In the 1990s Denny continued the work of the Erickson Educational Foundation, helped found Atlanta’s transgender Southern Comfort Conference, and directed Fantasia Fair. From 1999 to 2008 Denny was editor of Transgender Tapestry, published by the International Foundation for Gender Education.

Books include:

  • Gender Dysphoria: A Guide to Research (1994)
  • Current Concepts in Transgender Identity (1998)

Honors include:

  • IFGE’s Trinity Virginia Prince Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Real Life Experience’s Transgender Pioneer Award

Letter to National Academies (2003)

Denny sent the following letter to the National Academies regarding J. Michael Bailey’s transphobic book The Man Who Would Be Queen. Denny got the same form letter from Suzanne Woolsey as everyone else.

25 June, 2003

Bruce Alberts, President, the National Academy of Sciences
Harvey V. Fineberg, President, the Institute of Medicine

The National Academies
2101 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington DC 20418

Dear Dr. Alberts and Dr. Fineberg:

I am writing in regard to a recent publication under the National Academies of Sciences imprimatur, namely Michael Bailey’s The Man Who Would be Queen. As you know, Bailey’s book is deliberately provocative and is considered highly offensive by many who have read it. I count myself in this growing number.

Also as you know, Bailey is claiming he is advancing a science-based argument in his deliberately objectional depictions of gay men and transsexuals. However, there is no science in his book, merely sweeping generalizations and grand statements which are not backed up by data or even citations for publications which might contain such data.

Controversial books often serve to advance science, but only when they use carefully considered arguments and present data to convince the reasoned reader of the validity of the author’s arguments. Darwin did this. Thomas Kuhn did this. Even popular works such as the late Stephen Jay Gould’s The Mismeasure of Man discuss actual research and interpret the findings. The Jerry Springer approach used by Bailey informs no one; it serves merely to further polarize an already-polarized issue.

My question to you is: why has the esteemed National Academies of Sciences lent its credibility and dignity to such a discreditable and undignified work as The Man Who Would Be Queen? In this age of reality TV and junk journalism, are you deliberately tarnishing your heretofore respected image– or was someone asleep at the wheel?

Thank you.
Dallas Denny, M.A., Licensed Psychological Examiner (Ret.)


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