Skip to content

‘The Man Who Would Be Queen’: anti-transgender book

The Man Who Would Be Queen is a notoriously anti-transgender book by J. Michael Bailey.

In March 2003, Northwestern University psychologist J. Michael Bailey published The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism.

The Man Who Would Be Queen¬†was crafted and marketed in ways influenced by¬†academic racists¬†and others in the¬†neo-eugenics movement. Bailey uses scientific-sounding arguments to claim sexual minorities and people who display gender diversity are “evolutionary mistakes,” and he claims those who disagree with his ideas are liars.

Normally, a book this scientifically unsound and tainted with charges of academic misconduct, practicing without a license, fabricating data, and sex with a research subject would not even be dignified with a response by many involved, but The Man Who Would Be Queen somehow got published through the Joseph Henry Press, an imprint of the National Academies Press which specializes in science books for popular audiences.

Published commentaries on Bailey

A selection of comments from people concerned about this book and its message

J. Michael Bailey was Chair of the Psychology Department at Northwestern University until 2004. He stepped down in the wake of an investigation into charges of ethics violations surrounding his 2003 book The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism. Many see this book as the most defamatory book written about gender variance since Janice Raymond wrote The Transsexual Empire in 1979.

Below are some published peer reviews and commentaries about the quality of his “science.”

Selected published commentaries and coverage

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†Kinder, gentler homophobia¬†(by David Ehrenstein,¬†The Advocate)

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†Biological reductionism meets gender diversity in human sexuality¬†(by Walter O. Bockting,¬†Journal of Sex Research) and¬†commentary by Christine Burns

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†Ethical minefields: The sex that would be science¬†(by Julie M. Klein,¬†Seed Magazine)

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†Queer Science: An ‘elite’ cadre of scientists and journalists tries to turn back the clock on sex, gender and race (01-01-2004)¬†LINK:(by Heidi Beirich and Bob Moser,¬†Southern Poverty Law Center)

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†Book review¬†(by Pauline Park, Ph.D.¬†Gay Today)

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†Bailey on gay femininity¬†(by Paul Varnell,¬†Chicago Free Press)

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†Why are you a queen?¬†(by Paul Varnell,¬†Washington Blade)

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†Weird science¬†(by Kim McNabb,¬†Chicago Free Press)

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†Author is ripped for transsexual research¬†(by Robert Becker,¬†Chicago Tribune)

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†Dr. Sex¬†(by Robin Wilson,¬†Chronicle of Higher Education)

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†New gene theory rests on bad science¬†(by Vernon Rosario,¬†Gay & Lesbian Review)

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†Trans activists file charges against NU professor¬†(by Gary Barlow,¬†Chicago Free Press)

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†NU panel to investigate prof’s research tactics¬†(by Sheila Burt and Laurel Jorgensen ,¬†Daily Northwestern)

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†Bailey accused of having sex with research subject¬†(by Sheila Burt,¬†Daily Northwestern)

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†University examining Bailey’s sex research¬†(by Katie Walton,¬†Daily Northwestern)

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†University investigates ethics of sex researcher¬†(by Robert Stacy McCain,¬†Washington Times)

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†NIH director defends funds for criticized sex research¬†(by Robert Stacy McCain,¬†Washington Times)

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†Northwestern U. psychologist is accused of having sex with research subject¬†(by Robin Wilson,¬†Chronicle of Higher Education)

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†NU professor faces sexual allegations¬†(by Gary Barlow,¬†Chicago Free Press)

‚Äʬ†Letters re: Dr. Sex¬†(in¬†Chronicle of Higher Education) /info/dr-sex.html

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†Dr. Sex¬†(by Kate Gambreno,¬†Newcity Chicago)

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†Book review¬†(by Geoff Parkes)

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†Book review¬†(by Deirdre McCloskey,¬†Reason)

‚Äʬ†Een Mann gevangen in een mannenlichaam¬†(by Peter Vermey,¬†NRC,¬†excerpts translated by Arianne ven der Ven) /info/louis-gooren.html

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†Sex and Transsexuals¬†(by Dennis Rodkin,¬†Chicago Reader)

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†Transsexual Travesty¬†(by Deirdre McCloskey,¬†Chicago Reader)

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†The man who would write about queens¬†(Transgender Tapestry)

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†Tapestry review: The Man Who Would be Queen¬†(by Christine Beatty,¬†Transgender Tapestry)

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†Not a man, not the queen¬†(by Gwen Smith,¬†Bay Area Reporter)

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†Book review of¬†The Man Who Would Be Queen¬†(by Liza Mundy,¬†Washington Post)

‚Äʬ†Lost in the Male¬†(by John Derbyshire,¬†National Review)

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†Book review of¬†The Man Who Would Be Queen¬†(by A. Dean Byrd, Ph.D,¬†NARTH)

‚Äʬ†Transsexuals and the Law¬†(by Dan Seligman,¬†Forbes) /info/dan-seligman.html

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†Bailey’s Wick¬†(by Jamison Green,¬†Planet Out)

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†Autogynephilia: A Mistaken Model¬†(by Beth Orens)

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†To call a woman a queen¬†(by Alison Campbell,¬†Diverse City)

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†2 Transsexual Women Say Professor Didn’t Tell Them They Were Research Subjects¬†(by Robin Wilson,¬†Chronicle)

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†Transsexuals file complaints over book¬†(by Lindsey Tanner,¬†Associated Press)

‚Äʬ†Transsexuality treatise triggers furor¬†(by Constance Holden,¬†Science) /info/sciencenow.html

‚Äʬ†Transsexuals protest¬†(by Jon Marcus,¬†Times Higher Education Supplement) /info/bailey-protest.html

‚Äʬ†LINK:¬†Diagnosis as libel: A letter of warning to Bailey¬†(by Deirdre McCloskey,¬†U. of Illinois at Chicago)

Community response /info/bailey-commentary.html

The trans community has mobilized around this matter, with a wide variety of letters, published commentaries, petitions, etc.

Primary resources include an Investigation by Professor Lynn Conway

and the Clearinghouse on this site. /info/bailey-blanchard-lawrence.html\

This page has selective commentary from the trans community on J. Michael Bailey’s book on gender variance.

J. Michael Bailey is Chair of the Psychology Department at Northwestern University. In March 2003, he published a book called The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism. Many see this book as the most defamatory book written about gender variance since Janice Raymond wrote The Transsexual Empire in 1979.

‚Äʬ†(05-02-2003)¬†LINK:¬†Critique of¬†The Man Who Would Be Queen¬†(by Jed Bland)

‚Äʬ†(03-14-2004)¬†The Man Who Would Be Queen:¬†A response¬†(by Caillean McMahon, D.O.) /info/queen-response.html

‚Äʬ†(05-27-2003)¬†LINK:¬†Comments¬†(by Ben Barres, M.D., Ph.D. Stanford University)

‚Äʬ†(08-18-2003)¬†LINK:¬†The Aforementioned Ugly¬†(by S. Bear Bergman)

‚Äʬ†(06-27-2003)¬†LINK:¬†Essay from a young transitioner¬†(by Nell)

‚Äʬ†(08-17-2003)¬†Letter from Europe¬†(by Karla) /info/karla.html

‚Äʬ†(05-04-2003)¬†LINK:¬†Bailey’s “poster child for autogynephilia” in her own words¬†(by “Cher” aka Anjelica Kieltyka)

‚Äʬ†(06-06-2003)¬†Slavery through essentialism¬†(by Tati do Ceu) /info/bailey-slavery.html

‚Äʬ†(06-09-2003)¬†A Youth TS Perspective¬†(by Bonnie Jackson) /info/bailey-autogynephile.html

‚Äʬ†(06-09-2003)¬†Why Bailey’s book is offensive¬†(by Kelly Novak, M.S.) /info/bailey-transgender.html

‚Äʬ†(06-11-2003)¬†Direct effect: how Bailey personally made my life harder¬†(by women he’s hurt) /info/bailey-defamation.html

‚Äʬ†(06-12-2003)¬†LINK:¬†The Man Who Wouldn‚Äôt Leave Us Alone¬†(by Ryka)

‚Äʬ†(05-02-2003)¬†Northwestern U. Psychologist J. M. Bailey Debases Social Science In Quest For Celebrity¬†(by Sonia John). /info/bailey-psychology.html

‚Äʬ†(04-27-2003)¬†LINK:¬†The National Academy meets the National Enquirer¬†(by Rebecca Allison, M.D.)

‚Äʬ†(06-17-2003)¬†Bailey on institutional reading lists¬†(by Andrea James) /info/bailey-university.html

‚Äʬ†(06-16-2003)¬†My correspondence with Northwestern Student Affairs¬†(by Andrea James) /info/bailey-psychologist.html

‚Äʬ†(06-23-2003)¬†LINK:¬†Open letter to Northwestern Administration¬†(by Lynn Conway)

‚Äʬ†(06-18-2003)¬†LINK:¬†Transphobia for Dummies¬†(by Lynn Conway)

‚Äʬ†(06-19-2003)¬†Bailey’s sexism and analogies of race¬†(by Andrea James) /info/bailey-racism.html

‚Äʬ†(06-20-2003)¬†Mike Bailey and “homosexual transsexuals”¬†(by Andrea James) /info/bailey-homosexual.html

‚Äʬ†(06-21-2003)¬†A note regarding Bailey’s children¬†(by Andrea James) /info/bailey-children.html

‚Äʬ†(06-18-2003)¬†LINK:¬†Transphobia for Dummies¬†(by Lynn Conway)

‚Äʬ†(06-26-2003)¬†The Man Who Would Be A Scientist¬†(by Gwyneth Rhian Morgan) /info/bailey-scientist.html

‚Äʬ†(06-25-2003)¬†LINK:¬†Bailey ignores community criticism¬†(by Lynn Conway)

‚Äʬ†(06-25-2003)¬†LINK:¬†Review¬†(by Lisa Lees)

‚Äʬ†(06-21-2003)¬†LINK:¬†The Bailey Controversy, Trans Activism, and Prudery¬†(by Harper Jean)

‚Äʬ†(05-15-2003)¬†I’m Me, Therefore I Am¬†[PDF file- requires reader] (by Christine Burns)

‚Äʬ†(05-15-2003)¬†Not Quite So Incredibly Brave¬†[PDF file- requires reader] (by Christine Burns)

‚Äʬ†(05-24-2003)¬†When Sally Met Harry¬†[PDF file- requires reader] (by Christine Burns)

‚Äʬ†(04-14-2003)¬†My first response to Bailey’s book¬†(by Andrea James) /info/j-michael-bailey-blanchard.html

‚Äʬ†(04-15-2003)¬†Original introductory materials¬†(by Andrea James) /info/autogynephilic-intro.html

‚Äʬ†(04-24-2003)¬†My spin on Bailey¬†(by Helen) /info/bailey-transsexual.html

‚Äʬ†(04-23-2003)¬†Because I Am: A letter to J. Michael Bailey¬†(by Annette) /info/bailey-northwestern.html

‚Äʬ†(05-01-2003)¬†Book review of¬†The Man Who Would Be Queen¬†(by Christine Johnson) /info/bailey-autogynephilia.html

‚Äʬ†(05-06-2003)¬†“Political correctness”¬†(by Richard Green, M.D., J.D. and comment by Christine Burns) /info/bailey-richard-green.html

‚Äʬ†(05-14-2003)¬†Correspondence on Bailey’s book and Northwestern’s legal liability¬†(by Australian WOMAN Network) /info/bailey-lawsuit.html

‚Äʬ†(05-14-2003)¬†Letter to Bailey¬†(by Australian WOMAN Network) /info/bailey-transsexualism.html

‚Äʬ†(07-17-2003)¬†Brochure given to attendees at International Academy of Sex Research¬†(ed. by Andrea James) /bailey/index.html

‚Äʬ†(06-20-2003)¬†LINK:¬†Press release¬†(by National Transgender Advocacy Coalition)

‚Äʬ†(03-09-2004)¬†LINK:¬†Investigative report¬†(by Professor Lynn Conway)

‚Äʬ†(08-06-2003)¬†John Money vs. J. Michael Bailey¬†(intro by Andrea James) /info/bailey-john-money.html

‚Äʬ†(04-19-2003)¬†Divided we fall: the dangers of categorizing transsexual women¬†(by Evelyn, intro by Andrea James) /info/divided.html

‚Äʬ†(05-17-2003)¬†LINK:¬†Excerpts from other community responses¬†(by Rebecca Allison, M.D.)

‚Äʬ†(07-17-2003)¬†LINK:¬†Identity rape: psych exposed women without their consent¬†(via PsychWatch)

‚Äʬ†(08-07-2003)¬†Biology is destiny: new book drawing fire¬†(via GenderPAC) /info/bailey-genderpac.html

‚Äʬ†(09-13-2003)¬†HBIGDA President blasts Bailey book¬†(courtesy Eli Coleman) /info/eli-coleman.html

‚Äʬ†(09-30-2003)¬†LINK:¬†Book review¬†(via Logged Off)

‚Äʬ†(08-17-2003)¬†Gordon Walker review¬†(via GLIP Newsletter) /info/gordon-walker.html

‚Äʬ†(11-09-2003)¬†Bailey potpourri¬†(via contributors) /info/bailey-misc.html

‚Äʬ†(06-30-2003)¬†LINK:¬†Book review¬†(via

‚Äʬ†(07-01-2003)¬†LINK:¬†Book review¬†(by Christine Beatty)

‚Äʬ†(05-14-2003)¬†Overview of Bailey’s methodology and bias¬†(by Andrea James) /info/bailey-transgendered.html

‚Äʬ†(05-14-2003)¬†LINK:¬†It’s a guy thing¬†(by Julie Marie)¬†is a site with some controversial opinions from authors who identify as “homosexual transsexual.” This site suggests that any young person dealing with these feelings who is not exclusively attracted to males is not a “transkid.” The fact that they strongly endorse the views of¬†J. Michael Bailey¬†is also a cause for concern.

Commentaries on this collection of materials

‚Äʬ†(05-14-2003)¬†Anne Lawrence’s responses to critics /info/lawrence-autogynephilia.html

‚Äʬ†(05-28-2003)¬†LINK:¬†Book Launches Controversy Among Transsexual Women¬†(by¬†Debra Hyde)

‚Äʬ†(05-18-2003)¬†LINK:¬†…and the Cat Fight Gets Even Nastier¬†(by Jamie Faye Fenton)

‚Äʬ†(06-16-2003)¬†Kathleen Becker on “autogynephilia” /info/kathleen-becker.html

‚Äʬ†(05-18-2003)¬†Kendra Blewitt on “autogynephilia” /info/kendra-letter.html

‚Äʬ†(05-06-2003)¬†Willow Arune on “autogynephilia”¬†and¬†exchange with Dana Beyer, M.D. /info/dana-beyer-willow-arune.html /info/bailey-willow-arune.html

‚Äʬ†(01-19-2004)¬†Jamie Faye Fenton on “autogynephilia” /info/jamie-faye-fenton.html

‚Äʬ†(05-15-2003)¬†Selected letters and excerpts from readers /info/selected-letters.html