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“Autogynephilia” activists and supporters

Since the creation of the diagnosis “autogynephilia” in 1989, few people have pushed for its use as a term.

Most experts and lay people criticize the diagnosis “autogynephilia” because it is not scientific and not value-neutral. It is a diagnosis of a mental illness, a psychosexual pathology. Using value-neutral words is a key to good science. Many critics have proposed value-neutral terms and frameworks for what “autogynephilia” attempts to describe.

Below are the groups of people who have actively pushed for the disease model “autogynephilia” despite its pathologizing and biased meaning.

Academic ideologues

The loudest advocates are an activist minority of anti-transgender academics closely connected to the disease’s creator, Ray Blanchard.

“Autogynephilic transsexuals” (AGPs) and gender critical trans people

People who use “autogynephilic transsexual” as a self-identity often consider themselves “men trapped in men’s bodies.” Many exhibit signs of neurodiversity: eccentric, socially isolated, fixated on collecting and categorizing.

Some conservative trans and gender diverse people who hold gender critical views have also supported the term.

“Homosexual transsexuals” (HSTS)

In the case of some “autogynephilia” activists who are transgender, they believe the diagnosis applies to others, but not to them. These activists often identify as “homosexual transsexuals,” the more socially desirable type in Blanchard’s two-type taxonomy. Many would be diagnosed as “autogynephilic” by Blanchard and supporters.

Related identities include:

  • Factitious intersex. Some self-diagnose as intersex
  • “True transsexuals” or “primary transsexuals.” Critics of this self-identity call them “truscum.”
  • “Harry Benjamin syndrome.” Some believe they have a birth defect they proposed naming after endocrinologist Harry Benjamin. This is not recognized as a formal diagnosis. Critics of this self-identity call them “HBSers.”
  • “Transkids.” Some claim they transitioned as minors and are primarily connected with the hoax website.

People in this group include:

The “ex-trans” movement

Ex-transgender people see “transgender” as a rigid binary instead of a spectrum. They once identified as transgender but now say they are not, and many agree with this taxonomy. Many are critical of transgender people, the media, or their healthcare providers, whom they often blame for their decision to transition:

  • Mark Angelo Cummings (born 1964) / Lynna Lopez 
  • Walt Heyer
  • Hacsi Horvath
  • Rene Jax
  • Joseph Muchlinski / Blinski
  • Joel Nowak
  • James Shupe

Trans-attracted people

Some trans-attracted people engaged in “autogynephilia” activism wish to distance their own attractions from trans women they consider “autogynephiles.” In some cases, it’s because they see “AGP” trans women as a threat to their “heterosexual” identity. They often brag about how “heterosexual” they are and how the “HSTS” trans women they desire are extremely feminine and only interested in masculine “heterosexual” partners like them. They are among the most obsessed with Blanchard’s taxonomy, because it’s so important to their own sexual identities.

Non-transitioning “autogynephiles”

Many people who have erotic or autoerotic interest in feminization do not plan to make a public or full-time gender transition. Most use fake names or are not out. Some identify as cisgender. Because they are not public about their identities, it’s difficult to generalize about this group, but they seem demographically connected to trans-attracted people and often seem to have a fixation with categorization common among those on the autism spectrum.

A few have self-identified as “autogynephilic” or promote the term:

  • David Barnsdale (UK)
  • “J.A. Brown”
  • James D. Conners
  • “Felix Conrad”
  • “Mark Taylor Saotome-Westlake” / Zack M. Davis
  • Jasper Gregory
  • “Phil Illy” / Phil Hutchinson
  • “Inspireverse
  • Michael McClure
  • “Max Morris”
  • “Naxela” / Nick Schappaugh
  • “Tailcalled” / Carl Dybdahl

People with their own definitions

In some cases, trans activists believe “autogynephilia” means something different than its clinical definition as a sex-fueled mental illness. According to its creator, it means “a man’s paraphilic tendency to be sexually aroused by the thought or image of himself as a woman.” Many who have created their own idiosyncratic definitions were involved in a banned Yahoo group and include:

Biased people