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Fair comment, foul play

Fair comment, foul play: Populist responses to J. Michael Bailey’s exploitative “controversies”

Andrea James

PDF version of this paper

Video of my presentation via YouTube

Part of the panel “The Bailey brouhaha: Community members speak out on resisting transphobia and sexism in academia and beyond”

Joelle Ruby Ryan, moderator

National Women’s Studies Association conference
Cincinnati, Ohio
June 21, 2008

As is frequently the case in discussions that are conducted with a great show of emotion, the down-to-earth interests of certain groups, whose excitement is entirely concerned with factual matters and who therefore try to distort the facts, become quickly and inextricably involved with the untrammeled inspirations of intellectuals who, on the contrary, are not in the least interested in facts but treat them merely as a springboard for “ideas.”

Hannah Arendt,
Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil



The “controversy” about J. Michael Bailey’s book is a marketing ploy by academic opportunists whose careers involve exploiting oppressed minorities. Bailey claims his book’s third section on transsexual taxonomy triggered the response, but he had published that material years earlier as “Transsexualism: Women trapped in men’s bodies or men who would be women?” (Bailey 2000). His eventual title echoes that: The Man Who Would Be Queen (Bailey2003a).

Nobody went after Bailey when his work was first published. I myself sent a critical but civil note in May 2000 (James 2000). No one went after Bailey’s “sex science” colleagues for their “science” on trans women in previous decades. While those writings epitomize institutionalized transphobia (such as labeling trans women attracted to men “homosexual transsexuals” (Bagemihl 1997)), the authors generally remain academically responsible. Their true colors appear when popularizing their ideas, such as Ray Blanchard’s interview claiming a transsexual woman is merely “a man without a penis” (Armstrong 2004).

The populist response to Bailey’s book in 2003 happened because

  1. it was fraudulently marketed as science by the National Academies of Science
  2. it became a cure narrative about gender-variant children

Why the populist response?

National Academies member Lynn Conway helped coordinate the populist response, titling her work “An investigation into the publication of J. Michael Bailey’s book on transsexualism by the National Academies” (Conway 2003). It wasn’t about Bailey’s third section, or Bailey’s ideas, or Bailey himself. It was about how this salacious bigotry got published by the National Academies of Science. It expanded because National Academies employees Stephen Mautner and Barbara Kline Pope never answered that question. Mautner even defended it as a “responsible work” (Mautner 2003).

Let’s examine Mautner’s outrageous claim. Let’s say your academic field comprises a pervasive stereotype about an oppressed minority; let’s say greediness in Jewish people. You and your colleagues have access to Jews through state-run programs which compel them to submit to your experiments. Historical examples abound, like the Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male (Heller 1972), or Robert Ritter’s work classifying the two types of “gypsies” for the Nazis (Willems 1997). For trans people the historical example is Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (formerly the Clarke Institute), the source of much of the “science” Bailey alludes to in his book.

Via state-funded experiments, your colleagues assert all Jews exhibit one of two types of greed: innate greed, or greed driven by fantasies of wealth and power. You write a book about it, including memorable anecdotes about greedy Jews you’ve met at pawn shops and brothels. You frame your book with a Jewish child you saw cured through therapy. You devise a test to tell the two types of greedy Jews apart. You claim a hallmark of Jewish greed is denial, so any greedy Jew who objects to your taxonomy “proves” its validity. You quote eccentric Jewish people validated by your attention, who agree “most greedy Jews lie.”

Stephen Mautner at the National Academies of Science arranges a secret “peer review” and you’re set. You title it The Jew in Jewelry: The Science of Judaism. Mautner’s team creates a cover depicting a hook-nosed figure clutching a wad of money. Barbara Kline Pope sends out press releases and puts the book online, and you get tenure.

While that kind of foul play was certainly outrageous, what radicalized me was Bailey’s new framing device exploiting trans children (James 2003b). He compared his own children as the benchmark of normalcy (p. 52, p. 69). He also used his own children as evidence of his own normalcy: he calls himself a “single heterosexual man” (p. 141). He even dedicated his book to his children (p. v) and later trotted them out as evidence in the press (Wilson 2003).


Reparative therapy of gender-variant youth

Bailey’s book is first and foremost a cure narrative framed by the story of “Danny Ryan,” a pseudonymous child displaying “gender nonconformity.” Bailey writes of Danny’s mother, who has been frustrated by other therapists she has consulted about her son’s “feminine” behavior: “In spring of 1996 Leslie Ryan came to my Northwestern University office to seek yet another opinion” (p. 16).

Bailey describes the “curing” of “Danny Ryan” after he explains to Danny’s mother about reparative therapy developed by his Toronto cronies (p. 3, p. 214). Bailey warns that a world tolerant of feminine boys might “come with the cost of more transsexual adults” (p. 30), noting Ken Zucker thinks reparative therapy helps “reduce this risk” (p. 30). Bailey claims that Zucker considers transsexualism a “bad outcome” for children like Danny (p. 31). Zucker’s reparative therapy involves taking away anything “feminine” from the child  (p. 31). Bailey notes, “learning more about the origins of transsexualism will not get us much closer to curing it” (p. 207).

Danny’s “curing” is complete when Bailey runs into Danny on the last page of the book: “This was not a girl in boy’s clothing” (p. 214). Bailey’s last paragraph claims Danny asks to use the men’s room. Bailey observes, “I am certain that as he said that, he emphasized ‘men’s’ and looked my way” (p. 214).

Clinicians compare Zucker’s efforts to “reparative therapy for homosexuals” (Pickstone-Taylor 2003), noting that reparative therapy “seeks to reverse sexual orientation or gender identification” (Dean 2000) [emphasis mine]. Zucker claims his “therapeutic intervention” is OK – he only cures “gender identity disorder,” not homosexuality. Zucker’s “problematic and harsh” (Lostracco 2008) reparative therapy is detailed in a 2008 NPR report: Zucker ordered a mother to take away her child’s “feminine” toys and ordered the child not to play with or even draw pictures of girls (Spiegel 2008).

The populist response to Zucker’s reparative therapy has been largely driven by the internet, the most significant advance for trans people that will happen in my lifetime. Our collected wisdom, once an oral tradition of drag mothers and pageant culture, a mish-mash of mimeographed pamphlets and clippings, mail-order newsletters, and answering machine recordings now has a permanent online home. Parents who once fought alone (Evelyn 1998) share alternatives to reparative therapy and refer families to supportive providers. Families are stepping forward as the public faces of gender-variant youth (TYFA 2008), organizing support groups and publicizing alternatives to Zucker’s reparative therapy (Brill 2008). We are in the midst of a paradigm shift as progressive providers really listen to the voice of the people and consider the true welfare of trans children.

Academia as a tool of trans oppression

Our populist uprising targets high-end academic research, which has become a corrupt, bloated money grab with almost no consequence if employees generate grant money and publicity. Bailey and colleagues like Alice Dreger exploit master narratives (Dreger 2008), consensus statements (ISNA 2006), college texts (LeVay 2003), and selective peer review (Mautner 2003) to reinforce their views and dismiss differing views, especially from their objects of study. They turned the Archives of Sexual Behavior into the house organ and bully pulpit for knowledge produced by Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. They’ve also developed a highly effective strategy of using personal validation to exploit vulnerable individuals in oppressed communities. Following his exploitation of Anjelica Kieltyka (p. xii), Bailey continued with validation-craving eccentrics like Anne Lawrence (p. xii), Maxine Petersen (p. xii), and Alice Dreger (Dreger 2008), and in turn Dreger exploited Cheryl Chase (ISNA 2006) and Anjelica Kieltyka again (Dreger 2008). This tactic strengthens their credentialist positions as outsider experts, a feedback cycle of reciprocal validation from these grateful individuals.

“Trolling” is internet slang for baiting people into a response. Online trolling is a highly developed subculture; academia and mainstream media have forms of trolling. Anne Coulter and Michael Moore turned trolling into entertainment. Trolls get money and publicity, and Bailey is a professional academic troll. His trolling template was the 1994 best-seller The Bell Curve, the “science” of racial differences in intelligence (Herrnstein 1994). Janice Raymond’s transphobic troll The Transsexual Empire (Raymond 1979) epitomizes an unanswered troll that took decades to undo. Academic trolls can’t lose. No response implies approval; any objection (however mild) becomes evidence they’re right.

In 2003, Bailey called a mild rebuke from biologist Joan Roughgarden (Roughgarden 2003)  “insulting and scathing” and characterized it as a “screed” (Bailey 2003b). By framing my non-academic response as a counter-troll, I deliberately shifted the “extreme” edge of the debate, moving formerly “radical” views to the moderate position. I have no interest whatsoever in having a “scientific” or “civil” debate about this book; that’s one way academic trolls try to control the debate. Academics tend to be very thin-skinned and self-important, so they’re easy to troll. The key to good trolling is getting them to do what you want while thinking it was their idea. Bailey and I are public figures, so pretty much anything said about us is fair comment. I wanted to echo Bailey’s disrespect, to bring consequence to his actions, since no academic consequence could be expected. I made it very clear this was the tipping point: a defining moment in our history (James 2004).

Populist uprisings always use new media to great effect. The means of production and distribution of knowledge are no longer controlled by elites. Lynn Conway’s online investigation (Conway 2003) and my clearinghouse (James 2003a) had hundreds of contributors submitting thousands of items. In 2003 and 2004, it was everything we could do just to catalogue it all. The incident united the trans community as never before; a historically significant event (Surkan 2007). Academics attempting a feeble backlash against the Bailey backlash (Dreger 2008) are simply on the wrong side of history.

Reproduction and eugenics

Freudian psychology is being supplanted by a “bio-psych merge” (Ordover 2003). Sociobiology, behavior genetics, and evolutionary psychology all try to graft science onto social constructions, like “social Darwinism” and eugenics before them.

In Bailey’s evolutionary psychology, “homosexuality might be the most striking unresolved paradox of human evolution.” Because he believes “the number of healthy offspring one leaves is perhaps the best indicator of evolutionary success” (p. 116), Bailey frames his book within this essentialist discourse, where homosexuality is “maladaptive” (p. 116) in terms of evolution. Most people see “race science” as hopelessly biased pseudoscience, but most don’t see similarities between “sex science” and “race science” yet. In fact, many LGBT people have faith that their political salvation lies in “sex science” (Ordover 2003). Being labeled distinct, disordered, and diseased may rescue them from the “sin” and “lifestyle choice” arguments, but at what cost?

This controversy boils down to reproduction, specifically natural selection. Essentially (in every sense of that word), the controversy is about the eugenic ideology of the “unfit.” “Gender identity disorder” and “disorders of sex development” are eugenic heterosexism. Bailey thinks homosexuality may represent a “developmental error” (Bailey 1999). Blanchard thinks “nonhomosexual” transsexualism is a paraphilic “defect in a man’s sexual learning” (Blanchard 1991), echoing his mentor Freund’s “courtship disorders” (Freund 1983). The order to which eugenicists ascribe asserts that the purpose or function of life is to make more life, or more specifically, “better” life.

Conservatives hate the populist phrase “it takes a village to raise a child.” It takes a family to raise a child, they counter. Zucker blames childhood gender identity disorder on poor family dynamics and “maternal psychopathology” (Zucker 2002). Bailey, Lawrence, and Dreger obliquely assert their worth or fitness is evidenced by being breeding organisms. Bailey talks about screening for and aborting gay fetuses as a “parental right” (Greenberg 2001), hinting that the next wave of eugenics will occur in utero. The “parental rights” movement can be better thought of as distributed eugenics. One way to stop distributed eugenics is through populism, by helping regular people understand that individual choices affect the whole population and vice versa.


Bailey’s book is a self-aggrandizing exercise in identity politics, where he’s a heroic scientist who is “curing” gender-variant children and speaking “scientific truth” despite “hysterical” activists whose “identity politics” and “narcissistic” rage drive their efforts to “ruin” him (Bailey 2003c). Bailey outlines transsexuals’ “common lies and deceptiveness” (p. 232) and explains away those who take issue with his claims as inept (p. 176), mentally disordered (Dreier 2003), or lying (Krasny 2007).

But that’s not the real story. Essentially, Bailey’s book argues that he is a “single heterosexual man” (p. 141). He throws around the phrase “gay, straight, or lying” (p. 96, p. 133) because he hates sexologist John Money’s book Gay, Straight, and In-Between (Money 1990). By replacing “in-between” with “lying,” Bailey erases his bisexual and trans critics and extols his “open and honest” supporters of the “male essence” narrative. (Wyndzen 2008). Yet Bailey isn’t open and honest about his own sexual interests: “Everything that I’m willing to say about my personal life, I’ve already said” (Krasny 2007). For more on this hypocrisy, see my essay “Gay, Straight, or Bailey” (James 2003c).  Bailey is only attracted to “homosexual transsexuals” who are “naturally feminine” (p. 168): “If a gay man wants to attract straight men, he should imitate a woman” (p. 138). Blanchard appeals to Bailey because transfans like Bailey “are not gay but are more like ‘scrambled up heterosexual men’” (p. 187). Blanchard’s taxonomy (and thus Bailey’s book) also affirms Anne Lawrence’s self-identity as a “real” transsexual (Lawrence 1998) rather than a non-transsexual under other taxonomies (Lawrence 2001). Bailey, Blanchard, and Lawrence are locked a feedback loop of personal and professional validation with like-minded supporters.

In my opinion, Bailey’s fraud extends beyond marketing this “controversy” as science. Bailey’s “Ryan” family is too perfect, embodying every element needed for Bailey to refute opponents, all in one convenient family. “Danny Ryan” would be an adult now, so I imagine a disinterested party will soon independently determine if “Danny” exists.

Bailey’s “controversy” was countered by a populist response that exposed his indefensible actions. He unwittingly started an unstoppable populist movement which still amazes me daily. It evokes a passage from Maya Angelou (Angelou 1978) that I first read in Les Feinberg’s Transgender Warriors (Feinberg 1996):

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.


Parenthetical page numbers in the article refer to Bailey’s The Man Who Would Be Queen and are quoted in Appendix 1.

Angelou, Maya (1978). Still I Rise. And Still I Rise. Random House.

Arendt, Hannah (1963). Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. Reprint 1992, Penguin Classics.

Armstrong, Jane (2004). The body within: The body without. The Globe and Mail, June 12.

Toronto psychologist Ray Blanchard, one of Canada’s leading — and most controversial — gender experts, argues the transgendered movement is rife with delusion. “This is not waving a magic wand and a man becomes a woman and vice versa,” he says. “It’s something that has to be taken very seriously. A man without a penis has certain disadvantages in this world, and this is in reality what you’re creating.”

Bagemihl, Bruce (1997). Surrogate phonology and transsexual faggotry: A linguistic analogy for uncoupling sexual orientation from gender identity. In Queerly Phrased: Language, Gender, and Sexuality. Anna Livia, Kira Hall (eds.) pp. 380 ff. Oxford University Press.

A particularly revealing example of the heterosexist and generally biased reasoning of medical professionals can be found in the language used to categorize and pathologize transsexuality. Clinical studies and definitions have traditionally employed a confusing terminology in which, for example, a female-to-male transsexual who is attracted to women is labeled a “homosexual transsexual,” while a female-to-male transsexual who is attracted to men is labeled a “heterosexual transsexual.” In other words, the point of reference for “heterosexual” or “homosexual” orientation in this nomenclature is solely the individual’s genetic sex prior to reassignment (see for example, Blanchard et al. 1987, Coleman and Bockting, 1988, Blanchard, 1989). These labels thereby ignore the individual’s personal sense of gender identity taking precedence over biological sex, rather than the other way around. With this clinical terminology, people can be conveniently described as “escaping” a stigmatized homosexual identity when they become involved with members of the opposite sex following reassignment (erroneously assumed to be “the norm”). The myth of the heterosexual imperative and the primacy of biology is thereby reasserted and rebuttressed, while the transgressive status of all transsexuals is trivialized.

Bailey, J. Michael (1999). Commentary: Homosexuality and mental illness, Archives of General Psychiatry, October, vol. 56, no. 10, 876-880.

Bailey, J. Michael (2000). Transsexualism: Women trapped in men’s bodies or men who would be women?*/

Bailey, J. Michael (2003a). The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism. National Academies/Joseph Henry Press.

See Appendix 1 for cited quotations.

Bailey, J. Michael (2003b). Book controversy question & answer.

Bailey, J. Michael (2003c). Identity politics as a hindrance to scientific truth.  Paper presented at International Academy of Sex Research conference, July 19.

Blanchard, Ray (1991). Clinical observations and systematic studies of autogynephilia. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 17(4), 235-251.

Brill, Stephanie and Rachel Pepper (2008). The Transgender Child. Cleis Press.

Conway, Lynn (2003). An investigation into the publication of J. Michael Bailey’s book on transsexualism by the National Academies.

Dean, Laura, et al. (2000). Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender health: Findings and concerns. Journal of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, 2000.

Dreger, Alice (2008). The controversy surrounding The Man Who Would Be Queen: A case history of the politics of science, identity, and sex in the internet age. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 37:3, pp. 366-421.

Dreier, Sarah and Kevin Anderson (2003). Prof’s book challenges opinions of human sexuality. Daily Northwestern, April 21.

“A lot of people think there is something weird about (being an autogynepheliac) and it is a narcissistic blow,” Bailey said. “I am very sympathetic to transsexuals. I like these people, except for the people who hate me — they scare me. […] I am not rejecting the claims (of transsexuals) for no reason,” he said. “There is good scientific research that says you should believe me and not them.”

Evelyn, Just (1998). Mom, I need to be a girl. Walter Trook Publishing.

Feinberg, Leslie (1996). Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to Dennis Rodman. Beacon Press.

Freund, Kurt, et al. (1983). The courtship disorders. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 12:369-79.

Greenberg, Aaron, and J. Michael Bailey (2001). Parental selection of children’s sexual orientation. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Aug;30(4):423-37; discussion 439-41.

Heller, Jean (1972). “Syphilis Victims in the U.S. Study Went Untreated for 40 Years” (Associated Press), New York Times, July 26, 1972: 1, 8.

Herrnstein, Richard, and Charles Murray (1994). The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life. Free Press.

Hill, Darryl B., et al. (2006). Gender Identity Disorders in Childhood and Adolescence: A Critical Inquiry.  pp. 7-34. In Dan Karasic and Jack Drescher (Eds.) Sexual and Gender Diagnoses of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM): A Reevaluation. Haworth Press.

Zucker and Bradley believe that reparative treatments (encouraging the child to accept their natal sex and associated gender) can be therapeutic for several reasons. They believe that treatment can reduce social ostracism by helping gender non-conforming children mix more readily with same sex peers and prevent long-term psychopathological development (1.e., it is easier to change a child than a society intolerant of gender diversity). Reparative therapy is believed to reduce the chances of adult GID (i.e., transsexualism) which Zucker and Bradley characterize as undesirable. Thus, “nipping” gender disorder “in the bud” holds a promise of an easier life for the child in adulthood, something that resonates with some parents.

Intersex Society of North America (2006). Consortium on Disorders of Sex Development.

James, Andrea (2000). Internet article on transsexualism. Personal email to J. Michael Bailey, May 3.

James, Andrea (2003a). Categorically wrong? A Bailey-Blanchard-Lawrence clearinghouse. Transsexual Road Map.

James, Andrea (2003b). Need your number. Personal email to Anne Lawrence, April 18.

When criticized for a deliberately offensive satire including Bailey’s kids, I replied, “It’s how he’s treating my kids.”

James Andrea (2003c). Gay, straight, or Bailey: J. Michael Bailey’s very personal crusade against bisexuality. Transsexual Road Map.

James, Andrea (2004). A defining moment in our history: Examining disease models of gender variance. Transsexual Road Map. Reprinted in Transgender Tapestry issue 110, 2006.

Krasny, Stuart (2007). “Transgender Theories.” Forum with host Michael Krasny, KQED  22 August.

Bailey: “I… Not only does ‘Danny’ exist, but I am… I have several informants who keep me apprised of his development, and now he’s a happy, out gay man, as I predicted in the book. And I would say that both the critics in the studio there, either have not read my book, or they are lying about it.

Bailey: You know, I don’t see how this campaign of defamation requires me to open up my entire personal life to everybody, so—

Bailey: Everything that I’m willing to say about my personal life I’ve already said, and you should probably be asking Alice Dreger”

Lawrence, Anne (1998). “Men trapped in men’s bodies:” An introduction to the concept of autogynephilia.

Among transsexuals, autogynephilia is not quite respectable as a topic for discussion. For one thing, many transsexuals have a passionate dislike for the Clarke Institute, and tend to dismiss out of hand any findings that have come from it. Therefore Blanchard’s ideas are not often talked about; and when they are raised, they tend to get shouted down. Shame is undoubtedly another deterrent. It is probably just too threatening for many transsexuals to admit that they have had autogynephilic fantasies, and especially to admit that autogynephilic sexual desire may have been one of their motivations for seeking sex reassignment surgery. People are understandably reluctant to admit to having a paraphilia — more popularly known as a perversion. Most transsexual women want to be seen as a “real women,” and it is widely understood that paraphilic arousal is almost exclusively confined to men. Transsexuals who admit to autogynephilic arousal may not be seen as “real women” — and may not even be seen as “real” transsexuals!

Lawrence, Anne, and Sember R (2001). Not to cure: A conversation about health, gender and sexuality. Journal of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, Volume 5, Number 1, March 2001, pp. 27-29(3).

“When I deliberately reach for a sexually exciting image, I often think back to myself as a gender dysphoric adolescent, and the most sexually exciting thing I can imagine is the possibility of transforming my body at that young age.”

[author’s comment: That doesn’t sound like Blanchard’s “misdirected heterosexuality,” it sounds like redirected pedophilia.]

LeVay, Simon, and Sharon Valente (2003). Human Sexuality. Sinauer Associates.

Lostracco, Marc (2008). But for today I am a boy. Torontoist, May 9.

Mautner, Stephen (2003). [Untitled open letter], June 24.

The Joseph Henry Press (JHP), publisher of Bailey’s book, is an imprint of the National Academies Press engaged in publishing books on science, engineering, and medicine for popular audiences. JHP books are individually authored works, each carrying a notice that the opinions expressed are solely the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Academies. JHP follows clear decision rules for selecting books for publication and for scientific review of manuscripts. The work in question was reviewed as a well-crafted and responsible work on a difficult topic, reflecting one approach to a legitimate avenue of scholarship and research.

Money, John (1990). Gay, Straight and In-Between: The Sexology of Erotic Orientation. Oxford University Press.

Ordover, Nancy (2003). American Eugenics: Race, Queer Anatomy, and the Science of Nationalism. University of Minnesota Press.

Pickstone-Taylor, S.D. (2003). Children with gender nonconformity. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 42, 266.

Raymond, Janice (1979, reprint 1994). The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male. Teachers College, Columbia University, New York; Editions du Seuil, Paris.

Roughgarden, Joan (2003). Psychology lecture lacks sensitivity to sexual orientation. The Stanford Daily, April 25.

Bailey was introduced as “controversial,” someone whose work has important implications for law, medicine and social policy and as a successful teacher whose courses feature “Transsexuals stripping after class.” (First big laugh.) The initial photographs included a male-bodied child wearing her mother’s shoes, when the second round of laughter erupted. A female-bodied child was then shown in male clothes and quoted as saying she “wanted a penis,” again producing laughter. In another example, an older child in a clinical setting was given the choice of toys and chose a doll and a wig. She was quoted as saying, “I hate my hair,” greatly amusing the audience.

Roughgarden, Joan (2004). The Bailey affair: Psychology perverted.

Spiegel, Alix (2008). Two families grapple with sons’ gender preferences. All Things Considered, NPR, May 7.

Surkan, K (2007). Transsexuals Protest Academic Exploitation. In Lillian Faderman, Yolanda Retter, Horacio Roque Ramírez, eds. ”Great Events From History: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Events, 1848-2006.” pages 111-114.
Salem Press

TransYouth Family Allies [TYFA] (2008). Education through understanding: A guide for supporting transyouth and their families.

Willems, Wim (1997) [Don Bloch translation]. In Search of the True Gypsy: From Enlightenment to Final Solution. Routledge. See chapter 5, Robert Ritter (1901-51): eugenist and criminological biologist, pp. 196 ff, and Annex 5 and 6 summarizing Ritter’s work in defining “gypsies” into two types.

Wilson, Robin (2003). ‘Dr. Sex.’ Chronicles of Higher Education. June 20, 2003.

Wyndzen, Madeline H. (2008). A social psychology of a history of a snippet in the psychology of transgenderism. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 37:3, pp. 498-502.

Zucker, Kenneth J. et al. (2002). Gender-dysphoric children and adolescents: A comparative analysis of demographic characteristics and behavioral problems. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Vol. 7, No. 3, 398-411.

Appendix 1: Cited passages from The Man Who Would Be Queen

v       For Drew/Kate
         [author comment: Bailey renders his children’s names as if dedicating this to one (trans) person who uses both a male and a female name]

3       After Danny Ryan became a proficient walker, not much more than a year old, he ventured into his mom’s closet. He came out with a pair of strappy heels and struggled to put them on.

16      In the spring of 1996 Leslie Ryan came to my Northwestern University office to seek yet another opinion. Jennifer, Danny’s sitter, was a student in my human sexuality class and was working in my laboratory on studies of sexual orientation.

30      [Kenneth] Zucker thinks that an important goal of treatment is to help the children accept their birth sex and to avoid becoming transsexual. His experience has convinced him that if a boy with GID becomes an adolescent with GID, the chances that he will become an adult with GID and seek a sex change are much higher. And he thinks that the kind of therapy he practices helps reduce this risk.

31      The central difference between Zucker and his critics on the left is that Zucker believes that most boys who play with girls’ things often enough to earn a diagnosis of GID would become girls if they could. Failure to intervene increases the chances of transsexualism in adulthood, which Zucker considers a bad outcome.

52      I think of my own daughter and cannot imagine her deciding to be a boy, even if I lied to her and told her that she was born one.

69      My son was 10 years old when we began our dance study. One day I explained what we were studying, and I asked him why I might expect to find a high rate of gay male dancers. He immediately answered, “Because dancing is feminine, and gay men tend to be feminine.” I was pleased by his answer, which was also mine.

69      Another anecdote involving my son:
70      When he was 10 years old, we were sitting in a theater waiting for the movie to start. A man behind us was speaking, and my son leaned over and said, “Dad, there’s someone for you to study.” My son knows that I study sexual orientation, and this was his way of suggesting that the man sounded gay.

75      Although their data are less scientific, gay men share [Kurt] Freund’s skepticism. They have a saying:
76      “You’re either gay, straight, or lying.” In contrast, many women are bisexual; perhaps most are, at least in their sexual arousal patterns.

116    Heterosexuality is a paradigmatic evolutionary adaptation. The desire to have sex with members of the opposite sex helps people have sex that might result in offspring. The number of healthy offspring one leaves is perhaps the best indicator of evolutionary success.
         Homosexuality is evolutionarily maladaptive. I think this is an undeniable fact, although gay-positive people (and I am one) tend to cringe when they hear words like these. “Evolutionarily maladaptive” sounds like an insult, but it isn’t one.

133    Recall gay men’s skepticism about men who claim to be bisexual. (“You’re either gay, straight, or lying.”) My lab has been trying to find bisexual men by studying men’s erections to male versus female sexual stimuli.

138    If a gay man wants to attract straight men, he should imitate a woman. If he wants to attract gay men, he must stay a man.

141    I see Kim for the first time, on the stairs, dancing, posing. She is spectacular, exotic (I find out later that she is from Belize), and sexy. […] It is difficult to avoid viewing Kim from two perspectives: as a researcher but also as a single, heterosexual man.

168    Autogynephiles are not “women trapped in men’s bodies.”  (Anne Lawrence, a physician and sex researcher who is herself a postoperative transsexual, has called them “men trapped in men’s bodies.”) Homosexual transsexuals, so naturally feminine from early on, can make this claim more accurately, but as we shall see, it is not completely true even of them.

176    [Ray] Blanchard’s ideas have not yet received the widespread attention they deserve, in large part because sex researchers are not as scholarly as they should be and so don’t read the current scientific journals.

187    Blanchard thinks that a significant number of men who want she-males are “partial autogynephiles”—they are primarily aroused to the image of themselves as she- male. Blanchard says that the men are not gay but are more like “scrambled up heterosexual men.” The transsexuals I know who worked as she-male prostitutes confirmed this. “There was nothing gay about those men,” said one, who knows plenty about gay men.

207    One problem with [Paul] McHugh’s analysis is that we simply have no idea how to make gender dysphoria go away. I suspect that both autogynephilic and homosexual gender dysphoria result from early and irreversible developmental processes in the brain. If so, learning more about the origins of transsexualism will not get us much closer  to curing it.

214    Looking at Danny, it was difficult to imagine him wearing high heels and a dress. He looked good as a boy—if an unusually formally dressed one. When the family friend’s daughter showed up, she told him how handsome he looked, and he beamed. This was not a girl in boy’s clothing.
         As we congregated in the hallway, I watched Danny interact. Shy at first, he whispered quietly to his sister. Then someone asked him about Convocation. He cocked his head back dramatically, threw his forearm across his eyes and said, “I thought it was entirely too long. Must they read every single name?” His word choice was obviously unusual, for an eight-year-old boy, and his speech style was precise and somewhat prissy.  This was not a typical boy, either.
         A few moments later, Danny said: “Mummy, I need to go to the men’s room.” I am certain that as he said that, he emphasized “men’s” and looked my way. And off he went, by himself. At that moment, I became as certain as I can be of Danny’s future.

232    [from the Index]
            Common lies and deceptiveness of, 172-176

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