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Candice Brown Elliott / “sillyolme” and transgender people

Kay Brown in 2017. Source: YouTube

Candice Hellen Brown Elliott is a retired American engineer and “autogynephilia” activist. Elliott is a self-proclaimed “homosexual transsexual” and maintains two websites that promote the controversial sexualized taxonomy of transgender women created by Ray Blanchard:

Elliott’s pen names and online handles include:

  • Kay Brown
  • Cloudy
  • Sillyolme
  • Seaby
  • Glowing SunBear
  • DisplayGeek


Elliott was born June 6, 1957, grew up in California, and transitioned in the late 1970s at the Stanford gender clinic after coming out to friends in school.

I came out to my friends at school slowly, first to my girlfriend. She was very supportive at first, but later tried to convert me to Christianity and to make me “stop sinning.”

Elliott (TransSisters 1995)

Elliott became involved in music and activism after meeting Sandy Stone at a gender clinic event:

She was tall, with long black hair, turning gray. I was attracted to her as my idealized image of a quietly self-confident, friendly, humorous, gentle, strong woman. I wanted and still want to be like her.

Elliott (TransSisters 1995)

In 1976 Elliott met Christine Jorgensen at an event. In 1978 Elliott decided to move to Los Angeles, where Stone was working as a recording engineer. During the summer of 1979, Elliott said, “I met a transsexual who would become my best friend, point of stability, and sister, Joy Diane Shaffer.”

Historian Zagria Cowan’s profile of Shaffer includes an image of Elliott and Shaffer together. Elliott now claims Shaffer has “autogynephilia.”

Elliott was involved in several activist initiatives, including co-founding ACLU of Southern California’s first Transsexual Rights Committee, led by Sister Mary Elizabeth, in 1980. Elliott worked with former Los Angeles police officer Carol Katz in an organization called The Group.

By 1986, Elliott had completed a bachelor’s degree and was working as an engineer in Silicon Valley. Elliott attended women’s music events and gatherings of Pagan and Wiccan adherents.

By the mid-1990s, Elliott was living in Portland, Oregon with trans lover Kier Salmon. The two hoped to adopt a child together.

Elliott also maintained a website on trans history from 1999 to around 2006.

In the 1990s, Elliott became a well-known figure in the field of electronic display screens, holding dozens of patents and winning the Otto Schade Prize in 2014. Elliott worked at several firms before founding Clairvoyante in 2000. That start-up created and developed PenTile technology and was acquired by Samsung in 2008. After the sale, Elliott began getting involved in trans activism again.

In March 2008, Elliott sent me a submission for this site with advice for young transitioners. Elliott also shared some thoughts at the time on Blanchard’s taxonomy and its two main promoters, J. Michael Bailey and Anne Lawrence (abbreviated BBL below):

So… according to Bailey, since I’m an androphilic early transitioner who at age 18 passed more easily as a girl than a boy, even before HRT, I would make a natural prostitute? I’ve had this recurring daydream that past few weeks of meeting him at some conference and posing two life histories, one of a 23 year old trannie just getting surgery, who hopes to be a wife and mother someday, and one a 50 year old trannie who is CEO of a high tech Silicon Valley company… and hear him make a fool of himself explaining that the one is a flamboyant promiscuous, “homosexual”, and the other is a “paraphilic” and likely to be hopelessly mannish… and have him get egg on his face when he learns that they are both the same person… ME!

My take on the whole BBL hypothesis, is that it does not rise to the level of theory.  It has been poorly measured. My Goddess! Have you read Blanchard’s instrument’s questions? It seems *designed* to give false signals. His interpretation of the raw data is stretched, in fact, he ignores what looks like a progression from gynophilia to androphilia in the data, rather than a clear cut clustering of responses between those he labeled androphilic vs. bi, asexual, and gynophilic.  Further, it has never been corroborated by any other researcher, though Anne did create her own weakly designed instrument, which I personally answered, with notations to improve it, back in 1998.

Elliott (2008)

Sometime later that year, Elliott reconsidered, eventually becoming one of the most prominent “autogynephilia” activists.

Elliott later claimed this letter to me is a “total fabrication,” so I have taken the unusual step of publishing our full 2008 correspondence.

The Invisible Transsexual”

In late 2008, Elliott posted an essay under the pseudonym “Cloudy” on It supports a controversial two-type taxonomy of trans women that reduces their motivations to sexuality:

  • Homosexual transsexual,” gay males who transition to indulge their fetish for sex with straight men.
  • Hon-homosexual transsexual,” straight males who transition to indulge their fetish for their feminized selves (caused by the disease “autogynephilia,” created in 1989).
  • Elliott often abbreviates these two types as “HSTS” and “AGP.”

This taxonomy appeals to two small subgroups of transgender people:

  • People who used to be called “non-transsexual” or “pseudotranssexual” but self-identify as transsexual.
  • People who would be considered “non-homosexual” by proponents of this term but self-identify as “homosexual transsexual.”

Elliott is part of the second subgroup. In fact, every person involved in the site where this essay first appeared has also turned out to be from the second subgroup when their true identities were confirmed.

Trans supporters of this taxonomy believe it improves their social standing, because these terms create a false hierarchy, from best to worst:

  • intersex
  • “homosexual transsexual” (formerly called “primary” or “true” transsexual)
  • “non-homosexual transsexual”
  • “pseudotranssexual”

In this essay, Elliott accuses a number of notable trans women of being autogynephiles trying to take “control of HSTS narratives and visibility”:

  • Lili Elbe
  • Christine Jorgensen
  • Roberta Cowell
  • Jan Morris
  • Canary Conn
  • Jennifer Boylan
  • Deirdre McCloskey
  • Julia Serano

Proponents of the term “homosexual transsexual” claim its hallmarks include “effortless femininity” and occupations like hairstylist, beautician, “female impersonator,” lingerie model, or prostitute. They claim hallmarks of a “non-homosexual transsexual”  include: computer programmer, businessman, scientist, and engineer.

Perhaps Candice Brown Elliott will come to realize how these writings damage Elliott’s own credibility in addition to damaging the community by lending credence to this oppressive nonsense. These pathologizers actively seek out these attention-craving eccentrics and exploit them as long as possible.

Candice Brown Elliott type under Ray Blanchard's taxonomy.
Candice Brown Elliott summary

The curious case of the purloined plane

A few days after this page went live in 2010, Elliott kicked out roommate Susan Alexandria. The two had been pals since Alexandria was 15.

Alexandria then decided to steal one of Candice Brown Elliott’s airplanes and fly it until running out of fuel in the dark, ditching it in a field in extreme northeast California. Alexandria then walked to a hotel and was arrested there the next morning.

Candice Brown Elliott and the stolen plane.

See also

Selected archival material of note

Our full 2008 correspondence


Chinnock, Chris (August 20, 2014). A Vision of Future Displays. rAVe Publications.

Hart, Steve (October 8, 2006). After venture capital dried up with tech bust, startups have turned to smaller funders to provide seed money. Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

van Diggelen, Alison R.G. (October 9, 2005). Bright light at Cupertino’s Clairvoyante. Silicon Valley Business Journal

Lee, Henry K. (March 16, 2010). Taking flight in the landlord’s plane. SFGate.

Callahan, Mary (March 12, 2010). Santa Rosa woman arrested in airplane theft. Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

Brown, Candice Hellen (Spring 1995). Heras. TransSisters: The Journal of Transsexual Feminism, Issue 8, pp. 49 ff.

Staff report (April 22, 2010). Stolen plane in repair shop. Modoc Record.

The Society for Information Display: Otto Schade Prize winners.

Cowan, Zagria (January 19, 2016). Joy Shaffer (195?–) doctor.

Charbax (August 15, 2017). Women in Tech (1of2) at SID Display Week 2017. YouTube.

Media by Eliiott ( [archive] ( [archive]

Thoughts on Innovation ( (

On the Science of Changing Sex (

LinkedIn (

Reddit (

ResearchGate (


Silly Ol You (

  • Debunking Kay Brown and Blanchardianism. A critical approach to “autogynephilia.”