Skip to content

Kay Brown 2008 email to Andrea James

Because Candice Brown Elliott has claimed an email I excerpted was fabricated, I have provided the full text below. Eliiott’s advice section was published verbatim that year on the previous iteration of this site.

Unsolicited March 18 email

On Tue, Mar 18, 2008 at 7:17 PM, Candice Elliott <> wrote:


A quick note on who I am.¬† I also go by the name “Kay Brown” on the web to maintain my stealthy identity.¬† I have been involved in the tranny community since I transitioned at age 18, in 1975.¬† You may even have read some of my essays in TNT, TransSisters, or my old website,¬† (serious bit rot has set in, as I haven’t maintained it since 1999).¬† You might also google my name:

I’ve been fairly stealthy for the past eight years, taking care of my family and work, etc.¬† I hadn’t even looked at any TS related websites during that time, mostly because of being busy, but also because I was not willing to relive any of that old pain, if you understand what I’m getting at‚Ķ¬† But a few weeks back, my family doc, one that the insurance program steered me to, began our talk with “‚Ķrisk factors for men your age‚Ķ”¬† “EXCUSE ME!”¬† I interjected.¬† “Well you are a man.”¬† I was furious‚Ķ and am now looking for a new doc in the North Bay (north of San Francisco).¬† What a ^%$#@! Prick!

So, with that as a kick in the pants, I went looking for a trans-friendly doc using the web.¬† I still haven’t found one yet, but who knows.

When I looked on the web, I found references to the nastiness regarding Bailey.  I was vaguely aware of his book, because Lynn Conway contacted me about it, asking me to participate in a protest.  (I think she has a reference to visiting me on her website.)  But being far too busy, and needing to be stealthy these days to run my biz, I declined.  When I popped my head up, I found that I had slept through it all.

However, it still disturbed me, since I know Lynn as well as Anne Lawrence, who I had met through Dr. Joy Shaffer.¬† (Joy and I were roomies for ten years‚Ķ we helped each other through SRS, college, and medical school, etc.) I had had conversations with Anne about Blanchard’s autogynophilia hypothesis way back in 1996.¬† Since I had been a generous supporter of ISNA back a while ago, I had some respect for Alice Dreger as well.¬† I don’t know Bailey, and have not read the book, but from even Dreger’s paper on the history of the protest, I gather I don’t want to read it.

So‚Ķ 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‚Ķ 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‚Ķ and have him get egg on his face when he learns that they are both the same person‚Ķ ME!

So, having read all of this, I decided to learn as much as I could.  I wrote to Dr. Dreger, no response.  I wrote to Anne Lawrence, no response.  I wrote to Kiira Tria… and had a few exchanges with her.  Except for some venom towards Lynn that seems unjustified, her emails were friendly and reasonable.  I will be keeping the details in confidence, though I know that you would love to know more, per your page on her.

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.

On the other hand, intuition through personal experience has informed my own feeling that there are differences, semi-distinct populations that can identified by general correspondences.¬† But, I’m not sure that it rises to the level of independent etiologies, but perhaps more related to degree, or even timing of neurological developmental pathway switching between masculinization and failure to masculinize (assuming that the hypothesis of the feminine default pathway is correct).¬† I’ve even met self-identified cross-dressers who have no desire for physical feminization that I find totally unappealing sexually, because they don’t feel “manly” (observed dressed as men), though they were strongly attracted to me.¬† ( I knew one nominally physically attractive man, a CD, who I “platonically dated” that really makes my point‚Ķ and at one point he suggested that we should ge married‚Ķ ..”we could even share clothes”, say he, wearing the same size‚Ķ Ah‚Ķ no thanks!¬† Honestly, I don’t know why straight women would become or stay married to such men!)¬† I feel that even they have something going on in their brains.

But, I do feel that there are real differences in our populations that are not generally acknowledged.  Especially the difference between being a gender variant child/teen that when one transitions, one finds life and relationships *easier* not harder, compared to older transitioning folk who were usually not seen as very gender variant by family and peers before transition… and now find things harder, at least for a while.

I noted your laudable efforts to give voice to those young transitioning folk.¬† I will write a bit later in this missive (now threatening to become a novella) a bio and advice for your page.¬† At age 50, I find myself in a strange place.¬† I live a fairly stealthy lifestyle.¬† I could live even deeper I suppose‚Ķ but I would hate to lose friends that I’ve known since third grade!¬† My colleagues/coworkers have no idea about my past.¬† But I find since I popped my head up, that I would actually like to be more active in the TS community‚Ķ but find I have nothing in common with those who are my own age, presently active‚Ķ as they are almost all late transitioners, currently dealing with transition, with whom I have nothing in common.¬† I would have much more in common with youngsters‚Ķ but how would that look‚Ķ me a middle-aged married woman with a grown (adopted) daughter recently married herself?¬† Most of those TS folk that I knew back when I was a teen or early 20s I’ve lost touch with, save for Joy, who now lives in New Zealand, and Beth Elliott, who I do see occasionally.¬† But they are both gynophilic‚Ķ all of the kids I knew who were into men have disappeared‚Ķ like me I hope, have found husbands and a quiet life somewhere.¬† The alternative is too horrible to contemplate!

Bio and Advice from Kay Brown:

Since self reporting is often treated as suspect, I will describe my early childhood with my mother’s own words to Dr. Fisk of the Stanford Gender Identity Clinic when I was 17, in 1975.¬† She described me as “prissy”.¬† From toddler onward she recognized that I was *very* different from my two brothers.¬† My friends were girls.¬† On my birthdays, my only guests were girls.¬† I would walk the long way around even a shallow puddle.¬† My mother said she could dress me in an outfit on Monday and on Friday I would still be clean.¬† I avoided boy play, though I did engage in play with one of my brothers, especially if it was a quiet activity, like helping him fly his model airplanes.¬† As I got older, around ten or so, I would play games with boys, even football, if girls were also included.¬† (Our neighborhood had a number of tomboys.)¬† Since I was a very obvious “sissy”, boys hazed and bullied me.¬† Even the tomboys teased me.¬† “You throw like a girl!”¬† My mother also told Dr. Fisk that she had known “for years that he wanted to live as a girl, but I thought that was wrong”, meaning morally and religiously wrong.¬† She had tried to discourage me from girls activities, like scolding me when I made a hand-sown dress for my farmer-sock monkey doll‚Ķ taking away the dress and materials, threatening me with severe punishment if I should make another.¬† My parents both strongly encouraged me to do boys activities, of which the only ones I willingly did were model airplane and rocket building, science experiments, and electronics.¬† (I like to think of myself then as being the cute little girl, future scientist, in Contact.)

I was forced, unwillingly, to participate in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts‚Ķ from which I was kicked out of when I was 13 by the Scout Master for being, “not Eagle Scout material”, said with an obvious homophobic sneer.¬† I was encouraged to join another, smaller, less aggressively masculine troop. (Some of us even good naturedly used feminine versions of our names on camp-outs.¬† Dennis became Denise, Patrick became Patty, I, since my old name was Michael, became Michelle.)¬† I became the Senior Patrol Leader, as I was the most organized and emotionally mature member.¬† Some of the boys were very heterosexual, like my brother who had joined my troop later, but several were also sissy, and probably grew up to be gay.¬† Later, at age 15, I had a crush on a boy, Kevin, from another, more conventional troop, and joined his to be around him.¬† He went to another high school, so this was the only way I could be sure to see him often.¬† Strange, but I was elected as the Senior Patrol Leader of that troop too!¬† I dropped out of that troop at 17, to accept an invitation to join a Camp Fire Girls group, after I had come out as transsexual.

During the summers when I was 13 and 14, I volunteered as a Water Safety Aid, sort of a ‘Jr. Life Guard’, to teach younger children to swim.¬† I loved younger kids.¬† I sought babysitting jobs when ever I could‚Ķ finally landing a job as a nanny when I was 17.¬† The family had, in the advertisement, sought “a girl, preferably a Junior or Senior”.¬† I had thought that they meant a high school student.¬† I was wrong, they had sought a female college student.¬† But given my evident maturity and experience working with children, they gave me the position.¬† I took care of two boys, full time (meaning working hours), aged ten and four.¬† I confided to their mother that I was a tranny, and she helping me research the issue in her capacity as the head librarian for the town.

Although my mother actively scolded me whenever she found out about it, I often wore my girlfriends’ clothes when I was little.¬† Starting when I was 12, I experimented with make-up, just as my friends did, but I did it only in secret.¬† I devoured books and magazines meant for teenaged girls, on such subjects as hair, make-up, clothes‚Ķ and of course, boys!¬† I practiced my make-up skills on my girlfriends.¬† I secretly bought girls clothes when I could afford them‚Ķ outfits that were age appropriate, of course.¬† When I was 16, my mother sent me to a therapist, instructing him to ‘fix me’.¬† I mostly stone-walled him.

I came out to several friends when I was 15‚Ķ and slowly told yet more until by the time I was 17, most of them knew about it.¬† I also came out to several of my teachers‚Ķ and the principle.¬† They were a very big help to me as I transitioned.¬† OK, so one teacher, who I hadn’t directly confided, was a jerk, hounding me out of his all female Individual Voice class with transphobic remarks, but the rest were great.¬† I lost a few friends along the way, but actually made others by being open.¬† I was accepted as a girl by a number of my friends‚Ķ and their mothers!

I tried to get hormones from my pediatrician, but he stuttered, “You can do what ever you want with your life, but I won’t be a part of it

When my mother caught me at 17, dressed to go out in a cute mini-dress, she forced me to tell my Dad.¬† He suggested that we should get professional help.¬† Having long desired to go to the Stanford Clinic‚Ķ I had in my possession, like a magic talisman, the address and phone number of the Clinic.¬† My father, believing that they were going to ‘cure me’, got me into the program!¬† ¬†My parents were quite upset when they learned that I was going to transition and have surgery.¬† I pulled out of hiding my *real* wardrobe and threw away most of my old boy clothes.¬† Although there were arguments about it, I lived as a girl part time my senior year, going out openly to shop and hang out with my friends.¬† But I dressed as a boy for school.¬† I left home right after HS graduation to go to college‚Ķ where upon I lived as a girl full time from then on.

At age 18, I passed as easily as a girl, then as a boy.¬† I was 5’8″, weighed 135 lbs.¬† (Sadly, I fought weight gain, up and down, since then‚Ķ right now I’m on the high side, again, sigh‚Ķ)¬† Except for a few ‘granny hairs’ on my chin, which I tweeze, I’ve never needed electrolysis.¬† My physique, hands, and face were decidedly androgynous to feminine.¬† I’ve been described as “cute”, but I wouldn’t say that I’m beautiful, though my husband often does, bless his heart!¬† I’ve had several occasions where I was asked by TS folk what I was doing at a TS support group‚Ķ obviously not being TS‚Ķ Or where was my TS spouse?¬† Oops!¬† Now, after 33 years of HRT, I look like an average, still attractive, middle-aged woman.¬† BTW, this doesn’t make me “better”, just blessedly lucky!¬† (If you can call being TS “lucky”.)

I had my first sexual experience when I was 18 years old, with a 25 year old straight guy.¬† Several girls had tried to convince me to have sex with them‚Ķ but I always, politely and kindly, turned them down.¬† When I had surgery at the age of 23, I had never had intercourse with a woman.¬† I must confess that I was ‘boy crazy’ for a couple years, dating both boys I had previously known in high school and those I met in college, but soon settled down, finished a dual degree in Physics and Psychology, with a strong minor in Biology, while tutoring Astronomy.¬† I was admitted to graduate school, in an applied science dept. but dropped out, as the lure of Silicon Valley’s high tech start-ups was calling to me‚Ķ and in the middle of all that college stuff, I got surgery in Trinidad as soon as I could afford it, having worked my way through college and saving money at the same time, first as a secretary, later as an electronic assembler, technician, then an associate engineer.¬† (OK, so I’m a science geek‚Ķ but it pays well!)

Years spin by‚Ķ I’m now a middle-aged, 50 year old, married woman with a grown (foster-adopted) daughter recently married herself.¬† .¬† I’m looking forward to being a doting grandmother someday.¬† My husband and I live in a nice historic house that we are restoring.¬† I am the CEO of a high tech Silicon Valley company, well known in my field, with a dozen technical articles, conference papers, a contributed chapter in a text book, and over 50 patents issued or pending.¬† I spend my week-ends flying my private airplane.¬† I have a very good life.


Get a good education!  Go for a dual major… get one degree for your career, and one for fun. Study as if your life depended on… it does!  It will make all the difference in the world.

I think I did it right‚Ķ transition between schools.¬† I had wanted to do it between Jr. High and High School, but with my folks attitudes, it wasn’t going to happen‚Ķ but going full time in the summer between high school and college was perfect.¬† But avoid the dorms‚Ķ I lived off campus in tiny apartments.

Make and keep friends.  New friends are silver, but old friends are gold.

Confide, tell some adults in a position to help you… they just might.  Only you can hold yourself back… no one else will.

Take control of your medical care ASAP.¬† Find a friendly doc or free clinic. I used the free clinic on campus for a while, it was great, save for the male doc who asked quite honestly perplexed, “You mean that there is no place to do a pap smear?”¬† Poor man!

Take singing lessons‚Ķ and sing so as to sound like your favorite same gender-of-identity vocalist, providing your ranges overlap.¬† I’ve got a fairly acceptable contralto voice.¬† I can sing and sound very much like vocalists ranging from Joan Baez to Alannis Morsette.¬† Try it, it works great for voice training, extending your range to a higher pitch for an MTF, and to a lower pitch for an FTM.¬† It also helps train voice timbre to what you want it to be, all while having fun!

Andrea, I hope that will help!

Kind Regards,

Candice H. Brown Elliott
Founder, Board Chair, & CTO
Clairvoyante, Inc.
874 Gravenstein Hwy. South Suite 14
Sebastopol, California, USA  95472
408-200-7380 Direct
408-200-7300 Main
707-824-4634 FAX
707-477-9922 Cell

“This electronic/facsimile message and its accompanying attachments (if any) contain information from Clairvoyante, Inc. that is confidential and proprietary.¬† If you are not the intended recipient, be aware that any disclosure, copying, distribution, or use of the contents of this information is prohibited.¬† If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender by telephone immediately and we will arrange for the return of this information at our expense.”

Our April 29 correspondence

Andrea James <> Tue, Apr 29, 2008, 11:53 PM    

to Candice

I just got a letter today form someone responding to that piece, so it is definitely being read and making a connection!

Take care,

Elliott’s April 29 response

On Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 2:35 PM, Candice Elliott <> wrote:


Thank you for posting the material I sent earlier. ¬†I hope it helps someone who chances upon it. ¬†You may be amused to hear that a kid that had originally contacted me when she was 15 years old, who is now 25 and two year full time, came and spent a week visiting with Jeff (my husband) and I. We had lost touch back when she was 18, but now we have reconnected. ¬†She was a joy to have around the house… and since she was out here on job interviews, has gotten a job offer, and will be moving out here to live in a nearby city, I will be seeing her fairly often. Best of all, she wants us to be good friends. ¬†It feels good to have made a difference.

Note the new title and company name… which means a new email address.

Candice H. Brown Elliott

Nouvoyance, Inc.
874 Gravenstein Hwy. South Suite 14
Sebastopol, California, USA  95472
408-200-7380 Direct
408-200-7300 Main
707-824-4634 FAX
707-477-9922 Cell

A note on authenticity

In 2022 Elliott began claiming this email correspondence is a “total fabrication.” That is why I have shared the full email, something I typically would not do.

Another “autogynephilia” troll asked Elliott:

Just curious, is the stuff Andrea James wrote about you true? About you initially dismissing Blanchardism and the business with the stolen plane? Or did she make it up/distort it?

Elliott wrote a thread in response:

First, NO. I NEVER “dismised” the science on the two type taxonomy, ever. I’ve never even heard that whopper told before today. I’ve known on an intuitive level since I was 18 years old when My HSTS friend Marcella said, “They are just TVs that need a bigger fix.

I first learned of the various theories like many other, reading books, but I was formally introduced to Blanchard’s work by Dr. Anne Lawrence and Dr. Joy Shaffer, over dinner at my house in 1995. Joy and I had been friends and colleagues since 1979/80 when w/ others…

we co-founded the ACLU Transsexual Rights Committee. Anne explained the evidence and the science. I had no trouble following it since I have a degree in psychology (among others). In 1997 or ’98, I explained the science to Lynn Conway and she understood and agreed.

Appearantly Lawrence and Andrea James were on VERY friendly terms (ahem) at one point and James wrote Anne an email expressing her wholehearted support for the science and of Blanchard. (Is James projected a reversed story line onto me?)

In 2003, Conway called me and asked me to join her in protesting TMWWBQ and to trash Bailey. I refused point blank, knowing full well that the science was solid. I was shocked given that She had known about the science (I had explained it to her in my own home)!

In 2008 or so, various people were writing to me upset that I was supporting the science. In 2009, I was invited to write an essay on the topic for the website, which I did, using a pseudonym. James went ballistic, first claiming I was a sockpuppet…

Then, after about a year, Conway and James figured out I was the author of the essay. They both called and threatened to smear me publicly. I blew them off. I didn’t let TERFs or school yard bullies rule my life, I wasn’t going to let transsexual bullies either.

Then James shitposted a curious mix of lies and half truths about me on her website and suddenly, I went from the honored transactivist and historian to “that weirdo”, etc. OK, more history. Yes, my airplane was stolen by a mid-20s transsexual.

She was one of several transwomen I had as house guests who I allowed to recuperate after surgeries before returning to their normal lives. I made no distinction between HSTS and AGP in this favor. I fully support both types and always have. There, now ya know.

Below is a screencap in case these accounts are suspended.

Below are Elliott’s salient responses:

Total fabrication.

In March of 2008, I was VERY pre-occupied with closing the deal with Samsung when they bought Clairvoyante and I was starting up Nouvoyance. Lots of legal shit going on. I know I NEVER wrote to Lawrence any comments in 1998, as I hadn’t even read the papers in question yet.

As I was outside tending my garden just now, I realized what James was doing. She stitched together several things I’ve written on my blog, but taken them out of context. For example, the “doesn’t rise to a theory” is from this essay:

The questioning of a instrument (questionaire) came from this one?

And of course, the whole “day dream” does indeed sound like me, given that I wrote this review:

And how I explored his “quiz” and what the science actually says. The key is to understand that the idea that ones occupation is a cause rather than effect:

It is possible this could have been written by Elliott’s roommate Susan Alexandria, a troubled person who would later steal one of Elliott’s airplanes. It may have also been written by a third troll named Denise Magner. Given the context and Occam’s razor, I have no reason to doubt both emails were written by Elliott.