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J. Michael Bailey and the “Danny Ryan” fabrication (2003)

In 2003, photographer Anjelica Kieltyka reported on a meeting with psychologist J. Michael Bailey, during which Bailey revealed that the “Danny Ryan” case report published in the Man Who Would Be Queen was fabricatred.


The “Danny Ryan” case report is the framing device in the 2003 book The Man Who Would Be Queen by J. Michael Bailey. The book starts with Danny’s gender-variant behavior and ends with Danny’s “cure.” Note: all names are described as pseudonyms in the book.

Danny Ryan

  • Born around 1990
  • Began crossdressing at age 1
  • In kindergarten in 1995-1996
  • Met Bailey at age 8 (around 1998)
  • Now a “happy, out gay man” according to Bailey

Leslie Ryan (Danny’s mother)

  • Accountant
  • Meets Bailey in Spring 1996 to discuss Danny

Mary Ryan (Danny’s older sister)

  • Born around 1987

Patrick Ryan (Danny’s father)

  • His “consulting job kept him on the road nearly five days a week, and when he was home, he was not the most attentive father.”

Mark (Leslie Ryan’s brother)

  • Born around 1955
  • Divorced around 1955
  • Came out as gay around 1995
  • Felt “Catholic guilt”

Jennifer (Danny’s babysitter)

  • Northwestern University student
  • “an attractive college student, a sorority girl”
  • Student in Bailey’s sexuality class
  • Worked in Bailey’s lab

Bailey tries to have it both ways: when convenient, he calls the book “the science of gender-bending and transsexualism” to make it seem more valid. He uses things like patient confidentiality and HIPAA to claim he can’t provide information about asserted facts in his research. When faced with a 2003 Institutional Review Board (IRB) inquiry, he began claiming the book wasn’t science or research, but just anecdotes or reporting “about science” that doesn’t fall under IRB rules. Prominent scientists, especially biologist Joan Roughgarden at Stanford, have challenged Bailey to prove the existence of the people described in the “Danny Ryan” case report, but in 8 years, Bailey has successfully avoided allowing any sort of independent confirmation.

Kieltyka’s 2003 letter

Below is a letter Kieltyka sent to National Academies member Lynn Conway, a prominent critic of Bailey’s.

Note: emphasis in original.

Date: Tue, 08 Jul 2003 18:37:10 -0500
To: Lynn Conway
From: Charlotte Anjelica Kieltyka
Subject: Danny vs. Juanita : Bailey’s Choice

Dear Lynn,

I thought you might be interested in the last meeting I had with Mike Bailey at the beginning of June, and our final face to face conversation and the significance of it……

While his general dictum was still in force, i.e. that we would continue to “agree to disagree”……I still took it upon myself to try and get through to him, that he might still be corrigible….I did not want our ten year relationship to end without finding out how and why it got to this point…..The Mike Bailey I thought I knew was so different from the person who wrote this foul book, and I came to him that day with two questions that I needed answered. I did not yet understand the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde nature of his personality, nor the extent of his duplicity.

My questions to him were of a more personal nature…..knowing what he knew about my artistic sensibility and both his and my close relationship with “Juanita” of the book……The first question was in regard to the cover……Knowing what he knew of my own beautiful and sensual photographs of transexual women….How I represented them, as well as myself in portraits strong and beautiful in body and soul… spirit and in flesh…….How could he, why would he use such a derisive and derogatory representation to symbolize all of us….especially the transexual women he personally knew and (I thought) cared about, especially “Juanita”, the one closest to him other then myself…..

His answer or excuse was : “…..[He] did not choose the cover art…..He was not responsible for it”……Duh ! ! !…..This is his book….his ideas…..his opus…..and, I am certain, his right and position to reject it for something more benign and less malignant…….But no….This was out off his hands..! ! ? ? ? ! !….SO INCREDULOUS ! ! ….SO DISINGENUOUS ! ! !……

And so lame was this excuse, I actually felt pity for the poor bastard, so illegitimate and pathetic was his excuse, his book and now I was beginning to see…..HIS LIFE…..I had yet to discover how profoundly true this all was…….

Momentarily dissuaded by this oblique yet revealing answer….I soon recovered to ask about something else that was really troubling me about the ending to the book…..Not the part about “Cher” being a star…..I already knew that was true ! !…. I meant the ending to the story about Danny, the last scene depicted in the Epilogue, (p. 214 – the last paragraph) :

“….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. “…….

What had me curious and uniquely troubled about Bailey’s description of this final scene was his absolute certainty of Danny’s future…..What had me perplexed was this presumptiveness and arrogance that he had displayed throughout his book and his life. ….Now he’s playing God or one of his prophets, in telling Danny’s future with such infallible foresight…..It was either that or he was some sort of charlatan……But Bailey is an honest and humble researcher……yet, how could he know with such certainty?

Let me re-phrase that….How could he know that Danny was going to turn out a gay man rather than a transexual woman like “Juanita”?…..His whole book was setting up this either/or proposition (leaving out a real third possible future which was Danny committing suicide!)…..Either Danny was going to be almost exactly like “Juanita” ….A real possibility because both Bailey and I knew about “Juanita’s” childhood and how it closely resembled Danny’s, and that being the case how could Bailey not be as certain of that outcome…..“How could he be so certain? is what I wanted to know…..

Asking him as I did in my best “National Enquirer” inquisitive tone of voice…..His reply……

“I made it up.”…… he said…..

Excuse me, What did you say?…..

“I said I made up that final scene….it never happened “……he replied……

I felt like my computer brain did not compute or could not compute this “DATA”, and so it just “crashed”…..This was even more incredulous then the first answer and I was not even asking whether the scene was true or fabricated ! ! ….I was dumbfounded and he was appearing to be playing both characters in …Dumb and Dumber…..maybe dumbest of all….. Of greater import, and with grave and serious consequences, he seemed to be playing both insidious and dangerous roles of quack and demi-god ….pretending to do research and creating the results that he predicted beforehand……

I never did get a straight answer from him about the “Danny” or “Juanita” future…..I think Bailey told me everything I ever wanted to know about sex…ology, with that remark….Specifically, his own sexology and his research methods…..and his own future….Go Figure ! ? ! ……

Your friend,

Anjelica, aka. “Cher” ….

P.S. Maybe Dr. Money was right all along about the guilty self-sabotaging and basically hanging themselves…..but will they be wearing a dress when they do?

Charlotte Anjelica Kieltyka
Northwestern University, Evanston, IL. USA

Subsequent developments

In 2015, I wrote an exposé about the hoax and coverup titled “Sexology’s war on transgender children.

I also created this video summary:



Conway, Lynn (2003). It’s Fiction! Bailey Admits to Anjelica Kieltyka that he Fabricated the Key Final Scene in His Book.