Nancy Henley

Nancy Eloise Main Henley (October 27, 1934–June 4, 2016) was an American psychologist and aunt to notorious transgender troll Kiira Triea aka Denise Magner. Henley’s sister Dorothy Main Magner was Kiira Triea’s mother. Triea incorporated aspects of Henley’s work and life into her own fabricated life story, and she was involved in maintaining Johns Hopkins email servers through her aunt’s connections there.


Henley was born in Palatka, Florida and began her education after getting married and starting a family:

  • B.S., Johns Hopkins University, (1964)
  • M.A., Johns Hopkins University, (1967)
  • PhD, Johns Hopkins University, (1968)


  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County, (1968–1971)
  • Lowell Technological Institute/University of Lowell, (1974–1980)
  • University of California, Los Angeles , (1980–1994)

Most of her writing was on gender, feminism, language, and the social psychology of power.

She retired to Glen Burnie, Maryland and died there from a stroke.

My 2007 note to Henley

(Sent to <> and <>. I did not get a reply to my note or calls.)

Dear Dr. Henley:

My name is Andrea James. I am a writer and activist based here in Los Angeles. You can read about my work at the link below. Like you, my areas of interest include gender and violence (I have done anti-violence projects with Jane Fonda and Eve Ensler as well as Patti Giggans at Peace Over Violence/LACAAW), and I know much of your work covers these topics.

I am writing to you because I am doing some fact checking on an upcoming project, and I am interested in profiling a woman named Denise Tree, who says she is your niece. In the interest of being thorough, I felt it would be prudent to confirm this directly with you prior to publication.

Below is the quotation from Denise that prompted my note (presented verbatim):

“I strongly reccommend _Language, Gender and Society_ ed. in part by my aunt, Nancy Henley. Chock full of good reading about sex dichotymous verbal and non-verbal communications and also how “sex” is hardwired into language itself. 

🙂 Yes it’s afavorite – The Estelle and Dorothy in the dedication is my grandmother and mother.”

Because the dedication in your book Language, Gender and Society lists Estella, not Estelle, I felt I should confirm with you. Denise also says your sister Dorothy lived in the Philippines in the 1950s and was in a relationship with Denise’s father, a Finnish man. She says Dorothy gave birth to her on Clark Air Base in the Philippines and later moved from Finland to Baltimore in the 1960s, where Dorothy married someone else.

If Denise is your niece, I hope you understand that I am merely trying to be as thorough as possible in my fact-checking. I have been doing research for a long time, and my instincts told me I should confirm this information directly with you. If this information about your sister is not correct, I obviously do not want to publish any misinformation, and I would like to get a correction out there.

Thanks for any confirmation you can provide. I will follow up with a call as well, and I appreciate your time!



Rutherford A, Dean K (2016). Nancy Main Henley (1934–2016). American Psychologist, Vol 71(9), Dec 2016, 976.

George M (2016). Nancy Henley. Psychology’s Feminist Voices.