‘The Man Who Would Be Queen’: anti-transgender book

The Man Who Would Be Queen is a notoriously anti-transgender book by J. Michael Bailey.

In March 2003, Northwestern University psychologist J. Michael Bailey published The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism.

The Man Who Would Be Queen was crafted and marketed in ways influenced by academic racists and others in the neo-eugenics movement. Bailey uses scientific-sounding arguments to claim sexual minorities and people who display gender diversity are “evolutionary mistakes,” and he claims those who disagree with his ideas are liars.

Normally, a book this scientifically unsound and tainted with charges of academic misconduct, practicing without a license, fabricating data, and sex with a research subject would not even be dignified with a response by many involved, but The Man Who Would Be Queen somehow got published through the Joseph Henry Press, an imprint of the National Academies Press which specializes in science books for popular audiences.

Published commentaries on Bailey

A selection of comments from people concerned about this book and its message

J. Michael Bailey was Chair of the Psychology Department at Northwestern University until 2004. He stepped down in the wake of an investigation into charges of ethics violations surrounding his 2003 book The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism. Many see this book as the most defamatory book written about gender variance since Janice Raymond wrote The Transsexual Empire in 1979.

Below are some published peer reviews and commentaries about the quality of his “science.”

Selected published commentaries and coverage

 LINK: Kinder, gentler homophobia (by David Ehrenstein, The Advocate) http://www.advocate.com/exclusive_detail_ektid29121.asp

 LINK: Biological reductionism meets gender diversity in human sexuality (by Walter O. Bockting, Journal of Sex Research) http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/Bailey/Bockting/Bockting%20Review.html and commentary by Christine Burns http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/Bailey/Bockting/Burns%20commentary.html

 LINK: Ethical minefields: The sex that would be science (by Julie M. Klein, Seed Magazine) http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/Bailey/Ethics/Ethical%20Minefields%20-%20Seed%20Magazine.html


 LINK: Queer Science: An ‘elite’ cadre of scientists and journalists tries to turn back the clock on sex, gender and race http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?sid=96 (01-01-2004) LINK:(by Heidi Beirich and Bob Moser, Southern Poverty Law Center)

 LINK: Book review (by Pauline Park, Ph.D. Gay Today) http://gaytoday.com/reviews/061603re.asp

 LINK: Bailey on gay femininity (by Paul Varnell, Chicago Free Press) http://www.indegayforum.org/authors/varnell/varnell109.html

 LINK: Why are you a queen? (by Paul Varnell, Washington Blade) http://www.washingtonblade.com/2003/10-17/view/columns/queen.cfm

 LINK: Weird science (by Kim McNabb, Chicago Free Press) http://www.indegayforum.org/authors/mcnabb/mcnabb1.html

 LINK: Author is ripped for transsexual research (by Robert Becker, Chicago Tribune) http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/Bailey/ChicagoTribune-7-29-03.html

 LINK: Dr. Sex (by Robin Wilson, Chronicle of Higher Education) http://chronicle.com/free/v49/i41/41a00801.htm

 LINK: New gene theory rests on bad science (by Vernon Rosario, Gay & Lesbian Review) http://calbears.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb3491/is_200311/ai_n8283071

 LINK: Trans activists file charges against NU professor (by Gary Barlow, Chicago Free Press) http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/Bailey/Chicago%20Free%20Press%20-%20Trans%20Activists%20File%20Charges.htm

 LINK: NU panel to investigate prof’s research tactics (by Sheila Burt and Laurel Jorgensen , Daily Northwestern) http://media.www.dailynorthwestern.com/media/storage/paper853/news/2003/11/18/Campus/Nu.Panel.To.Investigate.Profs.Research.Tactics-1912932.shtml

 LINK: Bailey accused of having sex with research subject (by Sheila Burt, Daily Northwestern) http://media.www.dailynorthwestern.com/media/storage/paper853/news/2004/01/06/UndefinedSection/Bailey.Accused.Of.Having.Sex.With.Research.Subject-1913112.shtml

 LINK: University examining Bailey’s sex research (by Katie Walton, Daily Northwestern) http://media.www.dailynorthwestern.com/media/storage/paper853/news/2004/02/09/Campus/University.Examining.Baileys.Sex.Research-1913654.shtml

 LINK: University investigates ethics of sex researcher (by Robert Stacy McCain, Washington Times) http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/Bailey/Washington%20Times%2011-25-03.html

 LINK: NIH director defends funds for criticized sex research (by Robert Stacy McCain, Washington Times) http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/Bailey/Washington%20Times%201-30-04.html

 LINK: Northwestern U. psychologist is accused of having sex with research subject (by Robin Wilson, Chronicle of Higher Education) http://chronicle.com/weekly/v50/i17/17a01702.htm

 LINK: NU professor faces sexual allegations (by Gary Barlow, Chicago Free Press) http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/Bailey/Chicago%20Free%20Press%2012-17-03.html

 Letters re: Dr. Sex (in Chronicle of Higher Education) /info/dr-sex.html

 LINK: Dr. Sex (by Kate Gambreno, Newcity Chicago) http://www.newcitychicago.com/chicago/2392.html

 LINK: Book review (by Geoff Parkes) http://web.archive.org/web/20031024053250/http://www.adequacy.net/features/book/book160.shtml

 LINK: Book review (by Deirdre McCloskey, Reason) http://www.reason.com/0311/cr.dm.queer.shtml

 Een Mann gevangen in een mannenlichaam (by Peter Vermey, NRC, excerpts translated by Arianne ven der Ven) /info/louis-gooren.html

 LINK: Sex and Transsexuals (by Dennis Rodkin, Chicago Reader) https://securesite.chireader.com/cgi-bin/Archive/abridged2.bat?path=2003/031212/TRANS&search=transsexual

 LINK: Transsexual Travesty (by Deirdre McCloskey, Chicago Reader) https://securesite.chireader.com/cgi-bin/Archive/abridged2.bat?path=2003/031219/LETTERS/MCCLOSK&search=transsexual

 LINK: The man who would write about queens (Transgender Tapestry) http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/Bailey/IFGE-Reviews.html

 LINK: Tapestry review: The Man Who Would be Queen (by Christine Beatty, Transgender Tapestry) http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/Bailey/IFGE-Reviews.html

 LINK: Not a man, not the queen (by Gwen Smith, Bay Area Reporter) http://www.gwensmith.com/writing/transmissions67.html

 LINK: Book review of The Man Who Would Be Queen (by Liza Mundy, Washington Post) http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A61894-2003Mar20&notFound=true

 Lost in the Male (by John Derbyshire, National Review) https://www.transgendermap.com/?page_id=18388

 LINK: Book review of The Man Who Would Be Queen (by A. Dean Byrd, Ph.D, NARTH) http://www.narth.com/docs/queen.html

 Transsexuals and the Law (by Dan Seligman, Forbes) /info/dan-seligman.html

 LINK: Bailey’s Wick (by Jamison Green, Planet Out) http://www.planetout.com/pno/people/columns/green/archive/20031014.html

 LINK: Autogynephilia: A Mistaken Model (by Beth Orens) http://www.starways.net/beth/ag.html

 LINK: To call a woman a queen (by Alison Campbell, Diverse City) http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/DiverseCity/DiverseCity.html

 LINK: 2 Transsexual Women Say Professor Didn’t Tell Them They Were Research Subjects (by Robin Wilson, Chronicle) http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/Chronicle-7-17-03.html

 LINK: Transsexuals file complaints over book (by Lindsey Tanner, Associated Press) http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/Bailey/ChicagoTribune-7-30-03.html

 Transsexuality treatise triggers furor (by Constance Holden, Science) /info/sciencenow.html

 Transsexuals protest (by Jon Marcus, Times Higher Education Supplement) /info/bailey-protest.html

 LINK: Diagnosis as libel: A letter of warning to Bailey (by Deirdre McCloskey, U. of Illinois at Chicago) http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/Bailey/Reader/Deirdre%20McCloskey%20puts%20Bailey%20on%20notice.html

Community response /info/bailey-commentary.html

The trans community has mobilized around this matter, with a wide variety of letters, published commentaries, petitions, etc.

Primary resources include an Investigation by Professor Lynn Conway http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/LynnsReviewOfBaileysBook.html

and the Clearinghouse on this site. /info/bailey-blanchard-lawrence.html\

This page has selective commentary from the trans community on J. Michael Bailey’s book on gender variance.

J. Michael Bailey is Chair of the Psychology Department at Northwestern University. In March 2003, he published a book called The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism. Many see this book as the most defamatory book written about gender variance since Janice Raymond wrote The Transsexual Empire in 1979.

 (05-02-2003) LINK: Critique of The Man Who Would Be Queen (by Jed Bland) http://www.gender.org.uk/chstnuts/queen0.htm

 (03-14-2004) The Man Who Would Be Queen: A response (by Caillean McMahon, D.O.) /info/queen-response.html

 (05-27-2003) LINK: Comments (by Ben Barres, M.D., Ph.D. Stanford University) http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/BaileyA1.html#anchor141609

 (08-18-2003) LINK: The Aforementioned Ugly (by S. Bear Bergman) http://www.butchdykeboy.com/bdb/bear.a1

 (06-27-2003) LINK: Essay from a young transitioner (by Nell) http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/Nell%27sEssayOnBBL.html

 (08-17-2003) Letter from Europe (by Karla) /info/karla.html

 (05-04-2003) LINK: Bailey’s “poster child for autogynephilia” in her own words (by “Cher” aka Anjelica Kieltyka) http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/Anjelica.html

 (06-06-2003) Slavery through essentialism (by Tati do Ceu) /info/bailey-slavery.html

 (06-09-2003) A Youth TS Perspective (by Bonnie Jackson) /info/bailey-autogynephile.html

 (06-09-2003) Why Bailey’s book is offensive (by Kelly Novak, M.S.) /info/bailey-transgender.html

 (06-11-2003) Direct effect: how Bailey personally made my life harder (by women he’s hurt) /info/bailey-defamation.html

 (06-12-2003) LINK: The Man Who Wouldn’t Leave Us Alone (by Ryka) http://www.geocities.com/rykaryka/Baileyrant.html

 (05-02-2003) Northwestern U. Psychologist J. M. Bailey Debases Social Science In Quest For Celebrity (by Sonia John). /info/bailey-psychology.html

 (04-27-2003) LINK: The National Academy meets the National Enquirer (by Rebecca Allison, M.D.) http://www.drbecky.com/blog05.html#apr13

 (06-17-2003) Bailey on institutional reading lists (by Andrea James) /info/bailey-university.html

 (06-16-2003) My correspondence with Northwestern Student Affairs (by Andrea James) /info/bailey-psychologist.html

 (06-23-2003) LINK: Open letter to Northwestern Administration (by Lynn Conway) http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/NorthwesternLetter1.html

 (06-18-2003) LINK: Transphobia for Dummies (by Lynn Conway) http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/BooksForDummies.html

 (06-19-2003) Bailey’s sexism and analogies of race (by Andrea James) /info/bailey-racism.html

 (06-20-2003) Mike Bailey and “homosexual transsexuals” (by Andrea James) /info/bailey-homosexual.html

 (06-21-2003) A note regarding Bailey’s children (by Andrea James) /info/bailey-children.html

 (06-18-2003) LINK: Transphobia for Dummies (by Lynn Conway) http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/BooksForDummies.html

 (06-26-2003) The Man Who Would Be A Scientist (by Gwyneth Rhian Morgan) /info/bailey-scientist.html

 (06-25-2003) LINK: Bailey ignores community criticism (by Lynn Conway) http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/BaileyDeclinesContacts.html

 (06-25-2003) LINK: Review (by Lisa Lees) http://www.lisalees.com/trans/reviews/bailey.html

 (06-21-2003) LINK: The Bailey Controversy, Trans Activism, and Prudery (by Harper Jean) http://www.livejournal.com/users/garconfille/122906.html

 (05-15-2003) I’m Me, Therefore I Am [PDF file- requires reader] (by Christine Burns) http://www.tsroadmap.com/info/Im_Me.pdf

 (05-15-2003) Not Quite So Incredibly Brave [PDF file- requires reader] (by Christine Burns) http://www.tsroadmap.com/info/NotBrave.pdf

 (05-24-2003) When Sally Met Harry [PDF file- requires reader] (by Christine Burns) http://www.tsroadmap.com/info/sally.pdf

 (04-14-2003) My first response to Bailey’s book (by Andrea James) /info/j-michael-bailey-blanchard.html

 (04-15-2003) Original introductory materials (by Andrea James) /info/autogynephilic-intro.html

 (04-24-2003) My spin on Bailey (by Helen) /info/bailey-transsexual.html

 (04-23-2003) Because I Am: A letter to J. Michael Bailey (by Annette) /info/bailey-northwestern.html

 (05-01-2003) Book review of The Man Who Would Be Queen (by Christine Johnson) /info/bailey-autogynephilia.html

 (05-06-2003) “Political correctness” (by Richard Green, M.D., J.D. and comment by Christine Burns) /info/bailey-richard-green.html

 (05-14-2003) Correspondence on Bailey’s book and Northwestern’s legal liability (by Australian WOMAN Network) /info/bailey-lawsuit.html

 (05-14-2003) Letter to Bailey (by Australian WOMAN Network) /info/bailey-transsexualism.html

 (07-17-2003) Brochure given to attendees at International Academy of Sex Research (ed. by Andrea James) /bailey/index.html

 (06-20-2003) LINK: Press release (by National Transgender Advocacy Coalition) http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/NTACpressrelease.html

 (03-09-2004) LINK: Investigative report (by Professor Lynn Conway) http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/LynnsReviewOfBaileysBook.html

 (08-06-2003) John Money vs. J. Michael Bailey (intro by Andrea James) /info/bailey-john-money.html

 (04-19-2003) Divided we fall: the dangers of categorizing transsexual women (by Evelyn, intro by Andrea James) /info/divided.html

 (05-17-2003) LINK: Excerpts from other community responses (by Rebecca Allison, M.D.) http://www.drbecky.com/blog06.html

 (07-17-2003) LINK: Identity rape: psych exposed women without their consent (via PsychWatch) http://psychwatch.blogspot.com/2003_07_13_psychwatch_archive.html#105845090093478495

 (08-07-2003) Biology is destiny: new book drawing fire (via GenderPAC) /info/bailey-genderpac.html

 (09-13-2003) HBIGDA President blasts Bailey book (courtesy Eli Coleman) /info/eli-coleman.html

 (09-30-2003) LINK: Book review (via Logged Off) http://home.iprimus.com.au/laurapalmer/manwhowouldbequeen.htm

 (08-17-2003) Gordon Walker review (via GLIP Newsletter) /info/gordon-walker.html

 (11-09-2003) Bailey potpourri (via contributors) /info/bailey-misc.html

 (06-30-2003) LINK: Book review (via GID.info) http://www.angelfire.com/psy/gid/bailey.htm

 (07-01-2003) LINK: Book review (by Christine Beatty) http://www.glamazon.net/bailey.html

 (05-14-2003) Overview of Bailey’s methodology and bias (by Andrea James) /info/bailey-transgendered.html

 (05-14-2003) LINK: It’s a guy thing (by Julie Marie) http://www.geocities.com/juliemarielee2001/blog2004-04.htm#anchor20040410

Transkids.us is a site with some controversial opinions from authors who identify as “homosexual transsexual.” This site suggests that any young person dealing with these feelings who is not exclusively attracted to males is not a “transkid.” The fact that they strongly endorse the views of J. Michael Bailey is also a cause for concern.

Commentaries on this collection of materials

 (05-14-2003) Anne Lawrence’s responses to critics /info/lawrence-autogynephilia.html

 (05-28-2003) LINK: Book Launches Controversy Among Transsexual Women (by Debra Hyde) http://www.yesportal.com/news.cfm/1341 http://www.pursedlips.com/

 (05-18-2003) LINK: …and the Cat Fight Gets Even Nastier (by Jamie Faye Fenton) http://members.tgforum.com/jamie/blog/2003_07_01_archive.html

 (06-16-2003) Kathleen Becker on “autogynephilia” /info/kathleen-becker.html

 (05-18-2003) Kendra Blewitt on “autogynephilia” /info/kendra-letter.html

 (05-06-2003) Willow Arune on “autogynephilia” and exchange with Dana Beyer, M.D. /info/dana-beyer-willow-arune.html /info/bailey-willow-arune.html

 (01-19-2004) Jamie Faye Fenton on “autogynephilia” /info/jamie-faye-fenton.html

 (05-15-2003) Selected letters and excerpts from readers /info/selected-letters.html