The Invisible Transsexual
by Kay Brown ( aka: "Cloudy")
I slept through the controversy surrounding the publication of The Man
Who Would Be Queen. I literally hadn't had contact with the transgender
community, not even by visiting a website, in eight years. Why should
I? I was happily married, with a good job that I loved, and involved in
local community activities. But early last year, in the late winter of
2008, by happenstance, I came across Alice Dreger's history of the
controversy. It intrigued me enough to motivate me to investigate the
matter carefully. I read many websites denouncing the book and calling
Prof. Bailey everything vile. Anything that makes that many people
upset must be saying something important. Further, the names of the
people leading the charge to discredit Prof. Bailey are some of the most
respected names in the community. I had to read the book for myself;
and who best to lend me a copy than Prof. Bailey himself!
Prof. Bailey graciously gave me access to an online version of the book
and I read it from front to back in nearly one sitting. Although I
disagreed with several minor points, I felt I could have written the
book myself. I agreed with each and every major point. Who wouldn't,
if they knew what I know.
When I was in my mid-teens, I discovered that there were a range of
people who were different in several similar ways. I knew several boys
who came out as gay. I knew two boys who were openly transvestites. I
didn't think I was quite like either of those. I researched the issue
at the library and discovered from magazine articles that my deepest
desire, to live as a girl, marry a straight man, and adopt children was
possible... that there was a name for those like me, that I was
Although I had been taken to therapists since I was ten years old, I was
first seen by the Stanford Gender Identity Clinic, when I was 17 years
old, taken by my parents, in the mid-70s, in the middle of my senior
year in high school. I had been presenting as a girl part-time in
high-school, or rather, after school hours, to go shopping with my
female friends and flirt with boys. I transitioned full time right
after graduation. Although to say that I "transitioned" is misleading.
It was more like I stopped presenting as a boy, as I had no more need to
During my second semester in college, I met other transsexuals for the
first time, at the clinic. What I found surprised and confused me.
They did not seem to be unaffectedly feminine, without effort, but more
like men who desired to be feminine and were
working desperately to appear so. I was acutely embarrassed for them.
Most were much older than me. Many of them had been, or still were,
happily and sexually satisfactorily married to women for years. I
couldn't understand why they wanted to live as women.
If I was surprised and confused by them, they were just as surprised and
confused by me. I was asked how it was possible that I had been dating,
and sexually active with, men, especially as I was pre-op. I had dated
four straight boys who had been high school classmates, besides the
young men that I met when I left home for college. None of the others
at the Clinic had ever dated a man.
After that, I found a crowd of kids my own age, not associated with the
clinic, all of whom were like me. They looked, sounded, and acted like
girls. Also like me, they were dating men.
That's not to say that I fit in perfectly with my new acquaintances.
Most of them were very socially and financially disenfranchised; while I
was the product of a privileged upper-middle-class family living in an
affluent suburban neighborhood. I had some adjustments to make in my
preconceptions and values. But like shipwrecked sailors, all in the
same lifeboat, we were "sisters". It was from these kids that I really
learned what I needed to know to survive as a boy living as a young
woman. We pal'ed around, went dancing with men at straight night clubs
together for mutual support, helped each other with hair and make-up
before big dates, and talked endlessly together about men and sex.
We also talked about transsexuals. We talked about how the older ones
seemed to be quite different than us. One comment that I heard was,
"they are just TVs (transvestites) that need a bigger fix". We also
shared our shock when we learned that two kids who had transitioned in
their early twenties were both "T-birds" (gynandromorphophilic) and not
like us at all... so age at transition didn't mean that they were
automatically like us.
"Transsexual", one word for two very different types of people. I knew
this with a vague awareness. This did not bother me. And, I thought
that others knew and understood that there were the two different types.
Didn't we all talk and write about the differences between "early
transitioning" and "late transitioning" types? I had even met Anne
Lawrence and had a conversation about the two types.
Over the years, I had a few friends and many acquaintances of both
types. I had even had roommates of both types. And of course, I have
had many gay and lesbian, roommates, friends, and acquaintances. I'm more than
comfortable with the diversity found in the LGBT community. I've also
been occasionally involved in supporting political action in support of
the LGBT communities, including working with the transgender community,
in my own low key way.
Of course, I've also been unhappy with some of the things that various
parts of the LGBT communities have done to the others, like when HRC
screwed the transfolk with respect to inclusion in ENDA, but I had never
thought of the two types of trannies being seriously at odds with each
other, both needing the same legal protections and access to appropriate
and affordable medical care.
The only serious disagreement that I knew of was that in the '90s, some
transgender activists who seem to fit the clinical profile for
autogynephilic transsexuality, and most especially one Texas lawyer, who
had remained married to women after transition and SRS, had the odd
notion that their marriages could be used as the wedge to force the
legal system to recognize sex same marriages. While the homosexual
transsexuals I knew shuddered at the thought that the more likely
outcome of such a strategy would be that the states would no longer
recognize our desired legal status as female, and void our marriages to
our husbands, as happened in Texas in the Littleton case!
After I read The Man Who Would Be Queen, I was ashamed of the
transsexual activists that had targeted Prof. Bailey. I was also
confused. Why were they so upset? Surely, everyone knew about the two
types. OK, so Prof. Bailey hadn't been very flattering in his
characterization of either type, but that wasn't cause enough to justify
the venom expressed towards him. I needed to know more.
I found the Transkids website and read carefully. I read many of the
original papers by Blanchard among others. I also read many critiques
of those same papers by what appeared to be reputable therapists and
psychologists, all of whom were transfolk, almost certainly AGP
themselves, judging from their histories. After reading them all, I
knew, Blanchard had been right on the money.
Blanchard's papers helped me put into perspective many of the oddities
that I had noted about AGP transsexuals over the years. It explained
how extremely masculine men with adoring wives, whom they still loved
and were attracted towards, with children who looked up to their
fathers, with successful careers, respected positions in society, could
throw all of that away, to voluntarily choose to become objects of
derision, as they would never be accepted as women by any but the most
generous and indulgent of their acquaintance. It explained one of my
college roommates, a brilliant software engineer, could be so
androgynously attractive as a young woman, but run like a scared rabbit
from men and women alike, and utter virulent homophobic remarks as I got
dressed to go out on dates with men. From the Transkids website, I had
an awaking, much like the conscious raising work during the feminist
movement of the '70s. I suddenly saw that when the AGPs use the terms,
"early transitioning" vs. "late transitioning", they use that language
very differently than I do. They use those terms in an effort to show
that the two types are really the same, while I use the terms to say
that we are fundamentally different. I learned that the AGP leadership
had fought to deny our distinctiveness to further their own agenda, both
politically and psychologically, to rationalize away their own
distinctiveness, to pretend that they were like us, yet redefine us to
be more like them. I learned that Prof. Bailey's book challenged the
AGPs very core sense of self and origin myth. This was a matter of
challenging their religious faith.
Suddenly, I had a crisis of identity.
Was I ever a member of an inclusive transgender community, or was I just
being used by it? I know that I was specifically invited to participate
in several events and projects because I presented well, thus could
speak to non-transsexuals and make them comfortable. I suddenly
realized that I had been their pet, their tame "early
transitioning" tranny-girl. Christine Jorgensen cooed over me and
patronizingly called me a "baby TS" when I met her at eighteen. Can I in
good conscience ever support the AGP community again? Should I
repudiate their actions? Should I speak up, as I have in the past when
I see injustice?
But, first, can I throw stones? Was I so certain about myself? One of
the hallmarks of those who had so viciously attacked Prof. Bailey and
his book is a self-assured arrogance that they can't possibly be wrong.
Did I have the right to cast stones? Was I right, and the rest of the
transexual community wrong?
Also, I had trouble with the label, "homosexual transsexual". I'm
comfortable identifying as what most everyone around me sees me as, a
straight woman, married to a very straight man. Trying on the label
"homosexual" was very disturbing for me. I don't see myself as a man.
Oh, I'm not stupid or delusional. I know perfectly well that I am
biologically male, and only have feminine features and superficially
female genitalia thanks to medical intervention. But, my self-concept
is that I'm a woman. But, is that not how the AGPs rationalize their
I've always been self-questioning, even self-doubting at times,
double-checking my perceptions with the opinions of others. I asked a
non-transsexual friend what she thought. My friend thought that I
should speak out, speak the truth. She described those who had attacked
Prof. Bailey as "two-year-olds having tantrums". She also said that the
description of HSTS kids was a dead-on description of me. And the
descriptions of AGPs definitely described several other transwomen she
knew. I worked out my own aversion to the label "homosexual", deciding
that yeah- I could have been described as such before I transitioned.
OK, so I can speak for at least one, me. I still can't speak for
all, not without knowing and having consulted with each of them. But I
can speak for me, and also I may incidentally speak for some who are of
like mind. And of course, I can speak the simple truth, which may speak
Because of my past participation in support of political and social
efforts to help the larger LGB and the T-community in particular, I am
known in the transgender community. I've written a number of well
received essays on various topics of interest to both MTF types, and
even by the FtMs. My pen name and my writings show up on more than a
few AGP websites, and before the dominance of the internet, in hardcopy
trannie publications. My first thought was to rush out and write an
essay on why Blanchard is right. Why the transcommunity should
apologize to Bailey for popularizing that truth, for explaining who we
are to a lay readership. My first thought was to use the social capital
I have earned to lend weight to HSTS recognition.
But then cold hard fear struck.
I realized the lengths that these particular transactivists have gone to
harass Bailey and Lawrence indicate a pathological need to deny obvious
facts and a willingness to hurt people in the process. This wasn't a
civilized scientific debate over facts and ideas. It was a religious
war with no prisoners taken. If I were to use the name that I've used
in the past, I would become the target of these autogynophilic
transsexuals' narcissist rage (Lawrence 2007). A small number of the
very same people who had been attacking Bailey may come to know my real
name and details of my everyday life. If they were to publish this
connection, it would hurt my family. It could destroy my career, as I
work in a very conservative field, if my colleagues were to learn of my
medical history. I know with certainty, that the same people, who
attacked Bailey and Lawrence and many others who agreed with them, would
have no scruples about destroying my life.
So, I am reduced to creating a new pen name. I'm also forced to redact
potentially personally identifying information from my essays. I'm
forced to be invisible.
But then, I'm not the only invisible transsexual.
Compared to the AGP transsexual population, the HSTS population as a
whole is nearly invisible, socially, politically, and therapeutically.
One of the factors the causes the HSTS population to be effectively
invisible is that when an HSTS is seen on the rare occasion by a
therapist that specializes in "gender issues", she is seen against the
backdrop of an AGP transsexual population that is both more numerous and
remains in therapy for a longer time. The most common reason for an
HSTS to visit such a therapist is to procure a "letter" giving
"permission" to have SRS or other procedures, if she is visiting a
physician that requires such letters for homosexual transsexuals, many
doctors familiar with HSTS kids don't require such letters. Otherwise,
most HSTS kids have no reason to see a therapist, not generally
experiencing a conflict with her sense of self or her choices. Most
transkids do not need an outsider to tell them it's OK to be feminine;
they have been feminine all of their lives. They don't need a therapist
to help them in deciding to transition or not. This decision has
already been made. When an HSTS is seeking the letter, her goal is to
move on with her life, not to spend time educating the therapist.
Further, the therapist is exposed to autogynophilic fantasies of some
AGPs who say that they are attracted to men, but are not actually
sexually attracted to masculine bodies. Thus, we can forgive the poor
therapist for not recognizing in a few short visits, when an HSTS who
genuinely is attracted to men (masculine bodies) may actually be
In transsexual support groups, homosexual transsexuals are in a minority
position from the beginning. It is human nature to seek out those like
themselves, so occasionally an HSTS finds a support group, but soon
feels out-of-place and uncomfortable, unable to relate to AGPs and the
issues that AGPs most want to discuss. Unless the support group is
moderated by an experienced therapist, the naturally more masculine and
dominant AGPs, accustomed to male privilege, will tend to monopolize the
conversations. Further, since a portion of the AGP population is
strongly attracted to other transsexuals, especially to those who are
physically and behaviorally more feminine, the HSTS minority may be
subject to unwanted sexual advances from the AGP majority. Naturally,
finding no real support for, or mirroring of, her own concerns, and made
uncomfortable by sexual objectification, the lone HSTS will quickly
drift away, leaving the support group to the AGPs.
Paradoxically, the Gay male community is partially responsible for
gender therapists not recognizing that naturally gendered behavior and
sexual orientation are closely linked. The fact that the modern Western
Gay culture is largely femiphobic, except in very controlled, and thus
safe forms such as camp or stage drag, encourages homosexual men to
hide, as best they can, any naturally occurring feminine behavior or
traits. They go to the gym to build up muscle. They wear attire that
is culturally associated with very masculine straight men. They modify
their appearance and behavior to conform to the "straight looking,
straight acting" ideal of heterosexual men that homosexual men find
attractive. They deny any femininity in themselves to make themselves
sexually attractive to those that are attracted to other men. The irony
is that the other gay men are doing the same thing. The fact that most
gay men had been feminine as boys is thus obliterated. The false
picture of ultra-masculine homosexuality hides the natural link to
The Butch Gay male culture buries an essential truth that is essential
to understanding the homosexual transsexual. She doesn't hide her
natural femininity and she finds men to be sexually attractive. The two
are linked. After all, women, on average, are naturally inclined to be
sexually attracted to men, for obvious evolutionary reasons. Further,
they are naturally inclined to behave in a certain manner, that serves
as external gendered clues to her sex, her reproductive status, and her
readiness to mate. We call these behaviors, in aggregate, femininity.
It should be no surprise that sexual attraction to men and naturally
feminine behaviors are strongly correlated. What ever causes the one,
is strongly linked to the other. Unlike her butch gay male compatriots,
the homosexual transsexual's sexual orientation and natural femininity
are both easily observable.
But, gender therapists, living in a culture where gay men are
ultra-masculine acting, have created a model of sexual and gender
behavior where it is not only conceivable, but probable that gendered
behavior and sexual orientation are separable. And if those two are
separable, then one can go the further illogical leap and posit that
naturally gendered behavior plus sexual orientation can be separable
from an imagined internal "gender identity". Finally, the AGP
transsexual verbally confirms this with nearly every visit, as
separating "gender identity" from sexuality is necessary if their
"hidden feminine essence" explanation of transsexuality is to be
socially and medically credible.
Thus, the homosexual transsexual becomes conceptually impossible as a
separate essential category, as her existence contradicts the
separability of gendered behavior and sexuality, avoids prolonged
interaction, and is made invisible to the vast majority of gender
Another factor that causes HSTS invisibility is the simple fact that
homosexual transsexuals, by and large, pass unremarkably as female after
transition. This allows most transkids to assimilate into the
communities in which they live. They do not feel the need, nor desire,
to be "out". Indeed, being "out" would nullify many of the benefits of
living as women that they sought to secure. The one notable exception
is the "she male" prostitute, who, in order to find a specific
clientele, must become and remain visible in at least one venue. This
creates an observation bias in the minds of both law enforcement and
sexologists who may seek homosexual transsexuals. But, the majority of
working class and especially middle class HSTS kids simply disappear
into their respective communities, avoiding participation in activities
that would "out" them. This includes participation in the so-called
Given the anonymity afforded by on-line interactions, one would believe
that HSTS individuals would feel comfortable participating in forums,
list servers, etc. and indeed, in the mid-90's, such appeared to be
true (personal experience). However, AGPs soon out numbered HSTS's on
any on-line venue, drowning out the HSTS voice. Further, when HSTS's
voiced opinions that called into question the "feminine essence" and
"gender identity" narratives of AGPs, a small but vocal minority of the
AGPs reacted with narcissistic rage (Lawrence 2007) and 'flame wars'
erupted. This would drive HSTS participants off of a given forum. It
might be theoretically possible to create a moderated forum where only
HSTS voices would be allowed, but the very anonymity, coupled with
autogynophilic pseudo-androphilia, would make it impossible to assure
that AGPs would not soon overrun the forum.
In contrast to HSTSs, most AGPs are unable to convincingly pass as
female, the possibility of blending in, of being "in stealth mode" is
largely illusory. The loss of family, friends, and often times, jobs,
leads many AGPs to become and remain socially connected to other AGPs.
The less one is able to pass, the more likely one is to remain publicly
visible, regardless of personal preference. This leads many to choose
to make a virtue out of a necessity, proclaiming that being "out" is
socially and politically a wiser and more community spirited choice,
drawing an analogy to, and even borrowing the language of, "out" gay men
and lesbians. Sandy Stone, in The Empire Strikes Back; a
Posttranssexual Manefesto, called this "reading oneself aloud". These
publicly visible and outspoken AGP transsexuals have chastised those who
pass unremarkably, who are "deep stealth", who are usually homosexual
transsexuals, as being complicit in transphobic discrimination by not
standing with their more visible peers, saying that they are failing in
their 'sisterhood' by using "passing privilege" (Jessica Xavior). Thus,
it would appear on the surface that AGPs are welcoming and inviting of
transkids, but only if those transkids accept the AGP narrative of
"gender identity" as their motivation for transition, and give up the
very benefits that transition uniquely affords them.
As AGPs are more numerous and more likely to be publicly visible, it is
the AGP that the public sees and hears in the media. From the earliest
accounts of transsexual transformations to today, the AGP narrative has
dominated, including famous autobiographies by Lili Elbe, Christine
Jorgensen, Roberta Cowel, Jan Morris, Canary Conn, and Jennifer Boylan .
This makes the HSTS invisible, her voice replaced by that of the AGP.
The earliest autobiography of a post-operative transsexual was Lili
Elbe's "Man into Woman". She was one of two people who obtained SRS at
the Institut fur Sexualwissencraft before the NAZI regime came to power.
The other individual is believed to have been an HSTS, but little is
known of her life. Lili obtained surgery in several stages, but sadly
died of complications from the final operation. In her book, published
posthumously in 1933, she describes in detail a lifelong cross-dressing
habit wherein she posed for her then wife, the successful painter,
fashion magazine illustrator, Gerda Wegener. Lili was Gerda's favorite
model. Gerda also illustrated erotic novels, indicating that she was
very open minded. Lili enjoyed being courted by men when she was
cross-dressed but never sought sexual relations with her admirers.
Christine Jorgensen, in her personal account, went to great lengths to
distance herself from any impression that she might have had sexual
motives. Though she reported to have been approached by gay men, she
rebuffed them with the same vigor as she did women. By all reports by
those who knew her, she lived her life largely celibate. Dr. Christian
Hamburger, in his 1952 paper on Christine, stressed that both Christine
and he declined to create a vagina as neither had interest in
facilitating sexual relations with men (Hamburger 1953).
Roberta Cowel lived a life of intensely masculine competitiveness. As a
boy he enjoyed competitive sports. As an adult, he became a fighter
pilot, shot down over Europe in the war against the NAZI regime. In her
book, she describes having fought a losing battle with a feminine body
and persona that eventually "took over". By presenting her decision as
accommodating an innate biological process, she deflected criticism that
her decision was based on autogynophilic desire. In essence, she lied
about her motivations.
Jan Morris led a life that many men would envy, including participating
in the first successful expedition to reach the summit of Mount Everest,
before transitioning in mid-life. In her book, Conundrum, her decision
is couched in near mystical terms, as though this was one of her many
adventures, a new territory to be explored. In one anecdote, she
describes her enjoyment of how men now find her sexually attractive,
even if she isn't attracted in return.
Canary Conn had been a teen-aged heart-throb to many young girls as a
handsome young man. He married and fathered a child before divorcing to
transition. After transition, her obviously masculine frame spelled the
end of her career as an entertainer. Few who meet her in person doubt
that she was born male (personal recollection).
Jennifer Boylan lived as a successful married man, fathering children,
before transitioning. Afterwards, she remained legally married to her
wife, though she claimed that she is attracted to men without ever
having acted on that claimed attraction.
While each biography alone does not conceal the existence of and the
differences between homosexual and autogynophilic transsexuals, the
shear numbers and the simple fact that none specifically acknowledge
their autogynophilic sexuality and motivation serves to make the
homosexual transsexual invisible.
There are stories of transkids, of course, but these were usually
written by non-transsexuals, in magazine essays or newspaper stories,
sometimes sympathetic, but more often sensationalistic. There is an
underlying subtext that these kids are the same as those who transition
later as adults, but their transsexuality was simply expressed earlier.
The few autobiographies of homosexual transsexuals largely consist of
those who had some public exposure, outed, by the press because they
were already in the public eye, such as models or actresses (e.g.
Caroline "Tula" Cossey).
The one exception, is the story of "Jenny June", who writes poignantly,
in detail, if not cohesively, of her life in The Autobiography of an
Androgyne (1919) and of others like herself in The Female Impersonators
(1923). In these books, she repeatedly uses, as a metaphor, what Drager
would later call the 'feminine essence' narrative, including being a
"woman in a man's body". The use of the term "androgyne" was used to
specifically call attention to the remarkably feminine nature and
appearance of those like herself. She makes a point, most emphatically,
that she and those like her, are not the same as those we would
recognize today as gay men, which she refers to by the then current
name, "urnings". She points out the noticeably feminine behavior and
habitus of those like her, contrasting that with "urnings", whom she
describes as being only slightly feminine to conventionally masculine in
manner and appearance. Although female hormones and modern SRS were not
available to her, she availed herself of what procedure has always been
available, castration. Through these books, we learn that homosexual
transsexual lives from the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th
Century's are not dissimilar from the lives of transkids at the
beginning of the 21st. However, her books were printed in very small
numbers and is not generally known, even among sexologists. So, by and
large, very few examples of transkid biographies are available. Without
a separate voice, the distintion between AGP and homosexual transsexual
is blurred, obliterated, leaving both the young transkid and health care
providers with confusing, if not counter-productive examples.
In the 1960's and '70s, many individuals seeking SRS were funneled
through university based research clinics. It was no secret that the
clinics preferred to accept those who were most likely to be successful
and socially acceptable after surgery. This meant that homosexual
transsexuals were those most likely to receive SRS. This lead to the
general impression among autogynophilic prospective clients that they
needed to craft their personal narratives to more closely adhere to the
Feminine Essence narrative that approximated the metaphoric narrative of
the homosexual transsexual groping to make her own plight explicable.
Indeed, some of the clinics outright rejected any individual who
admitted to being attracted to women. However, it was not true that
they universally rejected those who admitted to autogynophilic arousal
or sexual history with women. The Stanford University clinic in
particular was noted for helping admitted heterosexual transsexuals.
Dr. Laub, Sr. in particular, stressed that clients should only proceed
as far as they needed to be comfortable, encouraging
partial-autogynophilics not to proceed to SRS if hormones and breast
augmentation was sufficient to ease their gender dysphoria, a term
coined by Dr. Fisk at the Stanford clinic (personal recollection). In
keeping with their desire to produce socially acceptable results,
Stanford clinic offered, one might say, required participation at
"grooming seminars" (personal recollection, Sandy Stone) which were
designed specifically for autogynophilic transsexuals. The sessions
included lectures on feminine voice production, wardrobe selection, and
make-up, all in an effort to teach masculine autogynophilic transsexuals
how to present a more feminine appearance in public.
Sexologists associated with the clinics were able to study the
prospective transsexual clients. The clinics were very aware that there
were two essential categories of transsexual and eventually were willing
to accommodate their needs, although they didn't have a theoretical
underpinning to that recognition. However, these clinics tailored their
program's requirements to the needs of the overwhelming majority, which
were autogynophilic. The rules, or "hoops" as they were called by the
prospective clients, were felt to be primarily designed to legally
protect the physicians from malpractice lawsuits should there be
post-operative regret. They were also seen as deflecting legal concern
about performing "experimental" surgery that many in society thought to
be immoral. The least popular "hoop" was the so called "Real Life Test"
(RLT), the requirement that a prospective client had to live full time
as a woman for some period of time, varying from six months to two
years, depending on the clinic, before surgery could be obtained. For
autogynophilic transsexuals for whom obtaining surgery was their highest
goal, this requirement was felt to be unnecessarily onerous and even
further proof that the clinics were restricting surgery to homosexual
transsexuals. For the older autogynophilic transsexual who had likely
struggled, attempting to suppress her desire for somatic feminization,
and now come to embrace this desire, this further, externally imposed
delay, was most unwelcome. Many clinicians remarked on the impatience
and anger of these "secondary" transsexuals to this delay. One such
individual angrily remarked to a group of transsexuals at the Stanford
clinic, "They only want to do surgery on secretaries and prostitutes!"
alluding to the two most stereotypical occupations of young homosexual
transsexuals (personal recollection - the author was a 19 year old
secretary at the time).
The real purpose of the RLT was indeed to reduce the chance of
post-operative regret from what was then considered "secondary"
transsexuals, about which many clinicians remained uncertain that SRS
was a useful treatment. Due to limited financial means, young
homosexual transsexuals were rarely in a position to pay for surgery
until they were older, most often many years later than any clinically
imposed delay. For these kids, transition and hormones alone were both
welcome and financially expedient. The older HSTS was likely to have
been living as a woman for years, with no help from clinics, having
obtained prescriptions for hormones from urban physicians familiar only
with homosexual transsexuals that were referred from other transkids.
For an HSTS, living full time as a woman is not a "test", but simply
getting on with life. So the "Real Life Test" requirement was indeed
literally instituted for the older autogynophilic transsexual client
These clinical practices formed the basis of what would later become the
HBGIDA Standards of Care (SOC) when that organization was formed after
the closure of the Erickson Education Foundation (EEF). The EEF had
been providing funding for much of the research into transsexuality, and
in essence, funding the existence of the clinics in the United States,
up to that point. The existence of the clinics and the formation of
HBGIDA sowed the seeds of the present boutique medical care system of
independent gender therapists, private primary care physicians
prescribing hormones, and independent surgeons. The availability of
independent surgeons and the loss of funding from the EEF in turn led to
the demise of the majority of the university based research clinics, as
the boutique system was more convenient and lower cost. With their
demise the SOCs were locked into place, institutionalizing
one-size-fits-all protocols suitable for adult autogynophilic
transsexuals, but totally inappropriate for homosexual transsexuals,
most of whom present as teenagers or very soon thereafter. Also lost
with the demise of the clinics was the institutional recognition of the
very existence of homosexual transsexuals by the majority of gender
therapists. Thus, the needs of transkids have been made to be
invisible. It is no accident that one of the few remaining research
clinics, (Blanchard's) was where the confusing diversity of presentation
that non-homosexual transsexuals exhibit was recognized to be
autogynophilia, in contrast to the consistent presentation of the
With the publication of Blanchard's papers and subsequent dialog that
occurred in the AGP led community, notably by Anne Lawrence, a growing
sense of unease spread as it became clear to many that the feminine
essence and gender identity narrative wasn't being accepted by everyone.
Up to this point, the colonization of HSTS narratives by AGPs had been a
passive process, largely the result of AGPs simply trying to get what
they felt that they personally needed, as individuals. For example,
well known professor of economics Deidre (Donald) McCloskey, whose 1999
autobiography Crossing: A Memoir documents numerous episodes of
auto-erotic transvestism, writes (using the third person "Dee") that:
"The young woman psychiatrist asked Dee the usual questions, mentally
running down a checklist of the gender-crossing illness. "When did you
first want to be female?" "Were you effeminate as a child?" (...) Dee
started to lie. They all do it."
"Of course gender crossers lie. They can read the DSM just as well as
the psychiatrists can."
"Oh yes" Dee said to the Free University psychiatrist "I've always had
these desires. Oh yes Doctor ever since I can remember. Oh yes it's just
like being a woman in a man's body. Oh yes Doctor I hate my penis. Oh
yes Doctor whatever your dopey list says". (McCloskey 1999)
(Bolded text is as originally printed)
But with the publication of The Man Who Would Be Queen, a new chapter is
opened when leaders of the AGP community organized to harass the author
who wrote the simple truth in unflattering terms. From this point the
redefinition of the homosexual transsexual becomes an active process as
the AGP community perceives that the existence and contrast of transkids
compared to AGP transsexuals calls into question their own true
motivation to seek somatic feminization. On the one hand, they
supported early transition for feminine boys who clearly would fit in
better as girls, but with the rationalization that they too would have
done so had the "proper support systems" been in place, or had they
known that such transition was possible. Of course, the existence of an
older HSTS population that had transitioned as teenagers in the so
called "dark ages" before the internet, who now were deep stealth,
occasionally became an embarrassment, but, given the natural reluctance
for them to out themselves, didn't come out in sufficient numbers to
upset the public relations spin of the AGP community.
Presently, there is even an effort by one biological scientist, Julia
Serano, to solicit androphilic narratives that include fetishistic
cross-dressing, in an effort to refute the HSTS/AGP theory. However,
given that these narratives may come from AGPs who have incorporated
pseudo-androphilia, of being able to attract straight men, into their
autogynophilic fantasy, this may lead to a false picture. Blanchard's
own data showed that 15% of those self-identified as androphilic
admitted to fetishistic cross-dressing. But this effort to collect such
refuting narratives is not being performed in a controlled setting, but
rather through the internet. No effort is being made to collect
narratives that may support Blanchard's theory. Thus, we can safely
conclude this is not science, but politics; Ms. Serano seeks to blur the
differences between the HSTS and AGP populations. If she can collect
enough narratives that support the AGP position that there is no
difference between androphilic and gynophilic transsexuals in their
fetishistic use of cross-dressing, then it can bolster their delusion
that autogynophilia is not the cause of their desire for transition, but
an effect of their female "gender identity". She seeks nothing less
than control of HSTS narratives and visibility.
While transsexual lying may have been necessary initially on the
personal level for
non-homosexual, autogynephilic, "secondary", "ego-dystonic" transsexuals
to obtain the treatment they needed and were entitled to, this is no
longer true. Instead, the singular personal lie has become a social lie,
required by non-homosexual transsexuals to maintain the public facade
they require to be "real", but at the expense of those whose
lives they are attempting to mimic.
Thus, the homosexual transsexual is made to be invisible.