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The man who would be queen

If I were going to write a serious and scholarly book on a topic I would certainly be careful about the type of cover I chose.

Someone should have told this to Michael Bailey back in 2003 when he decided to dust off Ray Blanchard’s controversial ideas and put them to print in his own words. Bailey wholeheartedly espoused the Autogynephilia theory and expanded on it in his book which immediately raised the ire of the transgender community.

If I were to write a book on African Americans I would not feature a white man in black face. Similarly, if I were to write a book on homosexuality I would not feature a caricature of a limp wristed effeminate dandy either. Bailey chose to show the hairy calves of a man teetering in a pair of women’s pumps and call the book “The Man who would be Queen - The Science of Gender Bending and Transsexualism”.

This choice of cover acted as the red flag being waved at the bull. You shouldn’t be that surprised if it then charged.

The entire Blanchard school is not among my favorites but at least Anne Lawrence (who herself transitioned) had the good sense not to do as Bailey did. Of course Lawrence is in the unenviable position of having to defend a theory that accuses her of having a paraphilic abnormality. Why make things even worse for yourself.

Bailey was vilified by the likes of Andrea James and Lynn Conway who rightly saw the book as a less than scholarly attempt to paint transgender women as having a sexually fueled mental illness. Whether the treatment Bailey received went beyond an acceptable limit I cannot say but I know that his choice of cover plus the contents of the book were clearly an attempt to be controversial and adversarial. If he thought otherwise would have made Bailey a complete imbecile; he clearly knew what he was doing.

The Blanchard cabal is not the picture of political correctness and they are not as scientifically professional as they think themselves to be. As I have pointed here before many times the work is like a swiss cheese (full of gaping holes) and is primarily based on selective hand picking from the psychoanalysis of people intending to transition. If they didn’t get a response they wanted from a patient they accused them of lying.

Zagria (of Gender Variance Who’s Who fame) has an interesting beef with them in that when she went to the CAMH institute for treatment she was refused on the basis that she didn’t fit one of their two typologies. She would have been a late transitioning gay male with a husband which somehow didn’t compute. Zagria transitioned elsewhere and is strongly opposed to AGP as a concept.

All work claiming to be scholarly is traditionally non-controversial and examines other possible origins most especially when there is so much unknown territory here. The fact that Bailey ignored this basic approach speaks volumes about the quality (or lack thereof) of his final product.


  1. That's definitely a cover and a title to put you off approaching this as a scholarly scientific work. I doubt if I'll be putting it on my Amazon Wish List.

  2. I wouldn't bother with it Susie but if you are at all interested in understanding where the Blanchard group sits on this issue you might want to.


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