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the checklist

I was recently re-reading sections of J. Michael Bailey’s controversial 2003 book called “The Man Who Would be Queen” and the first thing that came back to me is how utterly unscientific it is. Literally based on someone else’s work of 15 years earlier (Ray Blanchard’s largely ignored 1989 book), Bailey builds his work entirely on the back of the other without adding any scientific evidence to bolster Blanchard’s argumentation.

One of the sections in the book is called: “Autogynephilic and Homosexual Transsexuals: How to Tell Them Apart” where he simply uses a score sheet of how to distinguish between the two alleged taxonomies of transsexuals without proving the theory is actually correct; mostly because he cannot but never mind.

The section is literally a punch list regarding the age of transition asking whether the person was considered feminine in childhood, whether they were ever attracted to or married to a woman and their choice of profession.

In one of the questions pertaining to confirming androphilic transsexualism he writes:

“Have you worked as a hairstylist, beautician, female impersonator, lingerie model, or prostitute?”

The first time I read this it made me literally laugh out loud and it is still jarring today.

Now any thinking person could easily dismiss the criteria used: back then a gynephilic (or asexual) would typically transition later to try and cure themselves to be able to find love with a woman whereas a homosexual would more likely transition sooner due to a sexual orientation alignment. So, this pattern became a direct reflection of how one deals with dysphoria depending on a particular criteria although that is changing today.

As the question to some androphilics working in prostitution, this would also be a circumstance of economic dire straits borne from the non-acceptance by families and society during that period; which again does not prove that the two-type taxonomy is correct.

It is really easy to see how this book would have caused an uproar among the transgender community back then and Alice Dreger unfortunately compromised her credibility by defending Bailey for this shoddy piece of work.

What we have seen since its publishing is a closing of the gap in age of transitions and even the choice of profession of androphilics has thankfully been extended beyond beautician or prostitute. Wonder of wonders, today some androphilics even work in scientific fields and not all gynephilics are scientists and engineers.

This is a complete and utter disgrace of a book and most certainly not worthy of being called a scientific endeavor.


  1. I agree with everything you said but I'd like to add that they should get credit for the title. It's so attention-grabbing for me.

    Even this morning as I see the cover and title my first thoughts are, "I wonder what it's about? Maybe it's about a trans person who was or would have been a queen, maybe of England? Or, maybe it's going to be an interesting read about people like me?" And then, of course, after looking at it more closely (or in your post) I am disappointed both in the message and its threat, and also that I've not found a book I'd like to read.

    1. the cover was like a red flag to the bull Emma. A man with hairy legs in pumps which was a not so subtle jab at the transgender community.

  2. Let's test it, shall we? So, I guess I'm supposed to answer the questions in the order they come, as, if there is any chance I get to +3, I'm autogynephilic. Wait, what? Even if the other answers would change my score? I should just stop answering? That's awfully convenient if you're looking for autogynephiles. Anyway.

    +1 if I have been married to a woman. No

    +1 if people thought I was about as masculine as other boys as a child. No. Noticeably feminine; bullied for it

    +1 if I am not exclusively attracted to men. Okay. +1

    +1 if I were over the age of 40 when I began to live full time. No.

    +1 if I thrive got aroused by wearing women's clothing Not really. Clothing doesn't make me aroused. Not that I don't admit to embodiment fantasies. Just doesn't entail dressing.

    +1 if I have worked as a professional. Post transition, I went to graduate school and entered my current profession, which is on that list. Does that count?

    -1 if my ideal partner is a straight man. Ideal? Not necessarily.

    -1 if people thought I was an unusually feminine boy. Definitely.

    -1 if I'm exclusively attracted to men and I find women "not at all appealing?" How many different ways are you going to ask this one?

    -1 if I were under 25 when I began to live full time. I was 26. That's right! Too old? I started transitioning earlier but went full time at 26. Now what?

    -1 if I like to look at pics of really muscular men with their shirts off. Um, sometimes.

    -1 if I worked as a hairstylist, beautician, female impersonator, lingerie model or prostitute? No. And go f--k yourself.

    And then it asks the questioner if they would guess I were trans. -1. No one guesses. Jaws drop when I tell them.

    So, what about those of us who land somewhere between 3 and -3? (I know, liars.)

    So silly.


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