First let's compare drag queens to crossdressers. Both are invested in their manhood but with a little less conviction than a conventional male. Both dress frequently and both enjoy exhibiting feminine behavior. You will also find that each group has members who range from occasional dressers to virtually full time living.
As an illustration of how it works on the homosexual side, just read the history of the Jewel Box Revue to see examples of how conventional homosexual men intermingled with full blown transsexuals and everything in between.
What continues to fascinate me is the dividing line.
Harry Benjamin seems to have been correct to propose a graded scale because that is exactly what we see in the real world. It is literally a miriad of variations on a continuum. By thinking along these lines, orientation becomes more of a filter through which gender dysphoria must pass instead of a defining feature.
It has been suggested that the main difference between androphilics and gynephilics is the erotic component but this can be in large part adressed through the absence of conflict between object of sexual desire and the perceived internal gender identity in the androphilic. However the sexual fantasies of pre-transition transsexuals, regardless of orientation, should in theory overlap since all are taking the mental role of the female during intercourse.
Some androphilics insist that because they were effeminate during childhood it makes their claim of transsexualism more valid. But think of this another way: is a very feminine woman more of a woman than a butch and masculine one?
At the end of the day we must admit that this issue is exceedingly complex as is all human sexuality.
But if what I am saying here is correct (and I strongly believe it is) it would put into question the idea that androphilic transitions are somehow more valid than gynephilic ones. If anything androphilics who strangely esposuse the Blanchard model should rejoice that they are not mentally ill and that Benjamin was essentially correct with his biological one.