An investigation into the publication of

J. Michael Bailey's book on transsexualism

by the National Academies:




by Lynn Conway

Copyright @ 2004 by Lynn Conway

All rights reserved

[Links updated 12-02-06] [Link to printable PDF file]

We include here some quotes from the book The Man Who Would Be Queen; The science of gender-bending and transsexualism by J. Michael Bailey, in order to give site-readers a quick way to visualize why this investigation was undertaken - by seeing and judging for yourselves what Prof. Bailey was teaching the public on the topic of transsexual women.  In all cases, we provide direct links to the relevant pages in the book, so that you can read the quotes in context and fully confirm their strangeness for yourself.
Most people who have any knowledge about transsexualism and/or who actually know trans people will find these teachings to be incredibly defamatory of trans women. How this book could have been published under the imprimatur of the National Academy Press, and be called "cutting-edge science" by the National Academies, are key questions that we are still investigating.
In the direct quotes below from the National Academy Press website and promotional materials, you will find striking claims by the Academies regarding the scientific quality of Bailey's book. However, as you will learn in our reports, our investigation revealed that these claims are not backed up in any way by actual research results.
As you will learn, Bailey's book denies the reality of cross-gender identities and classifies trans women as males. Therefore, it is no surprise that not only Bailey's book but also the Academies' promotional materials contain frequent references to trans women as "males" and "men" (underlined in the quotes below). Such continual references to trans women as "men" go completely counter to current-day clinical practices and social conventions, and are universally perceived by trans women to be a deliberate form of hate speech. Thus this new product of the National Academies is not only a classic case of junk science, but in its subtext is a form of hate speech:
National Academy Press claims regarding the scientific quality of Bailey's book:
"Based on his original research, Bailey’s book is grounded firmly in science."
"Bailey skillfully interweaves vivid case studies with cutting-edge scientific findings, placing both in a deep historical context - - - Refreshingly candid, remarkably free of ideology, this book is destined to become a modern classic in the field."
"He has studied feminine men in the industrialized world as well as those in the developing world who either are feminine or who perform ritualistic "feminine" sexual behavior that may shock the average reader."
"The conclusions to which Bailey came after years of psychological profiles, statistical studies, interviews, and comparison of his research with that fellow scientists, may not always be politically correct, but they are scientifically accurate, thoroughly researched, and occasionally startling."
"Bailey is one of a rare breed of writers who manages to combine first-rate science with deep psychological understanding, resulting in great breadth of vision. He takes us on an unforgettable journey into the minds and lives of feminine men."
"...the first scientifically grounded book about male femininities written for a general audience...Bailey sympathetically portrays these peoples' experiences and explores the roots of their development. … Bailey's respect for the people he describes serves as a role model for others who still struggle to accept and appreciate homosexuality and transsexuality in society."
"J Michael Bailey’s The Man Who Would Be Queen is an engaging book on the science of sexual orientation. ...highly sympathetic to gay and transsexual men..."


Direct quotes from Bailey's book:

Following are many quotes from the book itself that illustrate Bailey's so-called "cutting-edge scientific findings". Note that he genders trans women as "men", and then classifies them by whether they are attracted to men (calling them 'homosexual' as if they themselves were men) or attracted to women (calling them 'autogynephilic' and defining that condition to be an autosexual paraphilia - while ignoring their lesbian orientation). 
In the process of force-fitting all trans women into these two caricature-like categories, Mr. Bailey ignored any discussion of gendered inner feelings and gender identities. Any sensible person, especially those who know any trans women, will see that these statements are outrageously inaccurate and are defamatory caricatures of trans women's lives, loves and gender identities:




1. Boys suffering from transsexualism should give up the dream of becoming women and grow up to be happy as gay men

2. There are "two types of transsexual men"
3. The first type, sometimes called classic transsexuals, are "homosexual transsexual men"
4. All other transsexuals are "sexually paraphilic men"called "autogynephiles"

5. All other (non-transsexual) transgender people are also autogynephiles"; i.e.,  they are all mentally-ill sexual paraphilics too.

6. Comments condescendingly on other researchers who don't see things his way

7. Eugenics solutions to the "evolutionary paradox" of homosexuality 

8. Challenges concept of innate gender identity, and instead proclaims that the motivation to "change sex" is a result of disordered sexual drive

9. Hopes teachings lead to renewed pathologization of transsexualism by inclusion in new APA Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

1. Bailey teaches that transsexual women are actually "men", and the underlying theme of the book is that boys suffering from transsexualism should be counseled to give up the dream of becoming women and instead grow up to be happy as gay men, as does "Danny" (the main character in the book):
"The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending And Transsexualism" The title of the book
The book's cover contains a deliberately gross photo of a man's gnarly, muscular, hairy legs in high heels, as if these are a typical "transsexual man's" legs. front cover
"Are all male transsexuals women trapped in men's bodies ... ?" inside front cover sheet
"Supposedly, male-to-female transsexuals are motivated by the deep-seated feeling that they have women's souls. However, - - - men who want to be women are not naturally feminine. There is no sense in which they have women's souls" p. xii
" - - - he recalls the parents of a boy with GID telling him: "Every night before going to bed, he prays to God to turn him into a girl." ... Zucker thinks that an important goal of treatment is to help the children accept their birth sex and to avoid becoming transsexual." p. 30
"Failure to intervene increases the chances of transsexualism in adulthood, which Zucker considers a bad outcome. ... Why put boys at risk for this when they can become gay men happy to be men?" p. 31
"Imagine that we could create a world in which very feminine boys were not persecuted by other children and their parents allowed them to play however they wanted ... As much as I would like to arrange such a world, I think that it might well come at the cost of more transsexual adults." p. 33
2. Bailey then teaches that there are "two types of transsexual men":
"The two types of transsexuals who begin life as males are called homosexual and autogynephilic ... homosexual transsexuals are extremely feminine gay men, and autogynephilic transsexuals are men erotically obsessed with the image of themselves as women." p. 146
"The most important reason that most people do not realize that there are two types of transsexuals is that members of one type sometime misrepresent themselves as members of the other. ... they are often silent about their true motivation and instead tell stories about themselves that are misleading and, in important respects, false." p. 146
"Once you've learned about autogynephilic and homosexual transsexuals and seen several of each, distinguishing them is easy." p. 192
"The current popular literature about transsexualism is noteworthy for its ignorance of the distinction between autogynephilic and homosexual transsexuals." p. 216
3. Bailey then teaches that the first type (those who are attracted to men) are actually "homosexual transsexual men" - and he then caricatures these trans women as follows:
" - - - one type of transsexual man is a kind of homosexual man." p. 146
"To be sure, only a small minority of gay men become transsexual, but homosexual transsexuals are a type of gay man". p. 178
"In order for a feminine boy to become transsexual, something extra must happen. What is the something extra? - - - Zucker found several predictors of adolescent GID: lower IQ, lower social class, immigrant status, non-intact family, and childhood behavior problems unrelated to gender identity disorder." p. 178-179
" - - - homosexual transsexuals are used to living on the margins of society" p. 184
"Homosexual transsexuals tend to have a short time horizon, with certain pleasure in the present worth great risks for the future." p. 184
"Prostitution is the single most common occupation that homosexual transsexuals in our study admitted to." p. 184
"The more resourceful and attractive transsexual prostitutes are call girls." p. 185
"Nearly all the homosexual transsexuals I know work as escorts after they have their surgery." p. 210
"As for shoplifting, homosexual transsexuals are not especially well suited as much as especially motivated. For many, their taste in clothing is much more expensive than their income allows." p. 185
"Do they get married? ... homosexual transsexuals are not very successful at finding desirable men willing to commit to them." p. 209
"When I began writing this book, I had never known a homosexual transsexual who married." p. 210
"They wanted to get their surgery (if they had not had it yet) and meet a nice, attractive, and financially stable heterosexual man who would marry them and take care of them ... When I was conducting my study of homosexual transsexuals, I routinely asked them if they knew anyone who had realized this dream. No one did." p. 186
"Many of the transsexuals we interviewed in the course of this study were more attractive than the average genetic female." p. 141
"Gay transsexuals are boy crazy." p. 178
" - - - her ability to enjoy emotionally meaningless sex appears male-typical. In this sense, homosexual transsexuals might be especially well-suited to prostitution." p. 185
"When I have discussed the theory that homosexual transsexuals are a type of gay man, I have met resistance. I was surprised at this, for the idea is neither new nor, it seemed to me, controversial." p. 179
4. Bailey then teaches that all other transsexuals (i.e., those who are lesbian in orientation) are actually "sexually paraphilic men":
"Autogynephilic transsexuals are not "women in men's bodies" (Anne Lawrence, a physician and sex researcher who is herself a postoperative transsexual, has called them "men trapped in men's bodies")." p. 168
"The autogynephile's main romantic target is herself." p. 183
"Most gender patients lie - - - " p. 172
"The most common way that autogynephiles mislead others is by denying the erotic component of their gender bending." p. 173
" - - - autogynephilia seems to be a type of paraphilia. Paraphilias comprise a set of unusual sexual preferences that include autogynephilia, masochism, sadism ,... , frotteurism , ... necrophilia, beastiality, and pedophilia." p. 171
"If a man has one paraphilia, then his chances of having any other paraphilia seem to be highly elevated. p. 172
"The best established link is between autogynephilia and masochism. There is a dangerous masochistic practice called "autoerotic asphyxia," in which a man strangles himself, usually by hanging, for sexual reasons. ... About one-fourth of the time, these men are found wearing some article of women's clothing, such as panties. ...Apparantly these men are both masochistic and autogynephilic." p. 172
"Cross-dressing has also been linked to sexual sadism - although most autogynephiles are not sexual sadists, they are more likely to be sadists compared with men who are not autogynephilic" p. 172
"Paraphilias tend to seem bizarre to typical gay and straight people, whose sexual desires are primarily directed toward conventional sex acts with adults." p. 172

He then says his students are "especially hesitant to support surgery for nonhomosexual transsexuals - - - When I press them they say - - - 'But they don’t have the wrong body, they are mentally ill'. " p. 206



5. But what about all the other (non-transsexual) transgender people out there? What does Bailey say about them? He is merciless on this point: According to Bailey"They are all autogynephiles"; in other words they are all mentally-ill sexual paraphilics:


"Today, public statements by those who call themselves "transgendered" (who are almost all autogynephiles rather than homosexual transsexuals) rarely acknowledge any erotic component of "transgenderism". " p. 174


"According to Blanchard, even cross-dressers who do not want to change their sex have autogynephilia, which they share with non-homosexual transsexuals - - - it is impossible to distinguish males who will become non-homosexual transsexuals from those who will remain crossdressers. They are all autogynephiles." p. 164



6. Bailey then comments condescendingly on other researchers who don't see things his way:


For example, consider his remarks about gender counselors: " - - - many ‘experts’ who make their livings working with them do not understand transsexuals very well." p. 143


And then consider his remarks about his fellow sex researchers: "Blanchard's ideas have not yet received the widespread attention they deserve, in large part because sex researchers are not as scholarly as they should be and so don’t read the current scientific journals." p. 176



7. Bailey also wades into eugenics solutions to the "evolutionary paradox" of homosexuality:

" men have penises, even though they don't use them for the purpose for which penises evolved, namely, procreation."  p.88

"What would make avoiding gay children wrong?" p.114
"For example, some of the people raising the spector of "murdering gay babies" were the same people who insisted that abortion is no one's business but the woman's..." p.114
"Instead, the real question is whether parental selection in favor of heterosexuality is acceptable. To focus on this question, we have to assume that whatever means parents will use to do this are, in themselves, morally acceptable" p.114
"So the next question is whether selecting for heterosexual children would cause any harm?" Certainly being straight rather than gay doesn't harm the child itself." p.115
"Homosexuality might be the most striking unresolved paradox of human evolution. p.115
"Homosexuality is evolutionary maladaptive." p.116
"'Evolutionary maladaptive' sounds like an insult, but it isn't." p.116
"The desire to have sex with members of the opposite sex helps people have sex that might result in offspring. The number of healthy offspring one leaves if perhaps the best indicator of evolutionary success." p.116
8. Bailey then challenges the current-day view that transsexuals suffer from an innate gender identity dysphoria (GID), and instead proclaims that there motivation to "change sex" is a result of unusual (disordered) sexual drives:
"The standard transsexual narrative says that transsexualism is not about sex but about "gender identity", or the internal sense that one is a man or a woman. According to this narrative, transsexuals want to change sex because their sense of self diagrees with their bodies, not because they have any unusual sexual preferences that depend on a sex change. ... It should be clear by now that the "gender, not sex" part of the transsexual narrative is false - - - " p. 180
Bailey hopes his teachings will lead to a new pathologizing of transsexualism by the inclusion of these teachings in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders:
"With luck, the next revision of the DSM will distinguish between "homosexual" and "autogynephilic" transsexualism." p. 176


After reading these quotes, few people believe the book to be cutting edge science, as claimed by the National Academies.  Instead, many see it as trans women do, namely as hate science full of simmering hate-speech within the subtext of a book designed to be "controversial" - and designed to sell well - to a public presumed by Bailey and the National Academies to be eager to learn prurient details about transsexualism.

Perhaps you'll sense as many do that this book was written by a man who has a serious axe to grind against trans women and against "sex changes". If you have any doubts about this, please read the entire book for yourself (you can read it online) ...
On further study, you'll find that the book is designed to play upon one of the greatest fears parents have nowadays, namely that a feminine son might someday 'want to become a woman' (God forbid - what would the neighbors think!). The book reassures parents not to worry - that with proper counseling by psychological experts such as Bailey, their boy can give up that dream and grow up to become a gay man instead.
That story is embedded in the book as the story of "Danny", an effeminate boy who is finally 'saved' by early counseling from what Bailey portrays as the ghastly fate of becoming "a transsexual". Transsexual life is stigmatized in the book by teachings that transsexuals are either (i) homosexual men who end up as sex-changed street prostitutes with no chance of ever finding a mate - or that they are (ii) paraphilic autosexual men who are sexually obsessed with their sex-changed bodies, who are ugly and unpassable as women, and who undoubtedly engage in a whole range of paraphilic activity.
The book appears designed as a classic for our modern liberal age:  Bailey senses that many of today's parents are ready to accept a son who is gay. However they are not ready for the alternative that the boy might want to be a girl, and thus end up becoming a "transsexual".  Bailey apparently hoped his book would become a mainstream sex book - via his lionizing of the happy gay life at the expense of luridly caricatures and stigmatizations of trans women.
But guess what? Our investigation revealed that Danny's story is largely fabricated...fabricated for its literary effect in supporting this book's main theme! Mr. Bailey admitted to Anjelica Kieltyka that he invented the ending of his book in which Danny gives up the dream of becoming a girl and proudly goes on to become a (gay) man.
Now is that "science", or what?



This page is part of Lynn Conway's  "Investigation into the publication ofJ. Michael Bailey's book on transsexualism by the National Academies"