From: "Sarah Fox" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To whom it may concern:
I was shocked when I learned of Mike Bailey's book, "The Man Who Would Be Queen." That is because I am not only a transsexual woman but also a colleague who attended graduate school with the man. According to Bailey, I transitioned and eventually had surgery for sexual reasons -- either to have sexual access to men or to endulge some strange fetish.
In fact I transitioned because of my anguish over the incongruity between my assigned social role and my internal gender. I had sexual reassignment surgery mostly to establish myself as a woman in the eyes of the law, but also for long-term health reasons. None of my motives had anything to do with sex. Every transsexual woman I have ever known has transitioned for the same reason, although motives for surgery vary widely.
I heard about Bailey's book and the transsexual categories he proposed in late April 2003, and I emailed him soon after -- both as a transsexual woman and as an academic sibling. I told him that I didn't fit into either of his transsexual categories, nor did anyone I knew. I expressed concern as to the validity of his research findings and suggested that he must have stumbled across a very unrepresentative study population. I suggested that we meet, face-to-face, and discuss his work as two colleagues. He did not reply for over a week. I sent him another email requesting a reply, and he replied within 12 min. His response was a "nonresponse," telling me that he's not going to change his mind just because some transsexual thinks his categories are in error.
We exchanged several emails thereafter. In each email, I asked very specific questions about his data, selection methods, etc. He consistently responded with an annoyed tone and refused to answer any of my questions. My understanding from our exchange is that he is still unwilling to discuss transsexualism with a transsexual colleague or to have his rigid views questioned or criticized by anyone.
Having dealt with many hundreds of scientists, I don't recall any of them having been so defensive and closed-minded, unwilling even to discuss their work with colleagues. Of course I may have ceased to be a credible colleague, in Bailey's eyes, when I transitioned, perhaps now being better suited for prostitution. His profound prejudices against the transsexual community would certainly suggest that.
I should note that I have mixed feelings about speaking out against Bailey, as I would against any academic colleague. My discomfort is all the greater when speaking out against an academic sibling. However, knowing the harm he is unleashing on the transsexual community, I could not look myself in the mirror every morning if I were to remain silent. (I'm truly sorry, Mike. It's certainly nothing personal.)
Sarah Fox, Ph.D.