Transphobic essay published by
Criminology Professor Mike S. Adams
of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington
A report by Lynn Conway* and Leandra Vicci**
October 30, 2005 [updates]
[.doc version with active links]
[.pdf version for printing]
A transphobic essay entitled “Perversity and diversity at my little university,” was published on August 24, 2005 by Mike S. Adams, an associate professor of criminal justice in the Criminal Justice Program at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington.
Believing in free speech, the First Amendment and academic freedom, we in no way wish to curtail Adams’s right to express his views on transgender and transsexual people. In fact we hope Adams’s views become better known and well-assigned to him, so that others can effectively critique the nature and effects of his teachings.
In his article (see below) Adams ridicules four courageous young students who are now undergoing gender transitions at other universities – ridiculing them openly by name and in grossly sexualized terms at this particularly difficult time in their lives.
It is reported that “Adams usually saves his ink for those instances where he thinks bias has evolved into discrimination” . Our report simply follows Adams’s own rule on when to “write about such cases” of obvious discrimination : In his recent article, Adams has gone well beyond his usually rather clever liberal-baiting attention-seeking, and instead reveals a darker, less well-controlled, discriminatory side of his personality.
The Adams’s article raises important questions about the context in which UNC students of criminal justice are being prepared for their roles as protectors of all citizens, including gender minorities. We reflect on that context in this report.
Reflecting on violence against transgender people:
In recent years, law enforcement has become aware of the violence so often perpetrated against transgender people. Such violence was hidden away in the past, seldom seen for what it was. Many trans people have been socially marginalized and lacked any means to speak out. Cops often looked the other way when encountering hate crimes against “those people”, and have often been perpetrators of such violence themselves .
For these reasons, the extreme level of violence against the trans community long went unidentified in official crime statistics. However, that it exists is now all too clear. See for example “Disposable People: A wave of violence engulfs the transgendered, whose murder rate may outpace that of all other hate killings,” by Bob Moser in the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) Winter 2003 Intelligence Report . See too Gwendolyn Ann Smith’s famed memorial website, “Remembering Our Dead”.
Recent incidents of terrible hate crimes against trans people have gained wider public notice, and there’s now a growing public outcry against such crimes . Thus police in many jurisdictions now take these crimes far more seriously than in the past – and prosecutors are pressing many of the cases to the full extent of the law  – especially as more and more trans people bravely step forward to press charges against attackers .
The growing awareness of anti-trans violence has also led many cities to provide police special training on the dangers facing trans people. For example, see “On the Streets: In Washington, D.C., police now take crime against sexual minorities seriously. A seasoned street cop explains how and why” in the SPLC Winter 2003 Intelligence Report .
Questions for the Criminal Justice Program at UNC:
The Criminal Justice Program (CRJ) at UNC educates future leaders of law enforcement in the State of North Carolina. The program opens its webpage with the following line:
“The Criminal Justice Program offers a social science orientation which enables students to gain a better understanding of American society and its diversity. . . “
The publication of Adams’s essay raises key questions for all academic programs in criminal justice to ponder. At issue is whether such programs are educating leaders to become part of the solution (in protecting gender minorities) – or part of the problem.
UNC CRJ faculty must be aware of the violence visited upon transgender people. Indeed it seems likely they would have discussed it among themselves while preparing to provide students with “a better understanding of American society and its diversity…”
Do the other UNC CRJ faculty members take offense at what Adams says about young gender transitioners? Do they sense how he is propping-up an old-time “cop culture” that ridicules and dehumanizes gender minorities? Do they see how this adds fuel to the fires of violence against trans people? If so, we hope their voices will be heard on the matter.
As background, we urge CRJ faculty members to become familiar with transgenderism, for example by studying the University of Michigan’s “Report of the Provost’s TBLG Task Force.” That report contains many practical recommendations for improving university campus environments for transgender students, faculty and staff .
CRJ faculty should also study equal employment opportunity (EEO) and human resources (HR) protections provided transgender employees by the major corporations in North Carolina, especially by high-tech firms in the Research Triangle – many of which support employees who are undergoing gender transitions. Lists of corporations providing such protections are given in the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index .
Meanwhile, the fact that the UNC criminal justice students are being exposed to openly discriminatory transphobia by one of their faculty members doesn’t bode well for the long-term security and individual rights of transgender residents of North Carolina.
1. “Perversity and diversity at my little university,” by Mike S. Adams, Townhall.com, August 24, 2005.
2. “Prof sails against liberal tide: UNCW's Adams relishes role of combative contrarian,” by
3. "Cop Indicted in transsexual's assault," by Guillermo Contreras and Vianna Davila, San Antonio Express News, October 21, 2005.
4. “Disposable People: A wave of violence engulfs the transgendered, whose murder rate may outpace that of all other hate killings,” by Bob Moser, SPLC Intelligence Report, Winter 2003.
5. “Remembering Our Dead,” by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, www.gender.org/remember/.
6. “Legacy Of Gwen Araujo: Death Of Gay, Trans Panic Defense”, by Michelle Locke, Associated Press, September 16, 2005.
7. “On the Streets: In Washington, D.C., police now take crime against sexual minorities seriously. A seasoned street cop explains how and why,” SPLC Intelligence Report, Winter 2003.
8. “Report of the Provost’s TBLG Task Force,” Office of the Provost, University of Michigan, www.provost.umich.edu, April 26, 2004. (click here for PDF version)
9. Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI), www.hrc.org.
About the authors:
* Lynn Conway is Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Emerita at the University of Michigan, and is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering.
** Leandra Vicci is Lecturer and Director of the Microelectronic Systems Laboratory in the Department of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Aug 24, 2005
by Mike S. Adams ( bio | archive | contact )
Most people don?t know it, but there is a war currently being waged within the UNC system. The administrations of each of the sixteen campuses are trying to outdo one another when it comes to funding unmitigated idiocy and perversion in the name of ?diversity.? Recently, UNC-Asheville showed a porn movie to 200 students in order to take the lead. That has administrators at UNC-Wilmington fighting mad and fighting back.
In an effort to take the lead in this race (and become the most idiotic university in North Carolina), UNCW is helping to sponsor a showing of the film ?Trans Generation.? In fact, the Office of Campus Diversity, the Office of the Dean of Students, and the UNCW Women?s Resource Center are all pitching in to help.
For those who don?t
know, ?Trans Generation? is an eight-part documentary series that charts the
lives of four college students undergoing ?gender transition.? It is
produced by the same people who brought us the classics ?Inside Deep Throat?
and ?Party Monster.?
According to the flier, the film features ?Gabbie, Lucas, Raci, and T.J.? who are ?confronting the challenges of school, campus life, family? and changing their sex.? The film joins the four transitioning youths ? two soon-to-be-ex-males and two soon-to-be-ex-females - as they ?define who they are and take control of their gender identity.?
Although I don?t know whether to wear a dress or a suit, you can bet that I will be there on Wednesday, September 14th, at 7:30 p.m. in UNCW?s Cameron Hall Auditorium to experience this monumental event. Since it is free and open to the public, I plan to bring a lot of friends and ask a lot of questions. Some of them follow:
1. I noticed that the Women?s Resource Center is co-sponsoring this program. Is that because they are pleased that two of the students in the film wanted to have surgery in order to become women?
2. Is the Women?s Resource Center offended by the two women who wanted to become men? Will the two new men get their new hoo-hoo dillies from the two new women? How does that work, exactly?
3. When a woman has a hoo-hoo dilly surgically attached, does that not legitimize Freud?s sexist notion of penis envy? Is that something the Women?s Center really wants to touch - figuratively speaking?
4. Is it misogyny that causes a woman to have a sex-change?
5. Is it mister-ogyny that causes a man to have a sex change?
6. In the past, UNC has spent tax-dollars to address the problem of teen self-mutilation. Why is the system now spending tax dollars to encourage self-mutilation in the form of sex-changes? Are we, a) having trouble making up our minds or do we, b) enjoy going in complete circles at tax-payer expense?
7. Most people think of someone who wants to surgically remove his or her sex organs as mentally ill. How did the diversity movement arrive at the conclusion that this is not a sign of mental illness? And how did it become a cause for celebration as we ?celebrate sexual diversity? with taxpayer-funded events?
8. The last time I saw a trans-gendered person at a UNCW diversity event, she (formerly he) said (when she was a he) that he was advised by his psychiatrist to move to a cabin in the mountains. The reason was that he (now a she) was so violent and dangerous that he (now she) might hurt someone. But when he became a she by cutting off his hoo-hoo dilly, she became less angry. Does the university support hoo-hoo dilly removal as a form of anger management?
9. Have you ever considered putting a fence around UNCW and hanging up a sign that says ?Welcome to the North Carolina State Zoo??
10. If your answer to number 9 was ?yes,? I know some capitalists that could help you out. Together we could sell tickets and erase some of this wasteful government spending.
Mike S. Adams (www.DrAdams.org) got the inspiration for this column from former Senator Jesse Helms.
*** Note: Adams’s article was also posted at the following sites on Aug. 26, 2005. In these sites the quotes and apostrophes appear correctly, instead of incorrectly (as question marks) as in the above version:
This report was sent to UNCW-CRJ faculty members on 10-31-05 via e-mail (see below).
Note that Adams's August 24, 2005 article isn't the first or the last time
has openly ridiculed and defamed trans people (especially transsexual women) in the
media. He's published two other transphobic articles at Townhall.com this
past year, including one as recently as October 28, 2005:
"With liberty and comfort in stalls," by Mike S. Adams, Townhall.com, Oct 27, 2004
'O' awareness and gender identity," by Mike S. Adams, Townhall.com,
Oct 28, 2005
For some comic relief from Adams's strange obsessions with transsexual women, "hoo-hoo dillies", vaginas and women's orgasms, see:
"Mike Adams, Boinking Studies Guy," by Jesse Taylor, on Pandagon.net:
----- Original Message -----
October 30, 2005
To: Reid C. Toth, PhD, Asst. Prof. of Criminal Justice
T. D. Evans, PhD, Prof. of Criminal Justice
Darrell Irwin, PhD, Assoc. Prof. of Criminal Justice
Randy L. LaGrange, Ph.D, Prof. of Sociology & Criminal Justice
Mike Maume, PhD, Asst. Prof. of Criminal Justice
Lynne L. Snowden, PhD, Asst. Prof. of Criminal Justice
Jeff Spears, PhD, Asst. Prof. of Criminal Justice
Cecil L. Willis, PhD, Prof. of Criminal Justice
Copies to: Kimberly Cook, PhD, Dept. Chair, Prof. of Sociology & Criminal Justice
Mike S. Adams, PhD, Assoc. Prof. of Criminal Justice
David P. Cordle, PhD, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
William Fleming, Director, Human Resources
Paul E. Hosier, PhD, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Rosemary DePaolo, PhD, Chancellor, UNCW
Dear UNCW-CRJ faculty members:
We write you regarding Dr. Michael Adams's 24 August 2005 publication of an essay, "Perversity and diversity at my little university."
Let us begin by saying we have no quibble with Dr. Adams's right to his political beliefs nor his right to express them in a public forum. We are appalled however by the bigoted and intolerant tone of his essay, written as it was by a Professor of Criminal Justice in the fine State of North Carolina. We are especially concerned that his bigoted writings influence his students towards perpetuation of a long-standing culture of police and law enforcement stigmatization and persecution of transgender people. Please refer to the report, posted at http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/Transphobes/Adams/Report_on_transphobic_essay_by_Mike_S._Adams.html
which elaborates our concern. (A .pdf version with not all links functional is attached for your convenience)
The moral authority accorded the academic profession by the general public makes Adams’s uncontested bigotry all the more damaging. It is likely that you, his CRJ colleagues, do not share this bigotry. To the extent this is true we submit that you have a civic obligation to go on record in opposition to his discriminatory teachings.
Accordingly, we appeal to you to explore the references cited in our report, to inform yourselves about the social conditions faced by transsexual people, and to learn about how progressively some industries and jurisdictions are presently responding. This may lead you to a deeper investigation of the criminal justice environment affecting this not insignificant sector, perhaps as large as a half percent, of the general population.
If in your subsequent individual and/or collective opinion, you agree that Dr. Adams's article should not go unanswered, we urge you to publish your own individual views, or even better a joint manifesto clearly distancing UNCW and the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice from his teachings. Of course the choice of forums for publication would be yours, but we would be delighted to publish it in conjunction with our own report.
In any case, as academics ourselves, we remind you that to leave Adams’s essay unchallenged would send a tacit message of acquiescence, which in our opinion would further tarnish the image of your fine Institution and your Department.
Ms. Leandra Vicci
Lecturer and Director of the Microelectronic Systems Laboratory
Department of Computer Science
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Ms. Lynn Conway
Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Emerita
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Member, National Academy of Engineering
PS: In the spirit of openness, we have copied those who we believe should be aware of this letter.
The following links were found to be disabled:
Those links had been replaced with the following links, which were found to be enabled:
On this day, Mike Adams posted a vicious ad hominem attack on Leandra Vicci's identity as a woman on TownHall.com, referring to her as "a man dressed as a woman". The title and link for the article are as follows:
"The old rugged cross-dresser," by Mike S. Adams, TownHall.com.
Adams' article led members of his fundamentalist religious readership to send hate-mail to Ms. Vicci that further attacked her identity as a woman. Given the high rate of violence against and murders of transitioned women in the U.S., this hate mail raises serious concerns regarding Ms. Vicci's safety.
In response to an e-mail alert from a trans support site about Adams' attack on Leandra, I sent out the following reply to give readers some background on the matter:
From: Lynn Conway
Sent: Friday, May 05, 2006 12:45 PM
Here's a link to the investigative report that Lea Vicci and I published in
October 2005, exposing Adams' bizarre transphobia:
That report apparently hit pretty close to home, and has led to considerable
and well-deserved embarrassment on the part of Mr. Adams, his department,
his university and the UNC system.
It appears that Adams is continuing to have a difficult time coping with
wide exposure of his intense obsessions about, and hate towards, transsexual
women (as evidenced by his latest outburst).
If you are offended by Adams' publications, it would be best to send
well-reasoned complaints to his department and university superiors, perhaps
referring again to the above report and to the serious concerns raised
therein - and encourage others to do the same. You'll find his superiors'
names and e-mail addresses listed in that report.
All the best,
PS: Here are links to some of Adams' transphobic publications, including the
most recent one. And do remember, he's a professor of "criminal justice",
and sets a tone for that field in academe:
"With liberty and comfort in stalls", by Mike S. Adams, Townhall.com, Oct
"Perversity and diversity at my little university", by Mike S. Adams,
Townhall.com, Aug 24, 2005
" 'O' awareness and gender identity," by Mike S. Adams, Townhall.com, Oct
"The old rugged cross-dresser," by Mike S. Adams, Townhall.com, May 4, 2006
Daily Kos blogsite commentary on Mr. Adams' latest hate-campaign:
"Hoo-Hoo Dilly Adams: a wingnut in Wilmington", by mcgurme, DailyKos.com, May 07, 2006.
LynnConway.com > TS Information > News > Adams Report