The gay and lesbian "Lambda Literary Foundation" disses all transsexual women by nominating Bailey's book for a GLB'T' literary award!



Compiled by Lynn Conway

[V 7-19-05]


June 7, 2005:

In the aftermath of the J. Michael Bailey book fiasco,

Jim Marks, Executive Director of the Lambda Literary Foundation

IS FORCED TO RESIGN by the LLF Board of Trustees.





"Whoever made this decision needs to do a better job. A much better job.

It would be like nominating Mein Kampf for a literary prize in Jewish studies."

- Deirdre McCloskey



The viewpoint that received the majority vote was that "Bailey has not set out to
intentionally do harm to gay men and transsexuals. He doesn't get it on
some fundamental levels but he genuinely thinks he does."
- Jim Marks, executive director, LLF, 

while announcing that the book will remain on the list, on February 24, 2004



"I see: if someone (say: a Nazi) spoke in favor of Mein Kampf for an award in Jewish studies,

that would constitute a split vote, and a Jewish studies organization would be justified in honoring the book.

Right. Good thinking..."
- Deirdre McCloskey


"Looks like Fourattist and Raymondist stereotypes of trans women
are alive and well in the old-guard gay & lesbian feminist community...
so much they never even noticed that this book is transphobic"
- Lynn Conway -



"The specific issue was whether the book was transphobic,"

"The judges looked at the book more closely and decided it was."

- Jim Marks , quoted in, March 16, 2004

following announcement that the book was removed from the list.


Bailey: "Evolutionarily, homosexuality is a big mistake" *

*J. Michael Bailey on KOOP-FM, Austin, TX, May 2003. Program transcribed by Donna Rose at:


When Dr. Laura said being gay or lesbian is a "biological error,” she got fired,

but when Dr. Bailey says it, Jim Marks and the Lambda  Literary Foundation

nominate him for an award for promoting GLBT "cultural literacy."


Read more about the Bailey-Cochran-Sailer writings

on Homosexuality and Eugenics at this link




Petition protesting LLF nomination of Bailey's book for an award is successful!

LLF declares the book to be transphobic instead!



Petition contains over 1400 signatures!

View archive of signatures



March 14, 2004: "The Queen Who Won't Be Crowned":

An essay by Christine Burns summarizes the current situation well



April 15 2004:  "Lost in trans-lation:

NOMINATION REVOKED / How a book award went so wrong"

Story by Kyle Scanlon / Xtra!




**June 7, 2005:

In the aftermath of the J. Michael Bailey book fiasco,

Jim Marks, Executive Director of the Lambda Literary Foundation

IS FORCED TO RESIGN by the LLF Board of Trustees.






2-02-04: Lambda Literary Foundation (LLF) nominates Bailey's book for a "Lammy"

2-03-04: Letter to Jim Marks, Executive Director of LLF, from Prof. Deirdre McCloskey of the University of Illinois, Chicago

2-03-04: Letter to LLF from Caitlyn Antrim

2-03-04: Letter to LLF from Karen Gurney and Kate Clarke, leading trans-rights advocates in Australia

2-04-04: Letter to LLF from Christine Burns, leading campaigner for legal and civil rights for trans people in the United Kingdom

2-13-04: Text of "open letter" just published by Jim Marks in an issue of the Lambda Book Report regarding this LLF nomination fiasco

2-19-04: Lambda Literary awards come under fire: "GenderTalk" radio hosts and trans activists Nancy Nangeroni and Gordene MacKenzie blast LLF.

2-24-04: Gwen Smith, authoress of the memorial website "Remembering Our Dead", blasts LLF for nominating Bailey's book.


2-24-04: LLF announces that Man Who Would Be Queen to Remain on Lambda Literary Awards Finalists List

2-25-04: Christine Burns of the Trans-rights group PFC in the UK to Jim Marks: "JIM, IT IS TIME TO ASK FOR OUR T BACK"
2-25-04: Kristina-Maia DeMott: It is as though the NAACP nominated "The Bell Curve" as among the year's best of African-American literature! 

2-29-04: Petition drive initiated in the UK decrying the LLF decision and mounting a worldwide demand for withdrawal of the nomination.


3-01-04: Prominent TransMan Jamison Green Challenges LLF

3-02-04: Conway and Kieltyka expose Bailey, Cochran and Sailer's work on the gay-gene gay-germ theory of homosexuality and the eugenics implications of that theory.

3-04-04: "Lambda awards finalist sparks anger", by Zak Szymanski, Bay Area Reporter March 4 2004

3-04-04: "Lambda Literary Foundation has just run out of credibility...": Gwen Smith in her essay "Awarding Transphobia", Bay Area Reporter, March 4, 2004.

3-05-04: Petition drive protesting LLF nomination of Bailey's book tops the 1000 mark in just six days!


3-12-04: Lambda Literary Foundation REMOVES Bailey's book as a finalist for A "Lammy Award"!

3-14-04: ""The Queen Who Won't Be Crowned": An Essay by Christine Burns...

3-16-04: LLF announces to the media that when " the judges looked at the book more closely", they found it to be transphobic!



See Also:

Andrea James'  information regarding Lambda Literary Foundation's nomination of Bailey's book

Listing of the members of the LLF Selection Committee who selected Bailey's book for this gay and lesbian book award.



What the community did:

Protested this outrageous dissing of trans women by a smug elite of old-guard gay men and lesbian-feminist book pundits:
Viewed the many incoming petition signatures from trans women, trans men and our allies from all around the world.

Studied the Archive of signatures

Signed the petition protesting LLF's nomination of Bailey's book for a GLBT book award.




16th Annual Lambda Literary Awards Finalists named

February 2, 2004
For immediate release

Media Contact:
Jim Marks 202-682-0952

Washington, DC - The Lambda Literary Foundation announced the
Finalists for the 16th Annual Lambda Literary Awards, celebrating
achievements in gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT)
literature in 2003.

This year, 100 finalists are recognized in twenty categories,
reflecting a diverse range of distinguished voices from the GLBT
community. In the Gay Men's Fiction category, for instance, the
settings include New York theatrical life, Gertrude Stein's Paris, a
rapidly modernizing Beijing, rural upstate New York and the urban
"circuit" party set. The Lesbian Fiction category is just as varied,
exploring the darker reaches of Los Angeles, Sierra Nevada ski
resorts, a working class Chicana childhood in northern California, a
family with dark secrets in London, Ontario, and a New-Agey nunnery.
Best-selling novelist Patricia Highsmith is the subject of two
finalist books (a biography and a memoir), and - in a sign of the
maturing of GLBT book publishing - pioneering novelist and biographer
Edmund White is himself the subject of a biography. Previous Lammy
award finalists Terry Wolverton and Michelle Tea, whose books competed
in the Memoir category last year, have returned with nominations in
the Lesbian Poetry category.

The full range of the publishing community is represented from
mainstream international publishing houses to the varied small
independent presses. This year, Los Angeles-based Alyson Publications
boasts the most nominees with fifteen nominations spanning ten
categories. New York's Kensington Publishing has eight finalists in
six categories. Cleis Press, located in San Francisco, grabs five
finalists in four categories and Firebrand Books, after recently
re-opening, is a contender for the highly coveted Lesbian Fiction

Seventy-four judges, presenting a broad cross-section of the gay and
lesbian literary world, will select a single book in each category to
win the prestigious Lambda Literary Award, considered to be the
highest accolade for a book from the GLBT community.

The Awards gala will be held in Chicago at the prestigious Chicago
Mart Plaza Hotel on June 3rd, 2004, on the eve of the annual Book Expo

The Lambda Literary Foundation is the only national nonprofit
organization dedicated to the recognition, promotion and publication
of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered writing. The Foundation
publishes the Lambda Book Report, a monthly GLBT book review magazine,
and The James White Review, a gay men's literary quarterly.
Additionally, it organizes the annual Lambda Literary Awards and an
annual writers conference, the Lambda Literary Festival. The Lambda
Literary Foundation is headquartered in Washington, D.C. For further
information about the foundation, please visit the web site at or call (202) 682-0952.


The 2003 Lambda Literary Award Finalists

Lesbian Fiction

And Then They Were Nuns, by Susan J. Leonardi (Firebrand Books)
Southland, by Nina Revoyr (Akashic Books)
The Way the Crow Flies, by Anne-Marie MacDonald (HarperCollins)
This Wild Silence, by Lucy Jane Bledsoe (Alyson Publications)
What Night Brings, by Carla Trujillo (Curbstone Press)

Gay Men's Fiction

Beijing, by Philip Gambone (University of Wisconsin Press)
Lives of the Circus Animals, by Christopher Bram (William Morrow)
The Book of Salt, by Monique Truong (Houghton Mifflin)
War Against the Animals, by Paul Russell (St. Martin's Press)
Where the Boys Are, by William J. Mann (Kensington Publishing)

Lesbian Poetry

Embers, by Terry Wolverton (Red Hen Press)
Final Girl, by Daphne Gottlieb (Soft Skull Press)
Swirl, by Susan McCabe (Red Hen Press)
The Beautiful, by Michelle Tea (Manic D Press)
The Dirt She Ate, by Minnie Bruce Pratt (University of Pittsburgh

Gay Men's Poetry

Middle Earth, by Henri Cole (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Otherhood: Poems, by Reginald Shepherd (University of Pittsburgh Press)
Saying the World, by Peter Pereira (Copper Canyon Press)
Sky Lounge, by Mark Bibbins (Graywolf Press)
The Healing Art, by Rafael Campo (W.W. Norton)

Lesbian Mystery

Cry Havoc, by Baxter Clare (Bella Books)
Damn Straight, by Elizabeth Sims (Alyson Publications)
Epitaph for an Angel, by Lauren Maddison (Alyson Publications)
Owl of the Desert, by Ida Swearingen (New Victoria Publishers)
The Woman Who Found Grace, by Bett Reece Johnson (Cleis Press)

Gay Men's Mystery

Blind Eye, by John Morgan Wilson (St. Martin's Minotaur)
Bourbon Street Blues, by Greg Herren (Kensington Publishing)
Dead Egotistical Morons, by Mark Richard Zubro (St. Martin's Minotaur)
It Takes Two, by Elliott Mackle (Alyson Publications)
Wearing Black to White Party, by David Stukas (Kensington Publishing)

Fiction Anthology

All I Want for Christmas, by Jon Jeffrey, Chris Kenry, William J.
Mann, Ben Tyler (Kensington Publishing)
Best Lesbian Love Stories 2003, Angela Brown, ed. (Alyson Publications)
M2M, Karl Woelz, ed. (AttaGirl Press)
Pulp Friction, Michael Bronski, ed. (St. Martin's Press)
Telling Moments, Lydia Hall, ed. (University of Wisconsin Press)

Nonfiction Anthology

Boyfriends from Hell, Kevin Bentley, ed. (Green Candy Press)
Mortal Secrets, Robert Klitzman and Ronald Bayer, eds. (John Hopkins
University Press)
Queer Crips, Bob Guter and John R. Killacky, eds. (Harrington Park
The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name, Greg Wharton, ed. (Boheme Press)
Pinned Down by Pronouns, by Toni Amato and Mary Davies, eds.
Conviction Books)


Cleopatra's Wedding Present, by Robert Tewdwr Moss (University of
Wisconsin Press)
Going the Other Way, by Billy Bean (Marlowe & Company)
Highsmith: A Romance, by Marijane Meaker (Cleis Press)
Naked in the Promised Land, by Lillian Faderman (Houghton Mifflin)
She's Not There, by Jennifer Finney Boylan (Broadway Books)


Beautiful Shadow: A Life, by Andrew Wilson (Bloomsbury)
Intertwined Lives, by Lois W. Banner (Alfred A. Knopf)
Lost Prophet, by John D'Emilio (Free Press)
Original Youth, by Keith Fleming (Green Candy Press)
That Furious Lesbian, by Robert A. Schanke (Southern Illinois
University Press)

Children/Young Adult

Boy Meets Boy, by David Levithan (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Geography Club, by Brent Hartinger (HarperTempest)
Gravel Queen, by Tea Benduhn (Simon & Schuster)
Keeping You a Secret, by Julie Anne Peters (Little, Brown & Company)
Rainbow High, by Alex Sanchez (Simon & Schuster)


Best Gay Erotica 2004, Richard Labonte, ed. (Cleis Press)
Best Lesbian Erotica 2004, Tristan Taormino, ed. (Cleis Press)
Hot and Bothered 4, Karen X. Tulchinsky, ed. (Arsenal Pulp Press)
Masters of Midnight, by Michael Thomas Ford, William J. Mann, Sean
Wolfe, Jeff Mann (Kensington Publishing)
Quickies 3, James Johnstone, ed. (Arsenal Pulp Press)


Chelsea Boys, by Glen Hanson and Allan Neuwirth (Alyson Publications)
Dykes and Sundry Other Carbon-Based Life-Forms to Watch Out For, by
Alison Bechdel (Alyson Publications)
Men are Pigs, But We Love Bacon, by Michael Alvear (Kensington
My Big Fat Queer Life, by Michael Thomas Ford (Alyson Publications)
That's Why They're in Cages, People!, by Joel Perry (Alyson


Best Lesbian Love Stories 2003, Angela Brown, ed. (Alyson Publications)
Daytime Drama, by Dave Benbow (Kensington Publishing)
Last Summer, by Michael Thomas Ford (Kensington Publishing)
Maybe Next Time, by Karin Kallmaker (Bella Books)
They Say She Tastes Like Honey, by Michelle Sawyer (Alyson


Elf Child, by David M. Pierce (Southern Tier Editions)
Necrologue, Helen Sandler, ed. (Diva Books)
The Red Line of Yarmald, by Diana Rivers (Bella Books)
The Substance of God, by Perry Brass (Belhue Press)
Vampire Thrall, by Michael Schiefelbein (Alyson Publications)


Anything But Straight, by Wayne Bensen (Harrington Park Press)
Gay Perspective, by Toby Johnson (Alyson Publications)
Gay Witchcraft, by Christopher Penczak (Red Wheel/Weiser)
Keeping Faith, by Fenton Johnson (Houghton Mifflin)
The Man Jesus Loved, by Theodore W. Jennings (The Pilgrim Press)

LGBT Studies

Anything But Straight, by Wayne Bensen (Harrington Park Press)
Love in the Time of HIV, by Michael Mancilla and Lisa Troshinsky
(Guilford Press
Queer Street, by James McCourt (W.W.Norton)
Strapped for Cash, by Mack Friedman (Alyson Publications)
Time on Two Crosses, Devon W. Carbado and Donald Weise, eds. (Cleis


Forbidden Acts, by Ben Hodges (Applause Theatre & Cinema Books)
Motifs and Repetitions, by C.E. Gatchalian (The Writers' Collective)
Prok, by Brian Drader (Scirocco Drama)
The Band Plays, by Mart Crowley (Alyson Publications)
Women in Turmoil: Six Plays, Robert Schanke, ed. (Southern Illinois
University Press)


She's Not There, by Jennifer Finney Boylan (Broadway Books)
The Drag King Anthology, Donna Troka, Kathleen Lebesco, Jean Noble,
eds. (Harrington Park Press)
The Man Who Would Be Queen, by J. Michael Bailey (Joseph Henry Press)
Trans-gendered, by Justin Tanis (The Pilgrim Press)
Transgender Journeys, by Virginia Ramey Mollenkott and Vanessa
Sheridan (The Pilgrim Press)

Visual Arts/Photography

A Face in the Crowd, John Peterson and Martin Bedogne, eds. (Prospect
Familiar Men, by Laurie Toby Edison (Shifting Focus Press)
Focus on Living, by Roslyn Banish (University of Massachusetts Press)
Vacation in Ibiza, by Lawrence Schimel and Sebas (Eurotica/NBM)
Women Seeing Women, Lonthar Schirmer, ed. (W.W.Norton)








----- Original Message -----
To: ; Lynn Conway
Sent: Tuesday, February 03, 2004 4:49 PM
Subject: Bailey Nomination!


Dear Mr, Marks:

I am simply amazed that you-all have put Bailey's book in the list of finalists.  

All I can think is that your procedures need refinement.  It makes me a great deal less proud that my own book, Crossing, was a finalist in 1999.  If there was any way of resigning or withdrawing or refusing the "honor" retrospectively, you can bet I would!!

Whoever made this decision needs to do a better job.  A much better job.  It would be like nominating Mein Kampf for a literary prize in Jewish studies.

I think some apologies and explanations and embarrassment are in order.   The nomination expresses contempt for and ignorance of gender crossers, not to mention gays.  I don't think that's what your organization is about!  You really should be ashamed.  Oy.


Deirdre McCloskey




Date: Tue, 3 Feb 2004 09:30:04 -0500
From: Caitlyn Antrim
Subject: Trans book nomination


Dear Mr. Marks,

I learned today the the book by J. Michael Bailey, "The Man Who Would Be Queen" was nominated in the LLF award category for Transgender/GenderQueer. I believe this must have been a mishap because the content of the book represents the worst of stereotyping, outdated scientific opinion and misrepresentation. Even its appearance on your list of nominees contributes to harm of modern studies of transsexualism and femininity in boys.

This is a book of anecdotes, not science. It's stories were obtained by stealth and misrepresentation. It engages in the worst of stereotyping of both transgender and gay and lesbian people. Prof. Bailey has admitted to falsifying, to the point of reversal of the truth, a key story of a young boy who he claimed to have been turned away from his transgender feelings by parental guidance. He has now admitted that he created that ending because it illustrated the point he wanted to make and that it Never Happened.

In the course of obtaining his anecdotes, Professor Bailey conducted private consultations for the stated purpose of determining whether he would approve the individuals for their sex reassignment surgery. This was wrong on three points. First, Prof. Bailey placed the people in the position of wanting to say whatever was necessary to obtain his approval for surgery (this is known behavior in the TG community). Second, Prof. Bailey later used these _private_ consultations for his public book, without permission of the individuals. Third, Professor Bailey has not joined the professional society dedicated to transsexualism and gender dysphoria, preferring to base his work on sex research and sexual orientation. While there is debate over the quality of his research in sexual orientation, it is clear that Prof. Bailey does not have expertise in transsexualism and has the support of only a small group of like-minded researchers and a group of like-minded individuals who believe in evolutionary biology with a racist and anti-GLBT thrust.

I am sure that others have sent you URLs of reviews and comments that substantiate my comments. Please do not let this book obtain additional visibility - and please review the information on the web sites managed by Lynn Conway and Andrea James.

Numerous individuals in our community have put extensive effort into uncovering the truth behind "The Man Who Would Be Queen". I ask that rather than consider this book for an award that you give special recognition to the individuals who have worked so hard to uncover the danger presented not only by this book but by the network of individuals who support it and its message of misinformation.


Caitlyn Antrim






----- Original Message -----
From: Karen Gurney
To: Jim Marks
Sent: Tuesday, February 03, 2004 9:24 PM
Subject: Bailey book nomination
Mr Jim Marks
Lambda Media Contact:

Dear Jim,

Nomination of Michael Bailey's book for a literary award

In these days of electronic communication, news travels fast; and bad news travels even faster.

Australian men and women of transsexual background are extremely concerned that Professor Bailey's book, "The Man Who Would be Queen", has somehow been nominated and considered for an LLF award. If the nomination is allowed to stand and this work and its author are ostensibly thereby given credibility, the reputation of LLF and relations between the GL and transsexual communities will suffer irreparable harm.

We urge you to take cognizance of the extensive research done by the Southern Poverty Law Centre, Prof Lynn Conway and Andrea James which shows beyond doubt the academic fraud inherent in this publication, the unethical conduct of the writer, and the very sinister politics that lay hidden behind it. We ask you to withdraw that nomination in the interests of public decency and for the good reputation of your organisation.  

Yours sincerely

Kate Clarke                     Karen Gurney
Convenor                        Advocate






From: Christine Burns
Sent: 04 February 2004 21:12
To: 'Jim Marks'
Subject: Nomination of J M Bailey Book

Dear Mr Marks

My name is Christine Burns and I am one of the leading campaigners for the legal and civil rights of trans people in the United Kingdom.
I am a former vice president of the well-known lobby organisation Press for Change (, a member of the Parliamentary Forum on Transsexualism, and have been closely involved with the UK Government's work to bring forward a Bill affording full legal recognition of transsexual people in this country. You can read about myself at and you can find out about the Bill currently passing through Parliament at

As one of this campaign's leaders I have had more than a simply academic interest in the book, "The Man Who Would Be Queen". Putting aside the obvious absence of any of the usual trappings of legitimate science in the book, I find it amazing (a) that it was published at all and (b) that it was published by - of all things - the National Academy of Science. Indeed, you will see that I was one of the first international commentators to ask for (and fail to get) any sort of answers from the NAS. (See the open letters of mine which are published at
My concern has been, from the outset, that the book offered a form of succour to the very kind of people who would be looking for any kind of "evidence" (legitimate or otherwise) which would appear to contradict the authoritative international evidence taken by domestic courts, the European Court of Human Rights, the European Court of Justice and Her Majesty's Government in getting to this legislative point.

For the avoidance of any doubt let me make this clear: The community of legitimate experts who actually treat transsexual people and undertake bona-fide research into helping them have never taken the ideas advanced in Michael Bailey's book seriously since they were first advanced by his mentor, Ray Blanchard, well over a decade ago. Bailey is not a member of the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association (HBIGDA), to which most professionals in this field belong. Furthermore, when the board of HBIGDA wrote to the committee at North Western investigating the complaints against Bailey and formally criticised his behaviour and publication themselves, Blanchard (who was until then an HBIGDA member) resigned in a huff. The HBIGDA board knew that that outcome was almost certain to occur and therefore you can have no stronger indication of the very serious concerns that both professionals and transsexual people alike have about this whole affair.

In view of all this I am therefore astonished and disappointed that the LLF could have allowed its name to be associated in any way with supporting such a travesty .. especially as your organisation styles itself as LBGT rather than simply LGB. (Perhaps you should consider how seriously you take the responsibility of appending that "T" on the end -- it should be there for a reason, not just because it is the chic thing to do nowadays).

I do acknowledge that organisations can sometimes sleepwalk into doing horrendous things that they really didn't intend. Being generous I am assuming that that is what has happened here. The proof of the pudding will lie in how quickly you investigate and respond to this very serious affair however, and reconsider your actions in shortlisting such a blatantly transphobic, damaging and misleading work masquerading as science.

To quote John Bancroft of the Kinsey Institute, commenting on this book, "It is not Science". That alone should ring alarm bells.

Kindest regards
Christine Burns
Christine Burns
Trans Rights Campaigner and Educator
E-mail: c_burns (at)




----- Original Message -----

From: "Jim Marks" <>
To: Trans
Sent: Friday, February 13, 2004 6:44 PM
Subject: Michael Bailey Book Controversy


Below is the text of an "open letter" that I am publishing in the issue
of Lambda Book Report that went to press today. I plan on posting this
letter on our website on Monday.

Thanks to everyone for their input.




One thing about living in the Internet Age: When you hit a raw nerve,
you learn about it quickly.

Late Monday, February 2, we posted the 16th annual Lambda Literary
Award Finalists on our web site and sent out a press release announcing
the finalists. Tuesday, February 3, when I opened my e-mail, I found my
inbox stuffed with messages about one finalist. It was The Man Who
Would Be Queen by Michael J. Bailey, chair of the department of
psychology at Northwestern University, and published by Joseph Henry
Press, an imprint of the National Academy of Sciences. The
correspondents were alternately anguished and outraged by the book’s
selection as a finalist.

Caitlyn Antrim, for instance, wrote: "I believe this must have been a
mishap because the content of [The Man Who Would Be Queen] represents
the worst of stereotyping, outdated scientific opinion and
misrepresentation. Even its appearance on your list of nominees
contributes to harm of modern studies of transsexualism and femininity
in boys.

"This is a book of anecdotes, not science. Its stories were obtained by
stealth and misrepresentation. It engages in the worst of stereotyping
of both transgender and gay and lesbian people. Prof. Bailey has
admitted to falsifying, to the point of reversal of the truth, a key
story of a young boy who he claimed to have been turned away from his
transgender feelings by parental guidance. He has now admitted that he
created that ending because it illustrated the point he wanted to make
and that it Never Happened."

Lynn Conway wrote, "I suspect that this must have been either an
incredible oversight, or else by intrigue on the inside by transphobic
members of Lambda.

"Whatever the case, I hereby alert you to the fact that Bailey's book
has generated perhaps the greatest crisis transsexual women have ever
faced, for the book proclaims as ‘science’ that transsexual women are
either (i) gay men who have sex changes so as to have many sex
partners, and who are ‘especially suited to prostitution,’ or they are
(ii) sexual paraphilics who change sex for autosexual reasons, in a
severe paraphilia related to pedophilia..."

Conway added, "… the prestigious Southern Poverty Law Center has just
published an exposé of Bailey's ‘Queer Science’ in which they link him
directly with an elite clique of right-wing racist, white-superiorist
and homophobic academics, journalists and ‘pundits’ — making a link
with work like his with the escalating wave of violence against trans

Perhaps most succinctly, Professor Deirdre McCloskey, whose book
Crossing: A Memoir was a 1999 Finalist in this category, wrote:
"Whoever made this decision needs to do a better job. A much better
job. It would be like nominating Mein Kampf for a literary prize in
Jewish studies."

Many of these letters came with extensive documentation. McCloskey, a
well-known economics professor at the University of Illinois in
Chicago, sent in a lengthy critical review of The Man … and two letters
to the editor of another publication concerning the inaccuracies of
another review of the book.

On the other hand, as we go to press we are receiving comments such as
this from Bradley University Associate Professor of Psychology David P.
, Ph.D.: " I would like to express my opinion, as a sex
researcher and scientist, that Mike Bailey's book is based on sound
scholarly evidence and reasoning, and certainly deserves recognition as
a solid contribution to sexual science."

This outpouring of concern raised the question, Should the book be
taken off the list of finalists? As I examined that question, I came up
with four different considerations:

1) The integrity of the process. The selection of The Man… was made not
by Lambda Literary Foundation staff but by a finalists committee made
up of a baker’s dozen of the most knowledgeable GLBT book industry
professionals. It would fly in the face of that process to summarily
replace their decision with the judgment of a single administrator.

2) Censorship. The Lambda Literary Foundation believes in the free
expression of ideas. It is not uncommon for us to publish reviews in
Book Report that the editors might disagree with, but we respect the
author’s viewpoint and the honesty of their discussion. Similarly, it
seems inappropriate for us to remove a book from consideration for a
Lambda Literary Award because it doesn’t meet some arbitrary standard
of political correctness.

3) Mission. Here’s where it gets complicated. Our mission is furthering
GLBT literacy and understanding. A book that was frankly opposed to the
rights of GLBT people would be in conflict with our mission, and we
would be under no obligation to highlight with a Lambda Literary Awards
finalist selection a book that is contrary to our reason for existence.

4) Ethics. As many of our correspondents noted, charges have been filed
against Professor Bailey
with his institution, Northwestern University.
One person who has a leading role in Bailey’s book, Anjelica Kieltyka,
called our office and spoke with us about how the book used her as a
subject without her consent. It is at the least troubling to think that
an ethically challenged work could be a Lammy finalist.

Whatever the ethical concerns, the LLF is not the appropriate forum for
making a judgment: This must be done by a body of Professor Bailey’s
peers. Similarly, censorship is not a key consideration: We’re not
preventing a book from appearing in the marketplace of ideas if we
choose not to highlight it. Therefore, out of the concerns about the
process and the LLF’s mission, we will further extend the process.

In choosing the finalists to begin with, the procedures we have set up
call for the finalist committee members to vote for their preferred
titles in each category independently of each other. In any one
category, there may be many books nominated, and our procedures are
designed to highlight consensus, not have the equivalent of a runoff
vote from the top contenders.

As far as I know, this is the first time a Lammy finalist book has been
challenged as completely inconsistent with our mission. Therefore, in
this new situation we will follow the suggestion of one finalists
committee member and submit the question to the whole committee for
reevaluation. They will consider all the issues and evidence presented,
and then vote to keep or remove the book from the list. We’ll announce
the results in the March issue of Lambda Book Report, and online as
soon as they arrive at their decision.

—Jim Marks

Jim Marks, Executive Director, Lambda Literary Foundation
LLF Programs: Lambda Book Report, The James White Review, Lambda
Literary Awards and Lambda Literary Festival
Online at
202-682-0952; 202-682-0955 fax; PO Box 73910, Washington, DC 20056-3910
shipping address: 1217 Eleventh St. NW, Suite 1, Washington, DC 20001






Bay Windows - Arts
Issue: 02/19/04

Lambda Literary awards come under fire
By R.J. Grubb

Last week, the prestigious Lambda Literary Foundation
routinely named its annual list of finalists for the best gay,
lesbian, bisexual, and transgender contributions to literature.
But doing so, the foundation quickly came under attack from
protesters seeking the prompt withdrawal of a publicly
disreputable book.

The rejected nomination concerns J. Michael Bailey's
controversial book, "The Man Who Would be Queen." In March 2003,
Bailey, then chair of the psychology department at Northwestern
University, published The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of
Gender-Bending and Transsexualism. Following its publication,
reviewers were quick to call the book "junk science" and question
its numerous theoretical findings as baseless. Besides citing
shoddy research, outraged readers objected to Bailey's thesis
which equates transgenderism with a perversion. Amid allegations
of ethics misconduct performed during the research of the book,
Bailey is accused of having sex with one of the book's subjects
and violating federal law by failing to obtain consent to use
the subject as research in his book. In November, Northwestern
announced that Bailey was the subject of an ethics investigation.

Despite the author's well-publicized critical backlash and
professional crash, Lambda nominated The Man Who Would Be Queen
as one of the year's best books in its "transgender/genderqueer"

Upon hearing Lambda's selection of Bailey's book,
"GenderTalk" radio hosts and trans activists Nancy Nangeroni and
Gordene MacKenzie were "horrified."

"Their nomination of Bailey's book reveals at the very least
that to Lambda Literary, trans-inclusion doesn't include learning
about trans issues or including knowledgeable trans persons in
their nominating body," said Nangeroni.

According to Lambda's Web site, "seventy-four judges,
presenting a broad cross-section of the gay and lesbian literary
world," selected each nomination. This year's nominees
represented the foundation's 16th annual crop of finalists, all
chosen for their achievements in gay, lesbian, bisexual and
transgender (GLBT) literature. Winners receive what's called
"Lammy" awards in several different categories. Winning a Lammy
is considered the highest accolade for a book from the GLBT
community. Lambda plans to present their awards at a gala held
on June 3 in Chicago.

Like many others, MacKenzie has been disputing Bailey's
findings since she read the book last summer. At the National
Women's Studies Association Conference in New Orleans, MacKenzie
conducted a presentation which discussed the backlash directed at
Bailey and his faulty findings. MacKenzie, who directs the
women's studies program at Merrimack College said, "I use it as
an example of junk science in my Gender and Diversity class."

Lambda's announcement sparked an instant email and letter
writing campaign directed at Jim Marks, the foundation's executive
director. It is the first time a Lammy finalist has been
challenged. Protests request the removal of Bailey's book arguing
it marks a serious mistake made by the literary organization.
Among those callers were Nangeroni and MacKenzie. On Feb. 9,
Marks was booked to discuss the controversy on their weekly radio
program GenderTalk, which airs live from 6:30 to 8pm on 88.1fm
WMBR. According to the latest Lambda Book Report, Marks said the
foundation is reconsidering the nomination in light of the
objections and will announce the results in the Book Report's
March issue and on Lambda's Web site at,

Complainants hope Lambda will quickly acknowledge their
perspective and take Bailey off their list. Yet even if Lambda
withdraws Bailey's book, the controversy underscores
inconsistencies in the foundation's mission which strives to
further literacy and understanding about GLBT people. As
Nangeroni suggested, the act is akin to "a trans organization
honoring a homosexual recovery ministry."

"Bailey's basic message is that transgenderism is a
perversion of either homosexual or self-love," said Nangeroni.
"This is not only untrue, it is in itself a perversion whose
effects are quite damaging to the lives and self-esteem of a great
many people. For a high profile GLBT organization to affirm such
a message implies that that organization is either out of touch,
dishonest, or self-hating on some level."

Currently protests remain contained to writing letters and
placing phone calls. However, the longer the controversy wages,
the greater potential it holds for creating divisive rifts in the
GLBT community.

"We would like to see [Lambda] withdraw Bailey's nomination,
with an apology, before any substantial protest is required," said
Nangeroni. "If this does not happen, then the GLBT community will
be witness to yet another stupid internal quarrel. For this to
happen at a time when the struggle for gay marriage is at a
turning point that demands the undivided attention and support of
every GLBT activist would be an especially sorry tragedy."







Following is an e-mail sent on to Jim Marks from Gwen Smith.

Gwen is the authoress of the deeply moving memorial website "Remembering Our Dead",

where we remember the many beautiful trans lives lost to violent hate crimes.




----- Original Message -----
From: "Gwendolyn Ann Smith"
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, February 24, 2004 9:05 PM
Subject: Unfortunate LLA Choice


Mr. Marks,

It came to my attention that J. Michael Bailey's The Man Who Would Be
Queen has been nominated for a Lambda Literary Award.  This seems an
unusual, even contradictory choice for Lambda Literary Foundation to
make.  Considering The Man Who Would Be Queen for a Lammy in the
transgender category seems akin to nominating Anne Paulk's Restoring
Sexual Identity in the LGBT Studies category.  Both are books that --
while considered well-intentioned by their authors -- only serve to harm
our community.

Bailey's book serves to foster poor stereotypes of transgendered people
that are uncommon in reality. For example, Bailey's assertion that
transgendered people are typically sex-workers, or that we all fit into
two rigid and unproven categories. These are only two small examples out
of a book chock-full of half-truths and outright fictions. These same
stereotypes can and are being used against transgendered people at this

Bailey -- like Paulk -- seem to have had a clear agenda when writing
their texts, as well.  Certainly Paulk is writing under the aegis of
Harvest House and Exodus Ministries, and has a clear goal of bolstering
the so-called "Ex-gay" movement.  Bailey's goals and motives seem less
clear, but it seems obvious that he has set out to provide poorly
researched "science" and sometimes-less-than-truthful anecdotes as a way
to prove his own pet theories, much of which he seems to have cribbed
from Dr. Ray Blanchard.

This is why I've chosen to compare Bailey to Paulk.  No-one would think
that the Lambda Literary Foundation would be a credible organization if
her text showed up as a finalist.  I figure that by using this example,
you may see why this is so offensive to transgendered people -- and why
now the Lambda Literary Foundation is being seen as being no friend to
transgendered people.  The inclusion of the Bailey book is a major blow
to any possible belief that the Lambda Literary Foundation was in any way
an organization with credibility in its choices for a Lambda Literary

More than this, it amazes me that such a poorly written and planned book
at Baiey's would even make sure a list.  Maybe there was a desire for
more possible finalists, but I also know there were several other books
that did not make said list: Branded T, The Gender Frontier, and Wrapped
In Blue being the first to come to mind.

If Lambda Literary Foundation is indeed supposed to be about the
recognition and promotion of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender
community, and if the Lambda Literary Awards are truly designed to honor
the best and the brightest the community has to offer, then the selection
of Bailey's book would be as laughable as the Paulk book ever being on
the list.  While I am aware that you will not be delisting the Bailey
book from your finalists -- what's done is done, after all -- I hope that
the Lambda Literary Foundation will be aware that while the damage is
already done, much could be said by choosing one of your other finalists
in the transgender category over a book as clearly and intentionally
defamatory as Bailey's

Gwendolyn Ann Smith

 .  .
/\\//\  Gwendolyn Ann Smith *
> () <  Columnist, Bay Area Reporter & Philadelphia Gay News
\/()\/  Board Member, FTMI * Board Member, GEA
"I want this to be a harmony of voices" - Lauren D. Wilson 





Man Who Would Be Queen to Remain

on Lambda Literary Awards Finalists List

After two weeks of discussion, the Finalists Committee for the Lambda
Literary Awards voted to retain The Man Who Would Be Queen as a
finalist for the 2003 Transgender Award.

"This was a very difficult decision, and I appreciate the seriousness
and integrity with which the committee considered the issues raised by
the opponents and supporters of The Man Who Would Be Queen," said Jim
Marks, Executive Director of the Lambda Literary Foundation, which
organizes the annual Lambda Literary Awards (Lammys). "They have been
very sensitive about the depth of feeling on this matter."

When the 2003 Lambda Literary Award finalists were announced, the
selection of The Man Who Would Be Queen touched off a firestorm of
protest that the book was transphobic, poor science and that the
author, J. Michael Bailey, was the subject of ethics charges at
Northwestern University, where he chairs the Department of Psychology.
The book also drew equally strong expressions of support from other
transgender activists and from colleagues in the field of study.

Given the range of opinions heard by the Finalists Committee, it agreed
to focus on whether the content of the book was at odds with the Lambda
Literary Foundation’s mission of supporting gay, lesbian, bisexual and
transgender people through cultural literacy. The viewpoint that
received the majority vote was that "Bailey has not set out to
intentionally do harm to gay men and transsexuals. He doesn't get it on
some fundamental levels but he genuinely thinks he does."

With the Finalists Committee decision made, now a panel of judges will
consider which of the five books in this category will be selected for
the 2003 Lambda Literary Award. The five finalists in the transgender
category are: She's Not There, by Jennifer Finney Boylan (Broadway
Books); The Drag King Anthology, Donna Troka, Kathleen Lebesco, Jean
Noble, eds. (Harrington Park Press); The Man Who Would Be Queen, by J.
Michael Bailey (Joseph Henry Press); Trans-gendered, by Justin Tanis
(The Pilgrim Press); and Transgender Journeys, by Virginia Ramey
Mollenkott and Vanessa Sheridan (The Pilgrim Press). The same judging
process will be followed for the books in the other 19 categories.

The results of the judges’ decisions will be announced at a gala
banquet to be held June 3, 2004 at the Chicago Mart Plaza Hotel.
Tickets are $125 for the dinner, $175 for the dinner and gala
reception, with discounts for tickets purchased before March 31, 2004.
For more information or to order online, go to or
call 202-682-0952.

Additional information:

How was the book selected in the first place? The finalists for the
Lambda Literary Awards were nominated by their publishers and other
authorized agents in the fall of 2003; the nomination period closed
December 15, 2003. The finalists in each category were chosen by an ad
hoc committee of LGBT book professionals. Committee members voted
independently of each other and their votes were not shared with other
committee members. Choices were ranked on a scale of 5 to 1 (five being
the highest score) and the five books with the highest totals were
selected as finalists.

Did every member of the finalist committee vote for the books selected
as finalists? No. Because of the ranking system, the fact that
categories could have many entrants and that there is no runoff, it is
quite possible for a book to become a Lammy finalist without all the
Finalists Committee members voting for it.

What about the questions raised on the book’s scientific merit? In an
Open Letter published in the February 2004 Lambda Book Report, Lambda
Literary Foundation executive director Jim Marks discussed the ethical
and censorship issues raised by the call to remove the book from the
list. As the committee discussed the points being raised, and we
continued receiving comments from the public, it became clear that
opinion on the scientific merit of the book was divided. For instance,
we received comments from two members of the editorial board of the
Journal of Sex Research, one speaking on behalf of the book, the other
questioning it. Given such a division of expert opinion, it was beyond
the competence of a literary review panel to make a judgment on
scientific merit.

Finalists Committee:

Larry Bailey, The Open Book, Sacramento, CA
Victoria A. Brownworth, author and critic, Philadelphia, PA
Michelle DiMeo and Pam Harcourt, Women and Children First, Chicago, IL
Richard Labonte, Books to Watch Out For
Kris Kleindienst, Owner, Left Bank Books, St. Louis, MO
Sara Look, Charis Books, Atlanta, GA
Retha Powers, Bookspan
Philip Rafshoon, owner, OutWrite Books, Atlanta, GA
David Rosen, Insight Out Books
Richard Schneider, Editor, The Gay & Lesbian Review
Martha Stone, Literary Editor, The Gay & Lesbian Review
Jane Troxell & Robert Starner, Lambda Rising Bookstore, Washington, DC
Kurt Weber, A Different Light Books, Los Angeles, CA

Jim Marks, Executive Director, Lambda Literary Foundation
LLF Programs: Lambda Book Report, The James White Review, Lambda
Literary Awards and Lambda Literary Festival
Online at
202-682-0952; 202-682-0955 fax; PO Box 73910, Washington, DC 20056-3910








----- Original Message -----
From: Kristina-Maia DeMott
To: ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Sent: Wednesday, February 25, 2004 10:47 AM
Subject: Lambda Literary Award selection - a commentary

“This is the first time an issue like this has come up because people generally don’t nominate or suggest titles that are not sympathetic to our point of view.” (Jim Marks, Executive Director, Lambda Literary Foundation, interview on GenderTalk program #447, MIT, February 9, 2004)

Dear Lambda Literary Award Committee Members,

The continued presence of J. M. Bailey's seriously flawed book "The Man Who Would Be Queen" alongside transgender works of clear merit in the Lambda Literary Foundation Literary Awards nominee list challenges the organization's credibility. Its retention both confirms an affront by the LLF to all who have serious ambitions of celebrating their orientation and gender communities through the literary arts, and gives internal proof of the irrelevance of LLFs assessment of the value of contemporary works of literature.

The organization obviously doesn't "get" what trans people are about, on a basic and intuitive level. Judging by its failure to act after due consideration to remove this insulting pastiche from the list of Award nominees, the LLF doesn't intend to get it, no matter how clear the demonstrations of the shortcomings of the nominee by those who best know and understand its subject.

By putting forth such an egregiously bigoted example as representative of the best of literature dealing with trans people and issues, LLF assumes the position of clown in its own sex-and-gender "opera buffo." It is as though the National Urban League or the NAACP were to have nominated "The Bell Curve" as among the year's best of African-American literature. The burlesque provides no laughs, merely the groans we must all experience as a reaction to the nomination of a junk-science indictment written by a reviled outsider masquerading as an ally.

To second Ms. Christine Burns's well-expressed request: kindly give us our "T" back, and suspend the category until such time as you can demonstrate a modicum of credibility in your selection criteria. Allow me to add that deliberate espousal of the mediocre, in the hope of being all things to all people, is its own best punishment. For the good of trans people everywhere, may your GLB buffoon act continue to play as a satire of literary criticism in the abject intellectual Peorias of the world. As long as the LLF is capable of holding up such an execrable work as a shining example, it will never achieve the Broadway status to which it once so deservedly aspired.


Kristina-Maia DeMott










Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2004 06:10:49 -0000
Subject: [transgendernews] [Opinion] Time for our T back - Lambda
Literary Awards
Message-ID: <>

Forwarded from "Christine Burns" - Press for Change (UK),
please redistribute widely

----Start of forwarded message ----

Dear Jim

I'm addressing this reply to your release about the LLF's decision on
"The Man Who Would be Queen" in a way that copies as many transsexual
and transgender people that I know how.

(Readers who have not received Jim's statement directly will find a
copy of it below).

I call upon those people to signify whether they agree or disagree
with what I say next by further copying this message onto other
online lists of trans people and by supporting what I have to say by
emailing your own views to


There is a disturbingly arrogant presumption among Gay, Lesbian and
Bisexual organisations throughout the world wherein they assume that
the suffix "T" is something that is in their gift to append to the
list of peoples whom they embrace. Time and time again I have been
invited to help groups make the case to their committees for whether
they should deign to add the T to their own statement of mission. The
arrogance is simply beyond belief.

I have to break it to you in as gentle a way as possible Jim. They are
(and LLF) wrong.

The T belongs to transgender people. It is OUR letter T. And it is our
privilege to decide who wears it.

The "T" is an award that has to be earned. And, in my view, this
incident demonstrates that Lambda Literary Foundation has a long way
go in learning what it means to say that you support and embrace the
struggle faced by the world's transgender people.

I ask you to remove the letter "T" with immediate effect from your
literature and your web site and call upon others to signify whether
they agree with that sentiment.

You state your collective viewpoint as:

"Bailey has not set out to intentionally do harm to gay men and
transsexuals. He doesn't get it on some fundamental levels but he
genuinely thinks he does"

I take that as a statement of appeasement towards someone who, by
their actions and connections, has done everything in their power to
defame transsexual people and threaten the advance of the rights and
protection of a community which every day, on every continent, faces
crushing social exclusion, physical and mental harassment and worse.

To describe Bailey as a well meaning buffoon who means well and
doesn't mean to perpetuate such egregious falsehoods about our people
simply doesn't accord with the reality. The statement suggests, in
fact, that perhaps "The Lambda Literary Foundation doesn't set out to
insult transgender people - they simply don't get it on a fundamental

The "T" on the list of those you embrace has to be earned. It has to
represent something. It needs to be awarded by trans people on the
basis of a belief that you really DO get what we are about.

At the moment it is clear from your decision that you don't.

Therefore, if only as an act of public good faith, I call upon the
Lambda Literary Founation to remove the T that seems to mean nothing
to your organisation. Trans people will decide when, and if, you have
the right to have it awarded back to you.

Yours sincerely and in disgust

Christine Burns
Trans Rights Campaigner and Educator,
Manchester, England.







February 26, 2004
Contact: Nancy Nangeroni (
GenderTalk Radio
c/o WMBR 88.1 FM, 3 Ames St., Cambridge, MA  02142

GenderTalk announces "LammyLit Memorial" Award

[Cambridge, MA] GenderTalk Radio, the most popular and widely respected 
radio program on transgender issues, is pleased and proud to announce a 
new award created in the spirit of the Lambda Literary Foundation 
Awards nominations. These formerly-respected LLF awards are given, 
according to Executive Director Jim Marks, to persons where "He doesn't 
get it on some fundamental levels but he genuinely thinks he does" (see 
Lambda's announcement at

This week's GenderTalk LammyLit Memorial award goes to Fred Phelps, who 
thinks he's doing God's work, but on some level, just doesn't get it. 
Fred is well known to GLBT persons across the United States for his 
"God Hates Fags" website and his virulently homophobic demonstrations 
against GLBT persons. Says GenderTalk founder and co-host Nancy 
Nangeroni, "We've been very sensitive about the depth of feeling on 
this matter."

The GenderTalk award is selected by an impartial committee of straight 
white millionaires who are paid well for doing whatever makes them the 
most money. While personally unfamiliar with Phelps or Gay issues, they 
nonetheless believe they have made the right choice.

With the announcement of this award, it is expected that grateful Gay 
and Lesbian persons will shower the GenderTalk staff with money and 
treat them to expensive dinners at Hyatt Hotels.

The GTRLLM Award was inspired by the finalist selection of J. Michael 
Bailey's "The Man Who Would Be Queen" for a Lambda Literary Foundation 
award. Despite the book's having been soundly critiqued (here:
LynnsReviewOfBaileysBook.html) by leading transgender academics and 
activists, and the ongoing investigation (see of its author 
for unethical research methods, the nominating committee bravely stood 
its ground in defending freedom of speech for pathologizing 
transphobes.  Meanwhile, leading trans activists called his book "the 
most transphobic publication in over 30 years".

The Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization unaffiliated with any 
transgender organization or cause, has issued an "Intelligence Report" 
( which 
likens Bailey's work to "racist science" and reveals connections 
between neo-eugenics fans of the Human Biodiversity Institute (HBI) and 
the book's author.

Despite all this and a substantial outcry of protest 
Lambda.Literary.Awards.Come.Under.Fire-604717.shtml and of the book's 
nomination, Lambda Lit's nominations committee has seen fit to reaffirm 
Bailey's nomination, because, as director Marks writes, "He doesn't get 
it on some fundamental levels but he genuinely thinks he does". Such 
profound wisdom led directly to the creation of this GenderTalk award 
(and the election of George W. Bush).

All persons interested in congratulating the members of Lambda Lit's 
finalist selection committee for their brilliant work in inspiring this 
award can find their contact information here: .   Those wishing to 
congratulate LLF's executive director Jim Marks for his brilliance of 
vision and fairness of judgement can email him at



Prominent TransMan Jamison Green Challenges LLF:


From: Jamison Green
Sent: Monday, March 01, 2004 2:40 PM
Subject: J. Michael Bailey's Book

Dear Mr. Marks,

I wish to raise my voice in protest against Lambda's acceptance of the nomination of J. Michael Bailey's book for a Lambda Literary Award.  This book is a wolf in sheep's clothing for the Gay and Trans communities.
As a writer myself, I am fervently against censorship, and I do not wish that Dr. Bailey be summarily silenced.  But for the only really prestigious award in the GLBT literary arena to be even potentially within this man's grasp is a horrible slap in the face to all previous and future nominees for Lambda Literary Awards in the Transgender category. 
I would seriously like to know who nominated this book in this category.  I suspect it was the publisher, looking for publicity, naturally.  And Lambda's response might well be to accept any nomination, anticipating that the judges for that category would ignore an unworthy contestant in awarding the real prize.  But we all know that nomination is an honor, too, and Bailey can use that nomination in their future publicity.  Bailey doesn't need to win the award in order to profit from his book's candidacy.  Serious contenders for a prize ought to be qualified in some realistic way.  Anyone with basic consciousness about the reality and diversity of transgender experience can tell that this book is negatively biased against transgendered people, and I also found it to be derisive and insulting to gay men, as well. 
Here is a link to my regular column on where I wrote about this book last fall in a piece entitled "Bailey's wick": ...
I have always looked to Lambda Literary Awards as a celebration of the best our community has to offer.  I cannot be joyful when it appears that the Lambda Literary Foundation raises up work that is derogatory, insulting, damaging, salacious, objectifying, and downright deceptive in both its methods and conclusions about who we are.  Sure, Bailey's book is breezily written, and he woos us with certain obvious admissions about the difficulty of being gay so we feel like, wow, someone from the mainstream and the big, important world of academia is telling it like it is.  It is embarrassing to think that this is all it takes to get recognition from Lambda.  Bailey is surely using Lambda as leverage in his battle with his transgendered critics, whom he has characterized as a small group of angry, jealous trans women.  I'm certain he thinks that winning this award will further marginalize his critics by ensconcing him in the bosom of the gay community.
As I said above, Bailey will gain a certain amount of credit and honor from Lambda's acceptance of his nomination, and it is too late to prevent that.  But I would like to see Lambda take a more proactive stance and learn from this experience.  Instead of just ignoring Bailey when giving the award to one of the more worthy and qualified nominees, I would like to see Lambda's judges in the Transgender category issue an evaluation of Bailey's book that shows how qualified they are to judge transgender literature and explain why they did not award the prize to him.  Not that I want to see this practice instituted for all nominees who don't win prizes, but I would like to know that there is some kind of culturally competent screening process in place to prevent just any nomination from being accepted.  Perhaps Lambda can use this incident as a learning experience to ensure that future nominations don't end up undermining the links between GLB and T or --seriously-- the foundations of queer culture.
Jamison Green   





Lambda awards finalist sparks anger

by Zak Szymanski

Bay Area Reporter March 4 2004

Several months of public outcry over J. Michael Bailey's The Man Who Would be Queen didn't seem to affect the members of the Lambda Literary Awards' finalists committee; Bailey's book is up for an award in Lambda's "transgender" category, touching off a second wave of activism around the book that now includes an online petition to remove the book from Lambda's short list.

The book will now be forwarded along with four other titles to a panel of judges who will make the final decision. The Lambda Literary Awards are held annually and take place this year on June 3 in Chicago.

Bailey, a heterosexual psychologist and faculty member at Northwestern University, touted The Man Who Would Be Queen as a nonfictional, scientific account of the experiences and identities of male-to-female transsexuals. His research methods have been criticized as well as defended, but it is his final conclusion that angered many when the book was first released last year: MTF transsexuals fall into one of two categories, according to Bailey, those who are effeminate gay men, and those who are masculine men but who are sexually aroused by the idea of themselves as women.

Furthermore, said Bailey, most gay men were effeminate in childhood, and many of them would have transitioned into females but decided they would not have been attractive women.

³Whoever made this decision needs to do a better job. A much better job," said an e-mail to the Lambda Literary Foundation from Professor Deirdre McCloskey, whose book Crossing: A Memoir was a 1999 finalist in the same category. "It would be like nominating Mein Kampf for a literary prize in Jewish studies.²

Soon after its release, Bailey's book was condemned by members of the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association, the body of physicians and mental health experts responsible for setting the "standards of care" for sexual reassignment. Additionally, a group of Bailey's alleged research subjects (many assert that Bailey's research was in large part conducted by visits to drag bars) filed a formal complaint at Northwestern University alleging that they never gave consent to be studied and that Bailey fabricated details about their stories in order to fit his own hypotheses. Northwestern University launched its own investigation into Bailey's research protocol last year.

Nevertheless, the committee of Lambda Literary Awards decided to keep the book on its list for a few reasons, said Jim Marks, who as executive director of the Lambda Literary Foundation administers the awards but does not select nominees or finalists.

Marks noted that many researchers have written in strong support of Bailey's methods and conclusions, and that some transsexuals actually support Bailey's research as well. There have been some well-known ­ although controversial and considered by many to be antiquated ­ research studies that document "autogynephelia," the state of being aroused by oneself as the opposite sex.

But many transgenders point out that there are also research studies by the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality on gay "conversion" to heterosexuality, and that Lambda probably wouldn't have promoted a book by that organization. Interestingly, the NARTH Web site actually features The Man Who Would Be Queen, praising the author for recognizing femininity (or as the NARTH reviewer calls it, "diminished masculinity")in gay men, stating that Bailey's find "has implications for treatment of men with unwanted homosexuality."

Critics of the Lambda Awards also point out that the issue is not whether some transsexuals fit into Bailey's categories; his blanket statements unscientifically generalize an entire population, one whose members have repeatedly said they have been harmed by the book.

Whether transgenders were harmed or not, Marks told the Bay Area Reporter that Lambda's finalists committee decided Bailey did not do so intentionally, and therefore the book was not in opposition to Lambda's mission.

A statement posted by Marks on the Lambda Literary Foundation's Web site says, in part, that the committee decided that ³Bailey has not set out to intentionally do harm to gay men and transsexuals. He doesn't get it on some fundamental levels but he genuinely thinks he does."

But Marks did not explain why the standards for literary awards are not higher than not causing intentional harm and don't include "getting it" when it comes to a purported scientific document.

Marks also refused to say whether there were any transgenders on the committee that decided whether transgender concerns were compromised by the book.

But Marks did say that other books on the Lambda finalists list could just as easily be criticized for furthering stereotypes; the novel The Book of Salt by Monique Truong, said Marks, is written by a heterosexual woman and features effeminate Asian gay male characters.

"Anyone can critique a book. Because people are able to interpret things doesn't mean we all have to necessarily agree with their interpretation," said Marks.

A book like Truong's, of course, is fiction. A book like Bailey's, note activists, has repercussions for the trans as well as gay communities when it comes to recognizing individual experiences, securing equality, and accessing appropriate and vital healthcare.


Publicists for Bailey's book had no comment on the Lambda Awards controversy, but they directed the B.A.R. to an open letter posted last June by Joseph Henry Press, the book 's publisher.

"None of us involved in the publication of The Man Who Would Be Queen imagined the extent of the controversy that its publication would trigger,² said the statement. ³We deeply regret the fact that some have found the book harmful or offensive. ... The appropriate response ... we believe, is not to silence the scientist or to censor the expression of his findings and ideas. Rather we hope that the publication will inspire a productive discussion about future directions and methodologies in research on issues of gender and sexuality."

Bay Area trans activist, scholar, and writer Susan Stryker, a two-time Lambda nominee, agrees with many activists that the inclusion of Bailey's book "reveals, at best, a great deal of ignorance about transgender issues among the selection committee," and that "transgender people are justifiably angry and feel betrayed by presumed allies."

However, Stryker also said that since "the bad decision" has been made, she will stick by the nomination from a civil libertarian and anti-censorship position.

"I would hate to see any book pulled because of political opposition, even if I think the book is utterly stupid and the nomination procedure deeply flawed," Stryker told the B.A.R. "This controversy points to a need for LLF to examine and change its nominating procedures, specifically by having culturally competent nominators on the selection committee. If there's a tranny category, there needs to be trannies on the committee."

Stryker also called for better communication between those who are angry and the Lambda Literary Foundation, noting that attacks and defensiveness are hindering productive dialogue.

She also said, however, that "if Bailey wins in the transgender category despite all the flak that has been stirred up, trans people should raise bloody hell and do everything possible to hold LLF's feet to the fire. That would be really inexcusable."

In addition to Bailey's book, the other finalists in Lambda's transgender category are: She's Not There, by Jennifer Finney Boylan (Broadway Books); The Drag King Anthology, Donna Troka, Kathleen Lebesco, Jean Noble, eds. (Harrington Park Press); Trans-gendered, by Justin Tanis (The Pilgrim Press); and Transgender Journeys, by Virginia Ramey Mollenkott and Vanessa Sheridan (The Pilgrim Press).

A published list of the Lambda finalist committee is available online. Not every committee member voted for each finalist selection. For more information on the controversy, and on the Lambda Literary Awards, visit

To sign the petition against recognizing The Man Who Would Be Queen as an awards finalist, visit





March 5, 2004:


Petition drive protesting

LLF nomination of Bailey's book

Tops the 1000 mark in just six days!



Six days after launch, an online petition about the book by J Michael
Bailey has collected over one thousand signatures. It continues to grow.
This week we tell something of the tale behind the controversy and the
remarkable progress of the petition itself. And we ask, are there one
thousand liars, or just one?




March 7, 2004:

by Christine Burns

Just over a week ago I launched a petition that has found its way around
the world and alerted hundreds of people to a controversy that has been
brewing for almost a year.

"The Man Who Would Be Queen" was written by the academic psychologist J
Michael Bailey, who holds the chair of psychology at North Western
University, near Chicago. The book was published in April 2003 by one of
America's most prestigious academic institutions, the National Academy
of Science (NAS), and was accompanied by aggressive marketing hype and
glowing testimonials by supposedly expert contemporaries and associates
of the author :

"Based on his original research, Bailey's book is
grounded firmly in science."  -- Joseph Henry Press

"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.
-- David M. Buss, author of The Evolution of
Desire: Strategies of Human Mating and Evolutionary
Psychology: The New Science of the Mind

"Absolutely splendid" -- Simon LeVay, Ph.D., author
of Queer Science

In the following months, as trans campaigners tried in vain to point out
that neither the author nor his fan club had a clue about transssexual
people and their lives, a remarkable series of revelations and events
began to unfold.

It transpired that Bailey's "research" was anything but original or
grounded in science. Most of the ideas about the controversial topic of
"Autogynephilia" had come from Bailey's mentor, Ray Blanchard -- a
researcher whose institution (Toronto's "Clarke Institute") did not earn
the nickname "Jurassic Clarke" without just cause. Certainly, the
concepts of "homosexual" and "autogynephilic" transsexualism find no
favour among therapists who actually counsel and help to treat
transsexual people. Bailey was not even a member of the globally
recognised, "Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association"
(HBIGDA) and was later strongly criticised in a letter to his university
by the HBIGDA board. Elsewhere John Bancroft, President of the Kinsey
Institute, faced Bailey across a stunned conference hall at a meeting of
the International Academy of Sex Research (IASR) and spelled it out:

"Michael, I would caution you against calling
this book 'science' because I have read it ...
and I can tell you it is NOT science."

It also emerged that Bailey's "research" had been limited to cruising
gay bars in the Chicago area in search of drag queens, and that his book
was based on contacts with seven latina trans girls who had turned to
prostitution to survive pre-operatively. They were introduced to Bailey
by their mentor, another trans woman (Angelica Kieltyka), who thought he
would write the all-important referral letters for their surgery.
Kieltyka, herself, became Bailey's sole example of a so-called
"Autogynephile", under the pseudonym "Cher". She angrily refutes the
diagnosis. Other subjects, whose histories didn't support Bailey's model
were excluded from the book.

A few weeks after the book's publication, Angelica Kieltyka made herself
known to the trans academics and campaigners who were trying to take in
what had happened. Angelica was able to shed light on how the book had
come to be written and the ways in which the author had ignored her
protests as his intentions became horribly apparent. She introduced the
book's other subjects to the investigating team and a very different
picture began to emerge from the one presented in print. A series of
very serious formal complaints followed. Bailey has been accused of
research ethics violations and (most serious of all) having sex with one
of his research subjects. The claims are currently under investigation
by Bailey's university.

As the less formal investigation work took place among academic trans
people and campaigners determined to unravel the story of the book's
motivations and publication, a darker picture began to emerge. Bailey
and those who praised his work were found to be linked through a right
wing think tank peopled by a strange mix of ideologically inclined
businessmen, academics and journalists. Investigations into Steve
Sailer's "Human Biodiversity" group found connections between Bailey and
Blanchard, key fans of the book, David Buss and Steven Pinker, and right
wing homophobic writers such as John Derbyshire.


Indeed the connections around the story of Bailey's book are so complex
that sophisticated graphics were needed to begin to represent the links:

Those links are now being investigated in more depth by a professional
team from the prestigious Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC). Their
initial findings can be seen at:

Above all, it soon became apparent that this controversy was never a
matter of scientific difference or the freedom to publish unpopular
outcomes of legitimate research. Indeed this wasn't even science. We
began to realise that "The Man Who Would Be Queen" was the product of
ideology, backed by an unholy alliance of people who dishonestly support
one another's efforts without disclosing their affiliations.

This wasn't simply about scientists being beastly to transsexual people
without concern for the damage they could cause. The damage .. though
dressed up as compassion .. is quite deliberate, and was just the
opening salvo of things to come in a US political climate which is
seeing increasing efforts to subvert the entire mission of science for
socio-political ends.

And then along came the Lambda Literary Foundation ...

Just how Bailey's book originally came to be nominated for an AWARD is
still not clear. What is apparent, however, is that the process then
went wrong in the most spectacular way imaginable and has seemed
incapable of righting itself.

The result, of course, was last week's online petition -- launched in an
email from me on Saturday evening here in Britain, just over a week ago.

The petition didn't need much explanation to strike a chord. It spread
like wildfire. Within six hours it had over 100 signatures. Forty-eight
hours from launch the tally stood at over 600 signatures from around the
world. And, just over six days from initial announcement, the score
crossed the hugely symbolic ONE THOUSAND point and continues to grow.

One thousand signatures from around the world may not sound all that
spectacular compared to some protests, in which millions have taken to
the streets to campaign against wars. For the trans community it is a
hugely significant event however. It makes history. Never before have so
many trans people come together from around the world to take part in a
single political act.

People who have lived their lives in stealth ventured out to sign the
petition. People of all ages signed it. Signature number 986 came from
one of the most famous trans names in the last century, April Ashley.

For people who represent less than 1 in 10,000 of the world's
population, 1,000 signatures is the everyday equivalent of ten million.
And if ten million people protested something in just six days in any
other circumstances that would be regarded as very significant indeed.

And what were they saying? The petition was aimed at the Lambda Literary
Foundation (LLF), of course. Signatories are calling on the foundation
to think very hard about how they managed to shortlist a book which goes
against their entire system of values, and to act as those values

The LLF's mission statement says that the Foundation is there ...

" create social change and achieve full
civil rights, dignity, and self-respect for
gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered
individuals through education, youth advocacy,
anti-violence efforts, and fighting
discrimination of all forms, to achieve full
participation in society of persons belonging
to a sexual minority."

However, the reason for signatories believing that Bailey's book fails
to contribute to LLF's mission is summed up at the end of the petition
statement ...

".. we feel that the nature of the distress and
potential harm occasioned to transsexual people
by the author's actions makes this work an
inappropriate candidate to be honoured by
a transgender-inclusive organisation ..."

The "authors actions" have been to lie and to protect his deceit in the
most brilliantly circular of ways of course.

"Most gender patients lie "
Bailey - p. 172

So, any trans person who doesn't agree with Bailey's stigmatising tract
can therefore be comfortably dismissed because anything they say is a
product of their pathology.

And this is the principal way in which Bailey has set about countering a
tsunami of criticism over the last year since his book was published.
Indeed, he goes further. He actually claims in interviews that many of
his friends are transsexual and that most trans people support what he
says in his book. For twelve months he has characterised the
investigative campaign led by Professor Lynn Conway and Andrea James as
an unrepresentative minority outburst, by people who are simply angry at
the way he describes them. This is what his friends and supporters have
told the Lambda Literary Foundation too -- further confusing a group
whose ignorance of trans lives is manifest.

So this week's petition result has far more significance than merely
protesting the stupidity of the Lambda Literary Foundation... It gives
the lie to Bailey's entire claim to support and authenticity.

The petition raises the question of how many liars there really are.

If you are one of the hundreds of people with a trans background who
have signed the Bailey Book petition in the last week then you are, in
Bailey's book, a liar. Either that you are in deep denial about all the
things which he says about you (some of which you'll find below).

It seems that lying must be endemic among the friends and associates of
trans people too .. all those non-trans people who have put their names
to the petition in support of people they know.

All of which starts to stretch the bounds of credulity even further than
they have been stretched already.

The question now is whether Bailey's lie can be sustained much longer.
Are there thousands of liars or just one? Is the world at last waking up
to the deceit that has only flourished because of widespread ignorance
among those who should have seen through him already?

Will the Lambda Literary Foundation be the first to say publicly that
they were hoodwinked? What will happen to those supposedly professional
scientists who've lied to protect their friend's deceit? What will
happen to the executives of Joseph Henry Press who have agressively
peddled a book of lies as "science" on behalf of a National Academy
whose leaders have failed the duty of their position?

As we approach the first anniversary of a lie which has still to be
fully exposed, what will the coming months hold?

One thing is for sure. The truth is there to be uncovered. And, as more
people ask questions about this controversy, we can only hope that the
movement to reveal that truth will gather pace and come to its
inevitable conclusion.

Christine Burns
7th March, 2004

(To see the list of petition signatories go to :

----- More Bailey Quotes ------

" - - - homosexual transsexuals are used to living on the margins of
society" Bailey - p. 184
"Homosexual transsexuals tend to have a short time horizon, with certain
pleasure in the present worth great risks for the future." - Bailey p.
"Prostitution is the single most common occupation that homosexual
transsexuals in our study admitted to." Bailey - p. 184
"The more resourceful and attractive transsexual prostitutes are call
girls." Bailey - p. 185
"Nearly all the homosexual transsexuals I know work as escorts after
they have their surgery." Bailey - 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." Bailey - p.
"Do they get married? ... homosexual transsexuals are not very
successful at finding desirable men willing to commit to them." Bailey -
p. 209



March 12, 2004:


Lambda Literary Foundation announces

that "The Man Who Would Be Queen" has been removed

as a 16th Annual Lambda Literary Award finalist.



However, the anti-LLF-nomination petition-signing is still going strong,

and is a sign of our community's solidarity

in the struggle against the defamation of trans women!




----- Original Message -----

From: "Jim Marks" <>
To: ...distribution list...
Sent: Friday, March 12, 2004 6:06 PM
Subject: Man Who Would Be Queen Announcement


Below is an announcement that we are posting on our web site today. I
would like to thank everyone for their comments and e-mails. We welcome
additional comments or discussion, although our limited staff and
resources preclude answering everyone personally.


March 12, 2004. The Lambda Literary Foundation announced that "The Man
Who Would Be Queen" has been removed as a 16th Annual Lambda Literary
Award finalist.

The change was prompted by a request from the panel of judges that is
reading all the finalists in the transgender category, which said the
book was not appropriate for the category. The Foundation does not
identify the judges to the public or each other until the Awards
banquet, which this year will be held June 3, in Chicago, IL. Upon
receiving the request, executive director Jim Marks went back to the
Finalist Committee, which had selected the book originally. A majority
of the committee agreed to honor the request.

Because the action was unprecedented, it provoked heated discussion
within the Finalist Committee. Finalist Committee member Kris
Kleindienst said, "Removing the book from the list is not censorship.
The book is widely available, has been widely reviewed and is not about
to be denied to the public. What we are doing is behaving in a
responsible manner to make sure the list of finalists is compatible
with the Foundation’s mission. Having looked at the book closely, I am
sure it is not." Several committee members echoed Kleindienst’s views.

Finalist Committee member Victoria Brownworth, along with several
others, disagreed on the censorship issue. "Banning a book and
censoring a book are two different things. While I hate to be the
titular voice of the ACLU here, especially since I personally disagree
with many aspects of Bailey's book, if we take the book off the list we
are indeed censoring it. It doesn't matter what our reasons are."

"This has been a difficult and humbling experience for the Foundation,"
said Executive Director Jim Marks. "We’ve never before had a case in
which a book, whose author and publisher both affirm their support for
gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual rights, has at the same time
been opposed by those who say its content in fact is antithetical to
those rights."

"Throughout the controversy that has raged over the book’s selection as
a finalist, we have struggled to maintain the integrity of the
process." Marks said. "Since the impetus for the change came from the
within the category’s judges, and was reviewed and voted on by the
Finalist Committee, we feel that the decision is consistent with our

The recipients of the 16th Lambda Literary Awards will be announced at
a gala banquet to be held June 3, 2004 at the Chicago Mart Plaza Hotel.
Tickets are $125 for the dinner, $175 for the dinner and gala
reception, with discounts for tickets purchased before March 31, 2004.
For more information or to order online, go to or
call 202-682-0952.

Jim Marks, Executive Director, Lambda Literary Foundation
LLF Programs: Lambda Book Report, The James White Review, Lambda
Literary Awards and Lambda Literary Festival
Online at
202-682-0952; 202-682-0955 fax; PO Box 73910, Washington, DC 20056-3910
shipping address: 1217 Eleventh St. NW, Suite 1, Washington, DC 20001



March 14, 2004:




The Queen Who Won't Be Crowned
by Christine Burns
Sunday 14th March, 2004

...Stronger now the souls, united,
Challenge status so, in time,
A people once imprisoned, frightened,
Walk free of stigma, absolved of crime.



The words above were written by me as part of a poem entitled "Spirit in
the Wires". I wrote it many years ago when I first fully realised the
power of campaigning via the Internet, and the special relevance which
that had for the world's transsexual people - spread out,
disenfranchised and often geographically isolated - as we struggled to
find a way to be heard. The full poem is reproduced below and has always
been, for me, the reminder of where we come from and what we do.

Something quite remarkable and unprecedented has taken place over the
last two weeks. Someone even went as far as to call the entire upsurge
of feeling against J Michael Bailey's defamation, "Stonewall II" .. once
again led by the trannies. Whether that is an appropriate title or not
only time will tell. One thing is for certain, however: the last two
weeks have witnessed the largest ever public display of united
disaffection by the entire world's transsexual people, their families,
their friends and those strangers who have been quick enough to spot a
wrong when they see one.

It will take weeks for the message of this week's achievement to work
its way around the world and for people to realise that the original
reason for needing to sign the J Michael Bailey petition is passed.
Checking as I write, the signature count now stands at one thousand
three hundred and sixty two and embraces trans people in 35 countries.
Not bad for one of the tiniest minorities on earth - representing
probably no more than one in ten thousand citizens. Whatever the Bailey
controversy was before this petition, it is now a matter of
international concern .. large enough for the managers of a prestigious
literary award to perform one of the fastest policy U-turns in
publishing history.

On Friday 12th March, almost exactly 13 days after we first issued a
call to action and opened the petition book for signing, the Executive
Director of the Lambda Literary Foundation issued a statement announcing
that J Michael Bailey's book of lies and insults, "The Man Who Would Be
Queen", had been removed from its nomination category in the
foundation's sixteenth annual awards.

Making his announcement, Jim Marks said :

"The change was prompted by a request from the
panel of judges that is reading all the finalists
in the transgender category, which said the
book was not appropriate for the category."

He also acknowledged that the decision was "unprecedented" in LLF's
history, and added :

"This has been a difficult and humbling
experience for the Foundation,"

"We've never before had a case in which a book,
whose author and publisher both affirm their
support for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual
rights, has at the same time been opposed by those
who say its content in fact is antithetical to
those rights."

Well, of course, history is littered with examples of people who've
characterised their own wicked behaviour as being "affirmative" towards
their victims. Eugenics and "ethnic cleansing" programmes have almost
always been dressed up as being in the interests of the victims. "We're
sterilising these women for their own good" .. "black people will be
better off in their own schools". Pick from any number of examples. If
the LGB community had not yet cottoned on that wolves sometimes
crossdress as sheep then let's hope the lesson will now at least begin
to sink in. Looking to the wider world too, society is going to have to
learn to cope with the idea that even if it says "Science" in big
friendly letters on the dust jacket, a book may not be all its author

Let's all hope, therefore, that the Lambda Literary Foundation sharpens
up its act in the future and introduces some elementary controls to
prevent the cynical abuse of its prestige from ever happening again. And
if the Lammy's are to continue including a trans category in the awards
line-up then a very good start might be to include trans leaders and
authors in the panel that does the shortlisting of finalists, never mind
the voting.


The only really unfortunate aspect of the LLF's U-turn announcement was
the airing of the 'C' word - Censorship

Censorship is something that J Michael Bailey has complained about ever
since his book was first published of course. Someone really ought to
take him aside and explain the difference between being criticised and
being silenced.

More than 1350 people have taken steps to CENSURE Bailey in the last two
weeks, but none have said that they wanted to CENSOR him.

The words are admittedly very similar, but they are a world apart. And,
just in case there is any doubt, the petition statement which all those
people signed was quite unequivocal on this matter. It says,

"As signatories WE DO NOT advocate that
J Michael Bailey's book should be
suppressed or withdrawn"

Clear enough? But what we did then say was,

"Nevertheless we feel that the nature
of the distress and potential harm
occasioned to transsexual people by
the author's actions makes this work
an inappropriate candidate to be
honoured ... and that the book should
therefore be withdrawn forthwith from
THE LIST OF NOMINEES" (emphasis added)

J Michael Bailey's cries of "Censorship! Censorship!" are an
uncomfortable reminder of the stereotypical school bully who terrorises
victim after victim but goes running to the headteacher in tears of
anguish when one of his playthings achieves the courage to give him a

The man is supposed to be a top flight academic. Academia maintains its
integrity by the principle that you publish your ideas and must then be
prepared for others to criticise them. Yet from the moment that that
process began, back in April 2003, Mr Bailey has run around to anyone
who will listen and bleated that "a vocal minority" of those horrid
transsexuals were trying to censor him. Worse, he had the audacity to
add that nobody should listen to them, of course, because they are all
pathological liars. "Look", he told them, "it says so here in my book ..
just next to the bit where I announce that they are all thieving
prostitutes having sex, sex, sex night and day".

Well, Mr Bailey, we all stopped thieving and shagging for a while and
signed a petition instead. That's not censorship, that's criticism. If
you don't like it then you are not fit to be a senior academic.


Important as the last two weeks have been, it is vitally important to
remember that this is not the end of a campaign.

Certainly this event has been of practical as well as symbolic
importance. Professor Bailey can put the tuxedo back in the wardrobe
because he won't be going to an awards event to swank in two months
time. His publishers are now robbed of the capital they had gained by
simply being able to tout the book as a Lammy finalist. And Bailey's
employers and peers, still currently examining a stream of serious
allegations against him, MUST take note of what these events say in
clear and undeniable terms.

Michael Bailey has spent a year telling anyone who will listen that
opposition to his book was just a minority outburst by a handful of
angry and unrepresentative transsexual people who wanted to censor his
groundbreaking, but uncomfortable, discoveries about them. It began with
claims that his work was first rate science, backed up by data and
interviews. He claimed that the majority of transsexual people actually
supported him and that the debate was, at most, evenly balanced

Over the last twelve months claim after claim has had to be modified or

First the credit for the central thesis of "autogynephilia" was
transferred hastily back to Bailey's mentor, Ray Blanchard (who feels so
supported by his peers that he went on to resign from the world's best
known association for gender therapists). Next Bailey denied the claim
that the book was science. Suddenly it was demoted to a personal account
of his own doings in Chicago's gay bars. Next he revealed that part of
the book's account was made up... and so it has continued.

In short, he has not only lied within the covers of his book but even
gone on to misrepresent the controversy surrounding it too. Doubtless he
will continue to do so.

One has to wonder if Mr Bailey could even tell you the correct time of
day if asked.

Michael Bailey is not the only person or organisation to be examined
closely, however. From the outset of this controversy the National
Academy of Science and its publishing arm, Joseph Henry Press, have been
equally bound up in the whole affair. Indeed, Joseph Henry Press
continue to aggressively market the book with that word "science" on the
cover and emblazoned with the supposedly authoritative endorsements of a
stream of well-known figures whose reputations are also now being called
into question.

How long will the lie continue? What does it say for the reputation of
America's most prestigious scientific institution that this blatant
example of academic fraud and prejudice should continue to be sold under
their imprint?

(Maybe they simply haven't been able to find another publisher to take
it on. Perhaps they should give the National Enquirer a call.)

Stanford Biologist Professor Joan Roughgarden recently called for high
level resignations. Strong words. However, the longer this controversy
drags on without anyone appearing to show any integrity or leadership
qualities at that level, the stronger and more justified those calls
will become.

(See "Psychology Perverted -

Lambda Literary Foundation made a mistake .. found themselves hoodwinked
.. but at least had the moral fibre to admit their mistake, crave
forgiveness, and do something positive. After almost twelve months the
academies and their publisher continue to bury their heads in the sand
and hope we'll go away.

Sorry chaps, we won't.

On that front alone there is still a lot to do therefore. First some
more organisation and planning is needed but we'll definitely be coming
back with a follow-up call to action in a few weeks from now ..
escalating this campaign of truth to the next level. Stay tuned.

This campaign will not be over until everyone acknowledges the truth
about the "queen" book.

On a wider front, too, the last two weeks must have a long lasting
effect on the way in which individual trans people see themselves, and
on how we all come together to organise and work for a fundamental
change in our status throughout the world.

The Bailey petition has the potential to be seen as a watershed similar
to those that have occurred in other historic struggles by
comprehensively oppressed people.

Most of us have grown up in a world where transsexuality has been a
completely crushing experience. Transsexual people are thrown out of
homes .. thrown out of work .. defamed routinely in books and media ..
sometimes even murdered. Just BEING transsexual has been synonymous with
having no voice and with being regarded as all the things which J
Michael Bailey listed in his book. THAT is why the book was received so
uncritically. That is why the supposedly trans-friendly LLF thought it
was even doing us a favour by putting it on an awards shortlist. That is
why right wing hate groups love a book like Bailey's so much.

So long as trans people are isolated they are powerless. Even so long as
trans people can only organise in tens and hundreds, we will often
remain relatively powerless too. The vast bulk of quietly integrated
trans people are caught in a vicious Catch-22. Stay quiet and the
subjugation continues. Stand up in insufficient numbers and the fear is
that you loose what little you have.

Yet these recent events have demonstrated that a line has been crossed
when people start to say, "What the Hell ? What more have I got to loose
by shouting back ?"

Hopefully many of those people will now also be realising that the world
didn't end because they stood up and because they asked friends to
support them too. It didn't end. IT CHANGED.

So let that be the lasting legacy of this last two weeks. Let Bailey's
wicked book and LLF's unfortunate mistake be remembered as the events
which led the world's trans people to realise that things can change. We
can work together and we do it best when there are lots of us. Life
doesn't end by standing up and complaining. It gets better.

Thank you everyone. One thousand three hundred and sixty two of you
today, more tomorrow.

Christine Burns
Trans Rights Educator and Campaigner
Manchester, UK

Spirit in the Wires
Copyright C Christine Burns 1996

Disembodied, the disenfranchised
File away their chains online
Forging new links, stronger, wider
Outlaws in the flesh combine.
Souls connect with souls, and reason,
Stretching out in space and time,
Synaptic impulse, becomes magnetic,
Electric purpose forms a line.
Stronger now the souls, united,
Challenge status so, in time,
A people once imprisoned, frightened,
Walk free of stigma, absolved of crime.






Planet Out

News & Politics:


Group rescinds honor for disputed book


Patrick Letellier, / Network
Tuesday, March 16, 2004


The Lambda Literary Foundation announced Friday that it was removing a controversial book about transsexuality, titled "The Man Who Would Be Queen," from a list of finalists for its annual literary awards.

Written by J. Michael Bailey, chair of the psychology department at Northwestern University, and subtitled, "The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism," the book has been under fire from transgender activists and academics since its publication last April. Critics have derided it as lacking in science, perpetuating stereotypes about transgender women and casting gender-bending as a perversion.

A panel of Lambda Literary Foundation (LLF) judges reviewed the finalists in the transgender category and deemed the book "not appropriate for the category." LLF then made the "difficult and humbling" decision to remove the book from consideration altogether, according to a press release on the LLF Web site.

"We've never before had a case in which a book, whose author and publisher both affirm their support for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual rights, has been opposed by those who say its content in fact is antithetical to those rights," said LLF director Jim Marks.

"The specific issue was whether the book was transphobic," Marks told the Network. "The judges looked at the book more closely and decided it was."

Transgender activists, however, assert that the book should never have made Lambda's list in the first place.

"Whoever made this decision [to nominate the book for an award] needs to do a better job," said Deirdre McCloskey, a professor of economics at the University of Illinois at Chicago whose book, "Crossing: A Memoir," was a Lambda finalist in the transgender category in 1999. "It would be like nominating 'Mein Kampf' for a literary prize in Jewish studies."

In an open letter to the LLF, activist and author Jamison Green called the nomination "a horrible slap in the face to all previous and future nominees for Lambda Literary Awards in the transgender category." Green criticized the book as "negatively biased against transgendered people" and "derisive and insulting to gay men."

Among the book's endorsers is the National Association of Therapy and Reparation of Homosexuality (NARTH), a leading proponent of "ex-gay" reparative therapy. A reviewer on the NARTH Web site "absolutely" recommends the book and said it would be useful for gay men dealing with "unwanted homosexuality."

The decision to remove the book from consideration has generated charges of censorship from some LLF judges.

"I personally disagree with many aspects of Bailey's book," said Finalist Committee member Victoria Brownsworth in the LLF press release. But "if we take the book off the list we are indeed censoring it. It doesn't matter what our reasons are," she added.

The controversy is not likely to abate soon, since Bailey is under investigation by Northwestern University officials for ethics violations. Several of his research subjects have charged that Bailey distorted their stories to better fit his theories, and that they did not consent to have their stories used in his book. Others have publicly refuted his findings.









Members of the Lambda Literary Foundation committee

who selected Bailey's book for a gay and lesbian book award:


We thought you'd like to know who the gay men and lesbian feminists are who launched this attack on us. Following are the names, addresses, URL's and phone numbers of these people. We think that they should hear from you, so as to gain some comprehension of the scale of the pain they have inflicted on transwomen throughout the world. Tell them that they have a duty to read through the long list of petition signatures, and to then think hard about why so many people are openly decrying what they have done.


Note: There is some evidence that the owners and employees of several of the book stores listed below have specific lesbian-feminist policies of welcoming only "womyn born womyn" (thus excluding trans women) as customers in their stores.  We suggest that our investigators out there quietly gather evidence about any discriminatory policies employed by stores listed below, for future publication on this site.


Larry Bailey

The Open Book, Sacramento, CA
Open Book Ltd, (916) 498-1004, 910 21st St, Sacramento ,CA 95814


Victoria A. Brownworth

Author and critic
c/o Hazel McPhee
311 W. Seymour St. Philadelphia, PA 19144


Michelle DiMeo and Pam Harcourt

Women and Children First
5233 N. Clark St. Chicago, IL 60640
Fax: 773.769.6729


Richard Labonte

Books to Watch Out For
PO Box 882554 San Francisco CA 94188
7-A Drummond St. W Perth, Ontario K7H 2J3 Canada


Kris Kleindienst

Owner, Left Bank Books
399 Euclid St Louis MO 63108

(314) 367-6731
3631 Bellerive Blvd. St. Louis, MO. 63116
(314) 481- 4842
fax: (314) 367- 3256


Sara Look

Charis Books
1189 Euclid Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30307
Tel: (404)524-0304
Fax: (404)522-6663


Retha Powers

401 & 501 Franklin Avenue Garden City, NY 11530-5945
Fax 516-490-4714

Time & Life Building
1271 Avenue of the Americas, 3rd Floor New York, NY 10020
Fax 212-522-7081
Executive Editor of the Quality Paperback Book Club. She has written articles for Essence, Glamour, Ms, and The New York Times Magazine and was recently profiled in Entertainment Weekly's top gay media figures.


David Rosen

Insight Out Books
A new gay and lesbian book club has been founded by two veterans of Quality Paperback Book Club, David Rosen and Retha Powers
1225 South Market St., Mechanicsburg, PA 17055


Philip Rafshoon

Owner, Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse
991 Piedmont Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30309
Tel: 404-607-0082
Fax: 404-607-0092


Richard Schneider, Jr.

Editor, The Gay & Lesbian Review
PO Box 180300 Boston MA 02118


Martha Stone

Literary Editor, The Gay & Lesbian Review (see above)


Jane Troxell & Robert Starner

Lambda Rising Bookstore
1625 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 462-6969
(Fax) (202) 462-7257


Kurt Weber

A Different Light Books
8853 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Phone: 310-854-6601
Fax: 310-659-6430




For more information about the Bailey book investigation, see the following webpages: