On the Science of Changing Sex

No Doubt About It…

Posted in Book Reviews, Transsexual Field Studies by Kay Brown on October 24, 2010

…gotta get me another hat.
-Bullwinkle Moose

A commonly stated reason for not accepting that autogynephilia leads to gender dysphoria is that late transitioning transsexuals often report that they clearly remember wanting to be girls when they were quite young.  Although there have been those who question this assertion as possibly being part of a desire to edit one’s history, I personally believe it wholeheartedly.  The stories are actually quite consistent with autogynephilic desire.  But, they then say, that young children don’t have sexual feelings at that age.  Not so.  Further, there have been several accounts of boys, even as young as three years old, who have had genital arousal in response to cross-dressing.  This is not a spurious, one time event in these boys.  Consider one of the best documented cases, reported by Green in his 1974 book, “Sexual Identity Conflict in Children and Adults”.  The boy is identified only as “Example 12-3”, introduced on page #173:

“The following report is extraordinary.  A five year old boy describes penile erection as a reaction to putting on girls’ clothes.”

A dialog about wishing he had been born a girl, liking to pretend to be a girl, and dress-up as one follows for a few pages.  Then on page #177:

Dr.: Is is hard to stop dressing up once you’ve already started it?
Boy: Yeah.
Dr.: How does it make you feel when you dress up?
Boy: Nice, sometimes, and boring others.
Dr.: When you dress up, like a girl, does it ever make your penis stand up still and straight?
Boy: Yeah.
Dr.: It does?
Boy: Yeah.
Dr.: When you dress up?
Boy: Yeah.
Dr.: Does that always happen when you dress up?
Boy: Yeah.
Dr.: It always does?  What other times does your penis get stiff and stand up?

Here attempts were made to secure internal validation of the statement that erections accompany cross-dressing.  Other circumstances were sought in which erection might occur, and the original question was rephrased.

Boy: Right after I’ve gone to the bathroom sometimes.
Dr.: Any other times?
Boy: No.
Dr.: But always when you put on girl’s clothing?
Boy: Yeah.
Dr.: How does it feel when it stands up like that?
Boy: It really hurts
Dr.: It hurts?
Boy: Yeah.
Dr.: What do you do?
Boy: Take off the clothing.
Dr.: and then what happens?
Boy: And then it goes down again.
Dr.: Then it goes down again?
Boy: Yeah.
Dr.: Does it make your penis feel like you want to play with it when it stands up like that?
Boy: Yeah.
Dr.: Do you play with it?
Boy: Yeah.
Dr.: And how does that feel?
Boy: That’s – that feels funny.
Dr.: Is it a nice feeling?  You’re smiling. Is it a nice feeling?
Boy: Yeah.
Dr.: When you do play with it, when you put on girls’ clothing and it stands up, does that feel good?
Boy: Yeah.

At this point in the book. Dr. Green remarks that this boy may represent an important clue as to how autogynephilia develops, “This boy reports pleasurable penile feelings from cross-dressing.  If one can extrapolate it to adult behavior, one would predict later fetishist cross-dressing.  Follow-up research will decide the validity of that prediction.”

Dr.: Do you play with your penis any other time?
Boy: No.
Dr.: Just when you dress up like a girl?
Boy: Yeah, That’s about all I have to say about being a girl.

Yes indeed, that is about all he need say about being a girl.  However, during a later interview, in which the boy tells a tale of having a male friend who also likes to dress up as a girl, which Dr. Green strongly suspects is a case of “projection”, starting on page #181:

Dr.: Remember what you told me last time about putting on girls’ clothes?  How it makes your penis get big and stiff?
Boy: Yeah.
Dr.: Remember that?
Boy: Yeah.
Dr.: Does that happen to your friend too?
Boy: Yeah, He tells me it does.
Dr.: What does he say?
Boy: He says, “Euu, my penis is standing up straight.  It feels like a giant.”
Dr.: When does he say that?
Boy: When he gets dressed up like a girl.
Dr.: When he gets dressed up like a girl?  The same thing happens to you then?
Boy: Yeah.
Dr.: How do you like that feeling?  What’s it like when it stands up big and stiff?
Boy: It feels like a giant again.
Dr.: And what do you do then?
Boy: I take off the clothes fast.
Dr.: Do you?
Boy: I get into my boy clothes and say, “Bye-bye. I’m going home.”
Dr.: Do you ever play with your penis so it feels different?
Boy: Yeah.
Dr.: When do you do that?
Boy: When I like to. Ha, Ha.
Dr.: How about when you look at this little girl and she’s undressed?  Does that make your penis big and stiff?
Boy: Yeah.
Dr.: It does? Has she ever seen your penis get big and stiff?
Boy: Sometimes.
Dr.: So, if you look at this little girl when she’s undressed, sometimes your penis gets big and stiff?
Boy: Sometimes.

Dr. Green then speculated, “If so, perhaps a harbinger of later heterosexuality.”  I would speculate further, that we are seeing a boy who will grow up to be gynephilic, continue to be autogynephilic, may be a cross-dresser for life… and may be interested in transitioning male-to-female.  We know that one of Dr. Green’s boys did in fact grow up to be a heterosexual transvestite.  Care to lay odds it was this little boy?

Dr. Green tested the idea that maybe others of his subjects were similarly aroused.  In an interview with “Example 12-4”:

Dr.: Does your tweener ever get kind of big and stiff and stand up by itself?  You know what I mean?  Sometimes it’s kind of soft and down, and sometimes it gets stiff and stands up.  Does that ever happen?
Boy: Um hum.
Dr.: What makes it stand up stiff like that?
Boy: Play with it with my hand.
Dr.: Is there anything else you can do to make it stand up?
Boy: Uh huh.
Dr.: How about when you make believe you’re a girl?  Does that make it stand up stiff?
Boy: Umm. Sort of.

Here Dr. Green comments, “It is difficult to assess here whether his response was due to the interviewer’s suggestion or was based on his own experience.  Perhaps the idea of sexual metamorphosis is arousing.  The possibility is not so farfetched.  An adult male was recently interviewed who claimed that his primary source of sexual arousal was the thought of sex change.” (italics as originally printed)  So, we see that Dr. Green was aware of anatomic autogynephilia.  I believe that he is right to question whether this particular boy experiences such though:

Dr.: Sort of?  How about when you put on girl’s clothing?  Does that make it stand up stiff?
Boy: No, that makes it go back down.

We know that most of Green’s boys grew up to be conventionally gay men and one an MTF transkid.  It would appear to me that the boys who grew up to be androphilic did not experience arousal when cross-dressing as children.

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How Should I Your True Love Know…

Posted in Transsexual Field Studies by Kay Brown on October 21, 2010

female_scientist…From Another One?
-Shakespeare, “Hamlet”

Pseudo-Androphilia

A common argument against the data that shows a clear correlation between gynephilia and autogynephilia is to point out that a small number of “androphilic” transsexuals report having experienced erotic cross-dressing, a form of autogynephilia.  Thus, aren’t “homosexual transsexuals” autogynephilic as well?  No Virgina, they are not.  Instead, the small number of “androphilic” transsexuals that report such autogynephilic arousal are not natively androphilic, but instead experience an extension of their interpersonal autogynephilic ideation that includes sexual acts, most notably, sexual intercourse, with men, as female.

For a very clear description of this phenomena, by one who experiences it, please read this blog entry and then come back:

Kaleasha’s Life Story

A few key points in Kaleasha’s narrative are vitally important to understand.  Kaleasha is decidedly gynephilic as this quote makes clear:

“Now, what makes my experience so unique is that I did not consider myself gay. Because I found women to be the most beautiful things on the planet. Sometimes I would see a pretty female and just stare at her beauty for hours. I could easily talk to my friends and peers about women and direct them to look at the cutie that was coming down the street.”

And in fact, Kaleasha is sexually active and enjoys sex with women:

“Eventually, I had sex with two women. My last partner was really good in bed.”

Yet, we also read:

“I am too nervous and scared to dress up like a woman especially going outside like that. One fear is that I might get addicted to looking like a woman and never want to revert back to being a man.”

And finally:

“My homosexual desires are fantasies that I don’t have to act on because they consist of me being a woman (vagina and all).”

Kaleasha is clearly gynephilic and masculine, but hears the siren call to transition, and fears the repercussions.  Kaleasha also experiences autogynephilic pseudo-androphilia.  As clearly articulated here, this desire is dependent upon “being a woman (vagina and all)”, first and foremost.  With Kaleasha, we may be witnessing a stage in the development of an AGP’s feminine gender identity.  Many late transitioning transsexuals’ narratives mirror this snapshot.  When such an individual finally does transition, they can say with complete and utter honesty, “I’ve always been attracted to men”.  They may even then self-identify and report that they are now exclusively androphilic.  But this does not mean that they are etiologically HSTS.

Lest you think this story is unique, consider the six individuals who reported that their sexual orientation changed after transition in the Daskalos paper entitled, “Changes in the sexual orientation of six heterosexual male-to-female transsexuals”  As Alex Parkinson, one of the original Transkids.us website authors so brilliantly analyzed, none of the six were conventionally attracted to men, but either sexually inactive, involved with asexual men, or with another transgendered male (suggesting that their attraction was due to gynandromorphophilia, rather than androphilia).  But one individual, Luann, clearly articulated autogynephilic pseudo-androphilic ideation:

“There were times before I transitioned when I thought I was maybe gay because I was actually having some thoughts of other guys like in high school and that. Until I realized I wasn’t having gay thoughts, I was having male to female thoughts but I was thinking of being with the guys as a female.”

All of these individuals would self-report to a researcher as being “androphilic”. And many would then also report that they had experienced erotic cross-dressing or other autogynephilic arousal.  As Lawrence showed, we can sort out some of these individuals from those that are actually exclusively and genuinely androphilic, by their marital history to women.  However, not every gynephilic transsexual would have been married.  And, it is also possible that there are a number of etiologically autogynephilic individuals who have limited sexual experience with women, who experience autogynephilic pseudo-androphilia.  These individuals would, very honestly, report that they have only had sex with men… and that they also experience erotic cross-dressing or other direct autogynephilic arousal.  These individuals would be very hard to sort out, unless the phenomena of autogynephilic pseudo-androphilia was expressly tested for in a survey instrument.  So far, I know of no instrument that has such a scale.

Addendum 12/11/2013:  In another study in which Lawrence gathered data from 97 post-operative transwomen, 17 reported to have been always exclusively androphilic, but their history indicated that six of them were almost certainly incorrectly reporting their pre-transition sexual orientation, as they had had extensive sex with women, including being married and having fathered chilren, indicating that their actual orientation was bisexual at best.  However, of the 80 transwomen who reported that their pre-transition sexual orientation was gynephilic, fully 30 of them reported that their sexual orientation had changed to being androphilic.  This indicates that such perceived changes in sexual orientation are not rare, representing 38% of post-op transwomen.  Tellingly, when compared to those who reported having always been exclusively androphilic, those transwomen who reported changes in their sexual orientation reported less than half the number of sexual encounters with men, post-operatively.

Addendum 12/1/2014:  In a recent study from Europe, we see the same pattern of changes in self-reported sexual orientation in transfolk, both MTF and FtM.

Reference:

Daskalos CT., “Changes in the sexual orientation of six heterosexual male-to-female transsexuals.”
http://www.springerlink.com/content/pu44808u15q78k21/

Anne Lawrence, “Letter to the Editor” (in response to Daskalos)
http://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1023%2FA%3A1018725518592

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The Right Stuff…

Posted in Book Reviews, Transsexual Field Studies by Kay Brown on October 15, 2010

… or How to Tell the Difference.

TMWWBQ CoverProf. J. Michael Bailey, in his book, The Man Who Would Be Queen, wrote a very simple set of questions, almost a Cosmopolitan Magazine style quiz, on how a novice can tell the difference between autogynephilic (AGP) and transkids / “homosexual” transsexuals (HSTS):

Start at Zero. Ask each question, and if the answer is “Yes,” add the number (+1 or -1) next to each question. If the sum gets to +3, stop; the transsexual you are talking to is autogynephilic. If the sum gets to -3, she is homosexual.

+1 Have you been married to a woman?

+1 As a child, did people think you were about as masculine as other boys?

+1 Are you nearly as attracted to women as to men? Or more attracted to women? Or equally uninterested in both?
. (Add 1 if “Yes” to any of these.)

+1 Were you over the age of 40 when you began to live full time as a woman?

+1 Have you worn women’s clothing in private and, during at least three of those times, become so sexually aroused that you masturbated?

+1 Have you ever been in the military or worked as a policeman or truck driver, or been a computer programmer, businessman, lawyer, scientist, engineer, or physician?

-1 Is your ideal partner a straight man?

-1 As a child, did people think you were an unusually feminine boy?

-1 Does this describe you? “I find the idea of having sex with men very sexually exciting, but the idea of having sex with women is not at all appealing.”

-1 Were you under the age of 25 when you began to live full time as a woman?

-1 Do you like to look at pictures of really muscular men with their shirts off?

-1 Have you worked as a hairstylist, beautician, female impersonator, lingerie model, or prostitute?

Finally, if the person has been on hormones for at least six months, ask yourself this question:

If you didn’t already know that this person was a transsexual, would you still have suspected that she was not a natural-born woman?

+1 if your answer is “Yes” (if you would have suspected)

-1 If your answer is “No”.

————————————————————-

Many transsexuals have lampooned this quiz. Yet, should it be treated so lightly? What does the science say about each question? Let us take each question, in turn, starting with all of the positive valued questions, those whose affirmative answers would indicate the likelihood of the transsexual being autogynephilic:

“Have you ever been married to a woman?” As Lawrence showed, and I blogged about in BridesHead Revisited, sorting on this very question allowed us to increase the signal strength of the difference between the assumed to be HSTS and non-HSTS groups with respect to erotic cross-dressing. So, statistically speaking, this has been proven to be a useful marker for autogynephilia. The question indirectly tests for gynephilia, as that is one of the primary motivations for marriage to a woman, which is positively correlated with autogynephilia in transsexuals.

“As a child, did people think you were about as masculine as other boys?” As has been shown in many studies, AGP transsexuals usually were considered by family and friends to have been unremarkably masculine as children. However, in this regard, self-report from AGP transsexuals is notoriously inaccurate, likely due to inner feelings of wishing to have been feminine coloring their memories. To get the right answer more consistently, we would be better to ask her parents or other older relatives.

“Are you nearly as attracted to women as to men? Or more attracted to women? Or equally uninterested in both?” This is based on Blanchard’s work showing that gynephilia, both exclusively, and in self-reported bisexuals, along with asexuals are all “non-homosexual” and all exhibit autogynephilia as groups.

“Were you over the age of 40 when you began to live full time as a woman?” All of the studies that differentiate AGP transsexuals from transkids clearly show that exclusively androphilic transsexuals never transition so late in life. They typically transition before the age of 25. Bailey could have used the age of 30 to the same effect, as the typical age of transition for an AGP is 30 or older.

“Have you worn women’s clothing in private and, during at least three of those times, become so sexually aroused that you masturbated?” This one is obvious. Erotic cross dressing is one of the most common forms of autogynephilia. More interesting is the requirement that it be “at least three of those times”. This is likely to reduce false positives, as it is possible to have anticipatory arousal (e.g. an MTF transkid or natal female getting prepared for a hot date with a sexy man).

“Have you ever been in the military or worked as a policeman or truck driver, or been a computer programmer, businessman, lawyer, scientist, engineer, or physician?” We need to break this one down into its pieces. First, in the past, the military is unlikely to have retained an MTF transkid, as her obvious femininity would be noticed. Given the present (when this essay was written ~KB) enforcement of “Don’t Ask. Don’t Tell” by the U.S. military, it is just possible that she might have kept it to herself just well enough not to have triggered an investigation, even if everyone around her assumed that she was really a gay man. However, statistically, just as with being a policeman, transkids just don’t usually aspire to such obviously macho occupations. But many AGPs, in their naturally more masculine mindset and often wishing to sublimate their autogynephilic desires, often do choose such stereotypically masculine jobs. The second group of occupations, while statistically more likely to be filled by men than women, actually has as its statistical power to differentiate AGPs from transkids the socio-economic selection pressure on AGP individuals to consider whether they can “afford” to transition or not. Compared to transkids, AGPs tend not to transition unless they have higher socio-economic status than average. Intelligence correlates with such higher status and of achieving success in the very fields mentioned in this question. As I showed in Smarter than the Average Bear, AGP transsexuals have an average IQ of ~120, while transkids are likely to be of average intelligence, since IQ and socio-economic status figure less in their decision making. That means that the percentage of AGPs that are eligible to join Mensa, the high IQ society, is 27%, while only 2% of transkids would qualify. Assume for the moment than any given transkid is just as likely to pursue a given career as a natal female, compounding the likelihood that a woman might take such a job times the percentage with the IQ to be successful, says that a few transkids will have any of these positions. However, compounding the higher likelihood that a man would take such a position times the percentage with the IQ needed to be successful, many more AGPs will be in such positions.  Conversely, AGPs in those positions will have the socio-economic status that make it more likely that they would elect to follow their heart’s desire and transition. That does not mean that an MTF transkid could not have such a career. In fact, one of my heroines, Terry Noel was a systems analyst (computer programmer), as well as a wife and step-mom, after her career as a secretary, and before that as a female impersonator! But those transkids almost always find such careers after transition, not before.

Now turning to the negatively valued questions, those whose affirmative answers indicate the likelihood of the transsexual being a transkid:

“Is your ideal partner a straight man?” and “Does this describe you? “I find the idea of having sex with men very sexually exciting, but the idea of having sex with women is not at all appealing.” ” Pretty obvious… an MTF transkid is not likely to answer in the negative. Nearly every study has shown that exclusive androphilia is negatively correlated with being autogynephilic. Asking this question in two different ways gives a high weighting to it.

“As a child, did people think you were an unusually feminine boy?” Studies show that unlike AGPs, exclusively androphilic MTF transsexuals were uniformly considered unusually feminine, often to the point where they would qualify as having Gender Identity Disorder of Childhood.

“Were you under the age of 25 when you began to live full time as a woman?” As we can show in multiple studies, including the Nuttbrock, transkids typically transition very young, often as teenagers, but rarely after age 25.  Does this mean that anyone who transitions before age 25 is a transkid?  Not a bit!  A fair number of AGP TS women transitioned in their early 20’s.  I had several AGP roommates and friends over the years who did so.  But, statistically, if someone transitioned by age 25, they are more likely to be a trankid than someone who transitioned after age 25.

“Do you like to look at pictures of really muscular men with their shirts off?” This is yet another way of asking about androphilia. It would seem to be redundant, but actually, it asks a more subtle question, “Are you attracted to masculine bodies, or is it possible that you are really just saying you like men due to pseudo-androphilia” Pseudo-androphilia is when an autogynephilic individual incorporates men as props in their behavioral autogynephilic sexual fantasies. That is, the act or fantasy of being female having sex with a man is sexually arousing to pseudo-androphilic autogynephiles. Such transsexuals are unlikely to experience an actual attraction to masculine men per se, independent from their autogynephilic fantasy. That is to say, that their attraction to men is dependent upon perceiving themselves as female. However, this question is actually weak in that it requires the exclusively androphilic transsexual to be highly motivated by photographs, visual imagery, over other modalities, such as written fiction. She may answer in the negative, simply because she doesn’t go out of her way to view such photos and misinterpreted the intent of the question as having asked about habitual behavior rather than potential behavior. The question may have been better asked, “Would you enjoy seeing pictures of really muscular men with their shirts off?”

“Have you worked as a hairstylist, beautician, female impersonator, lingerie model, or prostitute?” Hairstylist and beautician are both occupations that are traditionally filled by women and gay men, thus it would appear to be unlikely that an AGP would have filled them, especially pre-transition. For an MTF transkid, though, these positions are equally likely both pre and post- transition. I’ve personally met a number of transkids in such positions.  Looking at the questions, it appears that Bailey is expressing an observation bias, as these jobs are usually filled by working class individuals. From personal experience, for middle and upper-middle-class transkids, it is more likely that they would have found jobs in other pink collar occupations such as receptionist, secretary, office clerk, physician or dental assistant, etc. They may also take positions as child-care provider, store clerk, bank teller, waitress, or fast food server. Essentially, any job that young women may be welcome and find acceptable. But, it is extremely unlikely that an AGP transsexual would have taken a pink collar job pre-transition.  Although, becoming an electrologist seems to be a choice for some post-transition AGPs… To be even considered as a female impersonator and especially a lingerie model, that transsexual would have to be both quite attractive and unexceptionally female appearing. While not every MTF transkid would fit that bill, it is very unlikely that an AGP would do so. Finally, prostitute… it is a sad fact that a sizable minority, but a minority none-the-less, find themselves becoming working girls when they are young. It is more likely to occur when a teenager is disowned by her family for being a transsexual, being unacceptably feminine, and/or homosexual. Transkids that have family support, both financial and emotional, are unlikely to become sex workers. On first examination, it would appear unlikely that an AGP would become a sex worker, but in fact, I personally knew of one, and have read an online biography of another. So, perhaps statistically, it is far more likely that a transsexual / transgender sex worker would be an transkid, but I know for a fact that AGPs have also been.

And finally, the issue of truly passing. It has been noted, over and over and over, by unbiased observers that transkids are more likely than AGPs to pass. But this is only statistically. I’ve known transkids that could only pass in the dark. And I’ve known a couple AGPs that do pretty well for themselves. But, on the whole, because of transitioning younger, being more naturally feminine behaving, and perhaps because of self-selection, transkids just pass better.

It is clear that Dr. Bailey did not intend the quiz to actually serve as a test instrument. He wrote it more as an educational tool to help people who have not met both types and learned how to tell the difference, ‘in the wild’, so to speak, understand the differences in presentation, sexuality, and life arcs, of the two types. However, it is still amusing to apply the quiz to see how well it works.

First, let’s try it on the most famous transsexual of all, Christine Jorgensen:

Married to a woman? Nope. Zero
Masculine as a child? Unclear, as we have only her own recollection… Zero
Sexual attraction? Uninterested in either: +1
Over 40 for transition, Nope, at age 27, still +1
Erotic arousal cross-dressed? Unknown, Still +1
Jobs? Military, now +2 (not only was she in the military, but she joined an all male secret society, indicating that she was quite comfortable and accepted as an adult man.)
Ideal mate a man? Nope, not interested, still +2
Feminine as a child? Unclear, still +2
Men sexually exciting? Nope! still +2
Under 25 for transition? Nope. still +2
Enjoy pics of hunks? Not likely, still +2
Female jobs before transistion, nyet, +2
Passes? Almost… call it a draw +2 (I personally met her when I was 18 years old… in photos, she passed reasonably OK. In person? Close, but not quite. She also patronized me, cooing over me, calling me a “Baby TS”)

So, we have a score of +2 for Christine Jorgensen, who I personally believe is AGP, so it would appear to agree.

(Addendum 5/31/2015:  Ms. Jorgensen may no longer be the most famous, as Caitlin (nee Bruce) Jenner has come out.

Bruce Jenner beginning transition

Bruce Jenner beginning transition

So, now let’s “ask” her:

Married to a woman? Yes, three times! +1 (or should that be +3??)
Masculine as a child? Undoubtedly, +2
Sexual attraction? Only women: +3 Oh… we can stop here… but let’s do go on…
Over 40 for transition, Heck yes (!) at age 65, now +4
Erotic arousal cross-dressed? Quite likely, given her description of her secret cross-dressing, Still +5
Butch Jobs? None of those listed… but come on… male athletic champion? +6
Ideal mate a man? Nope, not interested, still +6
Feminine as a child? No fricking way, still +6
Men sexually exciting? Nope, she adamantly rejected that idea! still +6
Under 25 for transition? Nope. still +6
Enjoy pics of hunks? Not likely, still +6
Female jobs before transistion, nyet, +6
Passes? Not even close (photos aren’t real life)… now +7

The evidence that she is an autogynephilic transsexual is overwhelming.)

How about Terry Noel?

Married to a woman, Nope. Zero
Masculine as a child, No way! Zero
Sexual attraction to women? Ha! Zero
Over 40 for transition, Nope, had SRS at age 29… Still zero.
Erotic arousal cross-dressed? Unknown, still zero.
Butch Jobs? Heck no! But she did become a computer programmer after transition, +1
Ideal mate a man? Yes. Married a Naval Officer, Cancels out, now zero
Feminine as a child. Yes! -1
Men sexually exciting? Yes! -2
Under 25 full time? Unclear still -2
Enjoy pics of hunks, unknown still -2
Female Impersonator!!! -3 (Oh, we can stop now… but lets keep going shall we?
Passes? Flawlessly! -4

OK, how about you? I’ll go first:

Kay BrownMarried to a woman, Nope. Zero
Masculine as a child? Not according to my mother, who complained bitterly to Dr. Fisk during an intake interview at the Stanford Clinic when I was 17, “He was always very prissy” {“prissy” was my mother’s favorite word for “unacceptably effeminate”} Still zero.
Sexual attraction to women? I can say with absolute honesty that I never had, nor wanted, intercourse with a woman! Yet, as a teen, I had sex with young men.  Still zero.
Over 40 for transition? Nope, had SRS at age 23.
Erotic arousal cross-dressed? Not that I can recall. Still zero.
Butch Jobs? Ummm… I became a silicon valley engineer, than a CEO, after transition. so… ok… +1 (BTW, I grew up in Silicon Valley… used to hang with this girl named Patti, Patti Jobs, who had older brother named Steve… yes, that Steve.)
Ideal mate a man? Ohh… yeah! I dated four straight boys from high school… and I’m presently happily married to a wonderful, very straight man. Cancels out, now Zero
Feminine as a child? My mother votes, bitterly, “yes”. Now -1
Men sexually exciting, women not? You might say that. Now -2
Under 25 full time? I turned 18 and graduated from high school the same week… and that was that for me! So, Now -3, but let’s keep going, shall we?

Enjoy pics of hunks, yes, if he’s also handsome and smiling at the camera…  -4

Lingerie model? Well… actually… yes, when I was 20 years old, I modeled for a small boutique in L.A. I was also a full time nanny as a teenager in high school, a secretary, an office clerk, an electronics assembler (pink collar job), a technician (mixed men and women), an engineer (a few women, not many, but a few), and finally CEO of a Silicon Valley high tech company. (I’m a bit like Carly Fiorina in that regard.) -5

Passes? OK, other people should answer that… so… still -5

Hmmm… according to the quiz…

Additional Reading:  An updated and revised quiz based on the critique above.

References:

J. Michael Bailey, The Man Who Would Be Queen, 2003

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It Gets Better…

Posted in Editorial by Kay Brown on October 10, 2010

CloudyRecent events across the nation have focused attention on bullying and cyber-bullying of young gay men and boys. As a kid, in elementary school, I was subjected to my share, of course, but not above the ordinary amount I saw that went on, unchecked. Frankly the worst of the bullying seemed to be reserved for the one really fat kid in our class, who was subjected, nearly daily, to a song-taunt:

Donovan, Donovan… Fat as a Wha…le…
No one you see… Is fatter than HE….

{Sung to the theme song from the TV show, “Flipper”.}

But, freshman year in high school, I was targeted by a sizable crowd of bullies, who did more than taunts, as my locker was trashed, my bicycle vandalized, knocked out of chairs in class, pushed down the stairs, knocked down and stepped on by cleated-shoes, knocked off my bicycle into on-coming automobile traffic… and ambushed in an orchard, badly beaten and kicked by two boys who yelled homophobic slurs, with one phrase ringing in my ears down through the years, “You think you’re a girl? You make me sick!”. Appeals to the school administrators only earned me more scorn, as they felt I was the source of my own problems.  Fortunately, our family moved to another town where the high school had a ‘zero tolerance’ policy for bullying and violence.

So, it is with great sorrow to learn that feminine / gay boys today are still being targeted today in middle-america. But I am heartened to see the recent public response, most especially the “It gets better” campaign.

If you are a youngster, especially a feminine boy, gay, or transkid, contemplating choices for your life, I need to tell you; It gets better!

My life is filled with joy. I have an adoring (straight) husband. I have an adopted daughter, now in her 20’s, whose growth from a seriously abused toddler (before I got her) to a happy and productive adult is a source of pride and wonder. I have a career with accomplishments that few could boast. I live in a neighborhood of friendly, honest, and decent people. I am loved and respected.  It gets better.

It gets better.

The Love that Can’t Pronounce Its Name

Posted in Transsexual Field Studies by Kay Brown on October 1, 2010

female_scientistGynandromorphophilia and Gynememetophilia

One day, back in the spring of ’77, as I sat at my desk as a 19 year old secretary, between answering the phone and typing memos, I purused a local weekly arts and entertainment rag, looking for something fun to do the coming weekend, I saw a personals ad from a “drag queen” looking to make friends with transsexuals. The ad intrigued me, so on a lark, I answered it.

The man who placed that ad was probably the most interesting man I had ever met.  But he was most definately NOT a “drag queen”.

Paul was in his mid-30s, divorced, urbane, educated middle-class man, of average height and build. Earlier, at around age 28, he would have been thought to be an average heterosexual married man with no unusual sexual interests. One day while masturbating in the bathroom of the service station he managed, with the aid of a chance found adult magazine, he discovered in turning the page that the young woman, about whom he had been fantasizing, was a pre-op transsexual, a “she-male” in porn cant. The discovery, rather than repulsing him, overwhelmingly aroused him. He began seeking out other “she-male” pornography. He also began experimenting with cross-dressing, discovering it to be intensely arousing, accompanied by fantasies of himself as a “she-male”. The activity became his only sexual outlet, leading to divorce.

Freed from marital limits, his activity became obsessive. He sought out actual pre-op transsexuals as lovers and friends. He began impersonating pre-op transsexuals (“early transitioners”/transkids) at gay/tranny clubs using the name Debbie Cummings. In order to improve his feminine persona’s appearance, he began taking low doses of feminizing hormones. Dressed as Paul, he presented as quite masculine and attractive, with the air of appearing a decade younger than his actual age, partially due to the use of feminizing hormones. Paul had no desire to further alter his body. He enjoyed being male.

Paul was intelligent and observant. He noticed and could explain many facets of the MTF transkid psyche, where they were emotionally vulnerable, where their strengths lay. He truly loved transkids. He had a picture in his den of a stunningly beautiful transkid, for whom he clearly was still smitten.  However, I understood why that relationship hadn’t worked out.  It’s hard to have a lasting romance with a man who doesn’t know if he wants to do you, or be you.

Compare the above description to that found in Blanchard’s paper entitled, “The she-male phenomenon and the concept of partial autogynephilia”.  The abstract could have been written to describe Paul to a “T”:

The term autogynephilia denotes a male’s propensity to be sexually aroused by the thought or image of himself with female attributes. Some autogynephiles imagine themselves, in their sexual fantasies, as complete women. Others, here called partial autogynephiles, imagine themselves with a mixture of male and female anatomic features, usually women’s breasts and men’s genitals. Partial autogynephiles evince a particular sexual interest in those individuals known in the vernacular as she-males. These are men, often involved in prostitution or pornography, who have undergone breast augmentation while maintaining their male genitals. Partial autogynephiles appear less likely to pursue surgical sex reassignment than gender-dysphoric men whose erotic self-image includes a vagina. Some patients with a persistent desire for women’s breasts but no or conflicted desires to live as women full-time or undergo vaginoplasty may be pacified with mildly feminizing doses of estrogenic hormones.

Transfan, Tranny Chaser, T-Bird, TrannyHawk

As a young pre-op, I became very aware of the men who specifically sought those like me.  You couldn’t go to a party or a night club where there weren’t several of them present.  I held no particular malice towards them.  But something about most of them turned me off.  Over the years, that something became more clear, it was their autogynephilia.  Even when they didn’t tell me directly about it, I could often tell.  Sometimes it was obvious, sometimes it was not.

But it was not just occasional cross-dressers, Blanchard’s “partial autogynephile”, but autogynephilic transsexuals that are also seriously gynandromorphophilic.  I’ve already detailed my unfortunate experience with my short-time roommate, Karen in my essay, “Do as I say, Not as I Do”.  Again, when I was 19, another TS woman, Rachel, in her mid-20s, befriended me, inviting me to meet a circle of young TS women living in the Tenderloin in San Francisco.  I was intrigued to meet so many “transies” living in one building, on Eddy Street… but I was getting odd vibes from them.  It finally came out, during the course of a conversation with one of them, that they had all been puzzled by why, “…Rachel was so interested in a GG…”  (For those not from the TS world, “GG” means “Girl Girl” or “Genetic Girl”, a non-transsexual woman.)  I was also surprised and astonished in turn, “You mean you think I’m GG?”  It soon came tumbling out and word spread through the building, that I wasn’t GG after all… these street transies hadn’t clocked me!  And now it made sense to them… and then they warned me.  “Rachel’s a trannyhawk.  She only likes transies.  She’s got the hots for you!”

This phenomena about AGP TS women being interested in other transsexuals is reasonably well known now, but wasn’t back then.

In the ’90s I tried using the personals in another local arts and entertainment rag to meet single men, as my professional and social circles includes so very few.  I met very few men that were worth meeting.  At one point, I got curious about what would be the response if I wrote my own, specifically stating that I was a post-op TS.

One of the men that responded turned out to have once been emotionally attached to a college dorm-mate who was just beginning to transition.  They had had a brief affair, which was broken up by an unsympathetic school official who objected to the young transkid transitioning, and to what he perceived as a homosexual relationship.  The now middle-aged man, a recent widower, was looking back at that relationship and realized that that transwoman had actually been the love of his life, but he had let her slip away.  In answering my ad, he was hoping to find that love again.  But of course, I was not his lost love, and could never replace her.  Simply speaking, this man was completely straight, and had no real interest in transwomen per se, but rather, had fallen in love with a woman who just happened to be transsexual. I was very touched by this man’s story… and I looked back at my own life… and wondered; Were there any men from my past that now realized that they too had let the love of their life, me, slip away because they weren’t ready to deal with a woman with my medical history?

Of the rest of the respondents?  Quite a different story!

(Addendum 7/12/2015:  I think it is worth reading Blanchard’s other paper on the subject, at least the abstract,

This study was a preliminary exploration of gynandromorphophilia, that is, sexual interest in cross-dressed or anatomically feminized men. Subjects were male subscribers to a voice mail system devoted to personal advertisements for sexual or romantic partners. These comprised 51 gynandromorphophiles who sought cross-dressers, transvestites, transsexuals, or she-males for such relationships, 37 gynandromorphophilic cross-dressers who identified themselves as cross-dressers and sought similar men, and 31 residual cross-dressers who sought masculine or unspecified male partners. Analysis of advertisement content suggested that gynandromorphophilia constitutes a distinct erotic interest.

Note the numbers, at least “37 gynandromorphophilic cross-dressers” had self-identified compared to 51 that did not identify themselves as cross-dressers.  In my experience, many who do not identify themselves as cross-dressers are closeted cross-dressers, having learned that transkids won’t respond if they identify themselves as such.  Also, erotic cross-dressing is NOT the only form of autogynephilia, many are cross-dreamers instead.  In any case, in this study, at least 42% of the gynandromorphophilic men identified themselves as cross-dressers, i.e. autogynephilic.

Further Reading:

Essay on Gynandromorphophilia vs. Sexual Orientation

Essay on the high correlation between Autogynephilia and Gynandromorphophilia

I have more commentary on the mutual gynandrophmorphophilic relationships between autogynephiles in my essay on transsexual marriages.)

References:

Blanchard R, Collins PI., “Men with sexual interest in transvestites, transsexuals, and she-males”
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8245926

Blanchard R., “The she-male phenomenon and the concept of partial autogynephilia”
http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a789560133

Jaimie F. Veale, Dave E. Clarke and Terri C. Lomax, “Sexuality of Male-to-Female Transsexuals”
http://www.springerlink.com/content/bp2235t8261q23u3/

K. J. Hsu, A. M. Rosenthal, D. I. Miller and J. M. Bailey, “Who are gynandromorphophilic men? Characterizing men with sexual interest in transgender women”
http://d-miller.github.io/assets/HsuEtAl2015.pdf

 

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