On the Science of Changing Sex

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not…

Posted in Transsexual Field Studies by Kay Brown on June 8, 2016

female_scientistOr, Are TrannieHawks Gay, Straight, or What?

First, we need to define who we mean.  We are not talking about straight men who fall in love with a woman only later to learn that she is a post-op transwoman.  We are talking about men who specifically seek out transwomen, especially pre-op transwomen.  We use the scientific name for this specific sexual interest, “gynandromorphophilia“.  A common question about these men is, are they straight, gay, or what?

GAMMany insist that those who date and especially marry transwomen are bisexual, or perhaps closeted homosexual.  A recent paper by Hsu et al has conclusive evidence that this is NOT the case.  As shown here, gynandromorphophilic (GAMP) men are much more like heterosexual men in their sexual responses, as measured by a ‘peter-meter’ and by self-reported arousal to pre-op transwomen, here defined as gynandromorphs (GAM).  Note that GAMP genital sexual arousal is slightly, but robustly, higher than their attraction to natal females. Given their much lower response to males, we can rule out describing them as “bisexual” or “homosexual” in any real sense. Also note that for all three groups, gay, straight, and GAMP, their subjective arousal seems to be understating their actual arousal to transwomen relative to male and female stimuli.  This suggests that there may be a bit of social desirability bias in all three groups of men.  That is to say, admitting to finding transwomen “sexy” is ‘not the thing’ to do, even for gynandromorphophiles.

The question that comes up is; what is different about tranniehawks and conventionally straight men?  As has been remarked upon by many, including by me, most of them are also autogynephilic.  In this study, that hypothesis was tested and found to be true.  Using Blanchard’s Core Autogynephilia Scale (0-8), the mean score of the GAMP subjects (N=24) was 2.88 (SD=3.47) compared to the straight subjects (N=21) score of 0.35 (0.99) and that of the gay subjects (N=21) of only 0.06 (0.24).  Even more interesting is that when we further divide the GAMP groups into those who self-identify as “bisexual” and “heterosexual”, we see a difference between their autogynphilia scores of 5.20 (3.46) and 1.21 (2.42) respectively.  This is very much in keeping with other research that shows that autogynephilic (AGP) men often exhibit “pseudo-bisexuality” (aka: psuedo-androphilia) in which their interpersonal autogynephilic sexual ideation includes fantasies of having sex with men, as women.  The data suggests that while most of the GAMP subjects were highly AGP, a few might be only mildly autogynephilic.

It should be noted that most MTF transkids, including myself, do NOT like having relationships with GAMPs, partially due to unconsciously recognizing their essentially autogynephilic sexuality which is self-reflective and partially due to GAMPs’ focus on pre-op genitalia, which given the “avoidant” nature of most MTF transkids, makes them exceedingly uncomfortable.

Further Reading:

Newer Essay on Autogynephilies and Gynandromorphophilia

Previous essay on personal experiences with TrannieHawks

Commentary on the mutual gynandrophmorphophilic relationships between autogynephiles in my essay on transsexual marriages.

Essay on “Avoidant” behavior in MTF transkids

Commentary on MTF transkids (HSTS) not comfortable with gynandromorphophiles in my book review of Bailey’s The Man Who Would Be Queen

Commentary on MTF “true transsexuals” (transkids) not comfortable with gynandromorphophiles by Dr. Robert Stoller and on “avoidant” behavior in his 1968 book, “Sex and Gender”.

Essay on Autogynephilic Psuedo-Androphilia.


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”


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Going to the Chapel… ♫♫

Posted in Book Reviews, Transsexual Field Studies by Kay Brown on March 13, 2013

♫♫… and We’re Going to Get Married…♫♫ Greens book

Dr. Richard Green in his 1974 book on transsexuals, “Gender Identity Conflict in Children and Adults” wrote,

“The men who fall in love with and perhaps marry women who are themselves former males, by and large, have known their partners only as women.  Their prior sexual experiences have been only with females.  They consider themselves heterosexual and their relationships heterosexual.  To varying degrees they are consciously and unconsciously aware of the biologic status of their partners, but it would be simplistic and would furthermore blur generally accepted definitions to call these men homosexual.  Rather they are men who respond to the considerable femininity of male-to-female transsexuals, ignoring the dissonant cues of masculinity.”

Those very words, read when I was 17 years old, gave me hope that my dearest wish, to find and marry a straight man, hopefully to also adopt children, just might be possible, in spite of my own mother’s words of encouragement that “No man will ever love you, you know.”  Fortunately, Dr. Green was right, and my mother quite wrong.  Although there are few references, and almost no serious studies, that specifically look at the men who marry transwomen, either “early onset” or “late onset”, I believe from my own observations that most MTF transkids who marry, do find husbands who are straight and narrow (but not narrow minded), because gay men just aren’t interested in transkids. As by negative proof, Green describes a married couple in his book, a pre-op transwoman and a putatively, self-described, straight man.  In quoting this man, he describes the day he met his ladylove,

“The first time I ever remember was she was walking across the street, and one of the fellows I work with said, “Hey, that looks like a guy wearing capris.”

Thus, this man knew she was a transwoman from the very start, as she was just barely beginning to transition.  From the description given both by Dr. Green and by this man, it is clear that this transwoman was a classic transkid.  This transwoman, in the same section, lamented that she very much wanted SRS, but was getting serious resistance from her husband,

“My marriage is not doing so good.  It’s not good because my husband more and more has turned to — now he’s turned to more and more to homosexuality.  It’s something I’ve found very difficult to live with.  I could understand his turning to another woman, because of my position, but not another man.  It really tears me up.”

Thus, we see that this transwoman has married a gay man who used her as a stepping stone in coming out.  It seemed clear reading the book that this marriage would soon end, because when asked if she thought her husband was possibly against her transitioning she replied,

“Yes, I do, because were were closer before I started dressing as a woman regularly.  The point was when I got my breast  operation.  It was one thing I didn’t understand.  It meant so much for me to get this operation, and when I did get it, he was very cold for about two months afterwards.  He was very nasty to me. and he told me that as time goes by I’m getting more womanly and more adjusted and this is bugging him.”

Thus, he showed that MTF transkids’ husbands are by and large heterosexual, because gay men lose interest as we transition. Green interviews a number of other men who are either married or engaged to MTF transkids, who were all clearly straight.  Green was mostly right… but in some respects he missed a few nuances.  Back in the early 70’s he failed to differentiate between transkids and autogynephilic transwomen, and the nature of the men who married AGP transwomen.  But we still find hints.  In his book he writes about a candidate for surgery who detransitions when he falls in love with a post-op transsexual.  This individual is in fact gynephilic, and as a man who detransitioned, would be described as heterosexual, but he is also autogynephilic and gynandromorphophilic. While it is obvious why MTF transkids, who are, after all, genuinely androphilic would wish to find and marry heterosexual men.  It has always puzzled me as to why obviously autogynephilic, and just as obviously, truly gynephilic, transwomen would chose instead to marry men.  Further, just what motivates such men to marry these autogynephilic transwomen?  Lawrence, in her 2013 book speculates,

“… some of them go to great lengths to maintain a facade of “heterosexual normality.”  One can observe this phenomenon on a few internet web sites belonging to MtF transsexuals who fit the autogynephilic demographic (formerly married to women, male-typical occupational history, etc.) and have found men willing to marry them.  On their web sites, these transsexuals clearly convey their pride in their status as married women; sometimes they even display their wedding photographs…”

I can almost see this… but it doesn’t explain the men involved, nor why these transwomen are able to maintain such relationships.  Perhaps we saw a hint of who these men are, and what dynamic maintains the relationship in Green’s book, mutual gynandromorphophilia and autogynephilia?  Consider that Green’s detransitioned transgendered individual likely still experiences autogynephilic arousal to cross-dressing?  Could it be that such men who AGP transsexuals marry are themselves autogynephilic and gynandromorphophilic?

About twenty years ago, a young transwoman in her mid-20’s called me up because she wanted me to meet her new boyfriend.  This news very much surprised me because I had never gotten the impression that she was terribly interested in men.  She had, after all, been in the Navy, on board submarines, for months at a time, and never felt any desire toward her shipmates (me?  I would have gone nuts trying to keep my hands off of them!).   We discussed our conflicting schedules and finally agreed that the best time would also coincide with her support group meeting time.  So off I trudged to an AGP transgender support group meeting.  When I finally met my friend’s new boyfriend, all was made clear… her “boyfriend” was also her “girlfriend”… as he was a classic and typical cross-dresser, fully dressed in women’s clothes for this CD/TG/TS support group meeting. To the outside world, they were a heterosexual couple.  To TG ‘insiders’ it was known that they were a pre-op TS woman and a semi-closeted cross-dresser.

Some time ago, when I was still single, I was introduced to a man who sounded like a potential mate.  He took me to classical music concerts, romantic drives in the country in his sports car, cooked a fine meal… seemed ideal… yet I wasn’t attracted to him, though he was to me, strongly.  He broached the idea of marriage.  It couldn’t have been described as a proposal, likely because he “knew” I would turn him down,   because included in his reasons for why the match was perfect was the idea that we could share the same wardrobe, as we wore the same size 12 dresses.  Although this was personally repugnant, we know for a fact that many autogynephilic transwomen would find this to be ideal.

In the Daskalos paper purportedly about changes in sexual orientation after transition, we see two more examples of exactly such relationships.  In combination with autogynephilic pseudo-androphilia, this makes a potent brew of mutual sexual attraction.  Exactly how many AGP transwomen have found such a mutually agreeable relationship with a cross-dressing man is uncertain.  That such relationships exist is beyond doubt.  This would make for a very interesting research paper.

You may wish to read more from Green’s book here.

Further Reading:

Essay on men who are interested in pre-op transwomen

Essay on autogynephiles being sexually interested in pre-op transwomen


Richard Green, M.D., 1974, “Sexual Identity Conflict in Children and Adults“, Basic Books

Anne Lawrence, 2013,Men Trapped in Men’s Bodies, Springer

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/article/10.1023/A%3A1018725518592


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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 perused 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 definitely 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 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 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.)


Blanchard R, Collins PI., “Men with sexual interest in transvestites, transsexuals, and she-males”

Blanchard R., “The she-male phenomenon and the concept of partial autogynephilia”

Jaimie F. Veale, Dave E. Clarke and Terri C. Lomax, “Sexuality of Male-to-Female Transsexuals”

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”


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