This site is the most comprehensive on the web devoted to trans history and biography. Well over 1700 persons worthy of note, both famous and obscure, are discussed in detail, and many more are mentioned in passing.

There is a detailed Index arranged by vocation, doctor, activist group etc. There is also a Place Index arranged by City etc. This is still evolving.

In addition to this most articles have one or more labels at the bottom. Click one to go to similar persons. There is a full list of labels at the bottom of the right-hand sidebar. There is also a search box at the top left. Enjoy exploring!

30 March 2009

Henry Cyril Paget (1875 - 1905) aristocrat, performer.

Henry was known as 14th Lord Paget de Beaudesert until 1880. His mother died when he was two. He went to live with the French actor Benoît-Constant Coquelin, who was rumoured to be his biological father. He always referred to Coquelin’s sister as his aunt. From 1880 till 1898 he was the 6th Earl of Uxbridge.

At the age of eight he went to live at the family estate Plas Newydd, on the Isle of Anglesey, his legal father having married for the third time, to an American heiress.

Paget missed his own week-long 21st birthday celebrations because of sickness. He studied painting and singing in Germany. He spoke good French and Russian, and reasonable Welsh. He also served as a lieutenant in the 2nd Volunteer Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

In 1898 he married his cousin Lilian Chetwynd, a society beauty, and, on the death of his father became the 5th marquis of Anglesey, inheriting the property in Angelsey, and more in Staffordshire. These estates brought in £110,000 per year (over £8 million in today’s money).

Lilian filed for annulment after two years of marriage. The Marquis was fond of dressing as a woman, and frequently entertained guests with theatrical presentations at his home. He converted the family chapel into a theatre. He purchased a professional theatrical company and toured with them for three years. He mainly played pantomime and light comedy, but he played Lord Goring in Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband, five years after Wilde’s trail when most troopes would not touch his plays.

In the intervals he performed ‘a Butterfly Dance after the manner of Miss Loie Fuller’ – a woman known for her serpentine movements. Thus, he became known as the Dancing Marquis. He was said to have the appearance of a beautiful woman in men's clothing, an effect that he enhanced by powder, toilet water and perfume. The theatrical costumes were expensively made and some were jewel-encrusted.

In 1901 his valet stole jewels valued at £50,000. A female accomplice took the jewels to France, and the valet was sentenced to five years imprisonment. 

By 1904 he was bankrupt, owing £544,000. Many of his gowns were purchased by the professional female impersonator, Bert Errol; Vesta Tilley, the male impersonator acquired many of his male costumes.

He retired to France on an income of £3,000 a year, and died in Monaco at the age of thirty, his former wife and Mme Coquelin at his side.

In 2007 Marc Rees, directed by Christopher Morris, danced an impression of Henry Paget.
  • Magnus Hirschfeld translated from the German by Michael A. Lombardi-Nash. Transvestites: The Erotic Drive to Cross-Dress Prometheus Books. 1991: 345-6.
  • Anthony Slide. Great pretenders: a history of female and male impersonation in the performing arts. Lombard, Ill.: Wallace-Homestead Book Co., 160 pp. 1986: 38.
  • Viv Gardner. “Would you trust this man with your fortune?” The Guardian. 10 October 2007.
  • “Henry Paget, 5th Marquess of Anglesey”. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.,_5th_Marquess_of_Anglesey.

Here is Loie Fuller doing her Danse Serpentine in 1896:

26 March 2009

Jacqueline Charlotte Dufresnoy (1931 - 2006) performer.

Jacques Charles Dufresnoy was born in Paris, but his family moved to Marseilles when he was a teenager. He was given the name ‘Coccinelle (ladybird)’ when he wore a wore a red dress with black polka dots to a party.

Jacques was discharged from the army conscription after six days because his presence caused disruption. He took to wearing female clothing to escape constant comments on how feminine he was. From 18-25 Coccinelle was kept by an important politician, whose name she always kept secret.

She became a star at Chez Madam Arthur, where her mother sold flowers, and then Le Carrousel de Paris in the 1950s, where she worked with Bambi , with whom she shared a home, Toni April (the future April Ashley) and Peki d’Oslo (the future Amanda Lear). Word was put out that she was a real woman. Others said 'A woman as beautiful as Coccinelle can only be a man'.

She took hormones from 1952 and became a woman in Casablanca in 1958, surgeon Georges Burou. She was the first gender impersonator and the first French person to have a sex-change.

In 1959 she was in the film Europe di notte, and the Italian singer Ghigo Agosti named a song for her, which added to the media controversy. In 1960, she married Francis Bonnet, a sports journalist. The requirement for the wedding in Notre Dame Cathedral was that she be baptised again as Jacqueline. She was given away by her father. However when she fell in love with another, she obtained a divorce on the declaration that she was still a man, and on these grounds was excommunicated. After this the French State stopped changing official papers for transsexuals until Maud Marin changed hers in 1974.

She was in six films between 1959 and 1968. In 1964 she was a major star and her name was up in giant red letters for her revue “Cherchez la Femme” at at the Paris Olympia.

Her second husband was Mario Costa, a Paraguayan dancer, who then wrote her biography Coccinelle est lui, 1963. A second biography by the American Carlson Wade came out shortly afterwards. Mario and Jacqueline were together until his death in 1977.

From 1978 to 1987 she lived in West Germany performing cabaret including at Romy Haag’s club in Berlin. At this point she brought out her third biography, this time written by herself.

She founded and worked with French transsexual groups, especially with Association Devenir Femme, which she and her third husband, the transvestite Thierry Wilson, founded in 1994.

From 2002-5 she operated a traditional French cabaret in Marseilles. She died of a stroke at age 75.



In Peter Ackroyd's Dressing Up, page 107, we find "Coccinelle, the male cabaret artiste". That is it. That is all.

In Vern Bullough's Cross Dressing, Sex and Gender, page 245, she is only in the "Cross Dressing on the Stage chapter", not in the "Transsexualism" chapter. Bullough gives her male name and her stage name but never her female name. And of course he does not mention her marriages at all.

22 March 2009

What is Autogynephilia?

++=added later: August 2011

See also: a Blanchard-Binary Timeline.

The term 'autogynephilia' was coined in 1989 by Ray Blanchard of the then Clarke Institute of Psychiatry in Toronto (now the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health = CAMH).

The term means ‘love of oneself as a woman’. At first glance this seems innocent enough. Any parent will recognize that most teenage girls go through a phase that could be so described, and many women continue to love themselves in this way well into maturity. And of course many boys/men have a ‘love of oneself as a man’. This would be ‘autoandrophilia’. Sexual orientation is not an issue here. Gay and lesbian teenagers are just as likely as heterosexuals to be happy to be the sex that they are.

Except of course parents, teenagers, teachers, sexologists etc do not use the term. No studies at all have been done re the prevalence and cause of autogynephilia/ autoandrophilia in the cisgendered population. If such studies had been done we could refer to them as the base studies, and use them for a comparison when studying the phenomenon in transgender persons.

The most obvious phase of autogynephilia/autoandrophilia is immediately post-pubertal. The most unusual thing in the lives of transsexuals is that we undergo a second puberty as we transition. The effect of new hormones in the body is just as dramatic as the standard puberty in early teenage. It is noted that transitioning and early-post-transition persons are often in a phase that can be called gender euphoria. One of the first sociological studies of transsexuals was done by Thomas Kando at the University of Minnesota in 1972, overlapping the time that Jan Morris was in Casablanca for an appointment with Dr Georges Burou. Kando found his 17 subjects to be more stereotypically feminine than other women, and referred to them as ‘reactionary’ and ‘the uncle toms of the sexual revolution’. They were between two weeks and two years post-operative. Yes the sample is too small, the post-operative period is too short, and also it later came out that Kando thought that his project was ‘stupid’, ‘grotesque’ and ‘boring’. In addition, no other sociologist replicated his findings. However his work did have one fan: The later graduate student, Janice Raymond, working in Boston on her thesis that she would later publish as The Transsexual Empire, found Kando’s work to be excellent grist for her mill. She also read and relished Morris’ autobiography, Conundrum, which, also being written within two years of surgery, reflects the same kind of gender stereotypes.

What does Blanchard make it mean?

Blanchard of course never mentions Raymond, Kando or Morris. Nor does he acknowledge cisgendered autogynephilia.

Nor does he define it as we have done above. His definition is: “a man's paraphilic tendency to be sexually aroused by the thought or image of himself as a woman". Thus it is a) a perversion b) a type of sexual arousal.

He proposes autogynephilia as a second type of transsexualism in addition to classic transsexualism, which he calls ‘homosexual transsexualism’ (HSTS), and which he applies to what we would call heterosexual trans women. This usage is in line with sexological and psychoanalytical usage. The Introduction to the CAMH’s Gender Dysphoria says: “A postoperative male-to-female transsexual living as the wife of a heterosexual male would still be regarded as a homosexual transsexual if she reported that she had been erotically attracted to male prior to the full development of the transsexual syndrome. (p3).” Neither arguments based on common sense, nor those referring to the feelings of the transsexuals themselves, have shaken the CAMH and other sexologists from their resolve to continue this usage.

Blanchard’s supporters applaud that he has increased the types of transsexual from one to two. His detractors are appalled that the wide variety of transsexuality has been reduced to two stereotypes and note the high percentage of rejections at the CAMH ( as high as 90%).

He accepts a few unquestioned axioms from the psychoanalytic tradition.
  1. Transvestism is a paraphilia, a fetish. Cross-dressing was never so considered until the twentieth century.
  2. As classical transsexualism is considered to be extreme homosexuality, autogynephilia is extreme transvestism.
  3. Women are not paraphilic, they do not have fetishes. Long a fantasy of the psychoanalytic movement, this misconception has been decidedly refuted by Emily Apter’s Feminizing the Fetish, Louise Kaplan’s Female Perversions and Lorrain Gamman & Merja Makinen’s Female Fetishism. As Blanchard does not perceive female paraphilia, he does not propose that there are autoandrophiles.
  4. Trans woman are men, and trans men are women. In 2004 Blanchard wrote: "This is not waving a magic wand and a man becomes a woman and vice versa… It's something that has to be taken very seriously. A man without a penis has certain disadvantages in this world, and this is in reality what you're creating."
  5. A fetish is an illness, not a type of play. Psychoanalysts of course have nothing to do with self-proclaimed fetish clubs.
  6. Homosexuals do not have good jobs. While to come out as gay was career suicide 50 years ago, prospects have changed enormously since.

Four Types of Autogynephilia

Blanchard distinguishes four types of autogynephilia (AGP):
  1. Transvestic – being aroused by the act or the fantasy of wearing women’s clothes
  2. Behavioural - being aroused by the act or the fantasy of doing stereotypical female things, e.g. knitting, or having one’s hair’s done
  3. Physiological - being aroused by the fantasy of menstruating or being pregnant
  4. Anatomical - being aroused by the act or the fantasy of actually having breasts and a vagina.
Surely there is one type missing here:

5. Sexual - being aroused by the act or the fantasy of receiving intercourse from a man.

Compare this to statements by trans women that being a woman involves (4) having a female body, (1) having a woman’s freedom to wear skirts or trousers as per circumstance and mood, and (2) being treated as a woman at work and in social life. Of course there is no equivalent to (3) in reality.

There is a world of difference between the fantasy of knitting=being a woman and the reality of being passed over for a promotion by male bosses. The difference in wording is highly significant. The wording of Blanchard’s four types suggests a male fantasy of femininity such as that for which the Princian crossdressers are criticized.

In addition, we should also remember that Blanchard’s major research was done on applicants to CAMH, but did not include any post-operatives, not even immediate post-operatives as Kando had done.

Conflation of variables

An HSTS is taken to be:
  1. An early transitioner
  2. Androphilic
  3. Living on the margins of society without a regular job. Many are assumed to be prostitutes, performers or to work in gay bars
An AGP is taken to be:
  1. A late transitioner
  2. Gynephilic, usually a husband and father
  3. Well employed. The stereotype is to work with computers.
In a way, this is the psychiatric version of the cliché that if you are a gay crossdresser you must be a drag queen, and if a straight one you must be a transvestite.

Of course there are many trans persons for whom the variables do not line up like this. How many of the persons rejected at CAMH were rejected because they do not fit the pattern? I myself was so rejected. I was in my mid-30s when I applied, with a career as a computer consultant (thus AGP), but I had a husband (HSTS) whom the CAMH was very reluctant to interview.

Trans men

As Blanchard does not acknowledge female paraphilia, and as he thinks that trans men are ‘women’, he assumes that they are all ‘homosexual’. In our terms, then, they will be heterosexual men after transition. Although Lou Sullivan wrote to Ray Blanchard in the 1980s explaining that gay trans men existed, and FTM groups report that up to a third of their members intend to be gay men, Blanchard is still denying their existence. In the CAMH’s Gender Dysphoria, 1985, Kurt Freund wrote: “To my knowledge, only one case of cross-gender identity in a heterosexual woman has been reported (J.B. Randell, 1959). Such a seeming exception could well be the result of the patient’s misrepresentation of facts.” Although Blanchard and Freund would categorize Sullivan as a ‘heterosexual woman’ if they noticed him, they were determined not to notice him.

Like many sexual categorizations, it is easy to get the impression that the system was designed around trans women and trans men are only an afterthought.

Confusion of phase and destiny

In constructing terminology it is sensible to name the categories by enduring traits. The HSTS person may have been a gay male before deciding to transition, but she is quickly becoming a heterosexual woman. This is easily remedied by calling such persons androphilic rather than homosexual. The fact that Blanchard refuses to use the word ‘androphilic’ is another reflection that he regards trans women as men.

Blanchard says: ”[We] were accustomed to referring to the erotic preference for adult women as gynephilia rather than heterosexuality, because the former denotes both the gender and the age of an individual’s preferred partners, whereas the latter denotes only the gender”. He does not seem to see that it is desirable in that it does not denote the gender of the desiring individual. And he does not use ‘androphilia’ even in parallel.

Another usage that predates Blanchard is to talk about ‘Primary Transsexuals’. Blanchard claims that Margaret O’Hartigan has brought the term into disrepute. The term appears to be neutral, but unfortunately what is Primary in Person and Ovesey (1974) is Secondary in Stoller (1968) and vice versa. Stoller’s ‘homosexual early transitioner’ came to be the more accepted usage.

Of course not all early transitioners are androphilic. Some are too young to have committed between men and women, and others know from an early age that what they are is lesbian, which has nothing to do with being a husband and father before transitioning.

If AGPs are indeed fetishists, rather than simply late transitioners, then it would be a logical conclusion that they should remain non-op, so that they can continue to do fetishistic things. If they can leave the fetishism behind, then a name implying fetishism is just confusing.

What is a Fetish?

Fetish is from the Portuguese feitico, a word that the Portuguese used to describe the objects revered in west African religions, which of course were different from the objects revered in Portuguese Catholicism. Later in time, Protestant critics realized that they could use the concept against Catholicism, especially its use of consecrated hosts and the relics of saints.

Sigmund Freud appropriated the concept to describe a displacement of sexual arousal to a part of a person or to an object, e.g. clothing associated with the person. However when this is done as part of heterosexual love, it is not labelled a fetish.

In the same way as a promiscuous person is one who has had more partners than I have had; kinky sex or fetishistic sex is sexual behaviours that I personally do not do.

What does Blanchard make it mean?

Actually he simply means that one of his subjects is sexually aroused while cross-dressed or fantasizing being female. While he goes on to associate sexual arousal with heterosexual transsexuals and deny it for homosexual transsexuals, his own research results (Autogynephilia and Taxonomy) show about 15% of the latter being sexually aroused, and about 15% of former not being aroused. This is interesting. So one can be HSTS and AGP, both in the same person. The HSTS/AGP distinction is a statement about averages in two groups selected by Blanchard. It is not two mutually exclusive types.

What is real sexual fetishism?

We could take the attitude that it is just an insult term for other people’s sexual activities.

However there are self-declared fetishists and fetish clubs. I suspect that the members of such clubs would regard the typical Blanchardian AGP or the Princian cross-dresser as rather square, but I would not be surprised if there are persons who go to fetishistic social events and also to cross-dresser clubs.

Are there Fetishistic Transvestites?

The assumption by Freund, Blanchard and generations of psychoanalysts that transvestites are fetishistic because some of them are sometimes sexually aroused, and some even masturbate, is more a reflection of the out-of-touch ivory-tower approach of these doctors. Humans masturbate: transvestites masturbate. Big deal. This is no basis for a taxonomy.

If we are looking for a fetishistic transvestite, I nominate Pierre Molinier. One can find such behaviour if one looks enough. But the average Princian cross-dresser hardly counts.

Blanchard’s Psychology Predecessors

In his essay on the “Origins of the Concept”, Blanchard lists Magnus Hirschfeld, Havelock Ellis, Otto Fenichel, and H.T. Buckner as having a partial grasp of the concept. He gives full credit to his colleague Kurt Freund, who had proposed the label ‘cross-gender fetishism’, and in fact the concept was developed full-blown by Freund except for the word ‘autogynephile’.

Hirschfeld had divided transvestites into homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual and asexual, and labelled them according to their ‘biological sex’ – this at a time when there were no post-operative trans women (until Hirschfeld arranged for the creation of two such), and so it was too early to think of “homosexual transvestites” as heterosexual trans women. Blanchard, despite working in the sex-change business, cites Hirschfeld as the authority that psychologists should still use the same labelling, and ignores the fact that it has become insulting to modern generations. In addition, despite the claims of his followers that he had increased the number of types, he collapsed heterosexual, bisexual and asexual into one type, which he called non-homosexual.

He is mired in the approach that the taxonomy must be based on sexual orientation, rather then on early vs late transition, or gender identity vs body modification.

Blanchard is mute on his psychologist predecessors, e.g. Stoller and Person & Ovesey who use the terms Primary and Secondary, although they did as he did and tied their types to sexual orientation. (See Vitale’s paper for details).

An Unacknowledged Predecessor

A predecessor whom Blanchard does not mention is Virginia Prince. She also thought that the most important division was between gays and straights and she banned both transsexuals and gays from the groups that she ran. However she and some others in her group, e.g. Susanna Valenti, went full time and became in effect non-op transgender, although they did not use this phrase (using instead ‘transgenderist’ which has never caught on, and which by her definition excludes most transgender persons).

The official line at the meetings of Prince’s group was one of non-sexuality, but Richard Docter’s biography of Prince shows that masturbation and other sexuality was a big part of her identity.

I propose that if ‘autogynephilia’ means anything, then Virginia Prince is the classic case. The fact that she has remained non-op seems quite logical.

Let us take sentences by Blanchard, and replace autogynephilia by Prince’s femmiphilia. Does its meaning change at all?
The autogynephilic femmiphilic type are erotically aroused by the thought or image of themselves as women.
Autogynephilia Femmiphilia takes a variety of forms. Some men are most aroused sexually by the idea of wearing women's clothes, and they are primarily interested in wearing women's clothes. Some men are most aroused sexually by the idea of having a woman's body, and they are most interested in acquiring a woman's body.
++ In addition Prince wrote a paper in 1978 for the Archives of Sexual Behavior in which she proposed that the only true transsexuals are asexual, socially-inadequate men who would function better as women, as "less is expected of women".   She presumes that bisexuals (Kinsey 2,3,4) of their nature do not become transsexuals. She also proposed two kinds of 'pseudotranssexual' based on sexual orientation.   "The preoperative homosexual group (Kinsey 5,6) gave much higher scores on all questions dealing with sex and lower scores on those questions dealing with gender, while those in the heterosexual group (Kinsey 1,2) gave high scores to gender type questions and much lower scores on the sex type questions". 

Blanchard’s Acolytes

Anne Lawrence

Previously an anaesthesiologist at Seattle’s Swedish Medical Center. She completed transition in 1996, and lost her job the next year over an allegedly unauthorized vaginal inspection. She has become the most prominent self-declared autogynephile. Her PhD thesis was supervised by Michael Bailey. She often appears at conventions with Ray Blanchard.

J. Michael Bailey

Professor of Psychology at Northwestern University. His 2003 book, The Man Who Would be Queen, retained Blanchard’s terminological disparagements, and reinforced them with his book title and cover. His major research on the topic was a sample of six (6) transsexuals, all found in the same gay bar.

Alice Dreger

A professor of bioethics, also now at Northwestern University, she became a major mover in the Intersex Society of North America (ISNA), although she is not herself intersex. She has proposed that the term Intersex be dropped and replaced by Disorders of Sexual Development (DSD), a term opposed by most intersex persons. She wrote a 60-page paper that was published 2008 in the Archives of Sexual Behavior (where Bailey is on the editorial board) that exonerated Bailey and his book.

Maxine Petersen

Unlike the Vancouver, Stanford, Charing Cross and Monash gender clinics, and unlike the Gender Recognition Panel, and the Free University in Amsterdam, the CAMH actually has a transsexual staff member. It is not stated whether she is regarded as HSTS or AGP. Petersen was quoted in Bailey’s The Man Who Would Be Queen as saying: “Most gender patients lie”. When Blanchard resigned from HBIGDA (now WPATH) because it criticized Bailey’s book, Petersen did so also.

Kiira Triea

A protean character whose birth date has varied between 1951 an 1964, who was previously claiming to be an intersex person treated by John Money, was active in the ISNA and identified as a lesbian. In 2007 she was active in and proclaimed herself as a heterosexual woman (that is HSTS).

++ Kay Brown

Previously the author of Transsexual, Transgender, and Intersex History which was online 1997-2007, and did not feature anything about HSTS-Autogynephilia, or use the binary.  In 2009, using the name Cloudy, she revived the Transkids site and and started a blog On the Science of Changing Sex.

++ Rod Fleming

The husband of a Filipino trans woman, has endorsed Blanchard's binary, and written much on the topic.  He broadens the discussion with his examples of early transition AGPs.

The Web Pages

The Autogynephila Resource

Edited by Lisanne Anderson, this is a collection of articles about autogynephilia and autogynephiles. Anderson says that she is neutral about the concept, but included only pro-autogynephila papers on the site. It includes several papers by Ray Blanchard, and one each by Michael Bailey and Willow Arune. Note that some of Blanchard’s papers are Power Point presentations and may not show in all browsers. It offers a link to the full text of Bailey’s book which no longer works.

Transsexual Women’s Resources

Anne Lawrence’s site. It includes papers written by Lawrence, and also consumer information useful for prospective transsexuals whether they are AGP or not.

Despite its name, this site is written by adults, that is adults who claim to have been transkids. “Transkids: Non-technical term for homosexual transsexual, used mostly for political reasons to have a non-clinical way to refer to hsts as a population rather then a condition. It does not refer to agp children because they are not identifiable as potentially transsexual as children.” The major mover behind the site is Kiira Triea, who had previously claimed to be intersex. They are very supportive of Blanchard, Bailey and Dreger. It offers links to the full texts of Benjamin’s and Bailey’s book (of course the second one no longer works). They criticize those who say ‘androphilic’ rather than ‘homosexual’.

A Bailey-Blanchard-Lawrence clearinghouse

Edited by Andrea James, this site is the most comprehensive site on the subject. It differs from the other three in being critical of the concepts. It has links to pages written by many authors, both transsexuals and doctors, on many different web sites. It covers Lawrence, Bailey, Dreger and other colleagues of Blanchard.

Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Autogynephilia: but Were Afraid You had to Ask

Edited by Madeline Wyndzen, this site attempts balance and hopes that transsexuals and psychologists can work together.

++ On the Science of Changing Sex
Probably the best defense of the concepts of HSTS-Autogynephilia.

Reification by Insult

The term 'Autogynephilia' is now popping up all over the place. Its most common use is for a late transitioner whom the writer does not like. Thus, as it is thrown as an insult, it becomes a word in the English language.

Attempts to rewrite the HSTS/Autogynephilia concept in politer terms

An obvious rewrite that many commentators and even critics have adopted, but which Blanchard and Bailey reject, is to say Androphilic Transsexual (AP) instead of Homosexual Transsexual, as discussed above. A further improvement is to disconnect the two types from sexual orientation.

Alice Novic

Alice Novic is a bisexual crossdressing psychiatrist. She proposes that the two types should be called:

Cross-dressers and late transitioners. a) enjoy being women b) not spontaneously effeminate c) basically gynephilic d) business or technical careers

Drag queens and early transitioners. a) act like women naturally b) don’t automatically love being women, but if it works they go with it c) androphilic d) people-oriented or creative careers.

She has no words about trans men.

++ Frederick Whitam

One year after the Clarke Institute published Gender Dysphoria, Whitam based on his sociological studies in Latino countries proposed that gay transvestites are significantly different from heterosexual ones.   This was before Blancaghard rewrote Freund's work using the term Autogynephilia.  Neither Blanchard nor his acolytes ever mention this book.

++ Jack Molay

A self-described autogynephiliac, Molay has proposed the term 'Crossdreamer' instead.  His blog explores the concepts critically and with empathy. 

Harry Benjamin Syndrome

The Harry Benjamin Syndrome (HBS) deserves a paper of its own.

While the criteria for being HBS have wobbled and changed, in the original conception a MTF HBS person was an early transitioner and androphilic, much like an HSTS, but without the implication of living on the margins. The nonsense of referring to heterosexual trans women as ‘homosexual men’ has of course been dropped. Later even the requirement of androphilia was also dropped. Some HBS people actually use the word ‘autogynephile’ to designate non-HBS transsexuals, but it is a vaguer use without the Blanchardian baggage.


The WPATH Standards of Care assume that all transsexuals are motivated by an inner personal identity. The sole good thing in Blanchard’s typology is to recognize that there are others who are motivated differently. He has constructed a second type that appeals to a few, and some persons are doing a good job of autogynephile impersonation to get approval at CAMH. But there are still others. Those who desire to be a man with a vagina get short shrift at CAMH, as do those whose self concepts are more in line with the body-modification crowd or the transhumanists. It is difficult to conceive of Genesis P-Orridge being approved at CAMH or any gender clinic.

The sex-based rather than identity based concept of Blanchard is okay in principle, but he pathologized it by taking on the baggage of almost a century of psychoanalysis, and having an ivory-tower dismissal of other discourses such as feminism, queer studies and even Princian crossdressing. His insistence, built into his terminology, that trans women are not women and trans men are not men, makes his system deeply insulting. Bailey of course was pleased to keep the insulting terminology in place.

To then harness the two types, identity and sexual, to specific sexual orientations based on averages in a selected and not a random sample, has produced a taxonomy that distorts reality and appals anyone who analyzes it from a scientific, philosophic or humanitarian viewpoint.
  • Lisanne Anderson (ed). The AutoGynephilia Resource.
  • Emily S.Apter. Feminizing the Fetish: Psychoanalysis and Narrative Obsession in Turn-of-the-Century France. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991.
  • Becky Allison. “Janice Raymond and Autogynephilia”.
  • J. Michael Bailey. The Man Who Would Be Queen: the science of gender-bending and transsexualism. Washington: Joseph Henry; Oxford: Oxford Publicity Partnership. 256 pp 2003.
  • Ray Blanchard. “Research Methods for the Typological Study of Gender Disorders in Males”. In Steiner.
  • Ray Blanchard. “Gender Dysphoria and Gender Reorientation”. In Steiner.
  • Ray Blanchard. “The concept of autogynephilia and the typology of male gender dysphoria”. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 177, 616-623. 1989. Online at:
  • Ray Blanchard. “Origins of the Concept of Autogynephilia”. Feb 2004.
  • Ray Blanchard. “Autogynephilia and the Taxonomy of Gender Identity Disorders in Biological Males”. International Academy of Sex Research. Paris 2000.
  • Ray Blanchard. “Theoretical and Clinical Parallels Between Body Integrity Identity Disorder and Gender Identity Disorder”. Third Annual BIID Meeting. June 2003, Columbia University. and
  • Kay Brown writing as Cloudy. “The Invisible Transsexual”. Transkids.
  • Kay Brown writing as Sillyolme. On The Science of Changing Sex.
  • Kurt Freund. “Cross-Gender Identity in a Broader Context”. In Steiner.
  • Lorraine Ganman & Merja Makinen. Female Fetishism. London: Lawrence & Wishart 1994. New York: New York University Press 1995.
  • Andrea James. “’Autogynephilia’: a disputed diagnosis”. Transsexual Road Map.
  • Andrea James. “A defining moment in our history: Examining disease models of gender identity.” Transsexual Road Map.
  • Andrea James. “Ray Blanchard”. Transsexual Road Map.
  • Louise J. Kaplan Female Perversions: The Temptations of Emma Bovary. New York: Doubleday, 1991. London: Penguin 1993.
  • Anne Lawrence. “’Men Trapped in Men's Bodies:’ An Introduction to the Concept of Autogynephilia”
  • Deirdre McCloskey. "Queer Science: A data-bending psychologist confirms what he already knew about gays and transsexuals". Reasononline.
  • Jack Molay.
  • Alice Novic. “The Two Types of Transwomen”. Though the Looking Glass.
  • Virginia Prince: "Transsexuals and Pseudotranssexuals", Archives of Sexual Behavior, Vol. 7, No. 4, 1978.
  • Janice Raymond. The Transsexual Empire. Boston: Beacon Press. 1979: Chp III.
  • Carol Riddell. “Divided Sisterhood : A Critical Review of Janice Raymond's 'The Transsexual Empire' “. Liverpool: News from Nowhere 1980. Parts 2,3,5 reprinted in Richard Ekins & Dave King (eds). Blending genders: social aspects of cross-dressing and sex-changing. London and New York: Routledge. 257 pp. 2002; reprinted in Stephen Whittle & Susan Stryker (eds). The Transgender Studies Reader. Routledge. 752 pp. 2006.
  • Joan Roughgarden. "The Bailey Affair, Again". Scientific Blogging. Aug 30, 2007.
  • Betty W. Steiner (ed) . Gender Dysphoria: Development, Research, Management. New York & London: Plenum Press. 1985.
  • Anne Vitale. “Primary and Secondary Transsexualism--Myths and Facts”.
  • Frederick L. Whitam and Robin M. Mathy. Male Homosexuality in Four Societies: Brazil, Guatemala, the Philippines, and the United States. New York: Praeger, 1986.
  • Frederick L. Whitam “Culturally Universal Aspects of Male Homosexual Transvestites and Transsexuals”. In Bonnie Bullough, Vern Bullough & James Elias (eds). Gender Blending. Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books. 1997.
  • Madeline Wyndzen. “Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Autogynephilia: but Were Afraid You had to Ask”. All Mixed Up.
  • “Autogynephilia”. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

17 March 2009

Anne Lawrence (1950 - ) anesthesiologist, gender therapist, activist.

++ Updated November 2013.

Lawrence was a cross-dresser from childhood, who self-prescribed hormones while at medical school in Minnesota. After graduation he attempted to ‘function as a normal male’. He married a woman in 1987 and they had two children. He worked as an anesthesiologist at Seattle’s Swedish Medical Center.

In 1992 he restarted hormones, and underwent electrolysis. In 1995, Anne abandoned the marriage, and transitioned socially, including at work.

She also had been able to observe Dr Toby Meltzer do a sex-change operation. The next year she returned to Dr Meltzer as a patient for her own operation, only six months after social transition.

In 1997, while working as an anesthesiologist, she allegedly performed an unauthorized vaginal inspection on an unconscious Ethiopian patient and was forced to resign.

In 1999 she worked with Andrea James on a possible book for transsexuals, but they they went their separate ways.

Anne studied for a Ph.D from the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality at San Francisco, which she received in 2001. Michael Bailey was one of her thesis advisors.  She followed that with an MA in Clinical Psychology at the Washington School of Professional Psychology.

She is now a counselor specializing in trans patients, and is a writer and speaker associated with the opinions of Ray Blanchard and Michael Bailey. She described Bailey's book, The Man Who Would Be Queen, "a wonderful book on an important subject". She has replaced the term ‘homosexual transsexual’ with the less contentious term ‘androphilic’, but still apologizes for Blanchard’s insensitive usage of ‘homosexual’ to describe heterosexual trans women. She has tested Blanchard's categories with post-operative women. She is the major post-op who self-describes as autogynephilic, and has popularized the expression “men trapped in men’s bodies’ to describe persons like herself.

Anne explains the condition:
It is worth emphasizing that Blanchard's theory refers to sexual desire in a fairly broad sense; it means more than just genital arousal. In fact, Blanchard was quite aware that his theory about non-homosexual transsexuality being a manifestation of sexual desire would have to explain why the transsexual impulse persists even when genital arousal is reduced or absent. For example, many of us with a history of sexual arousal to cross-dressing or to other autogynephilic imagery report that while our sexual excitement diminishes over time, our desire for sex reassignment surgery continues and even intensifies. Likewise, when we autogynephilic transsexuals take estrogen, our libido is often diminished or even eliminated, but our desire for sex reassignment usually is not. Blanchard hypothesized that after a period of time, stimuli which have been experienced as sexually exciting come to be regarded as rewarding and desirable in their own right, even when they no longer evoke intense genital arousal. Again using the analogy of heterosexual marriage, Blanchard pointed out that men often continue to experience intense emotional bonds to the objects of their sexual desire (i.e., their wives), even after their initial intense sexual attraction has diminished or completely disappeared.
Along with Blanchard, she has compared transsexuality to amputee fetishism, a position since adopted by the antigay reparative therapy organization, NARTH and religious organizations that are now talking of 'sexual amputees'. Also like Blanchard she asserts that androphilic trans women are a type of gay men. She has proposed that a small BSTc cell count is a marker for autoandrophilia autogynephila.

Lesbian right-winger Tammy Bruce used Anne Lawrence as one of her examples of 'moral vacuum' in her 2003 book, and presents her as an advocate for gender changes for trans children, without mentioning at all what she really stands for.

Curtis Hinkle has proposed, based on both content and style, that Lawrence is the (part) author of the final section of Bailey’s The Man Who Would Be Queen.

Her web page contains a lot of resources for transsexuals, including comparative material on the vaginoplasty of different surgeons, but her autobiography has been taken down, and she uses robots.txt to keep it out of the web archives. Material on some surgeons had to be removed when they threatened litigation.

She is a member of WPATH and the International Academy of Sex Research. She has served on the Task Force on Gender Identity, Gender Variance, and Intersex Conditions of the American Psychological Association.

In 2008 Lawrence became Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology, University of  Lethbridge, Alberta.

From October 1998 to October 2011 she collected several hundred narratives via her website from 'autogynephilic transsexuals'.   These became the basis of her 2013 book, which was priced high to discourage the general public from reading it. 

*Not the playwright nor Ann Lawrence, the novelist.
  • Transsexual Women’s Resources.
  • Anne Lawrence. “’Men Trapped in Men's Bodies:’ An Introduction to the Concept of Autogynephilia”
  • Tammy Bruce. The Death of Right and Wrong: Exposing the Left's Assault on Our Culture and Values. Roseville, Calif: Forum, 2003: 92-4. 
  • J. Michael Bailey. The Man Who Would Be Queen: the science of gender-bending and transsexualism. Washington: Joseph Henry; Oxford: Oxford Publicity Partnership. 2003: 168, 174-5, 218, 219. 
  • Richard Ekins & Dave King. The Transgender Phenomenon. London: Thousand Oaks; California: Sage. 2006: 60, 86-8, 90, 94. 
  • Andrea James. “The Anne Who Would Be Queen”. Transsexual Road Map.
  • Lynn Conway. “With the theory of autogynephilia in disarray, Blanchard and Lawrence propose a theory that transsexualism is an "amputation fetish", by "lumping" GID, BIID and apotemnophilia”.
  • Curtis E. Hinkle. “Deconstructing the Feminine Essence Narrative: Ongoing investigation by OII: Part 2”. Intersexusa. April 25, 2008.
  • Lawrence, Anne A. Men Trapped in Men's Bodies Narratives of Autogynephilic Transsexualism. New York, NY: Springer, 2013.  
  • Curriculum Vitae at Contains a full bibliography.

15 March 2009

Did Magnus Hirschfeld coin the word ‘Transvestite’?

One often comes across the facile assertion that Magnus Hirschfeld coined the word ‘transvestite’ in the 1920s. Unfortunately for this assertion, transvest* and the French form travest* have been around as noun, verb and adjective for almost 500 years.

Here is a potted history of ‘transvestite’ and similar words in mainly English and French. To write this I used the Oxford English Dictionary and the Petit Robert. The Wikipedia article on En Travesti was also consulted.
  • The Italian ‘travestire’ from the Latin ‘transvestire’ is recorded in the 16th century. It is first recorded in French as ‘transvestir’ in 1569, and had become ‘travestir’ by 1580. The Italian origin probably accounts for the retained ‘s’ rather than a circumflex, as opposed to ‘větir’ without the prefix. The original meaning is dressing up or disguise rather than gendervesting in particular. The English meaning of ‘travesty’ as ‘ridiculous’ is not used in the French.
  • The word ‘travesty’ first became well known in England in 1648 with Scarron’s satire, Le Virgile Travesty en vers burlesque. So the modern English meaning of things done badly or ridiculously was there almost from the start, but so was the meaning of dressing as another.
  • However the pseudo-French expression ‘en travesti’, using the past participle of the verb, which is not recorded in French, was used particularly in the theatre with the specific meaning of dressing as the other gender. This usage has continued from the seventeenth century until today.
  • The verb form, ‘to travesty’, is not found until after 1700, and was not needed for the sense of Gendervesting, for the verb ‘to transvest’ is recorded from 1652: “How often did she please her fancy with the imagination of transvesting herself, and by the help of Man’s disguise deceiving the eyes of those who watched her deportment”. This usage, particularly applied to female-bodied persons continued into the nineteenth century.
  • 'Travestissement' was being used in France by 1692.
  • 'Transvestisme' is recorded in French in1845. The Petit Robert lists it as an hapax (only one recorded instance) in this period, but just as Ed Wood used ‘transsexual’ before Harry Benjamin did, people on the street are using words before dictionary compilers catch up with them.
  • 'Travestiment' was being used in England by 1832, and 'Travestier' by 1883.
Thus Hirschfeld was rather a Magnus-come-lately a far as being a coiner of the term. However he and Sigmund Freud did reinvigorate the concept, although the psychoanalysts in Freud’s wake have done a lot of damage in rewriting transvestism to be a fetish and a perversion. While ‘travesty’, especially in English, always had a second meaning of ridiculous or badly done, the associated words did not, before the twentieth century, have the meaning of neurosis or perversion.

The enduring calumnification of ‘transvestism’ is probably the reason why ‘transvestity’ did not evolve, while ‘transsexuality’ did evolve alongside ‘transsexualism’.

See also La Préfecture de Police, Paris, and permissions de travestissement.

09 March 2009

Margaret Deirdre O’Hartigan (195? - ) activist.

Margaret O’Hartigan transitioned in Minnesota in 1979. She was on public assistance and successfully sued the State to pay for her surgery.

She moved to Everett, Washington, where she worked as a typist. She applied for a job with the State Police and discovered that only police forces and a few others may require a polygraph test asking questions to prospective employees about private matters. With the ACLU she sued the Police in 1987 on this matter. In 1989 they won, but in 1992 the Washington State Supreme Court reversed the ruling.

In the early 1990s Margaret obtained a ruling against a Seattle bisexual women’s group that excluded her because she is transsexual.

In the mid 1990s she moved to Portland, Oregon, where she persuaded the Phoenix Rising Counseling Center to include trans persons. She publicized the role the Unitarian Universalist Church had had in publishing Raymond’s The Transsexual Empire. She established the Filisa Vestima Foundation in order to collect funds to aid indigent transsexuals gain access to health care.

In 1993 she wrote:
"Every application of the term transgender to me is an attempt to mask what I've done and as such co-opts my life, denies my experience, violates my very soul. I changed my sex. Like the hijra of India and the gallae of Rome I took cold steel to myself and proved that anatomy is not destiny. Like the Siberian Chukchee shaman I have died and been taken apart, reassembled, changed sex, and come back with new powers. Like the inkte of the Mdewakanton Siouxs I grew up amongst, I have had my visions.
I am not transgender."
She helped Dean Kotula, herself and others file complaints in Oregon on the basis that they were covered under disabilities anti-discrimination laws. A newly qualified lawyer, trans woman JoAnna McNamara, successfully presented a brief with supporting theory and case law to much the same effect. This led to a squabble over the credit. Margaret put down McNamara and her client as ‘men’ who had enjoyed ‘adult white male privilege’ because they had not become women until their 40s.

In 1994 she wrote an article “The Joy of Fat” about being overweight in Dimension Magazine that was reprinted in Harper’s Magazine.

In 1996 Margaret controversially accused Jessica Xavier of racism. In the same year she received Pride NorthWest’s “Spirit of Pride Award” for her “tireless advocacy for the trans community and for trans consciousness raising with both the Les/bi/gay and general straight cultures”. She has opposed the removal of Gender Identity Disorder from the DSM in that the associated HBIGDA Standard of Care is non-abusive unlike what she was exposed to as a child, and attacked Phyllis Burke's Gender Shock which documents abusive attempts to 'cure' gender variant children as a 'transphobic' book.

In 1999 she opposed the Portland Lesbian Community Project extending its services to trans women whom Margaret referred to as ‘men’, and cited Janice Raymond as part of her argument. This article was later reprinted by the Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter during the dispute that arouse when they rejected Kimberly Nixon as a counsellor.

Margaret contributed a chapter on Alan Hart to Dean Kotula’s 2002 book, The Phallus Palace.

One must take whatever civil rights are available wherever you live. However I do feel uneasy about trans persons being covered under laws relating to disabilities.

Why is this woman not being saluted by the HBS people as the pioneer that she is for their cause? Partly I think in that none of the HBS websites have any historical component. They do not seem to have any interest in what persons like themselves did in earlier decades.

O’Hartigan is just as contentious as Goiar in wishing to deprive other transgender persons of civil rights; but unlike Goiar she has actually achieved something useful as well.

Willow Arune, here, says: "Now, bearing in mind that Blanchard found two distinct types, he wanted to avoid the primary-secondary terminology. It had been abused in the system, with status and bias (such as Margaret Deirdre O’Hartigan in Minnesota and then Oregon)." I have previously raised the question: does HSTS=HBS? An observer might consider O’Hartigan to be both. However I wonder what Margaret herself thinks about such jargon?

08 March 2009

Lisanne Anderson (1955 - ) autogynephilia activist.

Lisanne is often regarded as an autogynephile, but has rejected the description for herself, and expresses neutrality as to the value of the concept.

However she was a co-founder in 2004 with Willow Arune of the online Autogynephila discussion group, and is the editor of She communicated directly with Ray Blanchard in building the site, but not with the critics of the concept.

She is rumored to have detransitioned for a while in 1995. She also created a post-modern performance piece by having an online conversation 1998-9 with Lori Anjou, her own alter-ego. Like Arune, she is on disability.

She is also a photographer with a flicker portfolio here.

05 March 2009

Charlotte Goiar (1972 - ) HBS activist.

Revised 4 Nov 2009, 2 Dec 2009, 13 March 2012, 7 September 2013, 2 April 2018.

See also A short History of (Harry) Benjamin Syndrome
        and Numbers and HBS

        and my review of Goiar's 2021 book.  

Charlotte is a resident of Vigo in Galicia. She was diagnosed by the school psychologist as a trans child at age 7, and from age 16 was on hormonal therapy from the Vigo hospital - the first such patient to be so treated in Vigo.  However she met much derision at school from both students and teachers and was unable to complete high school.   Since 1991 she has been in psychiatric treatment, and living on welfare. 

In the early 2000s Goiar proposed the concept of Síndrome de Harry Benjamin (Harry Benjamin Syndrome). The term had been pioneered by Tom Reucher in Paris with an inclusivist meaning, but Goiar changed the meaning to exclude most trans persons.   She set up in 2005, and while posting on the Australian WOMAN forum encountered Diane Kearny in the US, who had similar opinions.  They initially worked together, but then split and in competition both set up web sites, Yahoo forums and Standards of Care.

In 2004, the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) became the government, and quickly implemented gay marriage, but kept delaying the promised Ley de Identidad de Género (Gender Identity Law) until prominent trans woman and PSOE activist Carla Antonelli threatened a hunger strike and this attracted international press attention.  The law was passed in 2007, and Carla, Charlotte and many others were able to change their legal name and gender as surgery was not a requirement.

A decree by the previous government in 1995 had prohibited public health services from paying for transgender surgery. This was rescinded, also in 2007. By then, Andalusia had already been performing these operations for eight years, and this region was later joined by Madrid, Catalonia and the Basque Country. Aragon and Extremadura paid to have patients treated elsewhere. However Galicia and other regions did what they could to avoid offering transgender surgery.
Charlotte described HBS: 1
 "Harry Benjamin Syndrome  (HBS) is an intersex condition developed in the very early stages of pregnancy affecting the physical process of differentiation between male and female. In this patients, the brain develops as a certain sex but the rest of the body takes on the physical characteristics of the opposite sex. Genetic aetiology for this condition had been showed also by modern medical research. 
Today, what was  previously known as  intense True Transsexualism is  considered by medical res earch experts in this area as a physiological condition of birth, which is both neurological and genetic in origin, and therefore an inborn intersex condition (physiological).  That is  why by following the medical naming conventions in regard to physiologically intersexed states  or syndromes, the condition formerly known as intense True Transsexualism (Type VI on the diagnosis table of Harry Benjamin), must be named Harry Benjamin Syndrome.
Since people with Harry Benjamin Syndrome are conventional in their gender identity and expression, like most members of society, these people need a physical rehabilitation of their endocrine system and phenotype in order to function in society as any other average person.
They are not seeking to defy social norms of gender or sexuality as is the case of transgender and most who call themselves transsexuals .
People with Harry Benjamin Syndrome as  a group are naturally opposed to ambiguous groups of sex and/or gender such as  transgender persons and most who call themselves transsexuals. People with Harry Benjamin Syndrome are not a part of a supposed continuum with these other states of sexual or gender-related ambiguity.
Despite the confusion in terminology with the old concept of True "Transsexualism", persons with Harry Benjamin Syndrome (which in reality is a type of intersex condition) should not be confused with transgenderism and other ambiguous sexual states in general.
People born with Harry Benjamin Syndrome are persons with a binary gender orientation of either Man or Woman, as  any other average person in society. Their identity is woman or man, never "transsexual".  Therefore they need a complete physical rehabilitation in order to function sexually and develop socially as any other average person in our society.
People with Harry Benjamin Syndrome repudiate sexual ambiguity and don't feel identified with sexually ambiguous labels like "transsexual"  or "transgender"  which neither define nor represent them."
Initially Goiar claimed that 1:500 are HBS, but has been reducing the frequency and on 2009 said  that HBS is "an extremely rare condition [1:100,000]" (which would mean that HBS persons are only a fraction of 1% of transsexuals). She is further contentious in that she and her movement have become known for disparaging other trans persons, even post-ops, and GLBT persons in general.

Despite Charlotte’s on-going non-surgical status, the Spanish HBS movement was critical of the UK and Spanish laws permitting gender change without surgery, and most well-known transsexual activists have been disparaged on her forum in that they are not anti-transgender (that is against all trans persons who are not HBS). Carla Antonelli was criticized for representing Spanish transsexuals despite being non-op – but Charlotte’s continuing pre-op status was not mentioned. Charlotte expressed approval of the situation for transsexuals in Iran. She objected to the term ‘transsexuality’, as opposed to 'transsexualism', as pejorative in that she took it to imply a choice.

Charlotte Goiar became a member of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a Church of Scientology front organization that uses Thomas Szasz as a spokesman.  For several years she featured a 90 minute CCHR video on her HBS home page.  Further, Charlotte proclaimed that she was a licensed Human Rights Investigator:  this was only a CCHR bestowed title.

In 2008 Charlotte was assigned a court-appointed counsel, and with his help, induced a Vigo judge to recognize her problem, and rule that her "anxious-depressive syndrome" was caused by her discomfort with her body.  However the court ruled against her request for surgery in that such surgery was not available in Galicia.

Charlotte was antagonistic to the STP 2012 depathologization campaign by other transsexuals, and emphasized in contrast that HBS want medical repathologization. A petition sponsored by was signed by 500 persons and was sent to the World Health Organization asking that transsexualism be recognized, not as a psychological disorder, but as a medical one.

The HBS forum was discontinued and closed in 2011.

In 2012, her mother - the one person who had stood with her – died. Charlotte underwent a religious crisis:
“I had never imagined and I still do not understand what guilt I have of being born with this pathology, and the hatred that it awakens in so many people. I felt so vulnerable. … Through a Christian English friend, little by little I began to study some Christian texts. This was how, little by little, I found relief in God, as a way to leave the course of everything in the hands of a force superior to me, so I began to read the Bible for the first time shortly after turning 40 years old.”
She became a cristiana metodista (Methodist). 2

Charlotte won a ruling in the Galician High Court that Servizo Galego de Saúde (SERGAS), the Galician Health Service, should pay for her to have genital surgery.  However the Galician government appealed to the Spanish Supreme Court, which in turn also found in Goiar's favour in May 2013.  By September, as SERGAS had taken no steps to conform with the ruling, Goiar went to the press. SERGAS then wasted almost two years sending Charlotte to public clinics in Málaga and Barcelona that did not do the required type of operation. In 2015, at age 42, Charlotte finally had surgery in the private Instituto de Cirurxía Plástica, Barcelona, with Dr Iván Mañero - the only clinic in Spain to offer colovaginoplasty. Before the operation she asked for pastoral accompaniment, which led to her meeting Carlos Osma of Christianos Gays. was taken down that year.

In 2017, Charlotte allied herself with the ultra-Catholic Hazte Oír and its opposition to sex education and to ‘gender ideology’. She is also claiming that the new ICD-11 term Gender Incongruence is the same thing as HBS.

  1. Goiar rephrased her description of HBS several times. This version was written for the short-lived Google Knol, and later added to
  2. Translation from Carlos Osma’s blog. is now derelict.

According to the Spanish newspapers Charlotte at 41, despite being on female hormones since age 16 and legally female since the Ley de Identidad de Género in 2007, still has no work experience. Surgery will of course make her feel more confident, and the legal precedent she has set does far more good than all the HBS stuff, but as any cis woman would tell her, being a 40+ woman with neither job nor life partner is not an easy road.

What would the actual Harry Benjamin have thought of the HBS movement? He writes with regret of intolerance: “Too many individuals are that way; what they do not like must be forbidden and punished. Then they are satisfied. I have even met transvestites who dislike (or pretend to dislike) transsexualism so much that they are against estrogen treatment and operation (for reasons of self protection?). There are also transsexuals who dislike transvestites as well as homosexuals. Intolerance can be found in strange quarters.” The Transsexual Phenomenon, p114-5 of the Warner Books 1977 edition.

Surely, those who organize in his name, should respect his sentiment.

Veronica Vera (1946 - ) teacher of femininity.

Mary Veronica grew up in New Jersey as a Catholic, and has a degree in English.

She worked on Wall Street as a stockbroker and then became a porn actress as Veronica Vera, where she worked with Annie Sprinkle, and was photographed by Robert Mapplethorpe. She was a regular at the Studio 54 disco in New York. Through the 1980s she wrote a column about New York’s sex scene in Adam magazine.

In 1984 she testified on sexual explicit media to a US Senate committee, and argued for the decriminalization of prostitution. In 1986 she attended that year’s World’s Whores Congress in Brussels. In 1989 she helped to reorganize Prostitutes of New York (PONY). Her 1992 video, Portrait of a Sexual Evolutionary, was included in a show about sex work at the University of Michigan Law School and became the centre of a censorship battle.

She founded her Finishing School for Boys Who Want to Be Girls in 1992. She has written books on cross-dressing, and many articles on sexuality in general. In 2005 she extended her services to women also, for like men they also need to learn the artificial aspects of being female, especially the art of walking in high heels. She also runs a group for wives of crossdressers.

*Not the character in Shadow Hearts Covenant game, nor the character Veronica Vera Duckworth in Coronation Street.
  • Portrait of a Sexual Evolutionary, with Veronica Vera and Annie Sprinkle. US 28 mins 1992.
  • Veronica Vera. Miss Vera’s Finishing School for Boys Who Want to Be Girls. Main Street Books 208 pp 1997.
  • Veronica Vera. Miss Vera's Cross-Dress for Success: A Resource Guide for Boys Who Want to Be Girls. Villard 240 pp 2002.
  • Rachel Kramer Bussel. “ Pump It Up”. Time Out New York. Oct 3, 2007.