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07 May 2009

Diane Kearny (1940 - ) HBS activist.

Revised 4 Dec 2009, September 2013.

See also A short History of (Harry) Benjamin Syndrome.

Kearny was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and as a teenager corresponded with Virginia Prince – who told her that anyone wanting a sex change was delusional.

Diane was a friend of the pioneering transsexual and prostitute, Patricia Morgan, and knew some of the drag performers at the 82 Club. She was down the street when the Stonewall riot erupted in 1969.

Later, as Diane, she was a patient of Harry Benjamin and Charles Ihlenfeld. She had only one psychiatric interview, and then had surgery with Roberto Granato Sr in 1972 in Brooklyn.

Being Catholic, she then successfully applied to have the name and gender on her baptismal certificate amended.

In 1984 she married.  They were married for 22 years before she was widowed. Diane ran her own business.

In 2004 Diane set up WATS, a transsexual forum.  In 2006 she encountered  Charlotte Goiar on the Australian WOMAN forums, and adopted Goiar's concept of Harry Benjamin Syndrome. Goiar participated in her forum, and she  and others set up, (which became derelict around 2008), and then (which also became derelict in 2010). Goiar and Kerny separated and each maintained a web site and a forum. Kearny's site contained material from Goiar’s, with small changes, and included a very similar Standards of Care.  Her Yahoo forum differed from Goiars in admitting only post-operative women, and, unlike, was in English only. The site defined HBS:
"Harry Benjamin's Syndrome (HBS) is a congenital intersex condition that develops before birth, involving the differentiation between male and female. It is believed that every 1/30,000 is born with this condition. Therefore a girl with Harry Benjamin's Syndrome would have a females brain sex but her genitals would appear male. The boys born under this condition have female genitalia even though their brains are male. So far it’s impossible to diagnose this condition at the moment of birth causing the babies to be raised in the wrong gender role. There are figures that confuse the rarity of HBS by including in the numbers those under the transgender umbrella who are not HBS or even true transsexuals but are better aligned with fetishists who 'went all the way' such as the autogynephilic thereby making it seem that the number of 1/2500 might be better applied."

Despite Diane’s Catholicism, the site had a religion tab that was heavily Protestant in that it cites the Bible but no Popes or theologians.  " In this way God is pleased for He sees a lessoning of suffering in His name by all who feel that in His eyes they did right and not a wrong".

Diane wrote to the American Psychological Association (included on the web page), and the press in general. In 2007, she and the others made a presentation at a WPATH Symposium in Chicago.

*Not the Diane Kearney who argued that Thomas Pynchon was Wanda Tinasky; nor the Hollywood costume and wardrobe person.

Diane, sometimes using the surname Logan, commented on various websites:
  • Diane Logan.  "transgender Confusion".  San Francisco Bay Times.  Aug 31, 2006.  "Most transsexuals I know are not a result of being a crossdresser or a fetishist. They are people who knew from a very early age that something was wrong and bore the pain of that truth until relief was attained in the form of surgery. They did not link up with transgender behavior, which is obviously a satisfying sexual release, but had to bring their body and brain into harmony in order to simply survive. That is what transsexual actually is and so far removed from all of those transgenders I came across during my years before and since my surgery in 1972. Transgenderism has become farcical and in no way should be seen as being in any way, shape or form somewhat like the medical condition of transsexualism, or as we prefer to call it, Harry Benjamin Syndrome"
  • Diane Kearny. Comment on “Transgender Folly”. The Jewish Press. Nov 15 2006."Direct your angst toward those who use the confusion of transgenderism to further their forced imposition upon society. This proposal, if one looks closely, is a gay/lesbian/bi/transgender law. It allows people to simply identify as the opposite sex when not that sex at all. It will confuse the issue and even permit deceptive same sex marriages."
  • Diane Kearny. Letters to the Editor. July-Sept 2007.   "I had my corrective surgery in a Brooklyn, N.Y. hospital over 30 years ago. Of course I was considered to be in medical need whereas now with the influx of so many under the transgender umbrella we too are falsely listed as having some sort of dysphoria. Does this sound like someone suffering a mental disorder: graduated from college, legally married to the man I met 30 years ago, opened and ran my own business for 20 yrs, built up a comfortable circle of friends and had been certified physically and mentally a female in a County Hospital which was the requirement of the Health Dept. Board before they would change my birth certificate. All that is done so how then am I thrown under the transgender umbrella with fetishists and sex deviants as if I might be cousined to them? No, I refuse to accept that and will fight it to my dying days. I am not a trans anything...I am a woman."
  • Diane Kearny. Comments on “Roman Catholicism And Harry Benjamin Syndrome (HBS)”. TS-Si. 18 Dec 2007. "This is simply one of the area's where the TG's and our forced attachment to their banner has hurt many who have had surgery. Remember please that McHugh comes from a long line of radical functionaries at Johns Hopkins where the issue of gender has been placed in the pot of confusion not the least of which is exampled by the likes of Money who believed much like McHugh that brain sex is pliable. ".
  • Diane Kearny. Comment on “With Apologies to Radical Feminists”. The Transadvocate. Feb 9, 2008."I have been attacked before and by the ignorant who take out of context things I have said and things doctors have advised me as facts on the one hand and possibilities on the other. I ignore their ignorance for I truly understand their need to demean all of us who might suggest they have no affinity with us in their attempt to use our medical legitimacy as cover for their own fetishism. That bothers them for they know deep down their masking deception has no connection with our reality."
  • Diane Kearny. Comments on “Uh oh". The Billerico Project. May 5-13, 2008.   "Let the fetishists and the week-end thrill seekers keep transgender. I will not accept that term unless every other woman on the planet does as well."
  • Diana.  Profile.  Creative Loafing Tampa.  "Those of us who had corrective surgery did not change our gender, it was inborn"
  • Diane L. Logan.  "Few facts ignored about health care bill".  Lewistown Sentinel.  Sept 25, 2009.  "I am continually amazed that so many of the radical liberals attack everyone who is opposed to the Obama health care boondoggle. Recently argued by a reader were the so-called lies being perpetrated by Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Beck, Newt Gingrich, Hannity and the very long list of those who are vocal in addressing opposition to a plan that is falsely labeled as a “HEALTH plan” when, in fact, it is, but a political means to place power in the hands of the socialists in our government. Some like one of the czars, Van Jones, are even admitted communists."
See also the two comments below that are emails received from Diane after the first tentative draft of this article.

I believe that the Catholic Church never reissues baptismal certificates for transsexuals any more. After all, their official position, as advised by Paul McHugh, is that there is no such thing as changing sex.

Back in 1960, Jacqueline Dufresnoy was required to be re-baptised.

Diane insists that she never changed her gender although she lived as male for three decades.  She is of course failing to distinguish between 'gender' and 'gender identity'.  

Prince's reply to a teenaged trans girl was, obviously, rude and insensitive.  However Diane is still referring to Prince as "Charles (Virginia) Prince" apparently assuming that "Charles Prince" was Virginia's male-name (it was merely a temporary pen name) and falsely crediting her with coining 'transgender' .  I gather that Diane has not read either Richard Docter's nor my accounts of Prince, nor either my or Cristan Williams' accounts of the history of the term 'transgender'.   There are several serious criticisms of Virginia Prince, but Diane neither contributes to the criticism of Prince nor helps her own case by repeating  misinformation.  As I wrote here: "One can see why Yvonne Cook-Riley and Kimberleigh Richards wanted to credit Prince with something that she never did, and never could have. It is an irony of note that Diane Kearny, Suzan Cooke, Jenifer Usher and Cathryn Platine all want to support Cook-Riley and Richards in this endeavor.


Amelia said...

Sounds as if she is very confused.

Anonymous said...

While there are a few aspects of HBS I vaguely respect (emphasis on transsexuality developed in utero and some of their concerns about the "transgender umbrella') the people who are proponents of it continue to amaze me with their self-loathing, bigotry and lack of empathy for anyone who has a slightly different variation of similar issues. Nor does their heavy-handedness and and absolutism make me feel more connected to them as women. Every time I read another diatribe by Ms. Kearny, she resembles nothing so much as a right wing Christian transphobe. One has to wonder, if she's a woman yet not a transwoman, why does she hover around every discussion touching on trans issues and continue to deliver up more of her bombast about how much more 'real' she is than other transwomen? Go live your organic woman's life Diane and ignore the rest of us. Believe me when I say most trans people won't lament your absence one iota.


Zagria said...

I received the following as an email. Why Diane did not put it as a comment, I don't know.
I doubt Denise Zagria's (if that is her real name) work is at all remarkable as cited on her blog since it is not correct and rather caters to fetishism. I also strongly suspect that this answer to her bio fabrication of me will not, at least totally, be posted on the blog. But I do want those in my group and others to actually see the attacks many of us are subject to because of our demand to not be included as part of the gender confused who demand rights and intrusive privileges without regard to others. Blogs like this one only serve one purpose: to create confusion in the minds of legislatures, courts and religious when those who are really in need are wrongly likened to those who only want to impose their selfishness upon others.


Dear Zagria,

Your blog: is untrue and a bio fabrication.

First of all I am the actual Diane Kearny and not someone you brought out of your delusional mind to equate me with. I don't know you and never read your blog or even was told of it until yesterday when sent the link. Usually I ignore the transgender knowing them to be usually confused people but in your case will make an exception. I do want to make clear that if you wish to post my reply do not do it out of context but in whole.

I am not, never will be, nor was ever a gender variant. Never did I suffer from GID (Gender Identity Dysphoria/Delusion/Disorder) since my brain gender of female was quite clear to me and others including family long before a hint of puberty. That in essence describes those born with HBS.
I was a patient of Dr Benjamin and Dr Ihlenfeld and only saw one psychiatrist pre-surgery for evaluation and that was after I had been living and working as a female for a time and had been given the referral to my surgeon.

Androgynous in the dress mode sense pre-surgery? Perhaps! But my intent was not to mimic on the outside but to bring the outside into conformity with the inner soul. No, I never belonged to gender groups since I did not equate with what in those days was considered simply 'trannies', - a pre-identity of transgender which even today includes the many variants of behavioral attitudes most of whom are but transvestites/crossdressers who use the cover of transgender to hide their sex.

To make it clear there needs to be stated that HBS advances the findings of many researchers who found evidence that true transsexuals/HBS are born and not nurtured. Read our info should you need to get the truth instead of the lies:

I must assume Zagria is another of those who is but another on the long list of transgender advocates; perhaps another Charles Prince or even one of the myriad of those who attack anyone who had the courage to correct a mistake of nature. Mix in a truth here and there while adding lies does make good fictional reading does it not? Forgive me if wrong but your blog seems one more of gender transference rather than fact.

"In the 1990s she was active, mainly as Diane Lask". Nope not true, never used the names of Lask, Arons or Morse. And in fact I would be in support of transgender staying closeted and not confusing the issue of transsexualism and HBS with any link to 'make believe'. Another fact is that until the turn of the century I never posted anything addressing trans issues. I was much to busy living and working as the female I am. Only after some idiots started to attach me and others to the transgender concept of hypocritical diversity did I become aware of the activism of the wannabees who attached their fantasies to the real life experience of others.

Our group is not just one involving just me and Jennifer. In fact our presentation to the WAPTH Symposium was a collaboration of eight members of our group. Their papers can be seen on our site. And our group precedes the 2007 time frame of misinformation that seems so common on your site.

My legal name was Diane before the 90's, 80's and even the 70's. And unlike those who move in and out of gender modes and/or urges I never needed to falsely assume a secondary 'in the mood' identity. I make my point as often as possible that transsexual/HBS is NOT a sub-set of transgender, a term associated with behavior and absent of an inborn driven need to eliminate a contradiction between brain and body.

Actually the HBS organization as a website is very much alive and in fact the HBS private group is still active and only accepts for membership those who have had corrective surgery.
A lot of wannabees attempt to join but our screening methods do help to blunt their effort although some of the 'boyz' and 'gurls' do get past our screen but are unmasked in short order as the phonies they really are.

Charlotte Goiar joined our group when it was WATS and I do give her credit for helping to advance the HBS concept which before her joining with us we had considered the possibility of calling our group simply 'The Benjamin Syndrome' group. She in fact still uses our logo on her sight that a member of our group designed. We disagree on points but we both agree on particular issues and that is why many similarities exist on our forums. She took from us and we took from her and most of our earlier formative information was in collaboration.

Our group does at times bring up the issue of religion but never was it a Protestant nor a Catholic group. We care not what a members religion or absence of one might be. That is another figment of someones imagination as it seems most of the info on your blog obviously is. Personally I am a religious person and attacked for it but I would never use one persons religion against another nor would I accept another doing such a thing.

Do I believe that someone who lives in the fetish world should be considered legally as the opposite sex? NO! If you are a man who wants to wear a dress I have no problem with that, - just use the men's toilet facilities if you intend to stand up and pee or expose your real sex. If you want to entice men by mimicking a female...your call, but don't be surprised if you end up on the front page of a newspaper. If you want to hide in your closet during the day and come out at night when the urge overwhelms problem, - perhaps you think you are being secretive but I bet your spouse or roomie suspects. If you claim that you are thinking about 'becoming' a transsexual...see a shrink - a competent one. Transsexuals (at least true transsexuals) and HBS do not grow from an urge but are born, not nurtured.
Do I believe that many today having surgery are not HBS or even transsexual? YES! I do believe many today come from the behavioral mode of fetishism and through peer influence and/or as an extension of their own fetishism grow into what might well describe the autogynephilic not unlike the multitudes of the Lawrence's and Arune's in this world whom I suspect outnumber the true transsexual/HBS by an overwhelming number now that many of the gender variants have brought out into the open their most secret hidden fantasies and find in others of their ilk a push up their self conceived ladder of progression toward 'elitism'?
Do I feel that the transgender non-biological construct is an umbrella term initially promoted by Mr. Charles Prince, the 'Transvestia' publisher, designed to welcome all gender variants not much different than himself? YES!
Do I believe he meant to include intersex or transsex? NO! In fact he himself excluded intersex/transsex from his inclusion. He was after all a professional transvestite and surgery was for him not a corrective measure but just a delusional ideal that for him would have lessened his sexual male driven urges. In fact he replied to a letter I wrote to him when a teen asking for referrals and advice on contacting a doctor to help me prepare for transition and he replied, '...anyone wanting a sex change was delusional'. This then is the transgender hero whom many seem to attach to their identity. So be it since the term he applied to himself fits so many others it seems.
Do I believe many HBS are Intersex? YES! Of course I do since I am able to read research reports and know of my own physical issues which have been confirmed by surgeons and internists. Too many it seems are originally diagnosed as transsexuals when in fact they are intersex.
Do I believe the majority of the transgender are fetishists? YES? May I point out forums such as the Yahoo transgender chat rooms as evidence of just that. Most transgender are heterosexual men (married to their wives and fathered multiple children) who would never entertain the idea of losing their manhood. Mimicking is their link to the 'other side' but then to revert back to their basic gender mode is true reality for them.
Can a person be a transsexual/HBS even if they had been married before surgery. YES! Here there needs to be a clarification but it would take a bit longer than this blog might allow.
Do I think 'true' transsexuals/HBS are a little bit like transgender? NO! Not even close! One cannot 'trans' the basic sex of the brain (gender) but one can 'trans' the sex of the genitalia. So if one claims to be transgender then I must assume they are talking about their brain and if talking about transsexual then I must assume they are talking about sex. Is that clear or does sex so abhor the illusion of the gender variants that only their altered brain state has any validity?

Diane Kearny....the real one who is not opposed to any of those in the GLBT grouping as long as she is not associated and branded with their behavioral non-specific acronym.

Zagria said...


Thank you for your response. Where you have corrected facts, I have altered the posting accordingly. I have moved the titbit about Diane Lask and bracketed it as a rumour, with a clear statement that you deny it.

You say that '2007' is wrong, but do not give me the correct year. I await this further correction.

Acronym typo: WPATH not WAPTH.

If you are going to keep on about Virginia Prince, you need to get your facts right. She coined 'transgenderist', not 'transgender'. Transgender as used today was as anathema to her as it is to you. I suggest that you read the biographical summary of her on my site. Feel free to comment on that posting.

You have a criterion of knowing that one is female before puberty. Surely Prince would pass that test with no problem. Muriel, the name that Prince used at that age, was passing in public as a teenager.

My, my. You do use the word 'fetish' etc a lot. It is a nonsense word (like autogynephilia). An insult without a content. You put people off with such ill-chosen vocabulary.

It is a simple fact that on your web site there is a tab labelled 'Religion'. When one clicks it, all one finds is Protestantism. There is nothing for Catholics, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Doaists, Atheists, Wiccans, Thelemites, Cybele-worshippers, Raellians etc. Transsexuals are religiously quite diverse. The fact that on your site, 'religion' discusses only Protestantism, makes it inevitably that people regard your site as a Protestant HBS site.

I too was accepted for surgery with only one visit to the psychiatrist. I too never suffered, enjoyed or was diagnosed with GID. I was never Gender Dysphoric. These too are also nonsense terms (like fetishism). Like Goiar, I also reject the term SRS. Her term Sexual Affirmation Surgery is fine with me. I was a person who needed to become female, and after a few wrong directions I found co-operative professionals.

However I feel no need to badmouth other gender variant persons who have made different decisions, or who have not yet made the big decision. Before say 1950, a person who today would be transsexual had to settle for being a drag performer or just crossdressing at home. It is not for me or you to tell others what they should decide.

I see no difference between Prince telling you that you were delusional, and you telling someone that they are a 'fetishist'. Everyone is on a different journey and makes their own decisions.

Anonymous said...

Interesting how this post generated so much rancor (and comments) while the post about Louis Lawrence, someone who genuinely did a great deal for an entire generation of transwomen, is empty.

Anonymous said...

What is wrong with you people? Why can't people with the medical condition of HBS have their own community free of TGs? We with HBS don't want to spread hate, we simply want our own community without TGs in it. Unlike TGs, our community is a subset of the mainstream one, not the LGBT. We are sick of the slander and lies. We are proudly not TGs nor LGBTs. We will stop trying to harm TGs once TGs stop accusing us of being in their sick, chosen, pervert community.

Leave us alone and we will leave you alone. Fair is fair. The TGs and other queers can have their community, and the Mainstream+HBS community can have theirs. TGs have NONE of the same concerns as HBS persons, and some concerns are opposite, and we are sick of TG MALES trying to speak for us, and speaking over us.

Donna Davis said...

I am not a trans(gender)"woman," but a mainstream person with a birth defect. I am not LGBT nor TG, never identified as such, and never supported such. I simply want the right to have a community of people like me that is run only by people like me. I want to be able to help our people without helping anyone of a choice-based lifestyle.

May take on it is like this. All TGs and CDers choose to be what they are not and are rightfully a part of the LGBT. True-TSs and those with HBS are mainstream persons with a rare birth defect. Those like me simply want to cut ALL ties with TGs, fight for ourselves, speak for ourselves, and do so without ANY "help" (interference) from TGs and LGBTs. It devastates me to read an article supposedly about me only to read about how some gay leader weighed in about us. Why not ask us born with this medical condition, not people erroneously associated with us?

Anonymous said...

Diane started her group on Sept. 5 2004. That is what it says in this group on the left side:

Anonymous said...

I don't know why you feel you have to slander gender conformists as being gender variant.

leigh said...

"However I feel no need to badmouth other gender variant persons who have made different decisions, or who have not yet made the big decision."Excuse me?

What the heck is an "other gender variant". The last I heard there was male and female, at least in the human species.

It is those "other Gender Variants" that are at the root of the badmouthing, co-opting themselves as transsexual, advocating to dismantle the gender binary, accusing transsexuals of being elitist and transphobes, stating that a penis is merely an enlarged clit, that those who undergo GRS are mentally deranged.

This entire blog stinks of testosterone.

Zagria said...

Gender variation is part of human variation. How could there be an insult in that. The anonymous claims to be a 'gender conformist' instead not realizing that that is just one variant among the others. I bet that she has not joined a feminist group claiming to be a 'gender conformist'.

Leigh says "What the heck is an "other gender variant". The last I heard there was male and female, at least in the human species."

Let us start with the 95%+ of transsexuals (or is that 99%+) who are not HBS, but have completed surgery, and are just as biologically determined as the HBS ones. HBS persons are constantly calling us 'fetishists' and other silly words.

Obviously Leigh has problems with English if she thinks that "other gender variant" is a third category in addition to male and female. There is of course gender variance within both male and female.

And does Leigh really intend to make intersex persons invisible when she proclaims that there is only male and female.

Leigh could not even write her comment without trying to badmouth me. This is so typical of HBS persons.

Zagria said...

Again Diane prefers to send an email rather than click on 'Comments' at the bottom of the posting. There are of course no members of this blog. Diane colour-coded her email to distinguish quotes by me from her own comments. This cannot be done in the comment editor. I have therefore added quotes around the bits from me and also numbered the sections for easy reference. No other changes have been made.

0. Not being a member of your blog, nor would I wish to be, so am unable to respond directly therefore will as before mail this to you directly.
I am forwarding this to others seeing as your blog is open to the public and they might wish to see the false conclusions you favor.
I was hesitant in responding to your blog but seeing as there is so much confusion let me clarify if I may. I am not a transphobic in how that might be applied. I do not hate transgender folk...just that I am not one. I do not hate homosexual folk...just that I am not one of that orientation either. I do not feel a kinship with the GLBT since I know that to be enjoined with them would be a contradiction of self. And I darn sure do not feel that those like me, whether previously physically transsex or intersex, should be denied their status as their affirmed sex and instead be forever part of some evasive community continually on the path of 'transing' from one thing or another. I am one of many who just want to be accepted as the men or women the miracle of 'corrective surgery' has allowed them to be.


1. "David was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. As a teenager he corresponded with Virginia Prince – and was told that anyone wanting a sex change was delusional."

No, my name never was David. Another wrong assumptive falsehood.

2. "Later, as Diane, she was a patient of Harry Benjamin and Charles Ihlenfeld, to whom she presented as an androgynous male. She first presented as female for her psychiatrist interview, and then had surgery with Roberto Granato Sr in 1972 in Brooklyn."

Wrong again! I lived and worked as a female after my initial hormone injections then moved to Long Island where I fully lived and presented as female while under the care of my family doctor while accumulating funds and awaiting the reference to a surgeon.

3. "Being Catholic, she then successfully applied to have the name and gender on her baptismal certificate amended."

No again... it was NAME and SEX changed on my baptismal certificate. I was after all not asking for a gender change identity since that had already been established in the womb as female. My ambiguous birth sex had been changed to conform with my brain gender. I suspect transgender and/or transgenderists would not really understand the difference now would they?

4. "She ran a business, and was married to a man for 22 years, before being widowed."

Would prefer, 'she was married to her husband' since I knew myself as his wife and he my husband.

5. "In 2007 she set up, which is now derelict, and then with Jennifer Usher and others. The site does not give any credit to the pioneering of Charlotte Goiar. It includes a Standards of Care that is obviously based on Goiar’s Standards of Care. Despite Diane’s Catholicism, the site has a religion tab that is heavily Protestant only. She wrote to the American Psychological Association (included on the web page), and the press in general. She and the others made a presentation at a HBIGDA (now WPATH) Symposium."

Group started in 2004 as WATS and later changed to Benjamin Syndrome but only in group discussions for a short time. HBS website is not derelict. If so how then do you access it and use bits and pieces out of context to use in your attacks. Charlotte was a member of our group, not the other way round. The only reason why the section on religion might seem to have a 'protestant' slant is because separate people presented individual papers to be included in our presentation to WPATH and it so happens that the person who wrote that particular piece I assume might have been protestant although we never discussed that aspect with her. And in fact we do have a pagan and an atheist in our group. No one is rejected because of their religious beliefs. We also have those who identify as lesbian. Only restriction is that they must have had affirmation surgery and be female, not a mimic or a transgender proponent.

6. "She frequently describes non-HBS transsexuals as ‘autogynephiles’ and ‘fetishists’, and frequently repeats the disinformation that Virginia Prince coined the term ‘transgendered’. She is as emphatic as Goiar that she is not ‘transgendered’. She is against equal marriage rights, and against rights for non-HBS transsexuals and all other transgendered persons. She is a supporter of the gender binary, and insists that biological causation of gender identity applies to HBS transsexuals but not to any others."

Harry Benjamin Syndrome (HBS) simply means that one knew before the onset of puberty that they had sexual genitalia that did not match their brain gender and that needed to be corrected if at all possible. HBS are of nature and not a reflection of nurture.
No, Prince was not HBS but instead simply the young transvestite he always knew himself to be. He was excited by the wearing the clothing of the opposite sex as his magazine 'Transvestia' clearly showed. His bragging always included how much he fooled people without ever mentioning any desire to 'change sex' although I understand that later in life he made mention of that as a passing thought and even discussed this with Dr. Benjamin who seemed to consider Prince as nothing other than a transvestite.
Many of those who opt for surgery today might well be autogynephilics which is a progression of transvestic fetishism. Just ask Anne Lawrence or the many of her website ilk. Transvestites who make up the majority of the transgender 'community' are clearly transvestite/fetishists or does the application of those who used that term in their research not count anymore? A man who declares himself a woman yet also claims never to want surgery is doing so for only one and/or his confused gender identity. He definitely is not in need to correct an error inborn but intends to function sexually one way or another as the man he really is no matter what manner of dress he might wear.
Charles Prince did advance the term transgender more than any of its other promoters and many give him credit with its coinage although it had been associated to others, Hirschfield or Caldwell. Not sure!
And please explain the difference between transgender and transgenderist? Seems to me the only difference is one being the former and the latter a promoter. Same pot of a stew. At the B-All in Chicago a while back was not Mr. Prince (a man who was reported to be into she-male porn also, and I correctly use the proper sex pronoun for him) given an honorary award for his active work forwarding the concept of transgenderism he being not only a transgender but a trangenderist as well? Or perhaps he was above the fray and should not be equated with a transgender or transgenderist. Link yourself to all of the transgender elements and/or gender variants if your wish but exclude me.
If I am to be assumed to be a right wing homophobic then I might suggest all transgender who force me under their banner are left wing heterophobic fascists who deny me my distinct identity which now clearly is female and not some trans something or other.
I am fully supportive of the rights gained by the surgically affirmed woman or man but I adamantly oppose giving those same rights to one who has not nor is planning to have corrective surgery and treating them as if the same under law. The use of gender in place of sex does not change the fact of genitalia. I am not against same sex unions but marriage entered into between a male and a female is not culturally the same as stated by even President Obama. I admit to agreeing with that.
I am not against 'rights' for those who identify as transgender as long as those 'rights' are not piggybacked onto the rights of those who actually are male or female and especially when TG demands are joined to laws that directly affect those who are HBS/TS who after surgery should be entitled to be recognized legally, religiously and socially as their affirmed sex. And once someone has had sex affirmation surgery they are no longer 'transing' anything and no longer a 'transwomen or transmen'...they are simply woman or men since the physical voyage is done and over.
Putting on a dress does not make one a woman and should not be granted as a badge of identity as if a license to intrude into spaces where a woman expects privacy from the eyes of the opposite sex. I do support those who are actually in transition to be permitted an exception as long as they carry a valid medical document declaring their intention and confirmed by a competent medical practitioner. I am very much in favor of limited identity document change for pre-ops (not birth certificates) and would if in a position opt for the Montana formula limited to a specific time. And yes, I do believe in the two sex binary which means sex, not variant gender nor manner of dress.

7. What is actually 'transphobic'? Does that mean I am against trans-Atlantic voyages; does it mean I oppose the trans-continental divide. No of course not but in the matter of transgender I might agree I am transphobic when it comes to those who are trans-gender and assume a trans-sex mode as if but a little bit different from those who actually are transsex. I do not mean to play on words but is that not what transgender does in its application? - assumes an attachment to others as if but from the same cloth. A transgender I agree moves from one phase to another and that I accept. But a true transsex is not any of that but simply is.

8. Pat Morgan was a friend of mine and she did have the final surgery but you make it seem she was simply a half woman for her entire life with testicles in her abdomen. Not true! And having known a few of those who worked at the Club 82 and having attended a couple of the shows I can attest that you are mistaken on some points. I was also involved in the Stonewall fiasco and forced to flee like many others even though I was not at that bar but down the street near West End Ave. The whole of Christopher St was a shambles that night. A riot by the way that started with two thought to be FtM transsexuals, not gay men in androgynous dress the police assumed them to be.


Zagria said...


I am using the numbers that I inserted into your email for reference.

0. You say that you are not transphobic. So does Ray Blanchard. And the Pope says that he is not homophobic. However actions speak louder than words. You do not seem to be able to stop using Blanchard’s term ‘autogynephilic’ and Kurt Freund’s ‘fetishistic transvestite’. Without wishing any disrespect to members of fetish clubs, almost none of the people that you tar with these terms are in fact members of fetish clubs, and by your tone and willful disregard for the difference between ‘fetish’ and ‘transgender’ you inevitably will be taken as transiphobic. These terms are perceived as offensive. If you cannot express your position without being rude in this way, then many will conclude that the rudeness is central to your position. In addition, you insist on pretending that the vast majority of post-op transsexuals, who are neither autogynephilic nor HBS, do not exist. To render a group invisible is a common tactic of those who would oppress it. Inevitably, this practice of yours is seen as transiphobic.

2. I wrote that you first presented as female for your psychiatric interview because you had written (The Bilerico Project, May 8, 2008): “I in fact never presented to Dr Benjamin or Dr Ihlenfeld in female garb until the week I was to be interviewed by the shrink so as to be certified as not being crazy and it was the only time I ever saw a shrink and even that was for less than an hour.” This did not really make sense as I assumed that you would have been already working as female. Your extra comments don’t make it make sense either. I have removed these details, and made it vaguer.

3. You do not seem to understand ‘gender’ as most people use it. One goes to a surgeon for a sex change; one goes to a bureaucrat for a gender change. Your gender, which is a legal and bureaucratic concept, was not set in the womb. It was set when the doctor or midwife declared that you were a boy, and became legal when your birth certificate was filled in. Your legal gender was male until you changed it as an adult. The US is particularly interesting as some states recognize sex/gender changes and some do not. There are some states where your and my legal gender is still male.

The women’s movement has been trying for decades to get men to say ‘gender’ rather than sex when appropriate, and you want to go back.

Where we have achieved legislated rights for transsexuals, the word ‘gender’ is usually in the name of the law: The Gender Recognition Act (UK); Ley de Identidad de Género (Spain). Transsexuals using the concept of gender are getting us the laws we need. HBS people have achieved nothing in comparison.

4. It is a stylistic convention of this blog to add clarity by specifying the gender of any spouses. Even prior to the equal marriage laws of recent years, we as transsexuals have been able to marry either a man or a woman by choosing where we marry. And to be precise, while you can marry your boyfriend or fiancé, you cannot marry your husband unless you marry him twice. Of course you were ‘married to your husband’. Why would I imply otherwise. But to specifically say that you were married to your husband does have connotations that others were not.

5. What does the acronym WATS stand for?

I do not understand your assertion that as opposed to is not derelict. When I go to the former, all I find are sex ads: Top 5 male masturbators; Want to Feminize a guy?; Meet gay men for sex now. Are you saying that sex ads are part of your program? I naively thought that that the site is derelict, especially as it says that the site may be for sale. Are you making a good income from these sex ads?

Protestantism. Are you not aware that there are in fact two Protestant pages on the latter site? One in the WPATH presentation package signed by Jennifer Usher, and a second one, unsigned, that you reach by the tab ‘Religion’ at the bottom.

6. I summarize your position in my own words. You respond by saying the same things again at greater length. Therefore my summary seems to be correct. E.g. I say “She is against equal marriage rights”, and you say: “I am not against same sex unions but marriage entered into between a male and a female is not culturally the same as stated by even President Obama.”. What part of that denies that you are against equal marriage rights? Civil unions are not equal marriage rights.

You seem to enjoy referring to Prince as a man. Have you read Benjamin’s book? He refers to Christine Jorgensen and Sally Barry as ‘he’, and says that they were ‘male transsexuals’. He would say the same of you and me. Do you know the expression about people in glass houses and throwing stones?

On the other hand Benjamin criticized persons like yourself: “There are also transsexuals who dislike transvestites as well as homosexuals. Intolerance can be found in strange quarters.”

“And please explain the difference between transgender and transgenderist?” I have just posted an article on Prince and HBS. To put it simply, the transgenderist Prince was transiphobic in a manner very similar to the HBS position.

8. Pat Morgan. See Joanne Meyerowitz’ book p147. Writing of Morgan’s operation, Meyerowitz says: “Belt removed the penis and pushed the testicles into the abdomen”. You will find the same on p372 of Stryker and Whittle’s The Transgender Studies Reader. If you have a problem with this, take it up with Meyerowitz.

“make it seem she was simply a half woman for her entire life with testicles in her abdomen.”. I would never imply that. That is your reading. Whatever the details of the operation, the patient afterwards is fully a woman. Even if she went to Butcher Brown.

“And having known a few of those who worked at the Club 82 and having attended a couple of the shows I can attest that you are mistaken on some points.” It would be so nice of you to specify what these are.

“The whole of Christopher St was a shambles that night. A riot by the way that started with two thought to be FtM transsexuals, not gay men in androgynous dress the police assumed them to be.” Most accounts of Stonewall suggest that the single trans man in question was Stormé DeLarverie. Duberman ignored him; Carter argues that it could not be him because of his race.

“gay men in androgynous dress”. There were trans women in the bar as well as gay men.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I wrote one of the papers that is published on the HBS site, but no, I am not a Protestant. I am a very devout Anglo-Catholic. My paper, however, was meant to apply to any Christian.

Jennifer Usher

dyssonance said...

As a note, any work in the Christian religious ethos which allows for personal interpretation of relics and works of religious significance (e.g. The Bible) is by its nature Protestant unless written by an ordained Priest of the Catholic Church or the same of the Orthodox Church.

Just Jennifer said...

I'm sorry, but that is simply not correct. One does not have to be an ordained priest to write about matters of religion from a Catholic point of view. The term "catholic" simply means universal. It is also used to differentiate between those who are in the Protestant(i.e. Reformed and often Calvinist) tradition and those who base their faith more in the Nicene Creed, the Apostles Creed, and the Anathasian Creed. My church is Anglo-Catholic. The primary difference between my church and a Roman Catholic Church is that we do not see that Bishop of Rome as supreme.

Simply put, the Roman Catholic Church does not have exclusive rights to the term Catholic, though some might think they do.

Anonymous said...

Discussion has gone so far off the rails I cannot help asking: exactly who founded this Anglo-Catholic Church? Baron Corvo, perhaps, in 1907? It must have a fascinating liturgy.

Starla Trimm said...

I have found that many, if not most, of the hardest of the hardcore HBS activists are very conservative: socially, politically, and religiously. The only way they can justify their feelings, decisions and actions (to others and to themselves) is to tout themselves as somehow different from the vast majority of T-folk -- members of a tiny minority of sufferers of a genuine birth defect, with a syndrome that is 100% physically-based (no psycho nonsense or any hint of a choice or influence of life experience) that separates them from the LGBT crowd (those libertine sinners) and neatly legitimizes their TSism in a manner conforming to their beliefs and worldview, validates their firm commitment to a strict gender binary, and is able to be shoehorned into their theology. It is no wonder they are so vicious, defensive, hyper-sensitive, and prone to marginalize and reject others, for they cannot accept themselves otherwise. A very sad group of folks, IMHO.

Just Jennifer said...

Interesting... So, because you personally choose to transgress gender, you feel that you must attack anyone who does not share your view in an effort to justify your behavior. Yes, my worldview certainly disagrees with yours. But if you were not so inclined to attack and/or try to colonize those who disagree with you, we might be more inclined to simply ignore you rather than taking a defensive stand. It appears to me that it is you who cannot accept that perhaps some actually don't simply choose to transgress gender.

And no, we do not claim to be different. We claim to not even be part of "T-folk." Please do no presume to force unwelcome labels on us. While I do rather strongly reject your views, I do recognize your right to hold them. I should be able to expect no less from you, but I find that it is not the case. Honestly, which of us is really intolerant?

Dev said...

I would contend, as a socialist, that men and women who have had our surgery have plenty in common with our friends who are LGB, and let's not forget that those of us who are T can also be L, G or B. I am bi myself and many friends of mine who have had surgery are also L, G or B. In short we reflect society's spectrum of sexuality - just that we have the added error of birth to correct. I would also argue that we are stronger as a collective working with LGB and the bigots who attack LGB also attack T. If we stick together rather than fighting against each other we can deal with the real enemy - the narrow-minded bigots who want to humiliate/hurt/isolate/kill us. Don't ever forget the old saying of "divide and rule". It is for these reasons that I am active with other LGBT members of my trade union and serve on the LGBT national committee of my trades union. As for religion - everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, but much of the hatred towards us starts with those who are not capable of thinking for themselves and let the hypocrites (and don't ever forget that the homophobic/transphobic pope wears a dress!) in the priesthood do their thinking for them.

So, let's stand together and fight for equal rights. The motto of my trades union is "Unity is Strength". That is so true.

Zagria said...

Starla said nothing about transgressing gender, so one wonders why Jennifer Usher, who is well-known for mis-gendering trans women, brings up the topic. In fact why does she seek to deny trans persons the choice to transgress gender when cis persons do so whenever they choose. A googling of 'Jennifer Usher' brings up a somewhat odd biography and one that that is hardly gender conformist.

Starla's main point about the strong conservatism of HBS advocates, at least those who who shout loudest, is easily supported. In addition to Usher and Kearny, one thinks of Rose White, Purple Donna Reiser, Tabatha Basco. On the other hand Charlotte Goiar has kept her politics quiet, and it would be unfair to describe Alejandra Portadino or Margaret O'Hartigan as conservative. Suzan Cooke's left wing values inevitably led her to abandon HBS. Cathryn Platine's adherence to HBS seems to have led her away from the left value of inclusivity. In France and Argentina there are non-conservative HBS, but the English-speaking HBS folk have embraced some rather unpleasant positions.

See also my Short History of HBS

Dev said...

I have noticed over the years that several people I have met within the trans spectrum tend to be on the conservative side, sometimes politically, but often socially. I have often wondered whether it is a deep-seated desire to conform which is at odds with their need to not conform by the trans side of their lives.

For me, the most important thing is to just be yourself - wherever that may take you.

As for groupings etc, it was always said that the first item on the agenda for any left-wing grouping was how to split - that also seems true of trans organisations.

By the way, any chance of an article on Professor Richard Green? I once had the opportunity to cross swords with him - 45 minutes I will never forget as long as I live.

Zagria said...

Do you mean this Richard Green?

Dar said...

To Zagria,

This was a very interesting point.

I suppose I fail to see what was wrong with Mrs. Kearny's logic. She basically wants terms or concepts based on internal dynamics rather than external behavior. This seems quite a good thing. No all males who take hormones and get breast implants are doing it for the same reason; surely they shouldn't all be called by the same term. The porn industry is filled with girls who have sex with other girls, but we can't really call them "lesbians" in the true sense of the word.

But if you can clarify what exactly is the difference between this HBS, and GID or Gender Dysphoria? Aren't they all basically saying the same thing: what's inside (the mind and heart and soul) does not match the outside (body)? Why is Mrs. Kearny so hostile to the latter terms?

Thank you.