After an exchange on Twitter, it has become obvious that even today, people do not realise that there are two distinct types of ‘transgender’ in the West. So I thought I’d recap. This is the first in a series of short articles that will explain what is going on.
There is a distinction between transsexualism and ‘transgender’. Transsexualism only exists within persons born male. There are no female ‘transsexuals’, in a true sense. Female-born ‘transgenders’ are transvestite — wearing male clothing and affecting conforming mannerisms.
Second, ‘transgender’, even when applied to born males, is not a scientific term. It is a socio-political umbrella term that covers everyone from true transsexuals to closet fetishist transvestites. The purpose of this unhelpful conflation will become clear once you understand the different types.
Thirdly, the profiles I’ll discuss in this article apply ONLY in the West. Gender and, by implication, gender non-conformity, are massively influenced by culture. Although there are some elements of gender that are innate, for example sex drive, most are cultural. So in different cultures we see differences in gender expression. This is most marked in non-conformity, because by definition, trans people adopt the most obvious stereotypes of the gender they seek to appear to be.
The science on transsexualism and transgender has a long history but the greatest single contributor to our knowledge is Dr Ray Blanchard.
Anyone familiar with larger numbers of trans people will be aware that there are two distinct and easily identified types within born-male trans expressions. Basically, these are the small cute pretty ones and the large not so cute, not so pretty (though often striking) ones.
Blanchard used a questionnaire to assess whether these different forms were
the same or whether, indeed, there was a myriad of forms.
Statistically, he showed that there are two types (and only two).
Definition by sex drive
Blanchard defined the two types by sex drive, since this is the primary motivator for the non-innate elements of gender. To explain this, there are three broad influences on gender: birth sex, hormones and socialisation. Although the first two are strong, by far the most influential is the last, socialisation. This means that our expression of gender is conditioned by the expectations of the people around us. Most important, as regards gender, is their expectation on the basis of our own sexual desires.
So males who desire sex with other males tend to adopt feminine mannerisms. Blanchard observed this and found that a significant number of his interviewees precisely conformed to this model.
These tended to be extremely feminine in manner; smaller than average for their ethnicity and lighter in build also. They were often ethereally graceful in their movements. They tended to retain youthful features (neoteny). They often were hairdressers, dancers or had another occupation that would normally have been considered feminine. They presented to Blanchard young, nearly always before the age of 20 and would by then be dressing and perhaps living as women.
Consistently, across this group, they reported a strong attraction to men that began in childhood. They were attracted to males, but were themselves born male.
These individuals are easy to identify, if you know that they are trans at all. They’re the kind that surprise you; you can’t really believe they were born male. They’re just so feminine, cute and attractive. These have long been considered the ‘gold standard’ of transsexualism; however, and to Blanchard’s surprise, they were a minority.
The other type
The other type was not like them at all. These were, in the first place, much older, with a median age of 43 at presentation. They tended to be big, masculine men; indeed, ‘alpha males’. They were not feminine in any way and definitely not graceful. They had incredible difficulty ‘passing’ as women, if they tried. They were often married with children and probably had stereotypically masculine careers, in the armed forces, in industry and so on.
Again consistently, this group reported no attraction at all to men, at least before they transitioned.
This puzzled Blanchard. People in the first group were easy; their desire to appear as women was founded in their desire to attract male partners. They were showing exactly the same gender behaviours as born women used to achieve the same result. There was no mystery there: their transsexualism was a natural progression of their homosexuality.
In the other group there was a mystery and Blanchard wondered what the explanation might be.
Following from their admissions that males in this second group often cross-dressed in private, Blanchard dug deeper. He found that most had a history of dressing in women’s clothing and masturbating. They usually used a mirror while doing so.
Blanchard cross-checked. Did the first group display this? Well, on his stats, no they did not. Only around 15% admitted to doing so. He reasoned that the second group of males’ desire to transition must also be rooted in sex drive, but how? Most of them were attracted to women.
That was when he realised that these males were attracted to themselves, as women. Further research confirmed this and allowed him to develop the theory of Autogynephilia, which posits ‘Autogynephilia is a man’s propensity to become sexually aroused at the thought or image of himself as a woman.’
Two groups of transgender
So our two groups are: homosexual males who are so feminine that they are unable to live successfully as men and do better as women; and, on the other hand, heterosexual males who are erotically stimulated by the idea of themselves as women. Blanchard called the first group HomoSexual TransSexual or HSTS and the second Autogynephilic Transsexual or AGP.
(I do not use these terms except when discussing Blanchard. Since the ‘Homosexual’ prefix is redundant, I call Blanchard’s HSTS ‘Transsexual’, and his AGPs ‘Transvestite Autogynephiles’. Here the prefix is required because most autogynephiles only cross-dress in private.)
The distinction between these two groups has never been scientifically challenged; indeed, recent papers by Rametti et al, Savic and Arver and Guillamon strongly support it. There are two groups and Blanchard correctly identified them.
Most ‘transgender’ born males in the West are autogynephilic.
In the West, until recently, nearly all the ‘transgenders’ (remember, we are only talking about born males here) that were high profile in public were autogynephilic. There are a number of reasons for this, all cultural. Residual homophobia is the main one, especially that of the ‘gay’ male community. This ruthlessly polices ‘gay’ men and condemns any expression of femininity.
Despite this, a few prominent HSTS have appeared in recent years; good examples would be YouTuber Blaire White or singer Kim Petras. (Many will think at once of Janet Mock, but she’s not from a Western background. Nevertheless, her biography paints a picture of an HSTS transwoman growing up.)
All the others, like Julia Serano, Lynn Conway, Andrea James and the new generation, like YouTuber Justin ‘Riley’ Dennis or, of course, Bruce ‘Caitlyn’ Jenner, are autogynephilic.
These individuals have seized the public debate and twisted it to their own definition. In doing so they deliberately erase HSTS transsexuals and colonise their identity. They do this because they know that they can never compete with HSTS on looks or femininity; they know that as soon as they are put alongside a Blanchard HSTS, the truth will out. So they erase them. And, of course, they are fully socialised as heterosexual men, usually alpha males, who are used to browbeating everyone else into submission.
Paradoxically, on one hand autogynephiles erase and colonise HSTS identities and, at the same time they adopt a pseudo-feminist political position claiming that looks should not be important and that ‘passing’ (as a woman) is ‘transmisogyny’. That’s easy for them to say, since most of them are not interested in attracting men anyway; they predate on women, and even try to shame lesbians — by definition, women who do not have sex with people with penises — into sex with them. Plus, of course, most of them couldn’t ‘pass’ in a bus.
In general, transsexuals, (Blanchard HSTS) are comfortable with his theory. Nearly all openly admit to having previously thought themselves to have been homosexual boys. They see no problem with describing their gender in terms of their sex drive; they know that they look beautiful and feminine because they want to be attractive to men. (This, of course, has earned them the visceral hatred of feminists.)
Western autogynephiles and their sycophants, on the other hand, loathe Blanchard and his theory and do everything they can to deny the science and spread misinformation, because they do not wish it to be known that their ‘gender identity’ is a function of a misdirected sex drive.
In fact, it would be a reasonable diagnostic, for determining whether a Western trans is transsexual or autogynephilic, to simply ask if they support or reject Blanchard (assuming they understand it.) Transsexuals will say ‘yes’ and autogynephiles will say ‘no’. But despite all the touchy-feely, ‘lived experience’, Postmodernist autogynephile moonshine, the science is solid.
Also published on Medium.