Travestis and traviesas: in memory of Miriam Rivera

travestis Rod Fleming

Earlier this year, one of the travestis best-known in the West, Miriam Rivera was killed in a manner as yet unknown. Miriam was a Mexican traviesa, similar to Brazilian travestis. In order to mark the passing of this beautiful but troubled individual, I am publishing this article about travestis and traviesas.

Who are the Travestis?

Travestis and traviesas are pre-operative or non-operative MtF transwomen; that is to say, they are feminised males who take hormones and have body enhancements, but they retain their male genitalia. They are found across Latin America and also in southern Europe.




They are most often prostitutes. They live in cultures where prostitution may not be considered a desirable career, but it is fully legal. Therefore it is a legitimate way to earn money – perhaps the only legitimate way available.

The most complete description of travesti life was in a 1998 book by Professor Don Kulick, called ‘Travesti: Sex, Gender, and Culture among Brazilian Transgendered Prostitutes’.

The travestis have been an important influence on how transwomen are perceived by men, in Anglo-Saxon cultures. This is largely due to the spread of images of them across the Internet. I have even seen an example where a picture of the well-known Brazilian travesti Patricia Araujo was used to advertise a strictly heterosexual dating site. That’s what happens when you pinch other people’s pictures.

The images of these women have become identified with the Anglo-Saxon term ‘shemale.’ This term is often rejected with hostility by transwomen in the West, because of its connotation with porn, but in many other areas, non-operative transwomen use the term to describe themselves.

This spread of their images has led to the belief, in many quarters, that every travesti in Brazil is a drop-dead gorgeous man-magnet with a pretty face, large beasts, wasp-thin waist, hips like Mae West and legs that go on forever. People who believe this are in for a shock. There are many beautiful travestis, of course; and some are amongst the most beautiful transwomen anywhere. But most travestis, to be fair, were not even slightly convincing to begin with.


Their lives are often harsh. Poverty and deprivation, scars from beatings, the effects of alcohol, tobacco and drugs, not to mention the fact that many stop taking hormones at some stage, with the result that their bodies and faces quickly masculinise, mean that the average travesti found hanging around dimly-lit street-corners at night might turn out to be a bit of a fright in the cold light of day.

According to Luiz Mott, founder of the Gruppo Gay de Bahia, “About 0.001 percent of the Brazilian population is transsexual,” which would amount to 200,000 or so, but this is an estimate. The numbers gleaned from outreach work in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro confirm that at least 14,000 travestis are active in these cities.



Typically, travestis begin their transition very early, with some claiming to have begun hormones at the age of ten or even younger. Kulick recounts an anecdotal tale about one who was 8 years old. Unfortunately, she was killed in a road accident before he arrived. Self-medication is normal in many of these cultures either because hormones are available without prescription or through the black market.

Traditionally, the individuals used birth-control pills, but today, the feminising drugs prescribed in the West are available cheaply and many use those. This is usually done without supervision and results are unpredictable. In Brazil, since 2012, it has been illegal to deny a person medical treatment on the grounds of gender or orientation, but it appears that self medication is still the norm; this might simply be due to the costs, or it might be because travestis, famously, trust each other rather than professionals.


Miriam Rivera

miriam rivera
Miriam Rivera

Miriam Rivera, (1981-2019) who, although she grew up in the United States, was of Mexican and Brazilian descent. Though she used the Anglo-Saxon term ‘transsexual’ to describe herself, she fell into the Latin category of ‘travesti’. She said, “I decided to be a girl when I was eleven years old, and I began taking hormones. The next year I went to school as a girl.” Anyone familiar with Ms Rivera’s physical beauty – she was the star of the 2004 British reality show, ‘There’s Something About Miriam’ – would have to recognise that she successfully became, not just a girl, but an attractive, engaging and completely convincing woman, as her ability to fool the men she had to spend several weeks in close contact with demonstrated.

Ms Rivera exhibited strong Gender Non-Conforming (GNC) behaviour in childhood. She said::

‘They used to come to my mother and say, “Oh, you have a beautiful daughter,” and my mother used to say “That’s my son,” and I used to get angry. And I have always been attracted to men. When I was 11 I met someone who’s gay and start talking to me about hormones, which I got very interested in.’

These traits are all characteristic of transgender male homosexuality, the natural end-point of which is HSTS.

Ms Rivera also said that she considered herself a woman but knew that she was male. She claimed that she had no desire to undergo GRS, concerned about complications or loss of sensation:

‘My mother always says to me, “Why would you want to be half-and-half? Why don’t you want to be a complete woman?” But I just love myself and I’m really enjoying my life.’

Ms Rivera  had a varied career in modelling, television, reality shows, porn and prostitution. reports of her death began to appear earlier this year and have been confirmed.

Miriam had a hard life and had become the target of criminals. She was attacked and almost killed while living in New York and later fled first to Mexico and then to Brazil. May she rest in peace.


Numbers of travestis

The numbers of travestis across Latin America are huge, with, as we have seen, estimates of 200,000 in Brazil alone. Even though Brazil is considered more tolerant than some other Latin American countries, this could mean as many as half a million across the continent. (Note that these figures were collated some time ago and many indications are that numbers are increasing across the continent.)

These estimates may be regarded ‘best guesses,’ drawing together information from outreach programmes, research into HIV/AIDS and so on, but they have credibility. Other Latin American countries also have significant representation. Certainly, observing the scene on any number of street-corners in cities the length and breadth of Latin America, the number of recognisable travestis operating is remarkable. However, without specific studies, it’s hard to tell whether this is the effect of concentration of travestis in commercially viable areas.

Every Latin American country from Mexico to Chile shows evidence of travesti culture. This is an enormous geographical range. The term travesti or traviesa in Spanish, is universally understood throughout the continent and it has exactly the same meaning wherever it occurs.


Researching the travestis

Researching the travestis is tricky. Ideally, travel to the relevant countries is required, but that is not always possible. In addition, whether researching personally or through the literature, it’s necessary to at least be able to read Spanish and Portuguese, even if one does not speak them. There are links to relevant documents on the Links page.

However, there remains very little serious scientific study and much of what there is suffers from ‘queer politics’ or PostModernist methodologies which, if they have relevance anywhere, only do in a Western academic context. What limited literature exists tends to confirm Kulick’s basic observations.

Although some observers suggest that the phenomenon goes back to the 1960’s, it is more likely that the arrival of female hormones in the 1960’s led to a surge in its prevalence, making it noticeable enough to attract the attention of those same observers. At the same time, travestis, their bodies and faces feminised first by hormones and later by plastic surgery, became able to compete in the sex marketplace for straight men, a market previously closed to them. There is no doubt that the modern version of travesti culture owes greatly to these advances. The simple potential to earn money from sex — which all travestis enjoy — is augmented by the affirmation that she is not just a woman, but a beautiful one, that comes from straight men paying her for sex.

These factors certainly made being a travesti far more attractive. For transgender homosexual males, it permits them to fully express the natural femininity that all such males have. For autogynephiles, of which there are many, affirmation ‘as a woman’ is paramount and this attracts them to travesti life, La Vida, too, although their presentations within it are subtly different from those of HSTS.



The ability to make money as a travesti certainly made many a humble viado decide to hit the hormones. No transgender homosexual male, anywhere, is really interested in having sex with another transgender male. What they want is a big masculine, forceful man. As a viado, that is, a gay male, they have little or no chance of attaining this goal, but as a beautiful travesti, everything changes. Young gay boys growing up in the favelas are beaten and shunned by the macho masculine society around them, but as travestis they know they become attractive to those very same men who would beat them as boys. Their path in life suddenly becomes clear: money and the freedom to be yourself.


However, it doesn’t follow from this that travesti just suddenly appeared. Transwomen were recorded across North, Central and South American cultures from the time the conquistadores arrived in the 16th century and has been reported ever since.

Unfortunately the travestis are routinely marginalised, abused and shunned by the societies they live in. Most live in appalling poverty, are preyed on by criminals and abusive men, at grave risk from HIV and other STDs, and subject to terrible discrimination as well as widespread domestic and institutional violence. Even some high-profile travestis bear the scars of violence inflicted upon them. In cases of violence like this, their attackers frequently target their most feminine features – their faces, breasts and buttocks, as Kulick noted. There are many reasons for the violence, and it would be wishful thinking to suggest that some travestis, by their well-known habit of robbing clients, do not put themselves in the line of fire. In 2015, for example, 100 travestis were murdered, but this seems to be getting worse. At time of writing, the level of deadly violence against travestis was increasing in Brazil.

Paula Freire

The situation today is confused. On one hand, travestis are more high-profile in Brazil and elsewhere than ever. The Brazilian Paula Friere, who was also a leading travesti activist, hosted her own television show. Also in Brazil, other high-profile travestis have achieved genuine celebrity status, even if it was as a novelty. On the other hand, the political changes in Brazil over the last couple of years hardly bode well.




Travestis like Lea T have become international fashion models, largely on the back of the ‘transgender’ movement in the West. Patricia Araujo, then one of the most famous, and beautiful, Brazilian travestis, closed the Rio fashion week 2009; Associated Press had the story out in minutes. While fashion houses always like to shock, a travesti not just gracing the same catwalk as the most famous female models, in a country renowned for the beauty of its women, but headlining the show, is really quite a breakthrough. It confirms that some travestis at least are moving up the social acceptance scale.

Patricia Araujo

Perhaps the simple explanation for this acceptance is that the prettiest travestis, with their tall, lithe figures and striking looks, are simply so gorgeous that the inconvenience of their birth gender is overlooked, especially in countries where female beauty is so lauded. Latin culture reveres and glorifies personal attractiveness, especially amongst women, in a way that would probably shock Anglo-Saxon men, after so many years where feminists have made it an axiom that men should not celebrate feminine beauty. Travestis – at least the beautiful ones – now seem to be able to share in that.


Genital Reconstruction Surgery,

GRS, which was formerly illegal in Brazil, has, since a legal judgement in 2007, been provided free by the Brazilian Health service. (Again, the position today is unclear.) Condom distribution programmes are now commonplace and greater effort is being put into health care and health education for the travestis, by way of outreach programmes. There have been many high-profile campaigns to address the ignorance surrounding not just the travestis, but other forms of transsexualism, homosexuality and lesbianism. The transwoman Roberta Close, after many years’ struggle, won her legal battle to be officially recognised as a woman, and the court instructed that her birth records should be amended to state that she was born a female, with a birth defect that was later corrected with surgery. Now that a legal precedent has been set, this validation should be available to all transitioned women.


Nevertheless, travestis are still far indeed from anything we might consider mainstream, and only the few most glamorous and well-educated girls are really benefiting from the changes; for the vast majority of uneducated, unglamorous travestis, scarred by the exigencies of their lives, who work the streets of Brazil’s major cities, existence is still extremely tough and insecure.

La Vida

Most travestis are part of what they call La Vida, The Life. This is the life of a transgendered prostitute, working the streets of the big cities. While it is true, by the way, that many girls use the Internet to advertise their services today, most do not and even amongst those who do, all began working the street and most continue. However La Vida is much more than a simple descriptive word for what they do; La Vida is a support network, a career system, a bank and a University all rolled into one. Why? Because travestis have no access to these facilities any other way.

Young travestis are typically taken under the wing of one or more older girls, who will usually find them accommodation; typically travestis take over whole apartments or lodging-houses and live in a semi-communal manner. This is described in detail by Kulick. The older girls will then teach the newcomers the things they need to know to be successful street-prostitutes – how to put on make-up, how to dress, how to smile at a man – and even how to rob a client.

They will introduce the newcomer to hormones, if she has not already started. The pool of experience, together with the ready availability of feminising hormones and medication, means that the young travesti is soon on her way to transformation. Older travestis, typically, will act as ‘pumpers,’ women who inject silicone into the bodies of other travestis in order to sculpt them into more feminine shapes.



Travestis act as sponsors for younger girls, particularly in the European trip. In this, travestis travel to work the great European cities, where the streets are well-known to be paved with gold. While the increase in the numbers of east Europeans working as prostitutes has increased the competition for women, travesti numbers remain high, especially in Portugal, France and Italy.


Few Brazilian travestis speak Spanish, which would give them an immediate toehold in one country where the sex market is legal. well-developed and lucrative. Many elect instead to go to Italy, which is the most highly regarded of the European countries, by Brazilians anyway and has relatively lax visa requirements for Brazilians. Some go to Portugal, but the version of Portuguese spoken there is not the same and the marketplace is smaller. Travestis from other parts of Latin America naturally gravitate, as Spanish speakers, to Spain.

Travestis who have made the trip will coach younger women, teaching them Italian, Spanish or Continental Portuguese. Since all are closely related Romance languages this is not as difficult as it might seem, and Kulick quotes one girl as saying, of Italians, “We understand everything they say. But when we open our mouths they don’t get one word. Not one.” This probably has to do with the idiosyncrasies of Portuguese pronunciation.

The girls are taught how to get their passports and how to manage the flight – a fraught experience, since the girl will be travelling on a male passport, and she will have to hide her breasts, her bunda and her hair, which nearly all travestis wear long. However, since Brazilians and citizens of most other Latin American countries do not need visas to come to Europe as tourists, this remains a significantly more attractive prospect than the United States, where not only will they require a visa, but they will have to speak English.

Girls will often be lent money by older travestis in order to make the trip. While there is an element of interest in the loan repayment, this is not the only reason more experienced travestis do it. It also has to do with status. The more girls a travesti has sponsored to make the trip, the more kudos she has in La Vida.


Once the girl has arrived in her destination country, La Vida provides her support network. Just as it was at home when she first began her career, other travestis will help find her lodgings, explain the different circumstances they are now in, the very different tastes of European men, and how the sex market works in the city she is in.

Soon — she hopes — the girl will be making the kind of money she could only dream about at home, if she is smart, pretty, works hard and is lucky. She will begin sending money back to her mother to help her out, and if she is very successful, may buy her mother a car or even a house or apartment.

One Spanish journalist, in an essay on travestis, relates an incident that occurred in the Bois de Boulogne, the most notorious red-light district in Paris. One of the girls indicated another, working nearby, and said “There are thirty people in Venezuela living on what that girl does with her ass every night.”

There is no doubt that many travestis make the trip because of genuine attachment to their families, particularly their mothers; they come from a culture where the family is still hugely important, in a way that has been lost to us. However, I believe there is another reason, and this has to do with their fathers. Typically, on becoming a travesti the girl will have been rejected by her father, frequently indeed thrown out of the family home, which is how she found herself on the street in the first place. The gender roles are much more strictly defined in Latin society; boys are meant to be young men, and men are meant to be macho. To be effeminate, to be unable to compete, is to reveal at once that one is a viado, a poof. This triggers the wrath of the male members of one’s family, who consider it a disgrace to their honour. By sending money home, the travesti is regaining some of her honour, saying, “Look, I know you hate what I am, but before you condemn me altogether, don’t forget whose ass bought that nice little house you live in.”

There is a really touching quality about this, and though all travestis present to the world a confident face, I have little doubt that tears have been shed into many pillows over the years.

At the same time, our travesti, if she avoids the clutches of pimps and does not succumb to drug addiction or STDs, will begin salting money away for her future. Perhaps she saves to have her GRS and leave La Vida, to live as a woman. She dreams, usually, of a wealthy Italian or Spanish husband. Yet, always cautious, she takes care to protect herself, perhaps buying her own apartment at home. In general the life-goals of the travestis are modest – career recognition, security, a pleasant place to live, plenty of nice clothes – and shoes – a car, happiness with a loved one: but most of all, acceptance. Unfortunately, not all succeed, and there are plenty of examples of girls who live in as much poverty in Europe as they did at home.

So, La Vida is central to the lives of travestis, particularly successful one. And what makes a travesti successful? Well, in Europe, it is her physical beauty. There are stories of girls who had body-shaping work done at home with the use of injected silicone, who, after spending time in Europe, had the silicone removed – which is difficult and painful as the silicone bonds to flesh – and had it replaced with implants, which are expensive.


As well as this, it appears that there is more pressure for girls to stay on hormonal treatments, in order to maintain the natural-looking beauty that European men prefer. Since they have access to a health-care system more used to dealing with transsexuals, this can be made easier for them. Of course, European men may have different preferences for the girl’s appearance, but a significant number want the same thing, a hard penis. This presents problems, because travestis on anything more than a mild dose of hormones may find it hard to achieve a hard enough erection to anally penetrate a man. But Viagra and related drugs have come to the rescue. As one girl said, “Because of the hormones, I can hardly get it up, it’s always a bit soft. But with Viagra, I can’t get it down again.”

The heady atmosphere and undoubted glamour of the European circuit is unquestionably a factor in the next step that some girls take. Until recently, it was very, very rare for a travesti to undergo GRS and become a fully transitioned woman. Indeed I can find no examples of Brazilians doing this prior to 2002, except for Roberta Close, who has always insisted that she was never a travesti, but a transsexual woman. The commercial nature of La Vida and the considerable financial potential which a travesti’s penis represents, is a real disincentive. (Many girls refer to it as their ‘money-maker.’)

In addition, as we have seen, travestis pragmatically regard themselves as

thalita travestis
Thalita Zampirolli

homosexual males and think that those girls who think they can become real women have a screw loose. However it is notable that the girls who have undergone GRS, and are high-profile enough for this to have been noticed, are all stunningly beautiful. They do not give anything away to natal women at all, and who would certainly not be out of place at any gathering of the glamorous. I think some of these girls have simply decided to take La Vida onto the next level, to challenge their natal sisters directly, to compete in the sexual marketplace for heterosexual men seeking female companions.


Most travestis are, after all, not only interested primarily in having sex with dominant male partners, but also extremely narcissistic; what more powerful reward, then, than to actually become a successful female courtesan in a sex market which includes some of the most gorgeous women anywhere? A glance through the listings on Arcaton or any of the other Italian or Spanish sex websites will definitely confirm the truth of this. Typically, a travesti, after GRS, assuming she remains in La Vida, will remove all reference to her past from her website listings and move them from the ‘Travesti’ section to the ‘Women’ section, where she will be directly competing for clients with very attractive natal women. This is pretty strong supporting evidence. These travestis, in becoming perfect facsimiles of erotically desirable women, have, therefore, added another rung to the ladder of success within La Vida.

To conservative Anglo-Saxons, mainstream acceptance for travestis is doubly difficult to reconcile, partly because of the gender history of the women, but as well as that, because of their professions, since they all, every one, have either been or currently are, prostitutes. However the negative attitude of Anglo-Saxon cultures towards this oldest profession of all is somewhat aberrant. It is worth remembering that in Brazil, as well as the rest of Latin America, prostitution is legal, as is pornography, and moreover, the women who work in these businesses are often celebrated. Travestis are just claiming their share of the action.


Other categories

There are two other categories of transgendered males active in Latin cultures. The first are known in Spanish as transformistas, and are cross-dressing men. They do not usually live full-time as women and they do not take hormones, inject silicone or have plastic surgeries. Those who exhibit this throughout the year may be submissive homosexual men who hope to steal some travesti action; they might progress to being full-time travestis, if their tentative essays are successful. Or they might have careers or jobs and cannot give these up to become travestis, so only indulge at night and weekends.

Others fall into the Western category of Autogynephilic transvestites and may, like the Western version, have wives and families. Those who do it only at Carnival – and there are many – are simply men having some gender-bending fun, playing with manageable autogynephilic tendencies. Indeed some even wear beards!

The other group is, again in Spanish, the transexuales. These are what we would mean in Anglo-Saxon cultures when we talk of transsexual women. It is hard to find evidence of a culture like this in Brazil, simply because La Vida is so pervasive there. Roberta Close has always insisted that she was never a travesti, but always a transsexual woman.


These seem, broadly, to be similar to the Western forms of HSTS and Autogynephilic transvestites, but the big difference is that they are not in sex work. They probably come from wealthier families and may be educated or are being so. Some AGPs may, after the Western model, even have wives and children. They might have good jobs. They do not wish to prostitute themselves and distance themselves from the travestis and La Vida.

Travestis and Blanchard Typology

Not all travestis are Blanchard Homosexual Transsexuals. A large number are Autogynephilic transvestites. A characteristic of HSTS is that they are exclusively attracted to males (if MtF) from childhood and never have any romantic or erotic desire for women. Yet there are significant numbers of cases where a travesti is actually the natural father to children. The relationships with women which this requires indicate that they must be non-homosexual. They are AGP rather than HSTS. In some cases, these are established relationships.

Lisa Lawer

One well-known travesti, Lisa Lawer (b. 22 February 1981), famously desisted, got married to a relative and started a family, after performing as a porn actress in over 80 films and having been a prostitute for many years. This behaviour is extremely unlikely in an HSTS and conjunction with her height, 5’10”, muscular build and facial features it seems likely that this individual is AGP.

Another public travesti who is AGP is Nicole ‘Nikki’ Montero from Chile. She is a globetrotting trans prostitute and internet entrepreneur who has sex with men and women for money and with HSTS travestis and other transwomen for fun. For nearly two decades she has operated her own on-line trans porn sites, Much of the content on these features Montero in sexual acts with other travestis. Again, her AGP status is revealed by her sexual preference for penetrating and her attraction to femininity, as well as by her masculine physique and face. (Not to mention her fondness for metal music!)


Although she is both AGP and, as of writing, retains male genitalia, Montero describes herself as a ‘true transsexual’. This might be an attempt to distance herself from the travesti street prostitution image, although in fact, she has often worked as one. Again, we need no more evidence that autogynephilia is indeed present in Latin America, contrary to the assertions of some academics who, as far as we know, have never been there!

Across Latin America there are significant numbers of AGPs but in contrast to the West, most appear young. Many are attracted to pageants and cabaret dancing and others work in street prostitution. An AGP travesti sees her prostitution career as very much like an office job — bringing home the bacon. A number of male clients are themselves AGP and like to be penetrated — something most HSTS find distasteful, though they might learn to like it — and this gives AGP travestis some advantages. They are also likely to be somewhat bigger and more heavily built although, again, this is a statistical average. As a result they are likely to have large body enhancements, which men like this — who are attracted to extreme expressions of femininity — tend to like.

Peruvian travestis

It is not as easy as it usually is, in the West, to distinguish South American HSTS from AGPs. While HSTS body type clustering is just as evident here as it is elsewhere, the types are not quite the same and vary somewhat across the region. This excellent article by Noomi Herran, lists the types apparent in south Florida, where most are of Latin American or Hispanic descent. These variations are also seen in melting-pot Brazil, where some HSTS are tall and willowy, while others are short and slender, more in line with what we might expect. This can be seen elsewhere, for example in southeast Asia. Again, however, even tall HSTS tend to be slight for their height and to fall into the natural range for women, rather than men — that is to say they are taller than most women but not most men.

We don’t know why this happens. It could just be a function of outliers, but possibly, early hormone use might be implicated. It is necessary to initiate puberty in order to trigger the mechanism that arrests bone growth and it has often been suggested that inappropriate early hormone use might block or delay this mechanism, leading to very tall individuals. This happened to the castrati, Italian opera singers of the 18th and 19th centuries, who were often extremely feminine but also very tall.

We know from Kulick and other sources, including personal recollections by travestis, that HSTS in Latin America frequently begin hormones at very early ages, sometimes as young as 8 or 9. This would be early enough to have an effect on bone growth. Autogynephilia does not present before puberty, so the physical size of AGPs is probably not the result of early hormone use.

Exactly what proportion of travestis are HSTS and what AGP is not clear, but they appear to be close to parity.


The Tragedy of the travestis

La Vida is not often a glittering path to a future laced in golden thread, ending in a romantic climax where the travesti falls into the bosom of a real man who loves her as a girl. This is the dream of all HSTS, but few travesti Catherines find their straight male Heathcliff. All too often, as they will frequently attest, the man will, at the ‘moment of truth’ — when the clothes are off– turn round and ask to be penetrated. This produces instant revulsion in the HSTS and the man can only ever be a client, not a lover. Others complain of the infidelity and fecklessness of the men they date.

Kulick’s observations, together with many personal testimonies, make it clear that in essence, the ‘boyfriends’ that most travestis do have, at least in Brazil, amount to gigolos. They are given bed, board, clothing and pocket money by the travestis, in return for sex and companionship. Each travesti lives in constant apprehension that her boyfriend might leave her for a woman — heartbreaking, but perhaps understandable — or for a younger or prettier travesti — a devastating betrayal that might well provoke an abusive response.

Some do find the straight man of their dreams and in this case, they usually vanish, ‘woodworking’ like their Western counterparts. Today, travestis lucky enough for this to happen might go on to surgical transition.


Whether or not they are with a partner, the moment of surgical transition is the point at which travestis must depart La Vida. Even if they continue sex work, they are now women, and in a different life. However, many post-operative travesti prostitutes struggle to earn without their ‘money-maker’ and all too often they succumb to substance abuse or depression. Some, however, continue to compete, successfully, with women, in the sex marketplace and the best looking girls are able to use their past to develop careers in modelling or the media.

Transphobic violence is the true tragedy of the travesti. In an average year, in Brazil alone, a hundred or more travestis are murdered simply for being what they are. Why this occurs is not clear, but one explanation is that men fear the arousal that travesti provoke in them, believing, wrongly, that this makes them ‘gay’. Being homosexual is the ultimate insult, the most ferocious contumely that can be targeted at a man in these cultures; and it is always implied that the man himself enjoys being anally penetrated, than which there is no greater insult. It is the absolute termination of his status as a man. Any man so insulted, in a culture like this, is duty bound to react violently, to reclaim his honour.

Unfortunately, travestis are notorious for using just such insults against men, calling them ‘maricona’, ‘viado’ or other words that mean the same — ‘poof’, ‘homo’, ‘faggot’. There’s no doubt that this provokes some transphobic attacks. But men who have never been with travestis also kill them and this requires another explanation. The most likely is that they fear the attraction that they feel towards travestis.



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Baklas, sex and motorcycle maintenance


I’m at the local motorcycle repair shop where Sherwyn, a most competent mechanic and pleasant cove, is replacing a brake master cylinder on the Blaze. He first thought to replace only the seals, but he can’t find the right size. A new cylinder is 400 pesos, just under six quid, an unwell encephalopod. I just tell him to get on with it. Sherwyn works in the open space outside a motorcycle parts shop, where he seems to buy most of his stuff, although, as today, sometimes he has to go further afield. While I wait I sit on a wooden bench in the shade and observe the street life. Baklas soon begin to appear; it’s like they’re in the woodwork.


Continue reading “Baklas, sex and motorcycle maintenance”

Proposing marriage to Sam


As so many of you must know by now, for the past year I have been romantically attached to Sam Villasencio, also known as Samantha Nicole Mendez. It’s not always been the easiest of relationships but we found, through our adversities, the real strength of our love. I know that proposing was the right thing to do but I put it off for a few months even after my mind was made up. There were many reasons for this, not all good, but not all bad either. But in the end I realised that it was something I wanted to do and that my motives were sound.

Although I am not really superstitious I wanted the most propitious circumstances. After all, this is Asia and Sam is Two-Spirited, with much power in the unseen world. So I wanted to give her a ring and do it properly.

So on St Valentines’s Day, we had a party for some friends and then I got on my knees and asked her. She said ‘yes’. Fortunately.

We don’t know quite when or how the actual marriage ceremony will take place. Sam’s a Catholic, I’m Church of Scotland — and perhaps more to the point, she’s a transwoman. I will keep you all posted but meantime keep an eye on my YouTube Channel

I am in the process of mirroring all the YT videos both here and on Bitchute, but it will take a while.


Transition desire types: HSTS, AGP, AAP and ROGD


Transition desire, which is Gender Dysphoria if the condition becomes clinical, is defined into four separate types: male homosexual, female homosexual, male nonhomosexual and female nonhomosexual.

Homosexual transition desire

The stimulus for the homosexual form appears to be, on a significant amount of evidence, a form of Sexual Inversion caused by anomalies in the hormone (principally testosterone) delivery system to the developing baby in utero.

This causes numerous effects including more or less marked shifts towards opposite-sex characteristics in a range of areas, including body morphology but also, crucially, sexuality, such that males have female sexuality and females have male sexuality.

Nonhomosexual transition desire

Until recently, only the male form had been observed widely enough to have attracted scientific notice. However, in recent years we have seen an upsurge in female non-homosexual referrals to gender clinics.

The male form is caused by Autogynephilia (AGP), ‘a man’s propensity to become aroused at the thought or image of himself as a woman.’ At the moment, the term ‘Autoandrophilia (AAP)’ has come into use to describe the female form, but no agreed definition has yet been arrived at. On the surface, while it appears to have significant parallels with AGP, AAP also differs greatly, notably in its social contexts.


HSTS is famously long in development. Children with it will typically begin to exhibit Gender Non  Conforming behaviour in their early years, even as young as two. They will be same-sex oriented (crushing on the same sex) and cross-sex identified, from around this time. The more insistent and persistent they are, the greater the likelihood that they will transition after puberty.

AGP can often appear to set on suddenly but this is questionable. Many with it claim that it set on around puberty and they have been struggling with it ever since. The DSM, which calls this form ‘late onset gender dysphoria’ suggests that it does not appear before age nine, which conveniently matches with the earliest that puberty occurs in boys. We can therefore say that AGP does not appear prior to puberty, though it may appear at that time.


Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD) is an even more recently-observed phenomenon that affects principally females. In it, young women ‘discover’ they are gender dysphoric over a short time, typically a few weeks to a few months, and immediately pursue Gender Reassignment Therapy. LIke AGP, it never appears before puberty and so far it seems to be most common in the mid teens to early twenties age range.

There is still some debate, but opinion seems to be crystallising that ROGD in females is just AAP, while in males it is AGP. It is not associated with homosexuality, although subjects may become pseudo-bisexual as a function of the condition. Therefore we can reasonable isolate it as a nonhomosexual form.

This video was the first I made on this topic and forms part of a series. The others are available on my YouTube channel.


Sexual Inverts and transition

Sexual inverts, or, in males, ‘feminine homosexuals’ — along with a range of much less polite vernacular terms — make up a class of homosexuals which have been identified, for over 100 years, as having characteristics of the opposite sex. I’ve just been reading over a group of papers on this, with one typical being Zucker 1993 ‘Physical Attractiveness of Boys with Gender Identity Disorder’. That is by no means the most recent, with numerous studies by a swathe of researchers making the same findings, along with 2D:4D finger length ratios and other measurable parameters. The observed facts are that male sexual inverts are naturally feminine (and female ones are masculine.) This was first noted, in the modern era, by Karl Ulrichs, was written about in depth by Havelock Ellis and has NEVER been refuted. It remains the scientific consensus.

Continue reading “Sexual Inverts and transition”

Sexual Inversion: ideal description of homosexuality

Homosexual transsexuals exactly fit the profile of ‘sexual inversion’ as defined over a hundred years ago by Karl Heinrich Ulrichs (1825-1895)

‘The truth of the invert was inside rather than on the surface; thus a male invert was “really” a woman, and should be allowed to express a female gender, and a female invert was “really” a man, and should be allowed to dress and live as one. Inversion also referred to the ways in which such bodies inverted the laws of nature, which supposedly decreed that male bodies should desire female sexual partners instead of male ones, and vice versa. The theory of sexual inversion maintained conventional categories of sexuality and gender and did not allow one to be divided from the other. Inversion meant that a man’s homosexual desires, effeminacy, or both did not challenge masculine gender or heterosexual sexual norms; rather, a perfectly normal heterosexual woman with a feminine gender was trapped inside him, yearning to come out.’ (

Later, the English sexology pioneer H Havelock Ellis wrote:

‘(Congenital sexual inversion) is sexual instinct turned by inborn constitutional abnormality towards persons of the same sex.'(My emphasis).

(Ellis uses the term ‘congenital’ which remains unproven. It is clear that what he is talking about is innate and must result from biological factors occurring either in the womb or shortly after birth; but we do not know whether the trigger for whatever these might be is congenital, that is, a result of a specific gene mutation. However,  the condition is innate and not acquired. I prefer to use the term ‘innate’.)

Ellis’ massive study of human sexuality, Studies in the Psychology of Sex, which is downloadable  via this page HERE, contains a whole volume on sexual inversion, and he defines this as above on the first page. Note that both Ulrichs and Ellis agreed that this sexual inversion was innate. It was inborn and not a matter of choice.

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All About HSTS: Then and Now

Many of you may already know that I am immersed in developing a new resource, called ‘All About HSTS’. I have been researching and writing articles for this, which will be based on a website and will have a discussion forum. We experienced a slight hiatus, as the host I was using managed to basically trash all the sites I had on it. We have now migrated elsewhere, but much repair is still to be done.

One of the most important articles on the subject of HSTS was written by Dr J Michael Bailey and the late Kiira Triea. This has been published widely on the internet and in the blogosphere, but I take the liberty of republishing it here, to widen the spread of its influence.

It’s a long article, but deeply researched and packs a huge amount of information. It was written before papers on the seminal MRI brain scans by Rametti et al and Savic and Arver were published in 2011 or, clearly, Guillamon’s 2016 review of these. It mentions the neurology that was current at the time of writing, which was largely based on post-mortem examinations of the brains of six dead transsexuals or transvestites, by Zhou et al. This research, while remaining beloved of autogynephilic transvestite activists (TRAs), was completely superseded by the later work and was, in any case, too small in scale to be generalised from.




Continue reading “All About HSTS: Then and Now”

Body-type clustering in HSTS and AGP groups

Much has made about the differences between autogynephilic transvestites (AGP) and homosexual transsexuals (HSTS). However, most of this work remains largely clinical and as such, it fails to connect to the sympathies of the public. An exception to this of course being J. Michael Bailey’s The Man who would be Queen, an almost pop-science interpretation of the data on transsexualism. Even this, despite being a nice read, is written from the perspective of a researcher. What I am getting at, if not already obvious, is that not much is written from the perspective of HSTS women.

I am an HSTS woman, and was invited by Rod to write a piece or two based on my experiences. I don’t usually get to share these with other people, and I thought this a good opportunity. I won’t get into much about my childhood — after you’ve heard a couple of HSTS’ childhood remembrances, you’ve pretty much heard them all — but I will give some basics.

Continue reading “Body-type clustering in HSTS and AGP groups”

Trans activism can be harmful

Guest Author Amanda Grimes discusses trans activism and the risks it may present for young people.

This article is a collection of my own thoughts and opinions, formed from my experience as a transsexual woman who transitioned over 30 years ago. In that time I have experienced life, as a woman, with few, if any, knowing about my past. I am married to a man and have had a long and very successful professional career. I transitioned at a time when the world was not quite the fluffy accepting place it appears to be today and in reality while laws have changed, society, especially the behaviours of the genders within it is not really that different now than it was then.


There currently is what seems to be an inexorable move towards the acceptance of “Transgender” people within Western societies. So much so that there is almost an air of hysteria around the condition, which seems almost cult like in some quarters, and has led to the blind acceptance of anyone who presents the slightest non-conformity with their traditional gender role as being transgender. Continue reading “Trans activism can be harmful”