All About HSTS: Then and Now

Originally posted 2018-08-24 06:56:57.

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 This research, while remaining beloved of autogynephilic transvestite activists (TRAs), was completely superseded by the later work and was, in any case, too small in scale to be generalised from.

 

 

 

Some of the terminology used in the article seems archaic today. It is unhelpful, in my view, to apply the term ‘transsexual’ to non-homosexual, that is, Autogynephilic MtF transitioners. These are not transsexual at all, but transvestite and no amount of ‘front hole’ installation can change that. Unfortunately, we now see AGP transvestites claiming to be ‘true transsexuals’ because they have had their bodies so modified. Although I did not before, now I distinguish between the types. ‘Transsexuals’ or sometimes ‘true transsexuals’, are Homosexual transsexuals (HSTS). This applies whether or not they have had GRS. Non-homosexual transitioners I describe as ‘Autogynephiles’, ‘AGPs’ or ‘transvestites’.  For clarity, I describe male homosexuals who present in women’s clothes either part-time or without taking hormones etc  to modify their bodies, as ‘crossdressers’.

In most other aspects, however, the article is correct and holds up beautifully  in the light of the general current understanding, of Blanchard’s Typology and in terms of my own studies in southeast Asia. It amazes me that, in the ten years since the article was written, the matter has not progressed at all. I think that this has been down to the aggression of AGP TRAs and their supporters and front organisations, EG GIRES in the UK.

One of the authors of the article, the Kiira Triea, who died in 2012, was seminal in developing a website called ‘www.transkids.us’. This came under heavy and persistent attack from a small group of autogynephilic (AGP) transvestites, led by ‘Andrea James’, a thoroughly poisonous individual. Whether because of James’ attacks — he was the one, let’s not forget, who accused Dr Bailey of abusing his own children and who personally menaced Dr Alice Dreger, calling her unborn child a ‘womb turd’ — or the tragic death of Triea, or, indeed, some other reason, www.transkids.us, though still available, does not appear to have been updated since around 2013.

Although tending to obscurity in language, transkids.us was one of the very few sites that actually explained what HomoSexual TransSexualism is and how it affects individuals.

We are currently, in 2018, in a crisis in which autogynephilic transvestites are, as ever, colonising and erasing HSTS, their lives and identities and, perhaps worse, have provoked a reaction. This comes largely from a group calling themselves ‘gender critical’. In essence, this group is comprised of various flavours of radical feminists who believe, erroneously, that gender is a ‘social construct’. Since, if HSTS is what it is claimed to be, gender cannot be a construct but instead is the innate means by which an individual expresses and communicates his or her sexuality, these feminists would like to see HSTS erased. They are aided and abetted by gender-conforming Western homosexuals, particularly males, who have been conditioned to suppress their innate femininity, at great cost in the Gender Dysphoria they suffer.

Many parents today are rightly concerned by the exponential increase in so-called ‘Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria’ (ROGD). This is not a genuine gender dysphoria at all, since it lacks the sexual component essential to those, but TRAs have, by suppressing the truth about gender dysphoria and the dichotomy explained by Blanchard’s Typology, provoked a situation in which it is being seen as one. ROGD is in fact a disorder of adolescence that mainly affects females and is associated with social media contagion; it has been compared to disorders like anorexia. As such, it may disappear at any time, but if irreversible surgeries and other treatments have been wrongly carried out in the meantime, then that individual’s life has been ruined.

A knee-jerk reaction to this, however, that limits access to care for genuine gender dysphorias, must inevitably harm HSTS.

Even on the most pessimistic assessments, which I consider to significantly under-estimate the true numbers, around 1 in 5 persistent GNC children will be HSTS. It is unacceptable for us to return to a situation where these are wilfully denied the help they need. HSTS are, unquestionably, one of the most disadvantaged and voiceless groups in society and they need to be supported.

This is why I will be launching All About HSTS and I will keep you updated. www.transkids.us is comatose if not expired and while one of the contributors, Kay Brown, maintains an excellent site HERE, there is no resource, anywhere, specifically oriented towards addressing the needs of HSTS or their parents.

In the meantime, please read the article and feel free to comment. It remains one of the most thorough and thoughtful primers on the subjects of Homosexual Transsexualism (HSTS) and Autogynephilic Transvestism (AGP) and how they are related — and how they are not.  And, if you like it, as a courtesy to Dr Bailey, you might like to buy his excellent book, The Man Who Would Be Queen, HERE. It’s worth it.

What Many Transgender Activists Don’t Want You to Know: and why you should know it anyway

Bailey, J. Michael. Triea, Kiira.

First published in: Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, Volume 50, Number 4, Autumn 2007, pp. 521-534 (Article)
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A COMMON UNDERSTANDING OF male-to-female transsexualism is that all MtF transsexuals are, essentially, women trapped in men’s bodies. The standard narrative of men who become women goes something like this: “I have always felt that I was born in the wrong body. I have always been feminine in my interests and feelings. My desire to change sex is about my gender identity and not my sexuality.” This narrative, which Dreger (2007) has termed “the feminine essence narrative,” represents both what most laypeople believe to be true as well as what transsexuals are likely to say publicly. The narrative has been extended to an etiological theory, which Lawrence (2007b) has called “the brainsex theory of transsexualism.” The transsexual advocacy website, transsexual.org, puts this theory succinctly: “A transsexual is a person in which the sex-related structures of the brain that define gender identity are exactly opposite the physical sex organs of the body.”

The standard, feminine essence narrative, and the associated brain-sex theory, are incorrect, in the sense that they do not represent reality, even if they do correspond with many transsexual individuals’ beliefs and identities. The best scientific evidence (discussed below) indicates that there are two distinct subtypes of MtF transsexuals, and that the feminine essence narrative at best approximates the life history of only one subtype. Paradoxically, this explanation of MtF transsexualism persists because it is the explanation preferred by the other subtype, to which it does not apply at all. The popularity of the feminine essence narrative reflects factors other than the strength of scientific support. Its persistence has likely had negative consequences for both science and transsexuals themselves.

Two Kinds of Male-to-Female Transsexuals

The classification system of MtF transsexuals that we believe to be correct was developed by the psychologist Ray Blanchard in a series of studies conducted at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry in Toronto and published between 1985 and 1995. (Blanchard’s relevant oeuvre includes more than 20 articles; we provide only a summary of his conclusions.) Blanchard’s studies reported data on hundreds of transsexual males (that is, males who hoped to become or had become women), as well as other individuals who were male with respect to birth sex and did not desire sex reassignment surgery, but who sometimes presented themselves, or thought of themselves, as female. Participants in these studies were representative of gender patients in Canada, and were probably also quite similar to patients seen in the United States and Western Europe. Blanchard’s goal was to make sense out of the diversity of patients that gender clinics saw.

With respect to sexual orientation, Blanchard studied four groups of seemingly diverse male participants: homosexual (entirely attracted to other males), bisexual, heterosexual, and asexual. In three key studies, Blanchard (1985, 1988, 1989a) showed that homosexual transsexuals were different in a number of respects from members of the three other groups, and that members of the latter groups did not differ much among themselves.These differences included age of presentation at the gender clinic, history of childhood femininity, and most importantly, history of erotic arousal in association with cross-dressing and crossgender fantasy. These findings supported the division of MtF transsexualism into two types: homosexual and nonhomosexual. Blanchard’s work provided a parsimonious and compelling taxonomy for the apparent sexual diversity among MtF transsexuals, reducing the four types of MtF transsexuals to two fundamentally distinct subtypes.

Autogynephilic Male-to-Female Transsexualism

Arguably, Blanchard’s most important contribution was recognizing and elaborating the phenomenon that united the three nonhomosexual transsexual subtypes: autogynephilia. Autogynephilia is “a male’s propensity to be attracted to the thought or image of himself as a woman” (Blanchard 2005). One common manifestation of autogynephilia is fetishistic cross-dressing, which is an extremely common antecedent to seeking sex reassignment among nonhomosexual (but not homosexual) transsexuals (Blanchard, Clemmensen, and Steiner 1987). Some autogynephilic individuals, however, do not cross-dress fetishistically. Indeed, a seminal case in Blanchard’s conceptualization was “Philip,” who did not cross-dress but fantasized sexually about being a nude woman by focusing on desired anatomical features (Blanchard 1991). Autogynephilia may be conceived as inner-directed heterosexuality.That is, autogynephilic males are like heterosexual men, except that their primary sexual attraction is to the image or idea of themselves as women.
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Blanchard hypothesized that nonhomosexual transsexuals are motivated by autogynephilia. That is, nonhomosexual transsexuals experience erotic arousal at the idea of becoming a woman, and this arousal motivates them to become women. (We agree with Lawrence’s recent theoretical modification [2007a ] hypothesizing that romantic attachment can play an important role in some cases. It is probable, however, that such attachment is usually preceded by substantial erotic arousal to the idea of being a woman.)

Not all autogynephilic males become transsexuals. Autogynephilic interests run a gamut from cross-dressing to engaging in stereotypic female activities (e.g. knitting alongside other women) to possessing female breasts and genitalia. It is the latter interest that is most strongly associated with autogynephilic transsexualism (Blanchard 1993b). Other than the precise nature of their autogynephilic fantasy, there is no obvious difference between nonhomosexual crossdressers who will become transsexuals and those who will not.They are all autogynephiles. Blanchard’s work also clarified the diversity of self-reported sexual orientations among nonhomosexual transsexuals (Blanchard 1989a). Autogynephilia (inner-directed heterosexuality) appears to compete with outward-directed
heterosexuality. Many autogynephilic transsexuals experience enough outward directed heterosexuality to label themselves as heterosexual pre-
transition.Those whose autogynephilia is strong enough that they experience no other-directed sexual feelings identify as asexual. Finally, a common aspect of autogynephilia is the erotic fantasy of being admired, in the female persona, by another person.

Autogynephiles for whom this fantasy is sufficiently strong tend to identify as bisexual. However, this bisexuality is not characterized by equal or even similar kinds of attraction to male and female bodies. Blanchard (1989b) thus suggests that it be characterized as “pseudobisexuality.”

Autogynephilia appears to be a paraphilia. Paraphilias are unusual, intense, and persistent erotic interests. The concept of paraphilia is a controversial one, with some arguing that it is merely a word used to stigmatize sexual behavior that most people find undesirable (Moser 2001). Some paraphilias (e.g., pedophilia and sadism) are harmful to other people, while others (e.g., autogynephilia and fetishism) are not. Two non-obvious facts about paraphilias suggest that the label paraphilia may represent more than a mere value judgment. First, paraphilias are found nearly exclusively in males (APA 2000, p. 568). Second, at least some paraphilias tend to occur together. Autogynephilia, for example, appears to be correlated with other paraphilias, especially masochism (Lawrence 2006). Advertisements of dominatrixes frequently offer services to cross-dressers, and autogynephilic males are more likely than other males to become sexually aroused to stimuli depicting masochistic themes (Chivers and Blanchard 1996;Wilson and Gosselin 1980). Of men who die practicing the dangerous masochistic activity of autoerotic asphyxia, approximately 25% are cross-dressed, a much higher percentage than one would expect based on the number of nonhomosexual crossdressers in the general population (Blanchard and Hucker 1991).

Homosexual Male-to-Female Transsexualism

Homosexual MtF transsexuals are much easier than autogynephilic transsexuals for most people to comprehend. Homosexual transsexuals are best understood as a subset of homosexual males who were very feminine from early childhood. In some ways, then, they do appear to fit the feminine essence narrative: they had male bodies as children, but behaviorally and psychologically they were different, in some respects, from typical boys and more similar to typical girls. Most males who begin life as extremely feminine boys, even those whose femininity includes the wish to become girls, do not become transsexual. In the contemporary United States, most become homosexual men (Bailey and Zucker 1995; Green 1987; Zuger 1984). Homosexual MtF transsexuals, in contrast, persist in their wish to become female (Bailey 2003; Blanchard 1990).The reasons for this atypical persistence are unclear. However, these individuals often have a difficult time socially, romantically, and sexually, and their transition appears to be largely motivated by a desire to improve their lives in these domains.

As their label implies, homosexual MtF transsexuals are homosexual with respect to their birth sex.That is, they are attracted exclusively to men. Although some writers have objected to the use of the word homosexual to refer to individuals who have sex with men as women (e.g., Gooren 2006),we retain the terminology because it emphasizes the fact that homosexual MtFs are a subset of, and developmentally related to, other homosexual males. Furthermore, it emphasizes the most efficient and practical way of distinguishing homosexual and autogynephilic transsexuals. Homosexual transsexuals are unambiguously, exclusively and intensely attracted to attractive men; autogynephilic transsexuals have some other pattern of sexual attraction.That is, an MtF transsexual who reports attraction to both men and women, or a history of sexual attraction to women, or considerable sexual experience with women, or attraction to neither men nor women—any clearly nonhomosexual pattern—is almost certainly autogynephilic (Blanchard 1989a; Blanchard, Clemmensen, and Steiner 1987).
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Evidence for the Feminine Essence Narrative and Brain-Sex Theory
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The main theory competing with Blanchard’s theory of MtF classification is the theory that all MtF transsexuals have a (probably innate) female gender identity.

By this theory, homosexual and nonhomosexual transsexuals have different sexual orientations because sexual orientation and gender identity are distinct, perhaps even uncorrelated, phenomena. Both homosexual and nonhomosexual transsexuals share the same psychological condition, female gender identity, which they experience in similar ways. Furthermore, both kinds of transsexuals, as well as natal women, have in common neural circuitry that differs from that of nontranssexual men, and that causes female gender identity.

Transsexual Narratives

The claim that MtF transsexuals are “women trapped in men’s bodies” is commonly made both by and about transsexuals.The evidentiary value of such claims depends on their plausibility and the lack of alternative, more plausible explanations. Nonhomosexual MtF transsexuals are not especially feminine in their interests and behaviors compared with most women (Herman-Jeglínska, Grabowska, and Dulko 2002; Lippa 2001) or with homosexual MtF transsexuals (Bailey 2003; Blanchard 1988). Furthermore, they often acknowledge autogynephilia (Lawrence 2005), such as fetishistic cross-dressing (in contrast to most women and homosexual MtF transsexuals [APA 2000; Blanchard, Clemensen, and Steiner 1987]). Thus, the contention that women and all MtF transsexuals have feminine minds that motivate their feminine identification strikes us as implausible.

The Transsexual Brain Studies

In 1995, Zhou et al. described a sex difference in the size of a brain region, the central subdivision of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTc), a collection of cells in the hypothalamus.This article included data from the brains of six MtF transsexuals, whose BSTc volumes were female-typical. A follow-up paper by Kruijver et al. (2000) added another MtF transsexual’s brain and confirmed the earlier finding using different measurement techniques.
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These studies have been widely touted by transsexual activists as supporting the brain-sex theory of MtF transsexualism. Furthermore, a remarkable statement by the British group, the Gender Identity Research and Education Society (GIRES 2006), appeared to base its support of transsexual treatment and rights largely on the studies and their alleged implication that “transsexualism is a neuro-developmental condition of the brain.” Several of the signatories of this statement are distinguished researchers. The transsexual brain studies have also received considerable scientific attention. As of February 1, 2007, the study by Zhou et al. (1995) has been cited by 117 scholarly articles, and that of Kruijver et al. (2000) has been cited by 43 scholarly articles. In contrast, Blanchard’s three most highly cited autogynephilia-related studies (Blanchard 1985, 1989b; Blanchard, Clemmensen, and Steiner 1987) have each earned 38 such citations.

In our view, the influence of the transsexual brain studies is disproportionate compared with their scientific value to understanding the etiology of MtF transsexualism.

Their relevance as support for the feminine essence narrative, as opposed to Blanchard’s theory, is extremely weak—indeed, it is arguably absent.
There are several important limitations that prevent the brain studies from being relevant in this regard (Lawrence 2007b).The most critical problem is that neither study includes the necessary hormonal controls to exclude the possibility that the feminization of the BSTc in MtFs was due to hormone treatment, especially estrogen therapy, received for transsexualism. Recent research shows that the volume of the hypothalamus is highly dependent on such hormonal treatment, with smaller volumes associated with estrogenic treatment (Hulshoff Pol et al. 2006). We concur with Lawrence (2007b) that this is the most likely explanation of the Zhou et al. (1995) and Kruijver et al. (2000) findings. Certainly those findings should be regarded cautiously until a study has ruled out the concern regarding hormonal treatment.

Evidence from Sex-Reassigned Children

In principle, the feminine essence narrative and brain sex theory could be instantiated by selecting a normal girl, medically masculinizing her body, and rearing her as a boy from an early age. If anyone could be a female trapped in a male body, or have a female brain in a male body, it would be a female such as this. What we know about such cases suggests that they are similar to homosexual, and different from nonhomosexual, MtF transsexuals.

There have been a few rare cases of females born with virilized genitalia due to prenatal maternal use of a progestin, in which the attempt was made to rear them as boys. The second author of this article is one such case, and she has known two others personally. All three cases were quite similar in presentation to homosexual MtF transsexuals: noticeably feminine presentation and interests, early expression of dissatisfaction with the male role, and sexual interest in males. None of these cases had signs of autogynephilia, such as fetishistic cross-dressing. Finally, their decisions to transition were made on the basis of optimizing sexual and social functioning, rather than because of a deep conviction that they were women trapped in men’s bodies.

Blanchard’s Theory Versus the Feminine Essence Narrative

We believe that Blanchard’s theory of MtF transsexualism is far better supported, and far more likely to be true, than the feminine essence narrative and the associated brain-sex theory. It is based on far more data, with respect to the number of both studies and subjects; no published scientific data in the peer-reviewed literature contradict it; and other investigators in other countries have obtained similar findings (Smith et al. 2005). It also provides a plausible explanation for phenomena that are problematic for the feminine essence narrative (e.g., fetishistic cross-dressing and lack of early femininity among nonhomosexual transsexuals). Why, then, has Blanchard’s theory remained underappreciated, compared with the standard, feminine essence narrative? In the remainder of this section, we try to explain this. First, however, we wish to emphasize some important respects in which the two approaches to MtF transsexualism do not differ. Perhaps most importantly, both proponents of the feminine essence narrative and of Blanchard’s theory support the treatment of transsexuals by sex reassignment surgery. Indeed, Blanchard (2000) has been a consistent advocate of such treatment for both homosexual and autogynephilic transsexuals, as has one of the authors of this article (Bailey 2003).

In addition, proponents of both theories see the histories people tell of their lives as an important source of understanding. In a recent paper on autogynephilia, Blanchard (2005) quotes extensively from self-reports of people with autogynephilia, primarily from collections compiled by Lawrence (Lawrence 1999a, 1999b).We ourselves have learned much about diversity among MtF transsexuals from our own interactions with members of each type. We believe, however, that in this domain, as in others, people’s own narratives do not always correspond to the true reasons for their choices and behaviors. Finally, proponents of both theories recognize that MtF transsexuals are a diverse population who differ among themselves in many ways due to life circumstances and personal characteristics. Nonetheless,we maintain that those who promote the feminine essence narrative fail to acknowledge one important source of that diversity, the distinction between homosexual and autogynephilic MtF transsexuals.

Denial of Autogynephilia

Few nonhomosexual transsexuals publicly identify as autogynephilic, and most neither admit a history of sexual arousal to the idea of being a woman, nor accept that such arousal was a motivating factor for their transsexualism. Indeed, although most public transsexual activists appear by their histories and presentations to be nonhomosexual MtF transsexuals, they have generally been hostile toward the idea that nonhomosexual transsexualism is associated with, and motivated by, autogynephilia. Prominent MtF transsexuals and transgenders who have expressed outrage at the theory include Becky Allison (1998), Christine Burns (2004), Lynn Conway (2006), Andrea James (2006), Deirdre McCloskey (2003), Nancy Nangeroni (Grubb 2004), and Joan Roughgarden (2003).The most visible exception has been Anne Lawrence, a physician, researcher, and psychotherapist, who both identifies as autogynephilic and has done most of the recently published research on autogynephilia.Willow Arune (2004) is another exception.

There are a number of reasons why autogynephilic individuals may prefer the feminine essence narrative as an account of their condition, even if autogynephilia is in fact the driving force.These include the concern (pre-transition) that clinicians will deem them unacceptable for sex reassignment if their transsexualism is erotically motivated, or that people will consider them sexually deviant (Bailey 2003; Lawrence 2004). Because autogynephilia produces a strong desire to imagine oneself as a woman, the feminine essence narrative is intrinsically appealing to autogynephilic individuals, even if it is implausible. In contrast, an explanation based on autogynephilia may be experienced as a narcissistic injury.

Transsexuals who have successfully accomplished the MtF transition sometimes see themselves as mentors to younger people attempting or considering this path.They may feel that public acceptance of the feminine essence narrative will facilitate the transition for these younger individuals. For example, parents may be more accepting of a child whom they think of as a female unfortunately born with a male’s body than of one whom they think of as a male erotically aroused by the idea of being female. Finally, as Lawrence (2007a) notes, postoperative transsexuals whose desire and attachment to being women persists as their sex drive diminishes with age may come to doubt that this desire has anything to do with eroticism. She also explains how this pattern is explicable via autogynephilia.

Attempts to Intimidate Proponents of Blanchard’s Theory

Beyond denying the role of autogynephilia in MtF transsexualism, some transsexual activists have mounted attacks on those who publicly disagree with them. In 2003, the first author published a book, The Man Who Would Be Queen, about male femininity, including MtF transsexualism. The section on transsexualism included summaries of Blanchard’s theory illustrated by transsexual women of both types whom he had met, and who agreed to let their stories be included. Upon publication, there was a firestorm of controversy among some MtF transsexuals.

Most notably, the transsexual activists Lynn Conway (2006) and Andrea James (2006) led an internet “investigation” into the publication of the book.
Conway (2004) likened the book to “Nazi propaganda” and said that it was “transsexual women’s worst nightmare.” As a result of Conway’s and James’s efforts, a number of very public academic, personal, and professional accusations were made against the first author. None of these accusations was true (Bailey 2005). (For an historical investigation into the controversy surrounding The Man Who Would Be Queen, including a description of the substance and the merits of the accusations, see Dreger 2007.) The attacks on The Man Who Would Be Queen were precisely an attempt to punish the author for writing approvingly about Blanchard’s ideas, and to intimidate others from doing so.
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The second author was also attacked by some of the same transsexuals after she helped create the Website transkids.us.This website was created by a group of homosexual transsexuals, or “transkids,” their nonclinical name for themselves, to educate the clinical and research communities in the wake of the controversy regarding The Man Who Would Be Queen.The writings on the site both endorsed Blanchard’s distinction between homosexual and autogynephilic MtF transsexuals and criticized the standard feminine essence narrative as being both false and harmful to homosexual MtF transsexuals. Subsequently, Andrea James (2007) conducted highly personal attacks on individual transkids (including the second author), urging that these transkids be exposed and asserting that they were “fakes” because they would not reveal their identities publicly.

How Denial of Autogynephilia Can Be Harmful

We believe that advocacy for the standard feminine essence narrative, and against Blanchard’s theory, is primarily conducted by, or at least on behalf of, nonhomosexual transsexuals who incorrectly deny their autogynephilia.We have outlined why some autogynephilic transsexuals might want to deny that they are autogynephilic, and why they might strongly prefer the standard (but false) feminine essence narrative.Those who advocate on behalf of autogynephilic transsexuals in denial include many gender clinicians; their motives may include their unwillingness to disbelieve or displease their patients and their greater comfort with the idea of facilitating sex reassignment for reasons related to gender than to eroticism (Lawrence 1998). Some clinicians may also think that belief in the feminine essence narrative may be beneficial for their patients’ psychological health and social interactions, even if it does not correspond to the true etiology of their desire for sex reassignment. Nevertheless, there are both scientific and human costs to colluding with autogynephilies in denial by propping up the feminine essence narrative as an explanation for all MtF transsexualism.

Impeding Scientific Progress

Obviously, the extreme, highly personal attacks on those who agree with Blanchard’s theory of transsexualism are likely to deter people from researching, agreeing with, or publicizing the theory. That is, indeed, the intended function of the attacks. Most theories can benefit by scientific criticism, but the attacks on The Man Who Would Be Queen and its author by transgender activists were not scientific criticism.We have argued that Blanchard’s “two types” theory has greater explanatory value than the feminine essence narrative and the associated brain-sex theory.Whether or not we are right, deciding between the two views via political pressure cannot be the right way to advance science. The scientific costs of this pressure include embracing a less plausible theory and failure to advance the better theory. For example, it is possible that some transsexuals’ resistance to the current theory is due to its incompleteness, which prevents it from explaining their inner experiences to their satisfaction (Lawrence 2007a). Progress toward a more complete theory is impeded by the kinds of pressure we have described, but it would be facilitated by thoughtful criticism.

Harm to Homosexual Transsexuals

Clinicians who work with transgender patients and who believe in the feminine essence narrative of MtF transsexualism sometimes take a similar approach
to both homosexual and nonhomosexual MtF transsexuals. For example, the second author knows transkids whose therapists have offered them, and their families, readings by and about nonhomosexual transsexuals (e.g., She’s Not There, by Jennifer Boylan [2003] and Conundrum by Jan Morris [1987]).The narratives in these readings did not even approximate the transkids’ lives, and the therapists’ assumptions that they did had a highly negative effect on the transkids’ attitudes toward therapy. Inevitably, they dropped out early.
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Homosexual and nonhomosexual MtF transsexuals have different life issues and goals, and the persistence of the belief that they are similar prevents development of clinical interventions likely to benefit the homosexual subtype.Velasquez (2004) has argued that there is a lack of meaningful therapy for young homosexual transsexuals like herself, and that this is because transkids are not recognized as a subtype distinct from nonhomosexual transsexuals.The denial of autogynephilia helps make this possible.

Harm to Autogynephilic Male-to-Female Transsexuals

There are also substantial human costs to autogynephilic transsexuals due to insistence on the false, feminine essence narrative.We consider two groups
whom we believe are harmed by embracing the false narrative at the expense of Blanchard’s categorical theory: autogynephiles not in denial, and autogynephiles in denial.

Although few nonhomosexual MtF transsexuals publicly identify as autogynephilic, many more do so privately. Of the e-mail correspondence the first author received regarding The Man Who Would Be Queen, about a third was from individuals who understood themselves to be autogynephilic. Some of these individuals said that reading about Blanchard’s theory in the book had been revelatory and that they understood themselves for the first time, and all of them were happy that autogynephilia was being discussed openly. Even before the controversy concerning the book, transsexuals sympathetic to Blanchard’s ideas have found themselves unwelcome in transsexual forums (e.g., online forums discussing transgender issues).Typically, any endorsement of Blanchard’s theory, or admission of significant autogynephilic motivation, is met with hostility.This hostility appears to emanate primarily from individuals who fit the profile of autogynephiles in denial. The extreme stigmatization of the (true) idea of autogynephilia harms autogynephiles not in denial in obvious ways. It makes it much less likely that they can find resources that help them understand themselves, forces them into the closet, invalidates their self-concepts, and heightens feelings of shame.

Although autogynephiles in denial prefer the standard feminine essence narrative, this does not necessarily mean that wide acceptance of that narrative is in their best interests. In general, it seems likely that the best clinical and personal decisions are made on the basis of accurate conceptualizations. For example, we have noticed that some transsexuals we would classify as autogynephilic have chosen to pursue sex reassignment surgery after being diagnosed as “transsexual” rather than “transvestite,” a diagnostic moment they often recount with a sense of relief. Currently, in the psychiatric nomenclature, the official name for transsexualism is gender identity disorder, highlighting the centrality of gender identity, consistent with the feminine essence narrative (American Psychiatric Association 2000). However, the differential diagnosis between transsexualism (gender identity disorder) and transvestism (“transvestic fetishism” in the DSM) is not clearly meaningful. Both nonhomosexual transsexuals and transvestites are motivated by autogynephilia; many (perhaps most) nonhomosexual transsexuals were transvestites prior to transitioning; and most importantly, the main difference between the two conditions is that transsexuals, but not transvestites, decide to take steps to achieve women’s bodies. As we have noted, the precise nature of one’s autogynephilic fantasies is a key factor in this decision. It seems detrimental to us that what should be an explicit cost-benefit decision, with important consequences to the
lives of autogynephilic patients and their families, might be unduly influenced by a differential diagnosis of questionable validity.

It is unfortunate that the public face of MtF transsexualism is so different from reality. The controversy concerning The Man Who Would Be Queen has raised awareness of Blanchard’s ideas within the transgender community, but it has not yet encouraged open-mindedness to those ideas. Those who value scientific truth and the well-being of transsexuals are advised to do better.

References

Allison, B. 1998. Janice Raymond and autogynephilia.  HYPERLINK “http://www.drbecky.com/raymond” http://www.drbecky.com/raymond.
html.
American Psychiatric Association (APA). 2000. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental
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6 Replies to “All About HSTS: Then and Now”

  1. Denise (AKA: Kiira) would be pleased to see that her essay continues to influence people and be referenced.

    However, I must correct a misunderstanding regarding the transkids.us website. It remains online because Kiira asked me to maintain it before she died:

    https://sillyolme.wordpress.com/2012/11/04/losing-kiira/

    The last substantive change to that site was in 2010, when Kiira added a link to my blog “On The Science of Changing Sex” which I began writing at her insistence/encouragement. The last essay added to the site was in 2009, “The Invisible Transsexual”… written by me. I am the last of the active authors of the Transkid.us website. In essence though, my blog is a continuation of Kiira’s vision to educate folks on the issue.

    Finally, your passing reference to ROGD… which when analyzed carefully is simply a form of parental denialism:

    https://sillyolme.wordpress.com/2018/06/06/rapid-onset-gender-dysphoria/

    1. Hi Kay, thank you for that. The update re transkids.us is very useful.

      I am not convinced that ROGD is just parental denialism, though. The Littman paper, while perhaps having methodological flaws (which the author addresses), gives more nuanced appraisal. Ref your article, yes there are denialists but they seem to come from radical feminists and accommodationist homosexual men, who seem to be keen to enlist rightly concerned parents in a campaign against all transition and are using ROGD as a weapon. The parents I have discussed this with are seriously confused, rather than being in denial.

      I think that the stats speak for themselves: there has been a huge uptick in referrals to gender clinics, which might be explainable in the light of more relaxed social attitudes, but the fact that the larger part of this is FtM is deeply worrying. The relative incidences of MtF and FtM appear to have been reversed, in the West, over the last decade and that is suspicious. Personally, I don’t think ROGD is actually a gender dysphoria at all and is far more akin to other dysmorphic conditions of adolescence and young adulthood that especially affect females, like anorexia, bulimia, self-harm and suicide attempts.

      As a parent myself, if a daughter came to me at 15, with no previous history at all of gender dysphoria or GNC and said she was trans and wanted surgery, I would be concerned too. I would be a lot more relaxed if I thought the therapists engaged in treating these young people really understood GD and the forms it can take, but I know for a fact that many of them do not. I did a phone-round survey of support organisations in the UK last year, as well as talking to the director of GIRES and not one of them understood that GD comes in different forms, with different aetiologies, and they were completely unable to address why it might be that we are seeing this imbalance in referrals (by sex) that we are. This is not good.

      My position on this is clear: we know how to diagnose the accepted forms of gender dysphoria and can tell with great accuracy who is likely to be HSTS. I do not want to see the spate of regret that I think is inevitable, from people diagnosed with ROGD who then desist, being used to harm or impede the transitions of genuine HSTS. I daily observe a situation in which young HSTS (and AGPs too) self-medicate either with contraceptives bought legally or more specific cross-sex hormones from the black market. I don’t think that would be a good thing.

      Any attempt by gender-crits to shut down treatments for genuine HSTS, in an era when social media means that irregular supplies will be sourced instead, will lead to unsupervised hormone use, with unpredictable results and this really must be opposed. Genuine HSTS remain a minority who are extremely vulnerable and I have not one shred of doubt that the gender-crits are gunning for them, for their own reasons.

      I did write to you earlier in the summer regarding another resource that I am developing and I would be most appreciative of any contribution you would like to make, either under your name or anonymously; I am sure those people assisting me, who are also HSTS, would feel the same way.

  2. Hi I been hooked to your website lots of research resources and non political perspectives!

    I feel the main reason autogynephilia is disliked, is that it is very binary and inflexible

    It can even be perceived as a danger if you are a trans person, it undermines the innate identity and “energy” of the person and reduces it to a fetish.

    And while it is true is even stressing to see people you feel are males saying they are girls talk for you and publicly condemn everyone who opposes them in what seems to be a pre designed debate based on extremes…

    Is very important to note there can be scenarios where an individual might fit both Blanchard mtf types descriptions

    A notable example could be one Homosexual transgender born on a really conservative environment taught at a very very young age being homosexual was the worst disgrace they could do their parents.

    This person expression of their innate femininity was constantly suppressed both by other people and themselves to fit in society and be a good son/daughter

    This leads to an artificial acquired pseudo heterosexuality which in most cases is simply a social facade hiding a stuck or stagnant proper progressive psycho-sexual development of the homosexuality that was most natural to them.

    The femenine ways of this example person could only find avenue in the roles of the games they played and in their own private inner world which includes but is not limited to their private sexuality which is now morphed, confused and riddled with guilt.

    This person would then at first get sexual satisfaction from finally getting to express her own sensuality later in life but it wouldn’t be that much different from what us girls feel when we wear provocative outfits for the first time or get intense looks from males we provoked on them.
    As a female discovering my sexual power and influence over men was really arousing at the beginning, getting admired for my beauty by fellow females super satisfying and if I was an intersex girl assigned male by the customs and procedures of irresponsible doctors I would be very sad if this empowering arousal was simply considered a paraphilia.

    Greetings thank you for your deeply insightful material

    1. Hi there. No you cannot be both. We tend to use the abbreviation AGP for ‘nonhomosexual transitioner or transvestite’, because this is provoked by Autogynephilia (AGP) and it saves a lot of typing. The divide is actually between nonhomosexuals, whose condition is caused by Autogynephilia, and homosexuals, whose behaviour is provoked by Sexual Inversion. These are mutually exclusive; you cannot be both homosexual and nonhomosexual. This is the basis of Blanchard’s Taxonomy.

      Male Sexual Inverts can develop an Erotic Target Location Error which is the root of AGP, but because they are Inverted and desire men, this is actually located on themselves as masculine men, and becomes Autoandrophilia or AAP. This is the root of the hyper-masculine Western New Gay Man. It is one of the most conclusive proofs that both AGP and AAP are caused by sexuality rather than sex, since the outcome varies by sexuality.

      There are reasons why we don’t count true bisexuals but when AGPs exhibit androphilic behaviour, that is pseudo-bisexualism. They’re still nonhomosexual, the behaviour is part of the role. You seem to hint on this yourself. It is also true that up to a third or even more of homosexual transsexuals (HSTS) exhibit similar behaviours to nonhomosexuals with AGP but they are still homosexual, ie Sexual Inverts. Many of these behaviours are identical to behaviours also expressed by cis-women. But crucially, there is no ETLE and with no ETLE there can be no AGP.

      This propensity was used by a fly-by-night fraud called Charles Moser to suggest that AGPs are just normal women, but they’re not, because normal women, whether HSTS trans or cis DO NOT HAVE an ETLE. Their Erotic Targets are outside themselves, in the normal location, that is, on other people. All they are doing is trying to attract said targets. (Cis women can have ETLEs too, but this gives rise to hyperfeminine lesbianism; they are never heterosexual.)

      What you describe is definitely pseudo-bisexualism as described by Blanchard. Having said that, passing pseudo-bis who focus on men only, which is quite common here, can be successful and well adjusted. They get plenty of affirmation from men’s desire for them and they do learn to enjoy being penetrated. This means they have all their ducks in a row: they look like women, act like women and fuck like women. In fact some just give up with the penis, although it probably still works. They are like supremely capable actresses who love the role they play, and themselves in it.

      HSTS are different. In the first place, they don’t ‘learn to like’ anal sex, nearly all of them love it from the off. They were fingering their bottoms to orgasm at age five, long before they knew how to cum from their cocks. They become increasingly desperate to feel cock and many will become sexually active long before their teens. Usually they began with offering oral sex to older boys and also men. They actively seek out and flirt with men, which can be seriously disconcerting, if one is conditioned by Western mores to think that fucking boys is a bad thing. I have several times had such a boy squeeze up next to me and even try to sit on my knee. I’ve never taken advantage of that but many local men do. I have never known one, met later in life, who had any regrets at all about her early sexual exploits, even when they began so young. In fact, most say they wished they’d had more.

      Those who, for whatever reason, usually coming from a religious family in a remote location, have not been penetrated by the time they’re in their late teens,(they’ll have been at the oral sex though) will be positively gagging for it. I once had a girl like this, 20 and one of the most beautiful women I have ever met, let alone bedded, kneel naked on the bed, wiggling her perfect bottom and moaning ‘I don’t care if it hurts, I just need to feel it.’ She was literally begging for dick. This just is not AGP behaviour.

      Nonhomosexuals (AGPs) are nothing like that, even if they do come out in their later teens. They are much more likely to be in close physical proximity to women.

  3. Interesting perspective , thank you for your comprehensive answer

    I just wonder then what is with the people who fit more the AGP description but have had femenine Appearance/psysique and behaviours since they were little kids, for example walking in a girly manner and constantly being told not to do so, and then really try hard to supress their own mannerisms as a attempt to fit but later in life returning back to their origins and becoming trans.

    Are you saying people who actually like males but never allowed themselves to explore it for social and deeply held religious reasons are not real?

    What if just this continued habit for years of supressing their efforless nature leads to developing unhealthy mental disorders.

    If a kid 5 years old is both femenine in mannerism and physique in way thats not conscious (ie not being aware they walk in a super girly manner) , you ask her if she likes males or females and she literally doesn’t know the right answer (what we expect to hear) and secretly fantasizes about permanently being one of the girls or a girl in his class at a very young age is this still AGP according to blanchard?

    What I want to point is when individuals clearly have had a big degree of sexual inversion before they even knew about it (physical neoteny, femenine body shape, mannerism and preference for girl toys and roles) but wish they were female more so than they wish males therefore fitting the description for AGP but on top of that the thought of having sex with a girl is eww.

    I knew a kid who fit exactly this and she was scared wanting to be a girl was a SIN against what god created her, like really scared, and she also had giggly feelings for boys I find it so hard to just call her an AGP and call it a day

    Cause as woman I have a tendency to not think that much about cocks but about the energy of men and how they make me feel (introverted feeler), how this would express in a trans woman is beyond my current knowledge but I wouldn’t dare to discard there can’t be trans girls with my kind of sexuality (more driven by emotions, feelings (such as the one you get sheltered on his arms), tension and electricity more so than the physical desire for cock but still attracted to males)

    And finally if you consider Bruce lipton studies (search criteria: bruce lipton we are a broadcast) you can see how after years of researching stem cells, he concludes our conciouness or mind is not located in our brains, not even in our bodies.

    He also goes about how changes in the enviorement change the kind of tissue the steam cells produced!, he could tell them for example to make bone cells by making changes in the enviorement

    He goes to say our cells have all like tiny antennae and they receive the signals that tell them what to be, concluding therefore that our identity is broadcasted to our bodies, in his words “we are a broadcast!” .

    A broadcast heavily impacted by our enviorement. Envioremental changes definetly motivated the recent transition epidemic among young females which a lot of people use now as a excuse to undermine all transsexuality

    The implications this discoveries ( bruce lipton’s) have for trans sexual study are being deffinetly overlooked, as you mention in your posts is impressive to see how serious real research on this subject is stuck in the 90’s, constantly sabotaged and manipulated for political and social engineering reasons.

    Could the innate broadcast be female ? Could the enviorement force the individual to try hard to be male during a period of their lives?

    What is the criteria used to describe and difference an ETLE over just discovering you are sexy , which again feeling attractive and desired really motivate a lot of us cis girls, both consciously and unconsciously to do things

    I have heard my mother say things such as ” I like myself so much in this selfie, is almost like in love with myself” Are this patterns in women narcisistic or signs of an ETLE

    Again thank you for your time and answer~

  4. I think at this point you deserve some context, I am a preschool teacher, we recently received education programs which had lots of queer theory in them

    I am personally against a cookie cutter solution one sizes fits all models, is confusing to educate kids about gender intentity specially if they are normal cis kids

    However there are some kids which seem like they really would struggle as the asigned at birth sex, so it let me to investigate on the subject, even went to a legal convention event where there were a lot of transexuals and I got to speak to many of them.

    Investigating I found this field was riddled with traps badum tst there were a lot of interests involved which made the investigation difficult, I also found most of it was again, either “gender critical” or stuck in the 90’s (with a really masculine psychology thought with their penises basically), I even read about the epidemic of transitions among youth girls which I attributed to a social engineering experiment related to changes in the enviorement, is in my hypothesis that the pandemic worked in the same way, social contagion and nocebo effect leading people to manifest real symptons but thats another subject!

    Back to the transkids, I think we share the same goals or maybe not but mines are:

    To ensure protection, proper care and understanding of real transkids

    To not shove gender critic theory in everyones throats specially onto the least related to the subject, this leads to divisiness and acumulated hatred against a minority

    Preserve feminity and the feminine principle

    This includes indetifying all fakes allies of the transgender movement and all undesired mediatic attention, you can equate it to flat earths (things that throw off investigations), unwanted attention meant to demerit and undermine a real condition (ie the man who wants to compete on mma against women “braveness”)

    Separate real transkids from vocal opportunistic fetishist, getting courted by a “trans lesbian” is the most annoying thing…

    This last step however is the most difficult since there is a tendency among trans people to modify their narrative in order to fit what is necesary to get their way, exploiting this, controllers led a lot of healthy kids into indentifying and intensifying dysphoria

    when someone truly wants with all their holistic self to live as the other sex there is a tendency of adopting the most convinient narrative at hand, the one that gets them quick to that live and let me live my life state most are so fond of.

    This means the motivations are blurry, I support the sexual target hypothesis if it allows for making one self prettier in order to SUBCONCIOUSLY attract more males or net that perfect male, much as cis would but I find it hard to believe all true transgenders must exhibit an extreme desire for male physical intimacy, (extreme desire for cock and anal sex) women libido is less intense and these behaviours are clearly testorone driven (testosterone is the culprit of sex drive among both males and females) not to mention sexuality is part of our holistic beingness as humans we are deeply but not exclusively sexual.

    With extreme controls of who is really trans and who is just mentally ill, We run the risk of excluding real trans people but no controls means any man can conviniently call himself a woman and this is also deeply problematic specially for real harmless transexuals.

    Is in my hypothesis than since women started behaving more like men, nature tries to balance this much as it happens on fish, but is a proto evolutionary feature, humans can or will be able to naturally change sex without big pharma intervention ( think ryan mckenna )

    Bruce lipton our indentity is a broadcast is in my opinion the next step since it accounts both for an innate indentity broadcast ( with direct impact on physical biology) and the influence of the enviroment.

    Finally I have seen homosexual men go to great lenghts to deny their homosexuality to themselves, reaching great academic milestones such as learning lots of languagues, writing lots of books and swimming across the “canal de la mancha” to mention some examples. How this supressing behaviour would manifest in an actual trans person in denial is beyond me

    Also I forgot to tell you the social facade pseudo hetero sexuality I described in my first post is only a facade, the person is a virgin, never actually has had sex with a female, I talked to one trans person who I cannot clearly type according to blanchard who said when prentending to be male he/she only attracted masculine women who expressed (on one occasion one gay woman who left him for a girl) a clear interest in his neotenial features and cuteness and wanted to take leading roles in the relationship and how as holding the identity of a man constantly declined.

    she told me of one time she was really proud of the girl she nailed ( more so of the approval of her grandpa ) when to his dissapoiment the girl wanted him to be his wife meaning she assumed from the go she would work and be the bread winner and him to be her stay at home wife, when she came back home she would ask him “what did you made for dinner” this lead this person to cut ties with this girl and go back to consider if he was a homosexual male.

    The male indentity of this person was clearly learned (not innate), studied and copied with the only goal of making their parents proud. He also went on to tell me how he suffered bullying due to his effeminate looks and behaviour, which lead him to try even harder to be male.

    A person like this could fear males and since they also don’t really like females, the sexuality of such person would be broken until after much healing ,they allow unfiltered innate expression .

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