Anne Lawrence incidents and experiences

Anne Lawrence is a controversial sexologist and former anesthesiologist who self-identifies as a "real transsexual" who has a sex-fueled mental illness called "autogynephilia."

Dr. Lawrence left anesthesiology after examining an unconscious patient for signs of ritualized genital modification. Others, myself included, have observed that Dr. Lawrence's interest in sugically altered genitalia is an uncomfortable mix of sexual and professional fascination. This page documents first-hand reports of people submitting to Dr. Lawrence for medicalized examinations that appeared inappropriately sexual to the observers.

I discuss my own experience with an inappropriate exam in The Anne Who Would Be Queen.

From a reader in 2003:

At the IFGE conference in 2001, I witnessed a public seduction of a newly-surgeried transsexual woman by Dr. Lawrence. As she did her bizarre dance "When was your surgery? Are you finally "complete," Can I take your picture? How about 15 minutes from now?" the dynamic was clearly, from my perspective, that of a male preying on a female.

A reader sent the following account in December 2004:

Before I took the first steps in my transition, I surfed the web looking for information. Through a link on another site, I found Anne Lawrence's resource pages. Based on what I learned there, I began my HRT by self-medicating. I used an online pharmacy which she discussed on her site, and followed her recommended dosages.

After several months, the expense and the fear of legal trouble led me to think of getting a prescription. I have family near Seattle, and pass through there often while visiting them. Since Anne Lawrence is TG herself, and since she had such a great resource page, I was excited about making an appointment with her.

I left my father's house early in the morning to go see her. I hadn't told him yet. I left his home in male disguise, figuring I could change at Dr. L's office.

I expected some kind of medical office building. Instead, it looked like a small building that had been converted into an office facility. It was on the edge of a residential neighborhood. The parking lot was tiny and there were warnings about taking a reserved spot.

My appointment was at 1:00. I got there early. The doors were locked. I waited for somebody to come along. A man came out and, without asking questions, he held the door open for me to go in.

There was nobody around. The restrooms were locked, as was Dr. L's office. There were signs for an insurance agency and other non-medical offices. I didn't ask anyone for the restroom key, since I didn't feel comfortable going into an insurance agency dressed as a man and asking for the key to the women's restroom. Finally a woman came in and went to the restroom. I waited outside and grabbed the door and slid in when she came out. I changed, put on my makeup and returned to the lobby.

Finally Anne Lawrence arrived. She didn't look like I expected her to. She wasn't dressed as I expected a doctor to be. She was wearing tight blue jeans and a long-sleeve lacy blue top. My impression was that she needed fashion advice. The tight fit seemed to me to emphasize her genetically-male torso, shoulders and legs.

I stood up and introduced myself. I expected her office to have its own waiting room but it didn't. She brushed me off and told me to continue waiting in the lobby.

Finally she came out and got me. Her office looked cobbled together. A few chairs arranged like a therapist's office, an examining table behind them, and a desk in the corner.

We sat down opposite each other, and she began asking me questions. My voice was horrible at that time and I expected hers to be polished. Instead it struck me as obviously phony. She was physically wrapping her whole mouth around her words and speaking slowly and meticulously, too much so to sound natural. It seemed like she was keeping her mouth as rounded as possible all the time. Her voice was low and kind of breathy and husky, like an imitation of Kathleen Turner.

I was struck by how sexually-oriented her questions were, and by how leading they were. She was obviously trying to get me to talk about my female-ness in turns of sexual arousal. She asked me if I got sexually aroused by wearing women's clothing. I said no, I don't wear women's clothes because it turns me on, I wear women's clothing because I'm a woman and I need to get dressed. She asked me if I masturbated after going out as a woman. I said no. She seemed annoyed.

"You must masturbate sometimes after dressing female. How often?"

"I don't. If I do, it's a coincidence."

"How often?"

"Once a month."

"Oh, you must masturbate more than that, maybe 10 or 15 times a month?"

"No."

She became increasingly distant, then broke off the questions abruptly.

"Well, if I'm going to give you a prescription, I need to examine you."

She gave me a medical gown to change into. I was put off when she stared at me intently the whole time I was changing. She didn't have an outer office so it seemed natural for her to stay in the room, but I was uncomfortable with her staring.

She directed me to lie down on the table. She gave me a cursory exam, the standard "breathe in, breathe out" while she used her stethoscope. Then she told me she needed to take some measurements.

She got what looked like a pair of calipers from a high school shop class. The only things she measured were my breasts and my genitals. I became increasingly uncomfortable. While "measuring" my breasts, she squeezed them several times. A few times she squeezed so tightly that it hurt. At one point, she put her fingers directly on either side of my nipples and pinched.

At no time did she explain why she needed these measurements. I had never seen anyone about HRT before and I had no idea what they'd need to examine but this was bizarre.

She moved on to my genitals, and it seemed to me that she was becoming excited. Her face was getting flushed, and her hands shook a little. She dropped her calipers twice, and made a comment about how she didn't know what was wrong with her that day, why she was so clumsy. Her voice at this point was much lower and softer than during the interview part.

Throughout this, she was commenting on the size of my breasts, and then the size of my testicles.

By this time, I just wanted to get out of that office. Finally she was done. She wrote the prescription, gave me a few last words, and I left feeling dirty, like I needed a shower.

That night I drove south for a few hours heading back towards my home. When I stopped for the night, I felt depressed and empty. I couldn't eat.
A long time ago, I was gang-raped while in a hospital, under anesthetic. The men who raped me were on staff there. That event caused me to abandon the attempt to transition which I was making at that time. It was a long time until I felt ready and strong enough to try again.

A few days after I left Dr. L's office, driving home on the interstate, it all came out. One moment I was driving along listening to music, and the next moment, I exploded in grief and pain. I had to pull off to the side of the road, where I sat crying for a long time. Dr. Lawrence's sexual abuse of me, her abuse of my trust and her violation of my body, had brought all the pain of my earlier trauma back to me.

When I got home, I was close to pulling the plug on my transition, just giving up. Luckily, I had already disclosed to my closest friends and to my employer. My boss had been totally supportive and was working with me to plan for my going full time on the job. If I had not already taken those steps, Anne Lawrence's actions might have derailed me.

She couldn't have known about my history and about what her abuse would do to me, but even without that history, what she did was wrong, absolutely wrong. To prey on our community, to betray our trust and abuse us, is something no person should ever do. Nobody, TG or not, should ever be dehumanized that way.

From a reader in November 2006

I am writing you this letter in support of you, as well as giving you full permission to add this to your website, as well as share this letter with anyone else you choose.  I have corresponded with you in the past about Anne Lawrence, and I refuse to acknowledge Anne with female pronouns, as I find it not applicable with A.  I viewed A's website today, and found A's link to Alice Dreger's "blog" regarding you.  I find it hilarious A would provide this link, as it's quite apparent A is bitter over the fact you have posted completely accurate information on your ts roadmap site about them.  So many people in the transgender/transsexual community fear A, and I applaud you for being real and telling it like it is about A, Bailey, etc.  Many of us as trans people have lived in fear for one reason or another, and you have courage that A blatantly does not.

Again, I find it hilarious and quite pathetic that A would provide this link to the "blog" of Alice, as it's a pretty clear (and unsuccessful) attempt at getting revenge against you for posting the TRUTH about Anne.  I find it interesting that on Alice Dreger's site she repeats over and over (and over!) how she's a supporter children and transgender rights.  People that have to repeat themselves constantly are in fact trying to convince themselves they are something they are truly not.  Alice Dreger wants to talk about Ms. James being juvenile?!  On Alice's blog she refers to Ms. James as a neo-nazi and likens her to Fred Phelps, a man that is pure human waste.  Alice's insults against Ms. James made me physically ill.  Having dealt with Ms. James over the past several years on a personal level, I have found her to be a bright, intelligent, knowledgeable, and very open lady more than willing to give her advice (in a not shoving it down your throat way Anne Lawrence does).  

Having dealt with Anne Lawrence on a face-to-face personal level as well, speaking very bluntly I find A to be disgusting, sadistic, extremely arrogant, and could not be farther from being a woman.  The fact of the matter is at one point and time when people didn't know A's true colors many trans people, including myself, obtained a lot of very helpful information from A's website.  Being a Seattle native myself (where A also resides), in early 2002 I discovered the Ingersoll Gender Center, a support group for people of all gender identities and expressions.

I started attending the groups about a month before my 21st birthday.  Ingersoll is primarily a resource center for information, but I had been on hormone therapy since my 18th birthday, as well as scheduled my SRS with Dr. Toby Meltzer for September 2002 (prior to first attending Ingersoll meetings).  As of October 2006, Ingersoll Gender Center is no longer around.  At the time (2002), there were a number of facilitators that would basically monitor the groups, and occasionally give suggestions on topics to discuss at the meetings.  The facilitator's job was NOT to control the group, but to be impartial and just make sure people discussed things that were relevant to gender as well as in an appropriate way.  

When Anne Lawrence would facilitate, A would take it upon them self to run the meetings in a manner where it was completely focused on A, controlled absolutely every aspect of things said, shoot down people A didn't agree with, and A would push their autogynophelia/fetishes on people.  It was very obvious A didn't have the slightest understanding of what proper professional ethics were, and I shudder to think how A conducted them self in their private practice!  In my personal opinion, due to the fact I was not impressed with A, I was of a young age and had more knowledge and intelligence of someone of my age...I intimidated A when I disagreed with them.  There were a handful of "incidents" where A would say to me in front of other people at the meeting "if you don't agree with me, you can leave".  This is where everything started to go downhill at Ingersoll with Anne Lawrence.

It's been documented that A was let go from their previous profession for grossly inappropriate misconduct, something in my opinion that should have led to criminal charges.  During the very short period of time A facilitated at Ingersoll Gender Center the attendance rate dropped at an extremely high rate whenever A facilitated, even to the point people would walk in, and when they saw A was there they would do an about face and leave.  I stopped by the group one day to see who was facilitating, and I witnessed from an outside window an hour into a meeting it was only A and one other person...as opposed to the average of 15-20 people attending when A did *not* facilitate.  The bottom line is A is a very nasty/mean-spirited person that people simply didn't want to be around!  A had made many, many attempts at being a board member at Ingersoll and was repeatedly denied.  Due to lack of attendance when A facilitated, A was let go as facilitator.  And the fall of A's career now proceeds to get even worse...

Many people turned their backs on Anne Lawrence when A backed up Bailey's theory about transsexual women, which angered and offended many people in our community.  But the truth is a huge factor in the failure of A's career is people simply despised A solely as a person, even before the whole Bailey controversy.  As Martin Luther King Jr. said, judge someone based upon the content of their character, and A's was grotesque!

As A's "popularity" further declined, not by coincidence did A not update their website for over a year!  Why bother investing time and energy into something when you no longer have the "audience" and supporters you did before?  A's private practice has suffered a huge blow from the multiple events that A is fully responsible for and caused.  A has since moved their practice to their PRIVATE RESIDENCE.  A is no longer located in the same "precious" building they had their practice for so many years.  

I find it amusing that Anne Lawrence calls their website "Transsexual Women's Resources" when A has never identified as a woman them self!  How ridiculous is that?!  Unless you have a sexual fetish, or consider yourself a "homosexual" transsexual, A simply will not take someone seriously.  What confident FEMALE-identified transsexual woman would go to A for therapy sessions?  It's like single person going to a marriage counselor, it doesn't make any sense to go to someone who isn't able to accurately address your specific needs!  

Anne Lawrence has created their own self-demise, plain and simple.  Comparing some individuals desire to have limb amputation with gender reassignment surgery is disgusting, ignorant, and ridiculous.  Gender reassignment surgery is a reconstructive surgery that creates something new and functional for a person...physically, spiritually, and emotionally.  Limb amputation is taking something away.  The ethical thing to do would be to create a SEPARATE site for the limb amputation-related issues...create a SEPARATE site for autogynophelia.  These two subjects have NOTHING to do with true transsexual women's issues!  Pushing multiple agendas like A does shows they completely lack ANY credibility in TRUE transsexualism!

In closing, I would to repeat I fully support Andrea James and her statements on her site, including Bailey and his children.  The bottom line is just because a quack has a theory doesn't make it factual!  I believe Anne Lawrence and Alice Dreger have completely different perceptions of what a true transsexual woman is, and in my personal opinion they could never understand because they truly aren't ones.  Anne Lawrence is a petty, simple, and VERY sad individual that feels the need to have a pissing contest (a male characteristic) and attempt to get back at Ms. James for revealing the truth.  I am ashamed and disgusted with A and would never even come close to acknowledging that person belonging in our community.  

-Sincerely, M in Seattle