The Fan Who Would Be Queen

Another wicked parody of Bailey's book. I wish I could say it was mine, but it was written by Janice Blanche.

It is 1:00am at the Dairy Queen, and I am tired. I have had only limited success this evening recruiting subjects for my studies on men who are attracted to transsexual women. I am cruising as many late-night hot spotsas I can before calling it a night. The few research subjects I am aware of have not had any success in finding other people for me to interview.Oh, there we go! Out in the parking lot, I see one of these "sniffers" as they are sometimes called, hanging out in his red Corvette with a very attractive consort. You can usually tell the sniffers by the kind of car they drive - sleek roadsters piloted by overweight balding men, and yet there is an attractive woman in the front seat next to him. I am considering approaching him, but he looks tentative and nervous, as if he's doing something wrong. I don't want to scare him, but I do get his license plate number so I can track him down later with the assistance of a friend who works at the DMV.

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Tranny chasers have not had the same popularity as the transsexuals they so very much covet on daytime television shows like Jerry Springer or Ricki Lake. It's certainly not because of a lack of interest into the lives of these unusual men. I'm sure people would find them fascinating and curious.

Some themes for such shows immediately jump to mind:

What is it like to feel attracted to she-males?

Is there ever a chance for a real relationship?

If you have sex with a transsexual, does that make you gay?

What kind of sex do you have?

Do you ever regret repeatedly seeking out these encounters?

These are, indeed, quite fascinating questions. They may be less practically important than questions about securing civil rights, but they do relate to human nature. Unfortunately, the typical format of daytime TV does little to promote much deep thinking. Moreover, it is not surprising that the average American has only superficial knowledge of tranny chasers especially given that the "experts" who hypothesize about them have very little practical experience themselves.

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Terminology is an important facet of understanding this phenomenon. Most people would be surprised to learn that there is actually a term that can be used to diagnose these unusual people. This term is "gynandromorphilia". Broken down, it means a love or fetish for women who've transitioned from a male gendered life. This definition allows for varying degrees of gynandromorphilialism. Someone with a very low degree of gynadromorphilia might be tempted to rent a she-male movie once or twice at the video store, just for kicks. A few might try a she-male prostitute once or twice.

On the other end of the spectrum, someone with a very high degree of gynandromorphilia might be expected to spend the great majority of his free time at drag shows or gay clubs, vacantly looking at the performers and desparately trying to solicit phone numbers. We would call this person a gynandromorphiliac - that is, someone who has become defined by this unusual peccadillo. Some take on on professional occupations so they can be surrounded by transsexual women every day without arousing suspicion. It may even become an identity.

Despite this variability, it is possible to get a handle on the psychology of gynandromorphiliality. You just have to meet the right people - starting with some gynandromorphiliacs themselves.

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One way the standard story of transie-sniffers is wrong is in its singularity. Two different types of men chase trannies. To anyone who examines them closely, they are quite different in their personalities, their occupations, and their overall temperament. Deep down, there are two distinct underlying motivations to seek out the sexual company of pre-operative male-to-female transsexuals. We know very little about the causes of these misunderstood individuals, but I am quite certain when we are done that even the most novice layperson will be able to tell the difference. To anyone who has seen the two types and who knows the right questions to ask, it is easy to tell them apart.

The two types of gynandromorphiliacs are called homosexual and autogynephilic. Once understood, these terms will seem perfectly understandable. Succinctly, a homosexual gynandromorphiliac is a type of gay man who doesn't accept his homosexuality and seeks out ways to express that sexuality without compromising his identity as heterosexual. Autogynephilic gynandromorphiliacs are men who are erotically obsessed with becoming transsexual themselves, but flip-flop between trying to exert power over their predilections and submitting to them. Unlike most feminine boys, both of these types of men are quite successful at suppressing any and all of their unmasculine tendencies, until they resurface in their forties or fifties.

So meet Mickey Bailiff and Roy Blanchett, both extraordinary individuals. Mickey is shy and awkward, with a deeply receding hairline and a massive jaw. Roy is cocky and outgoing, and simply exudes attitude. Both are well into their middle-aged years, and spend an inordinate amount of time with transsexuals. The most unusual fact about them in my experience is that they are close friends and two different types of gynandromorphiliacs. Serious socializing between any gynandromorphiliacs is practically unheard of. Mickey is a homosexual gynandromorphiliac and Roy is an autogynephilic gynandromorphiliac.

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Mickey was born in the heart of Texas. Knowing what I know about Mickey, I already know what kind of childhood he experienced. He expressed some femininity very early in life, probably around the age of two or three. His father, a strict disciplinarian, either beat him or verbally humiliated him, and that was the last time Mickey expressed anything feminine until he became an adult. Due to his conservative upbringing and an ego-dystonic reaction to his own intuition, Mickey grew up as a rather unimaginative and uncreative young man, yet possessed enough intelligence and ability to read a social situation sufficiently well to navigate a career in academia. Still, his curriculum vitae is rather unrenowned.

Mickey has been fascinated by gay culture for over a decade, to the detriment of his former marriage. He spends all of his free time haunting gay clubs and bars, and has even gotten an apartment near the gay part of town. He drives a snazzy sports car and is often seen in the company of beautiful women - albeit women with a secret. He makes it known that he still gets on with his wife and kids, and is always crowing about his heterosexuality.

However, deep down Mickey is gay, though even at this point he won't say so. As a homosexual gynandromorphiliac, he cannot accept his homosexuality. But it still lies there at the core of his being, like an unmovable rock. So Mickey seeks out the sexual companionship of attractive preoperative transsexual women, usually prostitutes. But he can never develop a real relationship with them, for they would prefer to get on with their lives and step into womanhood. Plus, due to his ineffectual mother and overbearing father, Mickey lacks the ability to emotionally connect with other human beings. As I said, he comes across as shy and awkward, and tends to avoid social situations.

In bed he is likely to assume the male role, often penetrating his partner anally or orally. Occasionally he will take to performing fellatio, but this will fill him with horror and he will retreat for several weeks or months and try to purge himself of his addiction. The most common type of avoidance behavior will be writing about the people who most remind him of his failings. When not consumed by self-loathing, Mickey can participate in the club scene, and after a few drinks he will open up, perhaps even dance now and then, and appear like he's having an enjoyable time.

Mickey's greatest fear is falling in love, likely with a masculine post-operative transsexual woman. In this person he would find the masculine psychological qualities and voice that he so craves, without the stigma of having sex with someone who still wields a penis. But such transsexual women are often attracted to the very femininity that Mickey cannot express, and so any such love would be unrequited.

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Roy's story is very different, and much more mysterious. Roy has led a very private and sheltered life, and spends most of his time working with transsexual women who have very little natural feminity to work with. Like most autogynephilic gynandromorphiliacs, Roy hates the fact that he wants to transition, knowing that with his frame and face he would never be seen as a woman in society. But Roy is erotically obsessed with having a vagina and wearing women's clothes, and so he's stuck between a rock and a hard place. Roy will use two very different strategies to cope with his own self-hatred.

Like most fetishists, Roy has other paraphiliacal attachments. Most autogynephilic gynandromorphiliacs will be sadomasochists, though some may very well be pedophiles or necrophiliacs. To act out his sadism, Roy seeks positions of power over other transitioning individuals. He hates that he will never transition, and so does his best to make it as difficult as possible for others to do so safely and sanely. In exercising control over others, he gains a temporary sense of mastery over himself. Because it is so difficult to find transsexual women to control, misogyny will set in and control and hatred will be exercised over natal women, who serve merely as substitutes. As such we would likely find people like Roy in middle management positions, or directors of lower-paying workforces predominated by women, such as secretaries and nurses.

Like any pendulum, though, Roy eventually must swing the other way. Like Mickey, this is something he could never admit publicly. Luckily I happen to know someone who is very familiar with people like Roy. My informant used to service these sorts of men professionally, and from her observations we can deduce what Roy's private life is probably like.

In the masochistic phase, an autogynephilic gynandromorphiliac seeks out other transsexual women to engage in sessions of cross-dressing, lesbian fantasy, and submissive role-playing. He will want to try on lingerie, and will prefer being penetrated, preferably anally. He wants someone who will force him to be feminine, so that he doesn't have to take responsibility for his desires. He likely consumes a vast amount of pornographic materials, ranging from she-male movies to lurid stories of young boys being dominated into taking female hormones, having breast implants, and wearing frilly underwear. Unlike the homosexual gynandromorphiliac, people like Roy are content with masculine transsexual women - that is, those who look like transvestites or men in dresses - as this closely mirrors their own self-conception.

When leaving the masochistic phase, a purge of these materials will usually occur and the sadistic side of his personality will re-emerge. In a way, autogynephilic gynandromorphiliacs have a sort of schizophrenia, which is likely uncurable.

In essence, the autogynephilic gynandromorphiliac has a mis-directed identity disorder which is externally transferred and projected on to the very objects he wants to become. Autogynephilic gynandromorphiliacs are transsexuals trapped in men's bodies, and in no way do they really have women's souls.

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How do we tell the difference between the two types? It's very easy. If they play the submissive role or cross-dress during their sessions with transsexual women, they are autogynephilic gynandromorphiles. Otherwise they are repressed homosexuals. According to a researcher in Canada they are about 50/50, which has been confirmed by professionals out in the field.

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Unfortunately we know of no treatment options currently available for such afflicted individuals, and so we must extend to them with as much compassion and respect as possible. They do not wish to have these thoughts and feelings, and can only act out their desires for short periods of time. In their daily lives they may appear quite normal, taking on occupations such as teachers, writers, telemarketers, middle-managers and used-car salesmen.

They have few if any intimate friendships, and will likely die as lonely and forgotten men.

Neither is it very likely for them to become the men or women they so desperately want to be. Mickey will never be able to be truly gay, but will always be consigned to the periphery of gay culture. Roy will never become a woman, even if he overcomes his own inherent misogyny. If he does transition, we will never be able to pass, and will be haunted by an affected and stereotypical manner.

It may be difficult for us to accept people with this condition, let alone the idea that there are two distinct types, but it is nevertheless the truth. I think about the unusual lives that Mickey and Roy lead, and what unusual people they are. How difficult it must be for them to explore and accept their own sexuality! I think about all the strange looks they must continue to endure. And I think that in their own ways, both Mickey and Roy are stars.