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The Anne Who Would Be Queen
The Pseudoscience of "Autogynephilia" and Identity Politics
This essay explores three issues regarding Anne Lawrence:
Because Dr. Lawrence was once a respected member of the transgender community, and because of the subject matter, this essay has a very different feel than most of my writings. I have tried to remain generally respectful when presenting the facts and my commentary. The author would like to thank everyone who shared their experiences and research. Anyone with additional information may contact me.
Sexologist Anne Lawrence considers J. Michael Baileys The Man Who Would Be Queen easily the best book of its kind and highly recommended.  Baileys book claims the film quoted below features people such as Dr. Lawrence and their like:
Given Bailey's breathtaking assertions, why would Dr. Lawrence feel this book is remarkable for its insight? It seems almost incomprehensible at first, but a closer look into the mind and actions of Dr. Lawrence gives a glimpse into why a book which most people would consider an outrageous slur fits into Dr. Lawrence's self-identification.
Taking the quotation above as a starting point, this essay explores a lot of things Dr. Lawrence has tried to be:
This essay will elaborate on how Dr. Lawrences erotic interest in genital modification and near-insatiable levels of autoerotic sexuality ended up damaging or destroying a lot of these things Dr. Lawrence has tried to be.
For almost anyone who isnt Dr. Lawrence, the publication of Baileys book marks a low point in the history of transsexualism. Bailey makes observations and claims in the name of science which many consider to be scientifically unsound and deeply biased. Many feel its the most defamatory book on transsexualism since Janice Raymond wrote The Transsexual Empire in 1979. Beyond the books general offensiveness, many find the influential positions of the three people aggressively promoting this book and the theories behind it even more troubling.
Dr. Lawrence is one of the great champions of Baileys book and of Ray Blanchards invention of autogynephilia, or the fetishization of oneself as a woman. I dismantle this wrongheaded concept in my essay on disease models of gender variance, which examines Blanchards obscure and largely forgotten body of published work on transsexualism. This essay seeks to explain why Blanchards vague and inaccurate neologism is so personally important to Dr. Lawrence.
Dr. Lawrence has the near-obsessive need for categorization that has a rich history in the study of transsexualism. In the parlance of Dr. Lawrences academic cohorts, this need for systemizing is considered a hallmark of a male brain.  The people who seem most caught up in which type they are seem interested in creating a hierarchy for leveraging power from those constructed categories. Seemingly lacking from Baileys, Blanchards, and Lawrences minds are what peers like Dr. Baron-Cohen call the female cognitive profile of empathizing.
I fell for this simplistic trap of categorization myself early on. Back when I first got on the internet in 1995, I had come across some of Ray Blanchards early writings on the types of transsexuals and summarized them online. It seemed like a useful rudimentary way to think about sexuality in our community, and I still believe it has its limited uses in explaining that sexual orientation and gender identity are not the same thing. As many others have, I also did not grasp that this was a paraphilic model which casts our motivations as a sex-fueled mental illness. One of my majors was classical Greek, so I assumed "philia" (friendly love, affection, friendship) could be considered in apposition to "phobia" (panic fear/hatred) and suggested to Dr. Lawrence that my own motivation might be better described as "autoandrophobia," a hatred of my self as male.
The problem is that Blanchard later collapsed all but one of the sexual orientations we might have (even the lack of one) into a fetish he calls autogynephilia. I believe this effaces important distinctions between interest in feminization, erotic interest in feminization, and autoerotic interest in feminization. It also effaces typical clinical distinctions between transsexual and non-transsexual gender variance. Blanchard's decision to change his label for the other type from androphilic to homosexual ensured that virtually any transsexual woman would find his taxonomy offensive.
As I have said many times, erotic interest is a perfectly valid reason for seeking feminization. In fact, I have frequently counseled people who appeared to have erotic or autoerotic interest in feminization to write to Dr. Lawrence. I have also decried the Standards of Care for forcing people like Dr. Lawrence to live in a female role, if all they want is to get genital modification and admire their altered bodies in a mirror or among others who share their fetish.
As I came to understand the deeper issues and problems of taxonomy, I began to see how Blanchards seemingly benign categories were ultimately dehumanizing to transsexual women, by suggesting our motivation can be placed along an axis of sexuality. Not only is this inaccurate, it plays into the most pervasive stereotypes we deal with on a daily basis. Add to that the breathtaking stories of treatment at the hands of Blanchard by women forced to pass through the gates he kept at Torontos Clarke Institute, and I started to see how we were dealing with a modern-day Procrustes: a petty tyrant with a penchant for making vulnerable people conform to his specifications in order to get access to treatment he controlled. Anyone with any other option financially steered clear of Jurassic Clarke, as it came to be known.
I have dealt with Bailey and Blanchard elsewhere. Since Dr. Lawrence is part of the transgender community, I plan to treat Dr. Lawrence with as much inclusion and empathy as possible, in hopes Dr. Lawrence will come to understand how much damage this systemizing does to those who do not share Dr. Lawrences feelings and motivations. This article lays out my personal experiences with Dr. Lawrence, and explores some of the reasons Dr. Lawrence may be promoting autogynephilia with near-religious zeal, everything else be damned, whether its the larger political issues or the opinions of those who have differing views.
Before I start, I want to reiterate that I consider Dr. Lawrences work on behalf of those seeking feminization to be among the finest medical information on the net. In fact, Dr. Lawrence and I both had the same basic ideas of what needed to be done for anyone seeking feminization: to discuss options and resources that help everyone, no matter what their goals. Dr. Lawrences own focus from the onset was two of the so-called "triadic therapies": hormones (HRT) and vaginoplasty, which Lawrence calls sex reassignment surgery (SRS). The social component, sometimes called the Real Life Test (RLT), was of considerably less importance to Dr. Lawrence. As we will see, after completing most physical aspects of gender transition, Dr. Lawrence was still unable to pass this real life test and was forced to resign because of the combination of (auto)erotic obsession and lack of social acceptance in the workplace.
As a consumer activist, I have a great deal of admiration for what Dr. Lawrence has done online. We both realized early on that the internet is one of the most important advances for people with gender identity issues. Its a place where a scattered group of people can gather and share information and experiences, anonymously if needed, and on a global scale. Our goals were so much in synch that we had even split up tasks for writing a book together on the practical aspects of transition in 1999. At the time, I saw Dr. Lawrences devotion to autogynephilia as a way to shore up sagging self-esteem. Dr. Lawrence had confided in feeling inadequate around me (see Pink Triangulation), and this theory seemed to give Dr. Lawrences life meaning and mitigate the inadequacy Dr. Lawrence felt around assimilated transsexual women. It was not until 2003 that I came to understand the larger issues and problems surrounding this taxonomy.
I find it very telling that since this essay was written, Dr. Lawrence has removed links and materials on annelawrence. com that contradict the image Dr. Lawrence wants to present. That includes removing links from this site and several other resource sites.
I have written a great deal on "autogynephilia" elsewhere, but here's a good way to think about what it describes.
Unfortunately, Dr. Lawrence is a true believer, even believing it has predictive life-shaping powers, as if "autogynephilic" were a zodiac sign.
Lets take a look at the events that led up to Dr. Lawrences obsession with the identity politics surrounding the concept of autogynephilia.
Dr. Lawrence makes this self-report, though we find ourselves in a bit of a conundrum here. Autogynephiles are liars when they do not agree with Blanchard's and Bailey's two-type theory, but honest and open when they do.  Dr. Lawrences friend Blanchard would suspect theres a fair amount of systematic distortion in Lawrences tale.  Bailey would be less generous, saying Lawrences narrative below is full of common lies :
As Bailey notes, "members of one type sometimes misrepresent themselves as members of the other" . Since much of this self report is "type one" behavior according to Dr. Lawrence's mentors (feelings since early childhood, adolescent effeminacy, taken to be gay), this report calls into question whether Dr. Lawrence can be trusted to tell the truth. These claims might be dismissed by Bailey as "misleading, and in important respects, false." 
In their model, these early childhood feelings Dr. Lawrence claims to have had did not have anything to do with gender identity (these people seem to question if that even exists), but were rather part of a sex-fueled mental illness they call "autogynephilia." Blanchard has been busy trying to get this term shoehorned into the American Psychiatric Association's big book of mental disorders. Children like Dr. Lawrence are little perv-- um, I mean "paraphilics," to use the term Bailey-Blanchard-Lawrence prefer.
The following is from Dr. Lawrence's website:
I won't get into however Dr. Lawrence defines a "normal male," but it appears to involve a belief in some social imperative of marriage and some biological imperative of procreation. Dr. Lawrence married in December 1987, but the marriage was rocky from the start. That didnt stop them from conceiving a child within a few weeks and a second one half a year after the first was born.
In 1992, when their tiny daughter was two, Dr. Lawrence went back to old ways and started on hormones again, upping dosages and undergoing electrolysis through 1994. By the end of that year, Dr. Lawrence had heard about the work of surgeon Toby Meltzer.
By 1995, the stage was set. Dr. Lawrence was done trying to be the first two of a lot of things: husband and "normal male."
Two months after their daughters 5th birthday , Dr. Lawrence abandoned their empty marriage.  That summer, Dr. Lawrence observed surgeon Toby Meltzer do a procedure on a transsexual patient. Dr. Lawrence obtained a court order for name change on 26 October 1995, three weeks before turning 45. Dr. Lawrence revised records with the Department of Motor Vehicles the next day and requested that medical license records be revised in a letter sent out on Halloween.
It is interesting to note that Dr. Lawrence and friends self-identify as "politically incorrect," yet Dr. Lawrence cites "politically correct" gender-friendly laws in the coming out letter written to Swedish staff. Dr. Lawrence expected people to respond in a "politically correct" way (i.e. respect and sensitivity), yet seems genuinely unconcerned when political activists try to explain what a political nightmare Dr. Lawrence is now, by undermining the laws which give us rights as women. We can legislate against discrimination, but we cannot legislate social acceptance. That has to be earned slowly, by convincing those who think it's all just "political correctness" to use certain words and to be more empathetic. People like Bailey-Blanchard-Lawrence are dismissive of "political correctness," but when forced by irresistible social pressures, find other more subtle ways to act out their contempt and bigotry. Prejudice can be driven underground, but it can rarely be killed outright.
Although a member of HBIGDA, a trade group which advocates a one-year "real-life test" for gender-variant people seeking genital modification, Dr. Lawrence was getting genital modification less than half a year after going full-time. Perhaps this truncated real-life test partially explains Lawrence's later problems adjusting at work. On 29 April 1996, Dr. Lawrence underwent genital modification.
Dr. Lawrence's remarkable account of the event, called "Taking Portlandia's Hand," is worth reading in its entirety . Much of it, like the section on the procedure itself (unironically titled "The Parts I Miss") reads like standard Lawrence fare. The remainder is imbued with the language of religion and ritual Dr. Lawrence reserves for narratives of genital modification.
For someone like Dr. Lawrence, a surgeon appears to be standing in for the male lover they will never have.
Because of its popularity, I spun my consumer information on hair removal for transsexual women off into a general market site, including a popular hair removal forum. Because of the level of interest and possible offensiveness to more sensitive readers, I decided to make a separate forum on genital hair removal.
Dr. Lawrence's story has remarkable similarities to stories I hear from a certain type of client of professional hair removal practitioners. Many practitioners lament that they get an occasional "creepy" (their word) customer who gets off sexually on the performance of the procedure. These male consumers frequently want genital hair removal, and they frequently get very aroused. In fact, the majority of electrologists will not work on male genital areas because they've had a run-in with one of these types.
Below are excerpts from a post by one such male consumer:
And a second post from the same man:
I know a masseuse who has the same client issue. There are some people who find the tension of "professionalism" and intimate or embarassing procedures to be very arousing.
I believe that Dr. Lawrence's erotic interest is not of "oneself as a woman" (whatever that bit of vagueness means), but as a passive recipient of medicalized feminization. I see Lawrence's interest as somewhat akin to people who watch surgical procedures on The Learning Channel. It's clear from the email I sometimes receive that some people who read my surgical journal do not do so for practical consumer information (the intended audience), but for sexual reasons.
One reason I know this is because my own SRS experience pages get read by a very different crowd than the rest of my site. The majority of people who enter my site directly on the SRS page versus coming to my main page are coming from links on Dr. Lawrence's site. These sort of people usually have questions about what it "feels like," or what a specific part of the procedure was like. Many request to see photos of the procedure itself, or "before and after photos." They wish to live the experience vicariously; for them, it's a sort of porn verité.
This erotic interest, which is far more specific than whatever "autogynephilia" is supposed to mean, is something others share. For instance, a story that seems related resides on Dr. Lawrence's site, about Tess Cowell who wanted a very specific genital modification in which a vagina was created but the testicles were left intact to improve sexual response, under the extraordinarily telling title of "Meet Tess: A New Dance of Scalpel and Soul." The body modification enthusiasts also overlap with those who contact me about my orchiectomy section. In fact, I ended up creating an entire section on other issues and motivations for the non-transsexual audience.
By the time that first year of full-time living comes around, Dr. Lawrence has completed genital modification and is officially divorced.
Dr. Lawrence heard an invented Goddess say that genital modification "is likely the only way to find peace." Would the genital modification and divorce of 1996 end Dr. Lawrence's troubles and allow for moving on to happier days? Far from it.
After indulging an erotic interest surrounding medically-constructed vaginas and genital modification in 1996, Dr. Lawrence subsequently learned the hard way that society's current threshold for acceptable "female" presentation is more nuanced than simply buying a vagina. Dr. Lawrences inability to be accepted socially by coworkers and patients culminated in a forced resignation in 1997, after a March 31 incident where Lawrence examined an unconscious Ethiopian patients vagina for signs of ritualized genital modification. Below is a synopsis of the case summary from the state investigation:
This led to adverse action reports filed on 19 May, and Dr. Lawrence's resignation a few days later, according to Lee Norman, Senior Vice President for Medical Staff Affairs at Dr. Lawrence's hospital. From the investigation's activity report:
It appears that this arrogance and sexualized fascination clouded Dr. Lawrence's judgment and caused the destruction of Dr. Lawrence's 20-year career in anesthesiology.
For details, including selected original documents from the state investigation, please see the section on Dr. Lawrence's 1997 incident and resignation.
By the end of 1997, Dr. Lawrence had left anesthesiology behind and was enrolled at the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco. I will be writing an entire sordid essay about this school in upcoming months. Suffice it to say for now that the deeper one digs into this whole story, the more disturbing it gets.
Thus marks the end of two more things Lawrence tried to be: anesthesiologist and socially appropriate woman. It turns out that acceptance as female, like anesthesia and academic work, is subject to peer review.
Dr. Lawrence found out the hard way that lying on an operating table does not make you a woman, at least in the eyes of many others. There is certainly a great deal of psychic trauma that occurs when your self-identification is not reflected by others, or even rejected outright.
Without a spouse, a career, or acceptance as female outside a tiny peer group, Dr. Lawrence redoubled efforts in this last area. The TWR website expanded greatly during this time, but perhaps the most notable incident was the meaning Dr. Lawrence found in "autogynephilia" at a time when many other things that gave Dr. Lawrence's life meaning had disappeared.
In October, 1998, Dr. Lawrence web-published an essay called "Men Trapped in Men's Bodies: An Introduction to the Concept of Autogynephilia." 
The deliberately provocative title and suggestion that transsexual women shared this fetish touched off a fierce debate. In time, Dr. Lawrence got a Ph.D. to increase credibility while proselytizing for this theory among academics and helping professionals.
Dr. Lawrence notes that Blanchard's writings were so "personally meaningful" that "I continue to regard this as one of the most brilliant and insightful analyses in the entire clinical literature devoted to transsexuality."  According to Blanchard:
Milder forms of this occur throughout our community. In my own case, I am at the forefront of evangelists for facial feminization surgery (now called simply FFS thanks to efforts to cast its importance as similar to other abbreviated procedures like SRS, HRT, RLT, etc.), and specifically for Douglas Ousterhout, whose work changed my life and remains the best investment I have ever made. Lynn Conways praise for Harry Benjamin (who created his own troublesome taxonomy). The devotion some have to Jennifer Reitzs COGIATI, an online test with what I consider facile questions to determine what type of gender issues you are dealing with. Lynn and I certainly do not consider Benjamin or Ousterhout above criticism, and we both discuss our concerns about Benjamin's taxonomy and Ousterhout's occasional patient complications among our praise for their pioneering efforts.
In my note on gender tests I list the problems with taxonomies, ending with the problem that is hardest for some people to see: that gender tests propose rigid categories that are in reality arbitrary and fluid. Classifications and categories can have their uses, but there is ultimately a point where any classification system fails. There will always be an exception, and the simpler the categories seem, the more likely there will be exceptions. I discuss these issues in detail in my essay The uses and limitations of transsexual categories.
Ironically, Dr. Lawrence states: "I think that both the COGIATI and the Moir-Jessel tests are little more than pseudo-scientific nonsense, and that anyone trying to figure out his or her gender identity issues would be well advised to ignore both."  It is interesting that Dr. Lawrence considers these earlier tests nonsense, yet unironically endorses Bailey, whose own gender test is based on equally questionable methodology and assumptions. Dr. Lawrence called one of these earlier tests a sloppy piece of pop science, full of oversimplifications, unsupported inferences, and speculations presented as though they were facts, the very charges leveled by myself and others at Bailey.
So why does Dr. Lawrence dismiss these other tests and categories, but embrace "autogynephilia" and any ancillary theories with such religious zeal?
Had Dr. Lawrence remained focused on medical resources, I have no doubt Dr. Lawrence would have gone down in history as not only a priestess, but a truly beatific figure. Had these erotic feelings been reported in an expressive and personal way, some may have been uncomfortable, but most would have admired Dr. Lawrence's honesty. But in joining the Bailey-Blanchard crowd by projecting this compulsive eroticism onto the rest of us, Dr. Lawrence once again dismantled years of efforts. Once again, the same tragic arrogance and presumptive attitudes of superiority come back to destroy something Dr. Lawrence had worked hard to earn.
Let me say at the onset that I planned to take the following incident to my grave until late 2002, when I first learned about Dr. Lawrence's unauthorized exam spurred by a fetish for genital modification. I was still planning to keep this private until 2003, when Dr. Lawrence called me a fundamentalist for coming out against Bailey's bigotry. When Dr. Lawrence said accuracy must not be important to me, that was the day I decided to order the dossier from the state of Washington. Let's get accurate.
Some background: I began a website on transsexualism in late 1996, mainly to focus my mental energy while I was in transition. I had found it very frustrating to find reliable information since I was 11, when I first saw the word "transsexual" in a book. Before then, I'd heard rumors it was possible, but I'd never seen proof.
When creating the site, I took a pragmatic viewpoint. My years in advertising
had trained me to spot consumer fraud, and there was a lot of it targeted at
transgender women. While most fraud was devoted to gouging crossdressers and
late transitioners with lots of disposable income, I was concerned that the
Wild West atmosphere of the internet at the time might lure younger people in
our community into wasting a lot of money they could not afford to lose.
Hormones and SRS were already covered quite well online by the crowd who felt those things made you a woman, and my own interest was to discuss what I felt was the more important part of transition: being able to function in society and be accepted as female by coworkers, friends, family, and acquaintances.
We also discussed transsexual sexuality, my own motivation, as well as voice and transsexualism, both at Dr. Lawrence's home and at a restaurant. I relate pertinent parts in the Appendix on my encounter.
Because I had found contributions by others helpful in narrowing down surgeon choices, and because of my interest in consumer issues, I was happy to share my surgical results after seeing Dr. Meltzer. Though I had my surgery experiences on my site, I did not want to have photos of my own vagina up on my site. A little too personal.
In retrospect, I suppose I was being idealistic or naive. It honestly had not occurred to me that anyone might get off on the photos submitted for Dr. Lawrence's site, though I suppose it should have. I have since found out that people have masturbated to my before/after FFS pictures, which combined with being spread all over the web for commentary by people outside the community, prompted me to remove them. Others have told me they have masturbated to breast augmentation before/after photos I have linked on my site. It turns out there are people who masturbate to the diaries and blogs of transsexuals going about their daily lives. Shoulda seen it coming, so to speak.
Before I got there, I told Dr. Lawrence I was willing to have my surgical result photos put in the section of Meltzer results. I also requested that Dr. Lawrence put up photos of my problems with my right breast implant, which had to be repositioned under a local when I had labiaplasty. Besides being excruciating, it had left a much worse scar and still caused considerable capsular contraction. Dr. Lawrence never put this unsatisfactory Meltzer result up, although the vagina photo Dr. Lawrence took is still up.
Before we started, I showed how far I can push my right implant up out of the pocket (less than 2 inches from my collarbone), and Dr. Lawrence took some photos. Dr. Lawrence didn't seem to think it was a big deal, but I kept saying I thought the photos should be put online. Dr. Lawrence then undressed partially and pushed both implants to the side using both pectoral muscles. I talked about how I felt that was unsatisfactory and how I wished I'd gone to someone who specializes in actresses and dancers.
Dr. Lawrence had all the photographic and medical equipment in the bedroom closet. Dr. Lawrence laid down a cloth on the bed for me to lie on, the kind you get when you have SRS. I don't have hangups about my body, and I was thinking of this in a very non-sexual way.
Dr. Lawrence had a very specific set of instructions for how I was to lie and place my hands, similar to the diagram above, but with my heels on the edge of the bed. I'd been wearing a bodysuit that snapped in the crotch, and I could feel the creases where it had left lines on the skin. I asked if it looked weird, like a surgical issue, and Dr. Lawrence said it didn't.
This is going to sound like a cliché, but everything from this point on in the day didn't seem real.
After snapping a couple of shots, Dr. Lawrence spun around on one heel and spun back around in one fluid motion with a surgical glove and some KY jelly. "While I have you here, let me do a quick exam so I can report on your depth.
Dr. Lawrence inserted two gloved fingers inside me and felt around. It all seemed professional enough at the time, and I mentioned that I had something like a tiny seam about an inch in on the left side that often bled after my boyfriend really went to town on me.
Dr. Lawrence removed the gloved finger, and I got up and cleaned up a bit. As I was putting on my clothes, Dr. Lawrence stood still. I looked up.
Dr. Lawrence was on the bed and lifting that dress before I finished putting my underwear back on.
(Typing that sentence just now made me shudder slightly the way I did that day.)
Dr. Lawrence didn't press the issue, and quietly dressed.
That was the moment our book collaboration was over in my mind.
I tried not to think about it again until 2002, when I read about Dr. Lawrence's career-ending incident with the unconscious patient. The similarities were so eerily familiar, that I felt violated for the first time. Then I thought about the pictures of my vagina and breasts in Dr. Lawrence's closet, in a stack with who knows how many others. Prior to that, I thought it was weird, and I'd never told anyone, but ever since then I found it very disturbing.
That Seattle trip marked the end of much of my socializing with the transgender community. I have been much more reclusive until this Bailey-Blanchard-Lawrence outrage.
Thus ended two more things Dr. Lawrence tried to be: book collaborator and seducer of yours truly.
In 2000, Dr. Lawrence came out with a revision of the original Men Trapped In Men's Bodies essay. In it, Dr. Lawrence expressed surprise that this sexualized taxonomy was controversial at all: "Many were angered and offended by my public advocacy of a theory that seemed to deny or devalue their feelings and identities. The reactions of this latter group left me feeling defensive, perplexed, and deeply troubled."
Dr. Lawrence looks at several critiques of Blanchard's theory :
I will be dismantling this bizarre and troubling theory and showing how it reflects its adherents' worldviews and motivations in upcoming essays, but I see a direct connection to Dr. Lawrence's 1997 incident.
Denigrating work other than Dr. Meltzer's led to threats of litigation from around the world, and forced Dr. Lawrence to remove materials.
As a consumer activist, I have applauded those of us who are willing to make critical commentary about our care provider. Our community rewards these surgeons handsomely for their efforts, and we entrust them with our lives as well as our hard-earned money. For these reasons, they should not be placed above criticism. When Eugene Schrang had a patient die, Dr. Lawrence wrote a highly critical commentary and was roundly criticized for it. I wrote to Dr, Lawrence in support:
However, it turned out that some of the anger was based on Dr. Lawrence's apparent anger at not getting the sort of deferential treatment from Schrang that Dr. Lawrence expected. Many noticed a pattern of denigration in Dr. Lawrence's commentary on his surgical outcomes as well.
That left Dr. Lawrence with this:
The loss of ability to collect data on all surgeons has significantly lessened the value of Dr. Lawrence's site, and raised serious questions about the wisdom of having so much information on a topic concentrated on a single site. Several of us are working on solutions to address the problem of centralized repositories, to avoid significant losses in the event of threats of litigation, and to reduce the potential for abuses of power.
Dr. Lawrence's denigration of work other than Bailey and Blanchard led to the writing of this essay and many more in upcoming months exposing the fallacies and fraud of Bailey-Blanchard-Lawrence.
It is my honest belief that Dr. Lawrence and Dr. Bailey are both deserving of intense study by the most notable scholars and therapists of our time. Bailey in particular is going to go down as one of the most celebrated cases in the history of psychological literature, but Dr. Lawrence will make a significant ancillary contribution as well.
I have tried to keep this factual and not very theoretical, because these abstractions are lost on Bailey-Blanchard-Lawrence. Those who imagine sex and sexuality as biological essentialism completely miss the gendered character of sexual desire. If gender is a system of social meanings by which a body enters into sociality, bodies becomes socialized as subjects of states through what R.W. Connell calls gender regimes.  That is, states are constituted within gender relations, which influence the positions of women and men within a given state. It is within these regimes, and in what I call the tyranny of the binary, that the motivation for transsexual women can be found. I cannot speak to Dr. Lawrence's motivations, but they appear to fall outside the experiences of me and my peers.
For more sophisticated thinkers, the notion of authorial intent went out of fashion a long time ago, as did looking to the body for absolute truths. Problem is, Bailey-Blanchard-Lawrence still desperately try to limn our intent in authoring our own identities with their ridiculous "body phrenology" of plethysmographs and pornography, and zodiac-like "autogynephilic" and "homosexual" sex-signs. Though they don't realize it, their need to do this is merely a projection of their own experiences, which some might characterize as illnesses, onto others.
If necessary, there is much, much more that can be said, things which plumb dark depths I feel are better left undisturbed if possible. You may not believe me, gentle reader, but every sentence in this essay is an exercise in restraint, out of what remains of my respect for Dr. Lawrence.
I have come to see Bailey and Blanchard, and to a lesser extent Lawrence, as critics of our community, rather than "helping professionals." Where I see life, they see sickness. Where I see love, they see sex. Where I see women, they see homosexuals and autogynephiles. Critics.
When "Cher," aka Anjelica, tried to meet with Dr. Lawrence at Mike Bailey's suggestion, Anjelica instead met with resistance and avoidance. This is a real shame. I have learned a great deal in the short time I've known her, and Dr. Lawrence could have too, if it weren't for that pesky sense of hubris:
My laid-back life is now rarely touched by people like these, who carry around this much pain, anger, and entitlement. I actually had to lie down and weep a few times, for Dr. Lawrence, for myself, and for the women in my community who will be hurt by Bailey, Blanchard, and Lawrence before their misguided ideas are inevitably and completely discredited.
Finally, I want to say that writing this has been one of the most depressing experiences of my life. The source materials I had to read made me feel foul and dirty, and dredging up some of these memories have left me saddened beyond measure. You may think I am a terrible person for writing this, or you may think less of me, but I couldn't remain silent while these three set the course for our community's treatment over the next decade. To quote Dr. Lawrence's quotation of Audre Lorde, at the start of Men Trapped In Men's Bodies, "My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you."
Please note: Dr. Lawrence is notorious for removing website materials as soon as comments in them become difficult to defend or no longer match the "respected authority" persona Dr. Lawrence tries to cultivate. While every effort has been made to keep up-to-date links, some materials may no longer be available online.
1. annelawrence. com archived 4/22/2003
2. From Silence of the Lambs (1991), referenced at pp. 142-143 in Bailey, J. Michael. The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism. Joseph Henry Press, 2003.
3. Anne Lawrences unattributed review on Amazon.com, dated 4/18/2003, titled Outstanding Scholarship.
4.The male brain is defined psychometrically as those individuals in whom systemizing is significantly better than empathizing, and the female brain is the opposite cognitive profile. From correspondence with Cambridge University Psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen regarding his book The Essential Difference, out in summer 2003.
5. Bailey 147.
6. Blanchard 1985: "Social desirability response set and systematic distortion in the self-report of adult male gender patients." in Archives of Sexual Behavior, v.14(6) pp.505-516).
7. Bailey 173.
8. http://www.annelawrence. com/mytrans.html
9. Bailey 146.
10. Bailey 146.
11. For details on Dr. Lawrence's self-reported life from 1980 to 1996, please see:
12. http://www.annelawrence. com/mytrans.html
13. Lawrence p. 2.
14. Taking Portlandia's Hand
16. http://www.annelawrence. com/nottocure.html
19."Men Trapped in Men's Bodies: An Introduction to the Concept of Autogynephilia."
20. http://www.annelawrence. com/newintroagp.html
21. (pp. 245-246) Blanchard R (1991) Clinical observations and systematic studies of autogynephilia. J Sex Marital Ther 17(4), 235-251.
22. http://www.annelawrence. com/faqs2.htm
23. Connell, R. W. "Gender Regimes and Gender Order" in Connell, R.W. Gender and Power. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1987, pp. 23-66
24. http://www.annelawrence. com/srsindex.html
25. Gustave Flaubert, letter to Madame Louise Colet (August 12, 1846)
26. T.S. Eliot, To Criticize the Critic (p. 11) 1965: Noonday Press, New York.
27. Personal correspondence with the author, June 2003.
If there are any factual errors in this report, they are inadvertent. Please contact me to report them.