The Man Who Would Be Queen: Michael Bailey {Part One}

Part 1: The Controversy.

Having seen many references to this book I have, finally,  tackled it.  It doesn’t take a strictly biologically determinist or a social constructionist stance. It is sympathetic to gay and trans rights.  {Though not in ways likely to satisfy Trans Activists, in 2019}. There is plenty to disagree with, for one,  I think the cover was needlessly tabloid.  However it’s  well worth a read and, finally, I understand the acronym MWWTBQ. Bailey talks about erotic motivations for transition, why feminine gay males are in danger of being, wrongly, diagnosed as “trans”, and why gay males reject their feminine brothers.   All topics deeply unpopular in some sections of the Trans community and with *some* gay males. Hence  why it feels necessary to discuss the controversy, prior to discussing the book itself.

The book had sold only 4000 copies,  when it became the centre of a Trans Rights Tornado. This, predictably, drew it to the attention of a much wider audience; a phenomenon known as the Barbara Streisand Effect.  [Named for the singer’s legal attempt to block a publication which revealed the location of one of her properties. Ironically ensuring much wider dissemination of the information she wished to protect].

Alice Dreger covered the controversy in forensic detail.  She spoke to all the key players, or at least those who were willing to go on record.  Some wished to remain anonymous and others refused to co-operate at all.  Dreger was also subject to a campaign of vilification following her piece.   The key to the controversy is Bailey’s lack of acceptance of the main thesis of gender identity ideology, namely that transsexuals have a gender identity at odds with their biological sex.  Bailey, instead, locates its origins in “erotic interests” and, in particular,  covered the issue of Autogynephilia (AGP). Worse, even though this book was aimed at a more popular audience, it was based on rigorous science. Dreger:👇734650A7-99AE-4C11-9FB9-98390E6BD77C

Full article here: Dreger on The Man Who Would be Queen

Even today any mention of AGP is furiously denied in sections of the Trans community. Most often the AGP deniers are late-transitioners who, coincidentally,  appear to fit the typology like a velvet glove. AGP is, put simply, described as an erotic target location error, a male, normally heterosexual, becomes erotically charged by the fantasy of himself, as a woman.  (See Ray Blanchard Abstract: Blanchard)

Dreger is an intersex advocate who is also concerned about gay and transgender rights. Despite this, her coverage of this controversy over MWWBQ garnered attacks on her own work, and provoked attempts to discredit her,  particularly, in the intersex community.  Once  her account was published the backlash escalated  to personal attacks on Dreger herself .

Support for Dreger and Bailey came in the unlikely persona of Dr. Ann Lawrence a, self-proclaimed, autogynephile, transwoman.  Lawrence analysed the controversy with an insiders knowledge of AGP, as a condition.  The fury, Lawrence argues, originates in the shame of the AGP community which makes sufferers vulnerable to “Narcissistic Injury”.  One response, to Narcissistic Injury,  is internalised shame but a more common response is to externalise the response and display “Narcissistic Rage”.   The full paper is available below:

Lawrence: MWWBQ & Narcissistic Rage

Lawrence reflected on the savagery of the campaign and located it in a co-existing vulnerability to “narcissistic rage” in the AGP community.


Another, related,  backlash is the  attempt to shut down another, emerging, research area: Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria. Childhood identity confusion,  and late onset Gender Dysphoria (of the AGP type), are relatively well researched and documented.  A more recent phenomenon is a spike in late childhood (often at puberty) Gender Dysphoria.  The spike in female children declaring a trans-identity has inverted the sex of those expressing themselves as transgender.  In the UK a spike in girls,  referred to Gender Identity Clinics , well over a 4000% increase over the last decade,  has generated theories of social contagion.  There are also increases in males, identifying as transgender, but the increase has been nowhere near as dramatic.  Early speculation about the causes has resulted in the label of “Rapid Onset Gender  Dysphoria” and calls for further investigation of the phenomenon. The first attempt to capture data on the phenomenon was published by Lisa Littman.  Like Bailey and Dreger, the author of this study Lisa Littman has faced similar opprobrium which resulted in the withdrawal of her paper, at the behest of a Trans activist.  Not an academic, or peer in her field but this “transsexual”. I wish I was joking. AFFF47B8-F5F4-43B9-929A-7E16C96304E7CD30CAAA-C74D-47A3-B3C9-8CA1F4CF83D3

This is also the person who applied to become a counsellor at  Vancouver women’s refuge and was involved in a 10 year campaign, still ongoing, to defund /close the refuge for offering single sex services.

You can read more about this here: 👇

Lisa Littman Controversy

The paper was then subject to a second peer review and republished, virtually unaltered.  You can read further about this controversy here: Interview with Lisa Littman

What all these controversies have in common is a reluctance to accept any opposition to the idea of an innate gender identity at odds with biological sex.   The mantra of “born in the wrong body” attempts to cement the idea that gender non-conformity (often a hallmark of future Gay males and Lesbians) is an early sign of being “transgender”.  The existence of “trans-children” de-sexualises transition for the adults, with AGP, and cleanses some of their shame. It also presents the public with a population (children),  far more likely to garner sympathy than adults with a paraphilia.  This seems to be the motivation for the backlash to both Bailey’s book and any professionals who adhere to Ray Blanchards typology of Transexuality.

Transactivists are keen to convey the idea that transsexuals have always been with us and are a naturally occurring phenomenon. There is scant evidence for this. Cross-dressing is indeed a historic phenomenon. Women disguising themselves as males, to escape the restrictions imposed on the female sex are similarly not a recent phenomenon. Yet our children are being taught Transgender Ideology in schools. Our Judicial system has accepted this, our legal system is involved in wholesale sex-denialism. I have done other blogs about what is happening in our prison estate but this quote is from Family Court. Where is the evidence for this assertion?



Before I publish part 2 , which looks at the book in some detail, here is a recent interview given by Michael Bailey to Benjamin Boyce. As it is from 2019 he also speaks on the topic of ROGD. (Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria).  As he is careful to say, at the moment, we are operating on a “hunch” at the reasons for the spike in referrals.  We need empirical evidence and, at the moment, any forays into this area are met with the same backlash as his own book.

Benjamin Boyce Interviews Michael Bailey



5 thoughts on “The Man Who Would Be Queen: Michael Bailey {Part One}

Leave a Reply