Part 2: The Man Who Would Be Queen: A reading.
Having seen many references to this book I have finally got around to tackling it. The full text is available free on line here: The Man Who Would Be Queen
The author is sympathetic to gay and trans rights, a lot of his research has a focus on evolutionary theory and adaptive, or maladaptive, responses to the environment. So expect some evolutionary biology & some interrogation of nature v nurture. There is plenty to challenge long cherished beliefs, both for TransActivists & radical feminists. Since it needs saying in 2019, I don’t agree with every single word!
My reading is motivated by a concern for women’s, sex based, rights and the premature medicalisation of Gay males. The book doesn’t cover females who transition or theories of the origins of Lesbianism. He does, briefly, touch on Androphilia (Women who identify as gay men) in the interview linked in Part One of this series.Part One
In short there is plenty to provoke discussion. To kick off, I think the cover was needlessly tabloid and likely ensured many people rejected its thesis without opening the covers. As we all know there is no more vociferous opponent of a book’s content than someone who hasn’t read it. However it’s an absolute must read and, bonus, I finally understand the acronym MWWBQ!
What Bailey does is talk 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 of these topics are deeply unpopular in some sections of the Trans community and with some gay males. Nearly 20 years one journalists, in the U.K., dare not broach the topics he covers.
Parents of gay males often are aware of their child’s, likely, future sexual orientation from a relatively early age. Bailey looks at early manifestations of what he calls feminine behavioural traits and in particular a young subject called Danny; to whom he devotes an early chapter. Danny is one of those “gender non–conforming boys” from an early age. He also, it turns out, has a closeted gay uncle. Bailey presents a lot of research which explores various hypotheses on the origins of homosexuality. He looks at heredity and explores the idea of a “gay gene”. He also explores the controversy generated by these theories. On the one hand it reinforces the notion that this is a naturally occurring phenomenon (Born This Way) whilst also presenting a danger of pre-natal diagnosis and selective abortion. For the purposes of my reading I am concerned about these self-same gay males being de-stabilised by Gender Identity Ideology. 👇
These, frequently bullied, proto-gay children are now subject to,school taught. programmes which present a scale of “Gender Conformity” and children, are told it is possible to be born in the wrong body. A “trans diagnosis” is based on the notion of an innate gender identity, which can be at odds with your biological sex. In his book Bailey raises the risk to gay males from this ideology:
Whilst some developments may lead to complacency about homophobia this utopia is not yet with us. Young children are subjected to slurs about their prospective sexuality from a very early age. When they become aware of their sexuality they are now presented with an alternative hypothesis and a retreat into a faux-straight, medicalised closet can look, superficially, like an attractive prospect. Recent whistle blowers from Britains foremost Gender Clinic (The Tavistock) raised this concern directly. Here is one of those clinicians, quoted in an article published by The Times Newspaper:
Given that the leading activists for Gay Rights have aligned themselves with the T, now added to the LGB, this represents a real tension between the rights of the Trans community, who agitate for earlier medicalisation, and Gay Rights. Most gender-non-conforming children would, if left un-medicalised, go on to to be Gay Males or Lesbians.
Yet there is total silence on this issue from the main advocacy group, for gay rights, Stonewall. Why would this be? The answer to why Stonewall is complicit with Trans Ideology has been explored in many articles. One such analysis is here, by Michael Biggs, so I don’t propose to expand on this topic here: Stonewall Funding & Focus of Activism. Crudely. Money.
The other puzzling feature of this “debate”, for me, has been the silence of adult gay males or downright advocacy of the notion that feminine males, who are same sex attracted are really “trans”. I have been twitter blocked by a number of prominent gay males for asking questions about this. Bailey presents a lengthy analysis of sexual attraction in gay males to masculine men. His hypothesis is that despite a predilection for “femme” behaviour in gay males these self-same gay males are not attracted, maybe even repelled, by their own femininity and that of other gay males.
The above was shared by a gay male who is tired of people asking him why he is not transitioning because he’s “so feminine”.
Some of this may be rooted in child-hood shaming, as Bailey suggests. The other strand is, he argues, that it is not unremarkable to find that gay men are attracted to the masculine qualities in a sexual partner. This may then lead to a rejection of “femme” gay males and also an internalised shame and loathing for the “femme” parts of themselves.
Bailey argues that homosexual transsexuals (HSTS) are drawn from the feminine gay males and they transition to access masculine males who otherwise are less available to them within the gay community.
Parents of gay males, like the aforementioned Danny, are perfectly reasonable in resisting a lifelong dependence on cross-sex hormones & significant surgery. This is a pro-gay stance.
Boys like Danny are lucky if they have a mum like him.👇
The other part of the transsexual community, using Blanchards two part typology, are opposite sex attracted, or auto-gynephilic trans. These are males who are attracted to the idea of themselves as a woman. It was the depiction of AGP that aroused the ire of the transactivists. Even now the mention of AGP triggers fury as we can see in twitter interactions. It is also a deeply shaming orientation which is often lied about. Many researchers have highlighted that it is extremely difficult to research this population because they are driven to conceal and disguise their real motivations. These motivations matter when women are subject to demands that we include them, in single sex spaces, as literal women. Their motivation matters.
I will cover this in part 3.