Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton's Cafeteria, 60s San Francisco

Here's another clip from the excellent documentary by Susan Stryker and Victor Silverman about "transgenders and transvestites fighting police harassment at Compton's Cafeteria in San Francisco's Tenderloin in 1966, three years before the famous riot at Stonewall Inn bar in NYC."

A call for peer commentary

via WPATH. . .

Dear Colleagues:

This message is a call for peer commentary on the following target article that will appear in the Archives of Sexual Behavior:

Dreger, A. D. (in press). The controversy surrounding The Man Who Would Be Queen: A case history of the politics of science, identity, and sex in the internet age. Archives of Sexual Behavior.


In 2003, psychology professor and sex researcher J. Michael Bailey published a book entitled The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism. The book’s portrayal of male-to-female (MTF) transsexualism, based on a theory developed by sexologist Ray Blanchard, outraged some transgender activists. They believed the book to be typical of much of the biomedical literature on transsexuality—oppressive in both tone and claims, insulting to their senses of self, and damaging to their public identities. Some saw the book as especially dangerous because it claimed to be based on rigorous science, was published by an imprint of the National Academies of Science, and argued that MTF sex changes are motivated primarily by erotic interests and not by the problem of having the gender identity common to one sex in the body of the other. Dissatisfied with the option of merely criticizing the book, a small number of transwomen (particularly Lynn Conway, Andrea James, and Deirdre McCloskey) worked to try to ruin Bailey. Using published and unpublished sources as well as original interviews, this essay traces the history of the backlash against Bailey and his book. It also provides a thorough exegesis of the book’s treatment of transsexuality and includes a comprehensive investigation of the merits of the charges made against Bailey that he had behaved unethically, immorally, and illegally in the production of his book. The essay closes with an epilogue that explores what has happened since 2003 to the central ideas and major players in the controversy.

KEY WORDS: transsexualism; transgenderism; gender identity disorder; autogynephilia; identity politics; institutional review board; human subjects research.

If you would like to write a commentary, please email: You will then receive an e-mail attachment of the entire ms in WORD. The commentary is due no later than September 30, 2007. Here are the instructions:

1. It should be no more than 10 double-spaced pages, with a maximum of 10 references. References should be prepared using the style of the American Psychological Association (see the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association). It is the responsibility of the commentator to prepare references properly. If they are not, the commentary will be returned to you for correction.

2. Page numbers go in the upper right-hand corner.

3. The commentary should have a title.

4. Underneath the title should be the name of the commentator and his or her institutional (or private) mailing address, including an e-mail address.

5. The commentary should be sent to me as an e-mail attachment, either in WORD or WORDPERFECT.

An expression of interest in providing a commentary is not a guarantee that the manuscript will be sent to you as there will be a cap on the number of commentaries.

The commentaries will be published in the same issue as the target article, with a reply to the commentaries by the author.

Best regards

Kenneth J. Zucker, Ph.D.

Editor, Archives of Sexual Behavior


AMA's Adoption of Transgender Nondiscrimination Policies

GLMA Lauds AMA's Adoption of Transgender Nondiscrimination Policies

The American Medical Association voted last week to amend its nondiscrimination policies to include transgender people. AMA nondiscrimination policies already included sexual orientation.

“Transgender patients, physicians and medical students continue to face discrimination around the country,” Joel Ginsberg, executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA), said in a release.

“The AMA has said it’s time for this to stop.” Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, called the new AMA policies "a great step in moving the American healthcare system in a direction of more fairness for transgender people."

The AMA has taken an increasingly high-profile stance in the past few years on issues of concern to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) patients and physicians. In 2005, a sitting AMA president for the first time addressed GLMA’s Annual Conference. Also that year, the AMA formed an Advisory Committee on GLBT Issues, with one of the seven seats reserved for a GLMA representative.

The new policies address a wide range of scenarios, including discrimination against patients, medical students and physicians. . . .

|| Commentary ||

Empires that won't fall

A short film was recently pulled from San Francisco's Frameline film festival because it was said to reinforce transphobic stereotypes articulated in Janice Raymond's 1979 book Transsexual Empire. The question is, How has her oversimplified thinking survived?

An exclusive posted July 3, 2007

 Empires that won't fall

Janice Raymond is a non-transgender lesbian feminist who was a professor of women's studies at Hampshire College when she wrote the 1979 book Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-male. In her book Raymond completely dismissed the notion that an individual could have a valid belief of being a different gender from the one assigned at birth. And with that as a foundation, Empire advanced the following two stereotypes:

(1) Male-to-female transsexuals are merely male agents of the patriarchy, reinforcing feminine stereotypes; and MTF lesbian feminists are really men masquerading as women so they can invade and dominate women's space.

(2) Female-to-male transsexuals are merely women who have copped out of the women's movement by changing themselves rather than changing society.

The first stereotype is no doubt one reason why the long-running Michigan Womyn's Music Festival maintains a policy, reiterated just last year, of limiting the festival to “womyn-born-womyn.” The second stereotype, say detractors, is perpetuated in director Catherine Crouch's short film The Gendercator, which was recently spurned by the San Francisco LGBT film festival Frameline. . . .

First Person: Vice Versa

by Julia Serano

I almost forgot about her, buried alive in the back of my mind. At the time, I was a 26-year-old closet case, a self-described occasional crossdresser. And she was just like me only vice versa.

I met her in Kansas City at my first transgender support group meeting. The chairs were set up in a circle and most of the seats were filled with middle-aged transvestites in their 40s and 50s. They were painstakingly dressed, wearing Sunday’s best, floral prints and muted pinks with just a hint of five o’clock shadow. Looking strangely sweet, almost equal parts aunt and uncle. And she seemed so out of place there, the only one in t-shirt and jeans. And genetically speaking, she was the only girl in the room. And chronologically we were the only two in our twenties.

After the meeting’s minutes and a guest speaker from Mary Kay offering make-up tips, she introduced herself to me. She told me her name was Joan; I told her mine was Tom. And after a bit of random chitchat, she asked if I wanted to hang out some time. I said “sure,” and a week later we did. . . .


Julia Serano
is a trans-activist, writer, a poetry slam champion, guitarist/vocalist for the noisy-pop band Bitesize, and the host of the music and spoken word show GenderEnders. She is the author of a powerful new book, "Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism And The Scapegoating of Femininity." Highly recommended! Check out her various creative endeavors at