“Harry Benjamin Syndrome”, Autogynephilia and Other Pseudoscience Pushed On the TS Community
Even though I am a transsexual woman, I want to make it clear that I do not speak for all transsexual women – since a number of people who do claim that position have some really messed up ideas about transsexuality. I would like to address a couple of factions in the transgender community today and hopefully, educate the populace about them before they start to fester and people take this shit seriously.
The first one I would like to talk about is called Harry Benjamin Syndrome (or HBS) and it was designed by a few transsexual women who are not happy about being transsexual. You see, they promote a disease model of gender identity which posits transsexuality as an inborn, neurological, condition and should only be treated with medical intervention. And this is the only point I agree with them on because it starts taking a darker turn at that point. Many “HBS” transsexual women are incredibly homophobic and transphobic and some actively rally against equal rights for transgender people.
The second is the autogynephilia crowd, which is promoted by people who promote the (often) homophobic and transphobic ideas of Ray Blanchard, J. Michael Bailey and Anne Lawrence. These people (and their supporters) push the idea that there are only two types of transsexual women, homosexual transsexuals (i.e. transsexual women who wish to “trap” straight men) and autogynephilic transsexuals (i.e. transsexual women who fetishize the transition). I would also like to let you know that J. Michael Bailey is the author of the book “The Man Who Would Be Queen”, which is a steaming pile of pseudoscience. Needless to say, the ideas that he poses about transsexual women are illogical and frankly, insulting. I can honestly tell you that in my time and having met a number of transsexual women at all different stages of transition, I have met only a few that I can count on my fingers that buy into the autogynephilic bullshit and only one who honestly seems to be and admits to being autogynephilic. But there is a small community of kooks that buys into this crapola.
These are two forms of pseudoscience that are frequently pushed by both transphobic “professionals” and even transsexual women themselves. The problem is that they can sound rational enough on the face of it, if you don’t understand why this shit is offensive. And if there are transsexual women buying into it too, it must be right, right? Wrong. Andrea James has created a list of 20 hallmarks of a transsexual hoax and I am going to talk about how I fit into these, openly and honestly so that you can decide for yourselves and make up your own mind.
Posted on April 5, 2011, in LGBTA and tagged Anne Lawrence, autogynephilia, bullshit, HBS, HSTS, J Michael Bailey, pseudoscience, Ray Blanchard, The Man Who Would Be Queen, transsexual hoaxes. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.