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Haters Have… Issues (2012)

Haters Have… Issues (2012)

©2012 by Dallas Denny

Source: Dallas Denny. (2012, 30 April). Haters have… Issues. TG Forum.


TG Forum Post



Haters. Look behind the curtain and you find they have… issues.

I realized that in 1993 while sitting in the audience at a plenary session at the national meeting of the then Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association.

Psychiatrist Robert Dickey of Toronto’s Clark Institute of Psychiatry was the first speaker.

I watched him closely, for I was aware of his history of cruel treatment of male-to-female transsexuals at the Clarke. He was famous for ridiculing them, asking then vulgar questions, and requiring them to change their dress, names, and even occupations in order to receive hormonal therapy and recommendation for surgical sex reassignment.

“Why do you want to be a male?”


“Are you going from F to M?”

“No. I’m going from M to F.”

“Oh. So you’re a hooker. And you’re on drugs.”


“You’re lying.”

“No I’m not. I’m enrolled full-time in a nursing program.”

“Bullshit. I don’t believe you.”

He wanted to see the documentation about the nursing program.

“We don’t think you’re ready.” (This, after two years of cross-living.) “We want you to finish the nursing program.”

“I’m not sure I want to finish. I don’t like it.”

He told me if I didn’t finish nursing to forget it.

—“Britt,” in Denny, 1992.

Now, behind the podium in Manhattan, Dickey wasn’t speaking. Instead, he was running through an amazing repertoire of stereotypical male dominance behaviors, repeatedly clearing his throat and puffing up his shoulders and straightening his tie.

“What in the world is he doing?” I asked myself. Then it hit me.

Dr. Robert Dickey was one of the girls.

I was convinced on that day and I remain convinced today Dickey’s remarkable work-up to his speech was designed to convince the audience he was a “real” man. He didn’t have a feminine bone in his entire body. Not him! Harumph! Another throat clear.

Haters, you see, have issues.

Often it’s because they are what they hate.

After anti-gay, anti-trans and right-wing media darling George Rekers was caught on camera after making the news because he took a male rent-boy companion with him on a trip to Europe, seeing him on television pegged the meter on my gaydar—as did Michelle Bachman’s husband Marcus when I heard him on a newscast. Here were two obvious (if officially heterosexual) psychologists making a living by “curing” gay men and male-to-female transsexuals while obviously (at least to my eyes and ears) not cured themselves.

All of which begs the question—how many people who have defamed us, obstructed our transitions, fired us, kicked us out of churches and schools and even our homes, are more like us than they’ll ever admit.

A lot of them, I’m sure.

But sometimes it’s not because of who they are. Take Janice Raymond. Please.

In early April of 2012 I found myself in the basement stacks of the Pitts Theology Library at Emory University in Atlanta, working my way through endless stacks, ducking my head every few seconds so I wouldn’t be brained by rafters and pipes just five-and-a-half feet from the ground.

I was looking for a photocopy of the microfilm of Janice Raymond’s 1978 doctoral dissertation at Boston College.

My secret wish was to find fraudulent data in Raymond’s dissertation. In her book The Transsexual Empire (which was based on the dissertation and saw print in 1979) she wrote about the male-to-female transsexual subjects she had interviewed, claiming she “found highly stereotypical notions of gender roles, and without the ‘role strain of normal women.’” (See here)

Her data were suspect because, according to Kay Brown and the late Angela Douglas, the quotes of transsexuals in Empire were drawn entirely from a satirical letter Douglas wrote to Sisters magazine in 1977 in response to the anti-transsexual dogma of over-the-top lesbian separatists.

Raymond’s Empire is a rabid anti-transsexual polemic that purports to be an analysis of male-to-female transsexualism. She argues for “morally mandating transsexualism out of existence.”

I’d been planning for years to visit Boston College to see the original, but I never seemed to get around to it. However, when my inter-library request for the dissertation revealed a copy in my home town, there was no way I couldn’t go see it.

So I hopped in my little red Miata and drove the ten or so short miles from my house to Emory with the top down. Now here I was, finally face-to-face with Raymond’s thesis.

I was particularly interested in the Methods section. I wanted to see how Raymond had selected her interview subjects and how she had interacted with them.

The Methods section was long on Raymond’s feminist theoretical viewpoint and short on facts. She mentioned she had interviewed a variety of human subjects, including transsexuals and caregivers, but didn’t give the number of subjects in any category or altogether. There was absolutely no demographic information.

In other words, Raymond’s doctoral masterpiece proved nothing about transsexualism. It consisted entirely of Raymond blowing smoke out of her ass.

(I can just imagine Raymond deconstructing that last sentence and turning into an affront to all women. Sorry, there, all humans have asses.)

So, there I was, face-to-face with Raymond’s dissertation at last, and her data were not suspect because there were no data. There were absolutely NO data!

I sat there wondering just how Raymond’s doctoral committee at Boston College had signed off on what is in its entirety a rant.

Worse than Raymond’s lack of data is her alleged fraudulent use of Angela Douglas’ 1977 letter to Sisters magazine in Empire. Her claim the quotes were those of the transsexuals she “interviewed” is in all likelihood an egregious misrepresentation—in other words, a lie. In other words, Raymond’s book just might be a fraud. And so, most likely, is her dissertation. (I’ll need to make another trip to Emory to double-check the text). And if the quotes are in the manuscript, and if I can track down a copy of Douglas’ letter, I’ll be writing Boston College to formally request they look into the issue.

Despite the dissertation’s (and hence the book’s) complete lack of credibility, Raymond has made a sub-career out of morally mandating transsexuals out of existence. Empire was big in radical feminist circles, and was popular enough for Teacher’s College Press to reprint it in 1994. After the publication of Empire in 1979, Raymond lobbied insurance companies and government agencies, succeeding in putting into place policies that restrict transsexuals’ right to health care.

Does that sound like a hater to you? It sounds like a hater to me.

In the 1995 I learned from an interview of Rosanne (“Sandy:”) Stone in TransSisters magazine why Raymond has so viciously attacked transsexuals and transsexualism. According to Stone, during her time at the Olivia Records Collective in the 1970s, Raymond had a crush on her—an unrequited one.

So yeah. Haters. Look behind the curtain and you find they have . . . issues.

(n.b.) When I find my copy of that issue of TransSisters, I’ll publish excerpts from Davina Anne Gabriel’s interview with Stone.

© 2012 by Dallas Denny


Denny, Dallas. (1992). The politics of diagnosis and a diagnosis of politics: The university-affiliated gender clinics and how they failed to meet the needs of transsexual people. Chrysalis Quarterly, 1(3). 9-20. Reprinted in 2002 in Transgender Tapestry, 1(98), 17-27.

Gabriel, Davina Anne. (1995).Interview with the transsexual vampire: Sandy Stone’s dark gift. TransSisters: The Journal of Transsexual Feminism, 8, 14-27.

Farrell, Kevin. (2011-06-30). Marcus Bachman: Gays are barbarians that need to be educated. Unicorn Booty. (play the video).

Raymond, Janice G. (1978). Transsexualism: An etiological and ethical analysis. Doctoral dissertation,BostonCollege.

Raymond, Janice G. (1979). The transsexual empire: The making of the she-male.Boston: Beacon Press. Reissued in 1994 with a new introduction by Teacher’s College Press,New York.

Raymond, Janice G. (1980). Paper prepared for the National Center for Health Care Technology on the social and ethical aspects of transsexual surgery. Rockville, MD: National Center for Health Care Technology.

Researcher [George Rekers] responds to man’s suicide (watch from 3:50 onward)

Stone, Alluquere Rosanne (As Sandy Stone). (1991). The empire strikes back: A posttranssexual manifesto. In J. Epstein & K. Straub (Eds.), Body guards: The cultural politics of gender ambiguity, pp. 280-304. New York: Routledge. (This is a well-written commentary on Janice Raymond’s The Transsexual Empire).

The gay, lesbian, and feminist backlash against transfolk. Queers Without Borders.