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The Man Who Would Write About Queens (2003)

The Man Who Would Write About Queens (2003)

©2003, 2013 by Dallas Denny

Source: Denny, Dallas. (2003, Summer). A word from the editor: The man who would write about queens. Transgender Tapestry, 102, p. 6.






The Man Who Would Write About Queens

By Dallas Denny


This year has seen the release of a book that is destined to have the gay and transgender communities up in arms. It’s called The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science and Psychology of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism. The imprint is Joseph Henry Press, a division of the National Academies Press, and the author is one Michael Bailey, a sexologist.

Lyn Conway fired the opening salvo of the forthcoming war in April, when she released a broadside via e-mail. I chose not to join the virtual lynch mob that immediately formed on the internet; rather, unlike most of those with opinions about TMWWBQ, I took the time to read the book. It is, as I had suspected and feared, a truly loathsome work.

Although it was late in the production schedule of this issue, we could have found someone to dash off a quick review. We’ve chosen instead to hold the treatment of TMWWBQ for the next issue, so we can respond in a more considered fashion.

There’s a need for a fast response to materials which defame us, and here’s to those who fill that role. There’s also a need for analysis in depth and carefully prepared responses, especially to works like Bailey’s, which is going to be a thorn in our side for a long, long time. As a quarterly magazine, we will take the route that is slower, but perhaps surer. Watch for our coverage of Bailey’s book in issue #103. Meanwhile, read the book—but please don’t buy it. You can view it free of charge online here.