Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #102, Summer 2003.

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 at: