Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Call For Transsexual Narratives
From Julia Serrano
I am currently working on a paper (which I plan to submit to a peer-reviewed psychology journal) that challenges psychologist Ray Blanchard’s causal theory of “autogynephilia” (which has recently gained attention via J. Michael Bailey’s book The Man Who Would be Queen). This theory posits that all transsexual women who are not exclusively attracted to men transition to female because we are sexually aroused by the idea of being or becoming women. Many trans women (including myself) find this theory to be flawed because it mistakenly confuses/conflates sexual orientation, gender expression, subconscious sex and sex embodiment, and it unnecessarily sexualizes the motives of countless trans women who transition to female for reasons other than sexual arousal.
To refute the assumption that lesbian/bisexual/“asexual” trans women are the *only* transsexuals who experience pre-transition fantasies about being/becoming their identified sex, I am hoping to collect applicable narratives from the following groups:
1) FTM transsexuals: narratives that discuss/describe any pre-transition sexual fantasies you may have experienced that primarily centered on you physically being or becoming male rather than on the physique of another person.
2) MTF transsexuals who are exclusively attracted to men: narratives that discuss/describe any pre-transition sexual fantasies you may have experienced that primarily centered on you physically being or becoming female rather than on the physique of another person.
To refute the assumption that “autogynephilic” fantasies *cause* transsexuality, I am hoping to collect applicable narratives from MTF transsexuals who are lesbian, bisexual or “asexual” in orientation and who:
1) were stereotypically feminine and girl-identified as young children and transitioned during late teens/early adulthood
2) never experienced pre-transition sexual fantasies that primarily centered on physically being or becoming female
3) did experience such fantasies, but only after consciously recognizing/realizing that you wanted to be female
4) regularly engaged in such fantasies pre-transition, but then experienced a sharp decline or a complete absence in those fantasies over time. (Note: if you fall into category #4, please include any reasons/explanations as to why such fantasies no longer arouse or appeal to you).
Narratives should briefly describe the pertinent details in 1 to 4 short paragraphs. There is no need to be overly graphic or detailed - just the basic facts will suffice. Please be sure to include the age at which you first became aware of your cross-gender identity/desire to be the other sex, and the age at which you first experienced such fantasies (if applicable). Narratives that are germane to the points I wish to make will be compiled onto a single webpage that will be used as supplemental data for my article. I can assure you that YOUR NAME AND CONTACT INFO WILL NOT BE PUBLISHED OR SHARED WITH ANYONE. Obviously, other people will be reading these narratives, so be sure to omit any unimportant info that you feel might place your anonymity in jeopardy (e.g., where you live or work, names of partners, etc.)
For those interested, please send your narrative to me at email@example.com - be sure to paste the narrative into the body of the email (no attachments please). Along with the narrative, please include the following information:
1) whether you are an MTF or FTM transsexual
2) whether you are sexually oriented toward men, women, both or neither
3) a statement along the following lines: “I certify that all of the provided information is true to the best of my knowledge, and I give Julia Serano permission to permanently post this narrative on her website and to include and/or excerpt it in her forthcoming article.”
The purpose of my article is not to discount or discredit trans women who self-identify as autogynephilic, but rather to finally take into account the experiences of the many trans women for whom sexual arousal was not a primary motivation for transitioning. In other words, this study aims to clarify the psychological literature on this matter, not to distort it further. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that you be completely honest and open in the information you provide. If I have reason to suspect that any narrative I receive is fabricated, I will not include it.
Feel free to cross-post this call for narratives on any trans-focused websites/email lists at your discretion. It is also available on the web at this link: http://www.juliaserano.com/artifactualAG.html
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks in advance!