Monday, August 4, 2008

Blanchard, Bailey, and Me (journal entry)

An entry from my personal journal

It’s funny, really, to find now, after coming to terms with some of the internal distinctions I’ve fought for so long, that there has been a debate raging for nearly as long as I’ve been questioning and exploring. To think if I had encountered Blanchard’s work — or J. Michael Bailey’s book, which I almost dread reading, given the preamble it’s so far received (plus, I’m always shy of consuming large works I expect myself to ultimately reject; that is, at least, without preparation) — before achieving any resolution of my entanglement: I might have been profoundly “pathologized” in my own head for many, many more years of silent unhappiness.

I would like to think that at least Bailey’s (apparently) trollish and polarizing interpretation would have met with a degree of fundamental resistance. However, while I would also hope that my first impressions, now, of Blanchard’s seminal paper1 would be similar to M. Wyndzen’s in the referenced foreword1, I can’t know that for certain. In a rational state, I would have noticed many of the underlying weaknesses, especially the confused interpretive strategy applied to autogynephilia test scores. I am not, however, reliably in a fully rational state when exploring a subject so intensely personal to me. I can’t understand how one can be, even in isolated contexts, so barren of compassion as to present such dismissive, damaging, and poorly supported arguments to a population already suffering from a dearth of acceptance or understanding.

I’m not going to talk about myself further, here; I’d rather write into a blank slate than place my heart on the same page as such a painful, external shock.

1 Blanchard, R. (1989). The Concept of Autogynephilia and the Typology of Male Gender Dysphoria. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 177(10), 616-623. Retrieved Feb. 2, 2008 from