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Andrea James

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Andrea James
Andrea James, 2014.jpg
Born (1967-01-16) January 16, 1967 (age 55)
EducationWabash College (BA)
University of Chicago (MA)
OccupationProducer, writer, activist
WebsiteOfficial website

Andrea Jean James (born January 16, 1967) is an American transgender rights activist, film producer, and blogger.[1][2][3][4]


James grew up in Franklin, Indiana,[5] and attended Wabash College, where she majored in English, Latin, and Greek. After graduating in 1989, she obtained an M.A. in English language and literature from the University of Chicago.[6]


After college, James worked in advertising, first for several years at the Chicago Tribune, then for a decade at DDB Chicago. It was while working there that she transitioned.[5] She became involved in consumer activism, with an interest in medical and academic fraud.[7][8] In 1996 she created Transsexual Road Map, a consumer website for the transgender community,[9] and later set up HairFacts and HairTell, a website and discussion forum about hair removal.[10][11][12]

James moved to Los Angeles in 2003 and co-founded Deep Stealth Productions with her roommate, author and entertainer Calpernia Addams, to create content marketed to transgender people.[7][13][14] They filmed an instructional video, Finding Your Female Voice, to offer voice coaching to trans women,[15] and in 2004 produced and performed in the first all-transgender cast of The Vagina Monologues, debuting a new piece created by Eve Ensler for the occasion.[16][17] James was also a co-producer of and appeared in Beautiful Daughters, a documentary film about the event.[18]

In 2004 James founded the nonprofit GenderMedia Foundation.[19] The following year she was a script consultant for Transamerica (2005), helping actress Felicity Huffman prepare for her role as a trans woman.[20][21][22] She appeared in the HBO documentary Middle Sexes: Redefining He and She (2005), and in 2007 directed a 7-minute film, Casting Pearls.[23] She was a consulting producer for, and appeared in, the reality-dating television series Transamerican Love Story on the Logo digital channel in 2008.[24][25] In 2009 she directed another short film, Transproofed.[26]

James was appointed in 2007 to the Board of Directors of TransYouth Family Allies, a nonprofit that supports transgender youth and their families,[27][28] and in 2008 to the Board of Directors of Outfest, where she was involved in the restoration of the documentary Queens at Heart.[29][30] In 2012 she co-founded Thought Moment Media.[31] She directed the 2015 Showtime concert film Alec Mapa: Baby Daddy.[32]

Writing and activism

James and Calpernia Addams at the Out and Equal Workplace Summit, 2006

James writes about consumer rights, technology, pop culture, and LGBT rights. She has contributed to Boing Boing, QuackWatch, eMedicine, The Advocate, The Huffington Post and Wikipedia.[7][12][33][4]

Together with Lynn Conway and Deirdre McCloskey, James was a driving figure in protests—described in 2007 as "one of the most organized and unified examples of transgender activism seen to date"[2]—against J. Michael Bailey's book The Man Who Would Be Queen (2003). In the book, Bailey argues that there are two forms of transsexualism: one a variant of male homosexuality, and the other a male sexual interest in having a female body, a taxonomy critics see as inaccurate and damaging.[34] James argued that the book is a cure narrative, framed by one case report about a six-year-old child, that exemplifies the academic exploitation of transgender people.[35][36][37]

The dispute became heated when James posted a page on her website containing photographs of Bailey's children, alongside sexually explicit captions that quoted or parodied material in Bailey's book. Bailey accused her of harassment, as did Alice Dreger, a colleague of Bailey's at Northwestern University; Dreger tried to stop James from speaking at the campus about the controversy.[38][39][40][41] James responded that the page was intended to echo what she saw as Bailey's disrespect toward gender variant children.[34]

See also


  1. ^ Lam, Steven (June 20, 2006). "What's 'gay' now: we are everywhere indeed". The Advocate, June 20, 2006.
  2. ^ a b Surkan, Kim (2007). "Transsexuals protest academic exploitation", in Lillian Faderman (ed). Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender events, 1848–2006. Ipswich, MA: Salem Press, pp. 700–702.
  3. ^ Anderson-Minshall, Jacob (June 6, 2017). "Don't Forget the Long, Proud History of Transgender Activism". The Advocate.
  4. ^ a b Nichols, James Michael (4 July 2016). "This Trans Pioneer Has Been Fighting For The Trans Community For Decades". The Huffington Post.
  5. ^ a b Bartner, Amy (June 3, 2016). "Transgender activist amid Hollywood's transition", IndyStar.
  6. ^ "Andrea James to Give Talk at Wabash". Wabash College, October 21, 2008.
  7. ^ a b c Jardin, Xeni (December 28, 2009). "Welcome to the Boing Boing guestblog, Andrea James!", Boing Boing.
  8. ^ James, Gary (October 28, 2008). "Alum Shares Earned Wisdom With the Wabash Community", Wabash College.
  9. ^ Garvin, Glenn (March 15, 2003). "Breaking Boundaries". The Miami Herald.
  10. ^ Painter, K. (March 26, 2006). "Who qualifies to zap hairs?", USA Today.
  11. ^ Grossman, A. J. (June 5, 2008). "Zapping teenage torment", The New York Times.
  12. ^ a b Bashour, Mounir and James, Andrea (July 2, 2009). "Laser Hair Removal", eMedicine.
  13. ^ Addams, Calpernia; James, Andrea (July 22, 2003). "Transformations". The Advocate, p. 12.
  14. ^ Nichols, James Michael (February 28, 2016). "The Incredible Story Of Trans Showgirl, Musician And Legend Calpernia Addams", The Huffington Post.
  15. ^ Hopper, Douglas (March 5, 2006). "Helping Transgender Women Find a New Voice", All Things Considered, National Public Radio.
  16. ^ Ensler, Eve and Tennyson, Joyce (2005). Vagina Warriors. New York: Bulfinch Press, p. 11. ISBN 978-0-8212-6183-5
  17. ^ " interviews DeepStealth's Andrea James", Archived April 6, 2004.
  18. ^ "Teaching resources: Beautiful Daughters", Feminist Teacher, 18(2), 2008, pp. 179–180. JSTOR 40546067
  19. ^ Ensler, Eve, et al. (2004). "V-Day LA: Until the violence stops". Gender Media Foundation.
  20. ^ Nangeroni, Nancy and MacKenzie, Gordene O. (April 15, 2006). Episode #555,
  21. ^ Tucker, Duncan (2006). Transamerica: The Shooting Script. Newmarket Press, pp. 93, 133. ISBN 978-1-55704-732-8
  22. ^ Keck, William (November 21, 2005). "Felicity Huffman is sitting pretty", USA Today.
  23. ^ Adelman, Kim (July 18, 2007). "'Pariah' Leads The Pack of Outstanding Shorts at Outfest '07", Indiewire.
  24. ^ Pozner, Jennifer L. (2010). Reality bites back: the troubling truth about guilty pleasure TV. Seal Press. ISBN 978-1-58005-265-8
  25. ^ Kearns, Michael (2008). "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun". Frontiers, 26(20).
  26. ^ Everleth, Mike (January 10, 2011). "Echo Park Film Center: Transgender Short Films", Bad Lit: The Journal of Underground Film.
  27. ^ "I'm a TransYouth Family Advocate!",, 23 October 2007.
  28. ^ James, Andrea (January 25, 2008). "Life Without Puberty", The Advocate.
  29. ^ "Outfest Board of Directors",, 11 June 2008.
  30. ^ Kelly, Shannon (March 6, 2011). "Highlighting the Outfest Legacy Project: Three Films", UCLA Film and Television Archive.
  31. ^ "Partners", Thought Moment Media.
  32. ^ "Alec Mapa: Baby Daddy" Archived 2015-11-27 at the Wayback Machine, Showtime.
  33. ^ James, Andrea (December 18, 2007). "Don't Tick Off Trans". The Advocate.
  34. ^ a b Carey, Benedict (August 21, 2007). "Criticism of a Gender Theory, and a Scientist Under Siege", The New York Times.
  35. ^ James, Andrea (June 21, 2008). "Fair Comment, Foul Play: Populist Responses to J. Michael Bailey's Exploitative Controversies", paper presented to the National Women's Studies Association (courtesy link Archived 2016-07-31 at the Wayback Machine), pp. 3–4.
  36. ^ Also see "The Bailey Brouhaha", National Women's Association Conference, courtesy of YouTube, June 21, 2008.
  37. ^ James, Andrea (September 2004). "A defining moment in our history: Examining disease models of gender identity" Archived 2017-10-01 at the Wayback Machine,
  38. ^ Bailey, Michael J. "Academic McCarthyism", Northwestern Chronicle, October 9, 2005.
  39. ^ Dreger, Alice D. (2008). "The Controversy Surrounding the Man Who Would Be Queen: A Case History of the Politics of Science, Identity, and Sex in the Internet Age," Archives of Sexual Behavior, 37(3), pp.  366–421. PMID 18431641 PMC 3170124
  40. ^ Nichols, Margaret (2008). "Dreger on the Bailey Controversy: Lost in the Drama, Missing the Big Picture", Archives of Sexual Behavior, 37(3), pp. 476–480. PMID 18431629
  41. ^ Singal, Jesse (December 30, 2015). "Why Some of the Worst Attacks on Social Science Have Come From Liberals". New York Magazine.

External links