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Andrea James

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Andrea James
Andrea James, 2014.jpg
Andrea James, 2014
Born (1967-01-16) January 16, 1967 (age 50)
Occupation Producer, writer, activist

Andrea Jean James (born January 16, 1967) is an American trans woman and controversial LGBT rights activist, film producer, director, and blogger.[1][2] Her views are cited by some activists but contested by others.[3][4]

Education and career

James grew up in Indiana and attended Wabash College, an all male school, where she majored in English, Latin, and Greek. After graduating in 1989, she obtained a master's degree in English language and literature from the University of Chicago.[5][6] After her MA, James wrote ads for Chicago advertising agencies, working in the business for ten years.[5] The experience encouraged her to become involved in consumer activism, with a particular interest in medical and academic fraud.[7]

In 2003, James co-founded Deep Stealth Productions, with her roommate, author and entertainer Calpernia Addams, to create content by and marketed to transgender people.[8][9] She hosted an instructional program, Finding Your Female Voice.[10] She produced and performed in the first all-transgender cast of The Vagina Monologues in 2004, debuting a new piece created by Eve Ensler for the occasion. She was also a consultant on and appeared in Beautiful Daughters, a documentary film about the event.[11][12][13]

James was a script consultant for Transamerica (2005), helping actress Felicity Huffman prepare for her role as a transsexual woman.[14][15][16] She appeared in the HBO documentary Middle Sexes: Redefining He and She (2005), and in 2007 directed a 7-minute film, Casting Pearls.[17] She was a consulting producer for, and appeared in, the reality-dating television series Transamerican Love Story, on the Logo digital channel in 2008.[18][19] In 2009 she directed another short film, Transproofed.[20]

In 2012 James co-founded Thought Moment Media.[21] She directed the 2015 Showtime concert film, Alec Mapa: Baby Daddy.[22][23]

James and Calpernia Adams at the Out and Equal Workplace Summit

James has written about consumer rights, technology, pop culture, and LGBT rights. She has contributed to Boing Boing,[7] QuackWatch, eMedicine,[24] The Advocate[25] and Wikipedia.[26]

In 1996 she created Transsexual Road Map, a consumer website for transgender people,[27] and later set up HairFacts, a website on hair removal, and HairTell, a companion discussion forum.[28][29]

In 2004 James founded the nonprofit GenderMedia Foundation.[30] She was appointed in 2007 to the Board of Directors of TransYouth Family Allies, a nonprofit that supports transgender youth and their families, and in 2008 to the Board of Directors of Outfest, where she was involved in the restoration of the documentary Queens at Heart.[31][32]

Notable controversies

Together with Lynn Conway and Deirdre McCloskey, James was a driving figure in the controversy surrounding J. Michael Bailey's book The Man Who Would Be Queen (2003). Gender studies professor Kim Surkan said the protests by James and others against Bailey "represented one of the most organized and unified examples of transgender activism seen to date."[33][34]

Bailey cites evidence in his book 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 claim is inaccurate and damaging.[35][36] James wrote that the book was an example of academic exploitation of transgender people and a "cure narrative" framed by one case report about a six-year-old child.[37][38]

The dispute became heated when James posted a satirical 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.[39][40][41][42] James responded that the page was intended to echo what she saw as Bailey's disrespect toward gender-variant children.[35]


  1. ^ Lam, Steven. "What's 'gay' now: we are everywhere indeed", The Advocate, June 20, 2006.
  2. ^ Faderman, Lillian (2007). Great events from history: Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender events, 1848–2006. Salem Press. p. 700. ISBN 1-58765-265-X. Andrea James, transsexual activist and writer. 
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b Wabash College. "Andrea James to Give Talk at Wabash", Wabash College, October 21, 2008.
  6. ^ James, Gary. "Alum Shares Earned Wisdom With the Wabash Community", Wabash College, October 28, 2008.
  7. ^ a b Jardin, Xeni. "Welcome to the Boing Boing guestblog, Andrea James!", Boing Boing, December 28, 2009.
  8. ^ Addams, Calpernia and Andrea James. "Transformations", The Advocate, July 22, 2003.
  9. ^ Nichols, JamesMichael. "The Incredible Story Of Trans Showgirl, Musician And Legend Calpernia Addams", The Huffington Post, February 28, 2016.
  10. ^ Hopper, Douglas. "Helping Transgender Women Find a New Voice", All Things Considered, National Public Radio, March 5, 2006.
  11. ^ Tennyson, Joyce. Vagina Warriors. Bulfinch Press, 2005, p. 11. ISBN 978-0-8212-6183-5
  12. ^ " interviews DeepStealth's Andrea James",
  13. ^ "Teaching resources: Beautiful Daughters", Feminist Teacher, 18(2), 2008, pp. 179–180. JSTOR 40546067
  14. ^ Nangeroni, Nancy and MacKenzie, Gordene O. Episode #555,, April 15, 2006.
  15. ^ Tucker, Duncan. Transamerica: The Shooting Script. Newmarket Press, 2006, pp. 93, 133. ISBN 978-1-55704-732-8
  16. ^ Keck, William. "Felicity Huffman is sitting pretty", USA Today, November 21, 2005.
  17. ^ Adelman, Kim. "'Pariah' Leads The Pack of Outstanding Shorts at Outfest '07", Indiewire, July 18, 2007.
  18. ^ Pozner, Jennifer L. Reality bites back: the troubling truth about guilty pleasure TV. Seal Press, 2010. ISBN 978-1-58005-265-8
  19. ^ Kearns, Michael. "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun", Frontiers, 2008, 26(20).
  20. ^ Everleth, Mike. "Echo Park Film Center: Transgender Short Films", Bad Lit: The Journal of Underground Film, January 10, 2011.
  21. ^ "Partners", Thought Moment Media.
  22. ^ "Alec Mapa: Baby Daddy", Showtime.
  23. ^ Wong, Curtis M. "Alec Mapa Hopes His Showtime Special, 'Baby Daddy,' Inspires Gay Parents To Adopt Older Kids", The Huffington Post, June 12, 2015.
  24. ^ Bashour, Mounir and James, Andrea. "Laser Hair Removal", eMedicine, July 2, 2009.
  25. ^ James, Andrea. "Don't Tick Off Trans", The Advocate, December 18, 2007.
  26. ^ "This Trans Pioneer Has Been Fighting For The Trans Community For Decades". The Huffington Post. 2016-07-04. 
  27. ^ Garvin, Glenn "Breaking Boundaries", The Miami Herald, March 15, 2003.
  28. ^ Painter, K. "Who qualifies to zap hairs?", USA Today, March 26, 2006.
  29. ^ Grossman, A. J. "Zapping teenage torment", The New York Times, June 5, 2008.
  30. ^ Ensler, Eve et al. "V-Day LA: Until the violence stops", Gender Media Foundation, 2004.
  31. ^ James, Andrea. "Life Without Puberty: Hormone blockers for minors, the trans movement's new frontier", The Advocate, February 2008.
  32. ^ Kelly, Shannon. "Highlighting the Outfest Legacy Project: Three Films", UCLA Film and Television Archive, March 6, 2011.
  33. ^ Surkan, Kim. "Transsexuals protest academic exploitation," in Faderman, Lillian (ed). Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender events, 1848-2006. Salem Press, 2007, pp. 700–702.
  34. ^ James, Andrea. "A defining moment in our history: Examining disease models of gender identity",, September 2004.
  35. ^ a b Carey, Benedict. "Criticism of a Gender Theory, and a Scientist Under Siege", The New York Times, August 21, 2007.
  36. ^ James, Andrea. "Invective against J. Michael Bailey's "The Man Who Would be Queen",, June 5, 2003.
  37. ^ James, Andrea. "Fair comment, foul play", National Women's Studies Association conference, June 21, 2008, pp. 3–4; also see "The Bailey Brouhaha", National Women's Association Conference, courtesy of YouTube, June 21, 2008, accessed March 30, 2012.
  38. ^ "Invective: J. Michael Bailey's "The Man Who Would Be Queen"". 2003-06-05. Archived from the original on June 5, 2003. Retrieved 2016-01-01. 
  39. ^ Bailey, Michael J. "Academic McCarthyism", Northwestern Chronicle, October 9, 2005.
  40. ^ Dreger, A. 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): 366–421. doi:10.1007/s10508-007-9301-1. PMC 3170124Freely accessible. PMID 18431641. 
  41. ^ Nichols, Margaret (2008). "Dreger on the Bailey Controversy: Lost in the Drama, Missing the Big Picture". Archives of Sexual Behavior. 37 (3): 476–80; discussion 505–10. doi:10.1007/s10508-008-9329-x. PMID 18431629. 
  42. ^ Singal, Jesse (December 30, 2015). "Why Some of the Worst Attacks on Social Science Have Come From Liberals". New York Magazine. 

External links