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Transphobic doctor claims anime makes people trans, gets shut down by Twitter

WhomYouLove2012 Sentai Filmworks (Fair Use) Ana Valens

Hating trans people does not make you a trans ‘expert.’

Dr. Ray Blanchard, an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto, is a well-noted foe to the trans community. His most recent bad idea that’s gone viral: Anime might be making trans girls transition.

Blanchard is a 73-year-old cis man who was once the head of the Clinical Sexology Services at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, a facility that has come under fire for its “conversion therapy” type tactics, among other problems. He is probably most infamous for coming up with a typology that classifies trans women as either “homosexual transsexuals” or “autogynephilic.” Simply put, he believes trans women are either predominantly attracted to men or predominantly sexually aroused by “becoming” women.

The theory has since haunted trans women, as it conflates the erotic desire to embrace one’s gender identity—which is a universal experience shared by cisgender women—with a fetishistic interest in one’s body. That discredits trans women attracted to other women and centers transitioning around straight trans women, erasing queer trans experiences.

Blanchard has continued to champion the idea over the years, which led him to endorse a Medium essay written by a Twitter user named SocialJusticeWizard recently. In his post, SocialJusticeWizard—who, to be clear, is no fan of social justice—claims trans women are actually “lonely” and “repressed” cis men who develop gender dysphoria because slice-of-life anime makes them realize that they “always wanted to be soft and gentle like [an anime girl], carefree and cheerful like her, enjoy life in its fullest without the heavy chains of masculinity, like her.”

In other words, SocialJusticeWizard thinks trans women are really cis men who want to become women after watching anime.

In reality, trans women are women who are forced to live in a world that assumes sex assigned at birth and gender are one and the same. Some trans women may repress their gender identity until they transition, so media that focuses predominantly on women, like slice-of-life anime, may bring out pre-transition trans women’s repressed feelings and desires. Other trans women may see parts of themselves in anime, feel attraction to certain anime characters, or simply like anime, period—all of which are all perfectly normal experiences.

Blanchard doesn’t see it that way, of course. He’s since slapped his seal of approval onto SocialJusticeWizard’s essay, praising it for introducing “the possible relations among anime, gender dysphoria, and autogynephilia.”

It didn’t take long for trans users to poke fun at Dr. Blanchard.

Some people wonder how Dr. Blanchard is even a practicing doctor and educator if he is willing to endorse “anime made me trans” as a real theory.

Playing along with this preposterous theory, trans people are now declaring which anime series made them trans.

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In other news, Dr. Blanchard has also suggested that the trans community grew as “the goth/emo population died” and has compared transitioning to demonic possession.

“A couple weeks ago, he said that trans people are just goth kids. A little after that, he said that we’re demons. Now we watch too much anime,” one Twitter user wrote. “Someone got grandpa riled up about those gosh darn ‘transgenders’ again.”

Perhaps it’s time that we stop letting people who hate trans people call themselves “trans experts” and then give them space to discuss thier “expertise”? Just a thought.

Ana Valens

Ana Valens

Ana Valens is an LGBTQ reporter and essayist for the Daily Dot. Her work has previously appeared in Bitch, the Establishment, Vice's Waypoint, Rolling Stone's Glixel, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.