Keynote Speaker

Trans-Attraction: Not Kink or Fetish but a Legitimate Sexual Orientation

Wendy Ashley

Wendy Ashley

California State University Northridge

Keynote Session #1

9AM - 10AM -

Session Overview

Men who have sex with transgender women (MSTGW's) are a relatively invisible population, known primarily through porn, erotica, kink, fetishism or paraphilias. Labeled gyandromorphophilic by medical and scholarly communities, the monikers used to describe the sexuality of MSTGWs do not consistently encompass the nuances of orientation, attraction, identity and behavior of this population. Because they challenge conventional sexual orientation categories, MSTGWs are often reduced to designation as subsets of existing binaries or variant type of sexuality, excluding them from the validation, support and connection that comes with community identification. This workshop will explore from both a scholarly perspective and an individual lived experience of what we term 'trans-attraction,' focusing on trans-attraction as less of a urban phenomenon and more as a sexual orientation. Using a qualitative auto-ethnographic approach, the presenters will use existing research and Randy's personal story to explore trans-attraction, the limited binaries of sexual orientation, and how trans-attraction should be considered a valid sexual orientation.


Wendy Ashley, Psy.D., LCSW is an Associate Professor and the Associate Chair of the California State University at Northridge’s Masters of Social Work program. Dr. Ashley received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) from Ryokan College and her MSW from the University of Southern California. She has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 1998 and has over twenty years of social work experience in the areas of community mental health, child welfare and addiction recovery. Dr. Ashley is the author of multiple publications, speaks at conferences nationwide and internationally, maintains a private practice and provides training for multiple community agencies. Research interests include treatment models for working with African American and Transgender clients, creative engagement of involuntary clients, the impact of power and privilege on macro and micro practice, and child welfare. She is passionate about promoting social justice, and infuses an intersectionality lens in her teaching, practice and research.