Andrea James

Andrea James wiki

Andrea Jean James (born January 16, 1967) is an American filmmaker and consumer activist.[1]



James grew up in Indiana and attended Wabash College, where she majored in English, Latin, and Greek.[2] After graduating in 1989, she obtained an M.A. in English language and literature from the University of Chicago in 1990.[3]


James and Calpernia Addams speaking at the 2006 Out & Equal Workplace Summit.

James worked for ten years in advertising in Chicago.[4] During her gender transition, she became involved in consumer activism, particularly exposing medical and academic fraud.[5] In 1996 she created the consumer website now called Transgender Map, and later created hair removal consumer websites HairFacts and HairTell.[6]

In 2003 James moved to Los Angeles and co-founded Deep Stealth Productions with entertainer Calpernia Addams. They created content for transgender people on makeup, facial feminization surgery, and coming out, starting with a vocal feminization instructional video, Finding Your Female Voice.[7]

James criticized psychologist J. Michael Bailey‘s 2003 book, The Man Who Would Be Queen after published reports that Bailey was misusing images of young transgender children without their knowledge or consent, provoking laughter from students and faculty.[8] Sexologist Kenneth Zucker devoted an issue of his journal Archives of Sexual Behavior to the controversy, centered on a target article by historian Alice Dreger, a colleague of Bailey’s at Northwestern University.[10] Dreger accused James of harassment and of stifling academic freedom, then tried to stop James from speaking in academic settings about the controversy.[11] James wrote that the book was an example of academic exploitation of transgender people, and a “cure narrative” framed by one unconfirmed case report about a six-year-old child.[12] Gender studies professor Karl 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.”[13] James expanded her criticism to include Zucker and Ray Blanchard of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health for their pathologization of transgender children and adults via Zucker’s gender identity disorder in children diagnosis and Blanchard’s transsexualism typology.[14] After Zucker and Blanchard were appointed to lead the committee revising transgender sections of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 2009, James helped organize protests at the American Psychiatric Association conference.[15] In 2015 the gender clinic where Zucker and Blanchard worked was closed following an investigation.[16]

In 2004, James founded the nonprofit GenderMedia Foundation.[17] That year, she produced and performed in the first all-transgender cast of The Vagina Monologues, debuting a new piece created by Eve Ensler for the occasion.[18] James also appeared in Beautiful Daughters, a documentary about the event.[19] In 2005 James coached actress Felicity Huffman for her role in Transamerica and had a cameo in the film.[20] She appeared in the 2005 HBO documentary Middle Sexes: Redefining He and She, and she directed transgender-themed short films, including “Casting Pearls” in 2007 and “Transproofed” in 2009.[21]

James served on the Board of Directors of TransYouth Family Allies, a nonprofit that supports transgender youth and their families, from 2007 to 2014.[22] From 2008 to 2013, she served on the Board of Directors of Outfest, where she was involved in the restoration of the documentary Queens at Heart.[23]

She was a consulting producer for, and appeared in, the reality-dating television series Transamerican Love Story on Logo in 2008.[24] James began guest blogging at Boing Boing in 2009 and portrayed lawyer Joni Thome in the 2010 documentary Bullied.[25] James directed two seasons of a web series for Disney fan club D23, one season of the web series Beatdown for drag performer Willam Belli, coached Kate del Castillo for her role in K-11, and co-produced Living Things, a 2014 dramatic feature on veganism.[26] In 2012 she co-founded Thought Moment Media, where she directed the 2013 children’s film “Family Restaurant” and the 2015 Showtime concert film Alec Mapa: Baby Daddy, both about LGBT adoption[27] James edited and advised on several books, including the 2002 autobiography Mark 947 by Calpernia Addams, the 2007 autobiography Pholomolo by Veronique Renard, the 2014 self-help book Trans Bodies, Trans Selves, and self-help parody Suck Less by Willam Belli.[28][29][30][31] She co-edited the 2014 anthology Letters for My Sisters with Deanne Thornton.[32][33][34] She is featured or quoted in photography books Vagina Warriors by Eve Ensler and Joyce Tenneson and The World According to Wonder by World of Wonder, in consumer guide Facial Feminization Surgery by Douglas Ousterhout, and in 51%: Women and the Future of Politics by Terri Spahr Nelson.[35][36][37][38] James also contributed to the anthology To My Trans Sisters edited by Charlie Craggs.[39]

In 2014, James discussed complexities of the slurs tranny and shemale in the wake of objections to their use on RuPaul’s Drag Race.[40] She criticized writer Parker Molloy as emblematic of clickbait journalism and Twitter’s outrage culture.[41] A group of transgender Twitter users signed an open letter denouncing James for her stance.[42] Molloy resigned later that year after directing abuse and slurs at trans women.[43] James has also discussed controversies around casting transgender roles in films.[44] In 2015 she was a script consultant on an episode of Royal Pains about a transgender teen played by Nicole Maines.[45] She was also a consulting producer on the 2015 reality TV series Transcendent.[46] In 2016, she participated in the Intelligence Squared debate on gender identity filmed in Sydney, Australia for BBC World News.[47]

James has worked with social media platforms like Facebook on content moderation and community standards.[48] In 2016, she worked with Tinder on rolling out gender-inclusive profile options.[49][50][51] She has discussed how trans people should prepare for the Presidency of Donald Trump.[52] Her media projects in 2017 included a pilot of Conversations with Coco starring Coco Peru and Lily Tomlin, the documentary Gender Revolution with Katie Couric. In 2020, projects include the Sundance documentary Whirlybird and a film adaptation of Becoming a Man in 127 Easy Steps starring Scott Turner Schofield.[53]

In 2019, she announced a new interactive project to analyze transphobia in the media.[58] In 2020, the film Whirlybird about Zoey Tur and Marika Gerrard was one of 16 films in the US Documentary Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, and her interactive media adaptation of Becoming a Man in 127 Easy Steps starring Scott Turner Schofield premiered at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival and Outfest. In 2021, James helped produce The Ts Madison Experience starring Ts Madison and appeared in the documentary This Is Jessica.

In 2021, her life’s work was selected for preservation by the United States Library of Congress.


Talk2021WOW NOWHost, Writer, Director6 episodes
Documentary2021This is JessicaSelf
TV series2021The Ts Madison ExperienceConsulting Producer6 episodes
Documentary2020WhirlybirdStory Consultant
Experimental2020Becoming a Man in 127 EASY StepsDirector
Episodic2019The More Things ChangeConsulting Producer
Documentary2017Gender RevolutionConsulting Producer 
Short film2017Viva DivaExecutive Producer 
TV pilot2017Conversations with CocoDirector, Executive Producer 
Web series2016What the Flick?!Self1 episode
TV series2016Intelligence SquaredSelf1 episode
TV series2015Royal PainsConsultant1 episode
TV series2015TranscendentConsulting Producer13 episodes
Film2014Living ThingsCo-Producer 
Concert film2014Alec Mapa: Baby DaddyDirector, Co-Editor, Executive Producer 
Web series2014BeatdownDirector, Producer11 episodes
Web series2014Paint Me BitchDirector, Producer3 episodes
Short film2012Family RestaurantWriter, Director, Editor, Producer, Voice Actor: “Picky” 
Film2012K-11Coach to star Kate del Castillo 
Web series2010D23’s Disney GeekDirector, Producer, Editor, Cinematographer62 episodes
Documentary2010BulliedActor: “Joni Thome” 
Short film2009TransproofedWriter, Director, Editor, Producer, Actor: “Joyce” 
TV series2009Transamerican Love StoryConsulting Producer, Self8 episodes
Short film2008LaundromatActor: “Maya” 
Short film2008Casting PearlsDirector, Executive Producer, Co-Writer, Co-Editor, Voice Actor 
Instructional video2006Coming Out (Volumes 1, 2, & 3)Director, Producer, Writer, Co-Editor, Self 
Documentary2006Beautiful DaughtersSelf 
Documentary2005Middle Sexes: Redefining He and SheSelf 
Film2005TransamericaActor: “Voice Coach,” coach to star Felicity Huffman 
Documentary short2003Conversation with CalperniaDirector, Producer, Co-Editor, Self 
Instructional video2003Becoming You (Volumes 1 & 2)Director, Producer, Co-Editor, Self 
Instructional video2002Finding Your Female VoiceDirector, Producer, Writer, Co-Editor, Self 


  1. Nichols, James Michael. This Trans Pioneer Has Been Fighting For The Trans Community For Decades. Huffington Post, July 4, 2016.
  2. Paige, Richard. Wabash on My Mind: Andrea James ‘89. October 26, 2015.
  3. Wabash College. Andrea James to Give Talk at Wabash.October 21, 2008.
  4. Bartner, Amy. Transgender community unites at Pride event.Indianapolis Star, June 9, 2016.
  5. Gardner, Chris. Tinder Launches Transgender-Inclusive Update, Allowing Users to Select Personalized Gender Identity. The Hollywood Reporter, November 15, 2016.
  6. Garvin, Glenn. Breaking Boundaries. The Miami Herald, March 15, 2003. Painter, K. Who qualifies to zap hairs? USA Today, March 26, 2006.
    Grossman, A. J. Zapping teenage torment. The New York Times, June 5, 2008.
  7. Hopper, Douglas. Helping Transgender Women Find a New Voice. All Things Considered, NPR, March 5, 2006.
  8. Roughgarden, Joan. Psychology lecture lacks sensitivity to sexual orientation. The Stanford Daily, April 25, 2003.
  9. Carey, Benedict. Criticism of a Gender Theory, and a Scientist Under Siege. The New York Times, August 21, 2007. James, Andrea. Invective against J. Michael Bailey’s ‘The Man Who Would be Queen.’, June 5, 2003.
  10. Zucker, Kenneth. Introduction to Dreger (2008) and Peer Commentaries. Archives of Sexual Behavior doi:10.1007/s10508-007-9300-2.
  11. Dreger, Alice. 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, 2008, Volume 37, Number 3, pp. 366–421. Nichols, Margaret. “Dreger on the Bailey Controversy: Lost in the Drama, Missing the Big Picture”Archives of Sexual Behavior, 2008, Volume 37, Number 3, pp. 476-480.
  12. James, Andrea. “Fair comment, foul play”, National Women’s Studies Association conference, June 21, 2008, pp. 3–4
    “The Bailey Brouhaha”, National Women’s Association Conference, YouTube, June 21, 2008.
  13. Surkan, K. “Transsexuals protest academic exploitation.” In Faderman, Lillian (ed). Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Events, 1848-2006. Salem Press, 2007, pp. 700–702. ISBN 9781587652653
  14. James, Andrea. “A defining moment in our history: Examining disease models of gender identity”Gender Medicine, 2006(3;1) p. S56{{doi|10.1016/S1550-8579(06)80121-X}James, Andrea. Sexology’s war on transgender children. Boing Boingm June 11, 2015. Bailey, J. Michael and Triea, K. What many transgender activists don’t want you to know: and why you should know it anywayPerspectives in Biology and Medicine. Autumn 2007;50(4), pp. 521-534.
  15. Batza, Katie. LGBTQ and Health. In LGBTQ America, Springate, Megan E., Ed. National Park Foundation, 2016.
  16. Ubelacker, Sheryl. CAMH to ‘wind down’ controversial gender identity clinic services. The Globe and Mail, December 15, 2015. Pyne, Jake. Discredited treatment of trans kids at CAMH shouldn’t shock us. Toronto Star, December 17, 2015.
  17. Ensler, Eve et al“V-Day LA: Until the violence stops”, GenderMedia Foundation, 2004.
  18. Ensler, Eve. I Never Defined a Woman as a Person With a Vagina. Time, January 18, 2015.
  19. “Teaching resources: Beautiful Daughters”, Feminist Teacher, 18(2), 2008, pp. 179–180. JSTOR 40546067
  20. Tucker, Duncan. Transamerica: The Shooting Script. Newmarket Press, 2006, pp. 93, 133. ISBN 978-1-55704-732-8
    Keck, William. Felicity Huffman is sitting pretty. USA Today, November 21, 2005.
  21. Anderson, Tre’vell. On the hunt for another ‘Moonlight,’ Outfest celebrates 35 years. Los Angeles Times, July 6, 2017. Adelman, Kim. ‘Pariah’ Leads The Pack of Outstanding Shorts at Outfest ’07.Indiewire, July 18, 2007. Everleth, Mike Echo Park Film Center: Transgender Short Films. Underground Film Journal, January 10, 2011.
  22. James, Andrea, “Life Without Puberty”The Advocate, January 25, 2008.
  23. Limbachia, Dixie. Kristin Chenoweth, ‘American Gods’ Stars Turn Out for Bryan Fuller at Outfest Opening Night. Variety, July 7, 2017.
    Kelly, Shannon. Highlighting the Outfest Legacy Project: Three Films. UCLA Film and Television Archive, March 6, 2011.
  24. Pozner, Jennifer L. Reality bites back: the troubling truth about guilty pleasure TV. Seal Press, 2010. ISBN 978-1-58005-265-8
    Kearns, Michael. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. Frontiers, 2008, 26(20).
  25. Apelqvist, Eva (2013) LGBTQ Families: The Ultimate Teen Guide. Scarecrow Press, ISBN 9780810885363
  26. Breen, Matthew, Willam Belli Wants To Get Thrown Out of Her Own Show. Out, April 17, 2015. Brydum, Sunnivie. Captivating Kate. The Advocate, April 23, 2013 Asea, Adam. Out Today: Andrea James’ Living Things – A Vegan and Meat Debate. The WOW Report, April 15, 2014.
  27. Lopresti, Michael (2013). Family Restaurant. Frameline Film Festival
    Wong, Curtis M. Alec Mapa Hopes His Showtime Special, ‘Baby Daddy,’ Inspires Gay Parents To Adopt Older Kids. “Huffington Post“, June 12, 2015.
    Reynolds, Daniel, The 10 Best LGBT Documentaries of 2014.The Advocate , December 24, 2014.
  28. Addams, Calpernia. Mark 947: A Life Shaped by God, Gender, and Force of Will. Writers Club Press, 2002. ISBN 0-595-26376-3
  29. Renard, Veronique. Pholomolo: No Man No Woman. iUniverse, 2007. ISBN 978-0595446698
  30. Erickson-Schroth, Laura. Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource for the Transgender CommunityOxford University Press, 2014. ISBN 9780199325351
  31. Belli, Willam. Suck Less: Where There’s a Willam, There’s a Way. Grand Central Publishing, 2016 ISBN 978-1455566198
  32. Kellaway, Mitch, Trans Women Share Wisdom ‘By Us, For Us’. The Advocate, July 16, 2014.
  33. 10 Must-Read Books When You’re Having Gender Questions.SheWired, October 22, 2015.
  34. Kellaway, Mitch, The Year’s 10 Best Transgender Non-Fiction Books. The Advocate, November 5, 2014.
  35. Bailey, Fenton; Barbato, Randy. The World According to Wonder. World of Wonder Books, 2013. ISBN 978-0985583408
  36. Ensler, Eve; Tenneson, Joyce. Vagina Warriors. New York: Bulfinch Press, 2005, p. 11. ISBN 978-0-8212-6183-5
  37. Ousterhout, Douglas. Facial Feminization Surgery: A Guide for the Transgendered Woman. Addicus Books, 2010. ISBN 1938803221
  38. Nelson, Terri Spahr. 51%: Women and the Future of Politics: Women speak out on US politics and politicians. Sugati Publications, 2016. ISBN 978-0982580677
  39. Craggs, Charlie. To My Trans Sisters. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2017.ISBN 9781784506681
  40. Wilson, Erin, [9 Celebs Who Learned the Hard Way the T-Word Is Over.] The Advocate, April 9, 2015.
  41. James, Andrea. I Fucking Hate @RuPaul. Boing Boing, April 4, 2014.
  42. Jones, Zinnia. 100-Plus Trans Women Stand Against Calpernia Addams and Andrea James: An Open Letter.
  43. Editors. Parker Molloy Resigns From Advocate, Lashes Out At Former Colleagues. Queerty, October 31, 2014.
  44. James, Andrea, Is Elle Fanning Taking a Role From a Transgender Actor? The Atlantic, November 15, 2014.
  45. Bartner, Amy, Transgender activist amid Hollywood’s transition. USA Today, June 3, 2016.
  46. “New Series Highlights Transgender Stories, Introduces ‘Ladies of AsiaSF'”NBC News. Retrieved 2015-11-03.
    Johnson, RJ. A Decade of Discovery. Alaska Dispatch News, June 29, 2017.
  47. reharne, Trevor. Transgender rights move into their recognition era. Seven News, February 26, 2016.
    Society and Gender Identities. BBC World News, April 10, 2016.
  48. Eldon, Eric. Facebook Begins Testing Advanced Crowd-Sourced Content Moderation. Adweek, January 4, 2010.
  49. Steinmetz, Katy. The Inside Story Behind Tinder’s New Gender Options. Time, November 14, 2016.
  50. Snyder, Benjamin. How Tinder Is Making Dating Easier for Transgender Users. Fortune, June 3, 2016.
  51. Titlow, John Paul. Tinder Reengineers Its Gender Field, With Help From The Trans Community. Fast Company, November 15, 2016.
  52. Rose, Donna; Fronterhouse, Diana. Ep 012 – Andrea James.The Deeper End, October 20, 2016
    St. James, James, WOW Exclusive: JSJ Talks to Trans Activist Andrea James About Trump, the Future of Trans Rights, and How YOU Can Help, WOW Presents, March 15, 2017.
  53. Babayan, Siran (August 13, 2016). Conversations with Coco: Lily Tomlin. LA Weekly
    Ennis, Dawn. ‘Gender Revolution’ is all about trans people, but it’s made for a cis audience. LGBTQ Nation, February 8, 2017.
    Ikenberg, Tamara. Becoming a man in just ‘127 Easy Steps’: Transgender activist and actor returns to perform one-man show. Alaska Dispatch News, June 29, 2017.

External links