Ray Blanchard was the psychologist in the Adult Gender Identity Clinic at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry 1980–1995. Much of his research in those 15 years concerned transsexualism and milder forms of gender identity disorders. In 1995, he was appointed Head of the newly created Clinical Sexology Services at the CAMH. This unit comprised the Adult Gender Identity Clinic and the Kurt Freund Laboratory, the latter being the oldest laboratory in North America for the psychophysiological assessment of erotic interests in sexual offenders and other men with problematic sexual behavior. Blanchard retired from the CAMH in 2010. Since his retirement, he has continued to be active in research on human sexuality, often in collaboration with former students, colleagues, and their students.
Today, Ray tells us how he got into the field, as he was primarily interested in conducting sex research. And then he found himself in a gender identity clinic. He got interested in boiling down the cumbersome and sprawling categorizations of gender dysphoria and deemphasizing women’s clothing. He wanted to uncover the wider framework that explains a variety of behaviors for dysphoric males. The term autogynephilia was born. Ray describes common misunderstandings about the term and addresses some myths about AGP, clusters of behavior, and what he calls “erotic mislearnings.”