Friday, January 13, 2017

Pushback

As we make headway with trans rights we get pushback from the conservatives, here and overseas.

BBC has a show that questioned how best to treat children with gender dysphoria and guess who’s name kept popping up?
BBC film on child transgender issues worries activists
Criticism over featured expert’s approach to gender dysphoria
The Guardian
By Hannah Ellis-Petersen
Wednesday 11 January 2017

The transgender community is “very scared and very worried” by a BBC documentary on how to approach gender dysphoria in children, organisations and activists are claiming.

The film – Transgender Kids: Who Knows Best? – prominently features Kenneth Zucker, a Canadian psychologist whose controversial approach with transgender children led to his being sacked in 2015 from a Toronto gender identity clinic.

Zucker disagrees with the now widely favoured “gender affirmative” approach to young people who feel they were born with the wrong gender. The approach encourages parents to allow their children with gender dysphoria to live as their chosen sex.

Instead, Zucker’s approach was likened to reparative therapy, which had the intended goal of “curing” children of transgender status. He also advocated more exploration into underlying psychological and mental health issues that might lead children to believe they were born the wrong gender.
As expected the medical and trans communities objects to the BBC documentary going against the census of medical research.
Zucker’s comment in the documentary, where he says, “a four-year-old might say that he’s a dog – do you go out and buy dog food?” was a particular concern for the Mermaids Foundation, which represents transgender issues.

“That quote in itself is incredibly inflammatory for parents of trans children,” said Susie Green, chief executive officer of Mermaids.

“We’ve had real concern that this is going to cause them to be targeted, because it supports this idea of trans children being mentally disturbed or that they can be cured. Parents are very afraid.”
Dr. Zucker has been discredited in his country and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has closed it gender clinic.
How the Fight Over Transgender Kids Got a Leading Sex Researcher Fired
New York Magazine
By Jesse Singal
February 7, 2016

On paper, Dr. Kenneth Zucker isn’t the sort of person who gets suddenly and unceremoniously fired. For decades, the 65-year-old psychologist had led the Child Youth and Family Gender Identity Clinic (GIC), in Toronto, one of the most well-known clinics in the world for children and adolescents with gender dysphoria — that is, the feeling that the body they were born with doesn’t fit their true gender identity. Zucker had built up quite a CV during his time leading the clinic: In addition to being one of the most frequently cited names in the research literature on gender dysphoria and gender-identity development, and the editor of the prestigious journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, he took a leading role helping devise diagnostic and treatment guidelines for gender dysphoric and transgender individuals. He headed the group which developed the DSM-5’s criteria for its “gender dysphoria” entry, for example, and also helped write the most recent “standards of care” guidelines for the World Professional Association for Transgender Health  —  one of the bibles for clinicians who treat transgender and gender-dysphoric patients.
[…]
The GIC, which operates out of CAMH, pronounced “Cam-H,” had been standing firm against a changing tide in the world of psychological treatment for children with gender dysphoria. The “gender-affirmative” approach, which focuses on identifying young transgender children and helping them socially transition — that is, express their gender to others through their everyday clothes, name changes, or other means — has been on the rise in recent years, and has become the favored protocol of many activists and clinicians. GIC clinicians, who saw clients between ages 3 and 18, had a much more cautious stance on social transitioning for their younger clients — they believed that in many cases, it was preferable to first “help children feel comfortable in their own bodies,” as they often put it, since in the GIC’s view gender is quite malleable at a young age and gender dysphoria will likely resolve itself with time.

Many activists see this approach as a rejection of young children’s transgender identities, and Zucker as its regressive standard-bearer. As a result, the GIC had been tarred for years as a “conversion” or “reparative” therapy clinic — terms which conjure images of outfits operated out of backwoods shacks in the Bible Belt. Responding to what felt like a surge in this line of criticism from activists, CAMH had agreed in February of 2015 to commission an External Review that would evaluate the clinic’s operations, and possibly, Zucker and his staffers knew, determine its future. CAMH had already taken actions suggesting that that future might be dim: In June of 2014, the hospital closed the GIC’s approximately 80-family waitlist (for being too long, administrators said), and about two months before Zucker’s vacation was interrupted, the clinic’s only other full-time staffer, the psychologist Dr. Hayley Wood, was laid off on her first day back from maternity leave. (Wood declined to comment for this article.)
And now BBC used him in their documentary on trans children and is drawing a lot of fire for it.
Transgender activists concerned about film featuring former CAMH psychologist Ken Zucker
Thousands sign petition for expert review of documentary featuring former director of Gender Identity Centre
CBC News
By Michelle Cheung,
Posted: Jan 12, 2017
A documentary scheduled to air on British television Thursday is raising concerns among transgender activists in this city, partly because it features a Toronto psychologist widely accused of trying to prevent transgender children from getting sex reassignment treatment.

As of this writing, almost 11,000 people have signed an online petition demanding that the BBC2 documentary Transgender Kids: Who Knows Best? be independently reviewed by an expert before it airs.

"Ultimately, this TV show could spark a trail of prejudice; belittling transgender children, leading them to not being socially accepted by society," wrote Lucas Johnston, on his change.org petition.

Johnston's concerns stem from the documentary's interview with Dr. Kenneth Zucker, the former director of the Child Youth and Family Gender Identity Clinic at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. In December 2015, CAMH announced it was "winding down" the clinic and Zucker was no longer employed there.
[…]
Some transgender activists have suggested the Gender Identity Clinic for youth Zucker ran was practising "conversion" or "reparative therapy," which counsels queer youth to accept their biological sex, an accusation clinic staff denied.
Conversion or reparative therapy is being banned in more and more states here in the U.S.

I hope the documentary fades away but I have a feeling that the show will be used by the opposition against us.

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