Professionals Concerned about Gender Diagnoses –Speak up before April 20th

Oh, By The Way I Put This Up So People Would Have Links to go to In Order To Voice Their Opinions Regrading the Oppressive Nature of the DSM and the Psych Establishment.

Time Sensitive — Feedback ends on April 20th

If you are receiving this in error, or are not interested in this topic, please delete. I am sending this out as an email blast to my entire email list (the only time I have ever done this), because it is an extremely timely issue, and I am hoping it will reach as many people as possible.

As many of you know, the American Psychological Association is in the process of revising the psychiatric manual called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM).  The DSM is one of the most important psychological tools in the world, and impacts not only mental health and medical issues, but is also used in legal decisions. It is an internationally utilized document, and will affect health care and insurance for the next decade.

The APA is accepting feedback on their current suggestions to revise diagnoses. This included Autism, changes to Juvenile Bipolar Disorder, and many other diagnoses. I have long been involved in the reform of the Gender Identity Disorders in the DSM. I have been working with a group of colleagues to craft a statement for the American Psychiatric Association about the proposed diagnoses in the DSM-5. I offer you this link to our web page which outlines our position, and also offers links to petitions that are being circulated.

Here is the link to the APA’s page on suggested revised diagnoses: http://www.dsm5.org/ProposedRevisions/Pages/Default.aspx
You can scroll down to see the Gender related diagnoses, under Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders.
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Our group, Professionals Concerned with Gender Diagnoses in the DSM, has developed suggestions for the APA subcommittee addressing gender diagnoses. Our suggestions are listed here: http://www.professionals.gidreform.org/

Our group was formed for the explicit purpose of offering constructive recommendations to the DSM-5 Task Force and its relevant work groups. What we offer to you here is derived from many hours of discussion and review of the existing literature to reach consensus and to offer scientifically sound recommendations.

We are addressing a number of areas of recommendations including: suggestions for further reform of the GID/GI diagnosis, specific suggestions for a separate adolescent diagnosis, and reform of the child diagnosis. Additionally, we suggest the removal of Transvestic Disorder from the DSM, and also recommend eliminating the need to specifically mention intersex people in the diagnostic criteria.

The time for making suggestions ends on April 20th. This is your opportunity to impact the mental health treatment for transgender, transsexual, and gender nonconforming adults, youth and children well into the 21st century.

Please forward widely.

Ari

LOOK NEW ADDRESS
and updated Website!

Arlene Istar Lev LCSW, CASAC
Choices Counseling and Consulting
523 Western Ave. Suite 2A
Albany, NY 12203-1617
518-463-9152
info@choicesconsulting.com
www.choicesconsulting.com

Arlene Istar Lev, LCSW-R, CASAC
Lecturer
School of Social Welfare
SUNY Albany
Albany NY
Arlene.Lev@gmail.com
518-463-9152

I am a Human Being: Do Not Bend, Fold, Mutilate or Tear

“I am a Human Being: Do Not Bend, Fold, Mutilate or Tear” was a slogan from the Berkeley Free Speech Movement of 1964.

That feeling shaped many of us in the 1960s.  When the media called us hippies we said, “No we are freaks fleeing your straight white Wonder Bread, plastic fantastic suburbia in search of authenticity.”

That was too big a dose of reality, so they tried to tame us by taking the guerrilla theater act of sticking flowers in the guns pointed at us during the demonstrations and called us flower children.  We returned that one in the form of a note tied around a brick hurled through a window announcing that these flowers had thorns.

Our one chant at the small demonstration we went to the other day was led by a black man, “We are somebody! I am Somebody!”

There are two agendas to transsexualism.  Ours and theirs. This is a truth so apparent as to have gone unnoticed and uncommented upon.

We want SRS.  They want to produce grand theories that are published in books and that bring them the long term name recognition of say Darwin or Freud.

This means they get to objectify us, reduce us to subjects to be studied.  Doctor patient relationships are often in the form of dominant provider/submissive recipient of treatment.

In the early days people with transsexualism threw a sabot into the gears of that relationship by treating our doctors as technicians, handing them the instructions as to what we wished them to do.

In some ways this is actually closer to the relationship normborns have with plastic surgeons who perform cosmetic procedures.

Indeed some of our least problematic relationships with medical providers have been with those doctors who prescribe the hormones and perform the surgeries that remold our bodies to match our internal self images.

Our most problematic have been with those in the psychiatric field.  Oddly enough the much maligned Dr. John Money may well have been one of the least malevolent of these theorists.  I often think those who attack him willy-nilly probably haven’t read much of anything he actually wrote.  Especially when these same people start listing off improbable intersex conditions found in fish or are so rare as to constitute lottery odds.

On the other hand I have come to wonder if… And I still lack definitive evidence so this is simply a gut feeling regarding some in the psychiatric field…

Lately I have found myself asking something very troubling and ask this in light of relationships I have discovered over the years between numerous psychiatric theorists and those who consider homosexuality to be a mental illness in spite of its having been removed from the DSM nearly 40 years ago.

Then up crops the comment by Lisa to something I posted yesterday:

I had the ‘name trick’ played on me by Richard Green, back in the late 80’s at Charring Cross GIC, London.
I’d been attending the GIC for a while. I’d already had several appointments with Russell Reid, Dr Hohburger and even the mighty Don Montgomery.

I’d transitioned several years before, and though pre op, I was firmly established as to who I was.
On this day in 1988 (i think) I was to finally see the famed Richard Green, on whose approval I depended if I was going to get NHS surgery.

As I sat in the open plan waiting room I was feeling hopeful, finally my journey to physical correction was coming to an end.
I was wearing what many 23 year old women, at that time, wore. Tight black spandex jeans with light blue leg warmers. A baggy mohair cardigan over a low cut cotton T shirt. My hair was in a long loose perm. strongish make up, and black suede ankle boots. (it was the 80’s remember!!).

I remember exactly what I was wearing because that day is still ingrained in my memory. I was happy and confident. I’d spent the morning shopping in Kensington, I still had my carrier bags still with me. I had been able to ‘pass’ for several years, now. It was only the fact that I had an appointment at the GIC that reminded me I was still not complete, but that would soon be remedied.

Then it happened. Richard Green entered the waiting room with a clip board in hand and called loudly for Mr ********.
At first it didn’t register, but then I realised it was MY surname he’d called.
For a second I thought it was strange that some guy with the same surname as me was in the room, too. Then the awful truth dawned on me. Richard Green was calling for me.
I was confused, how could the GIC , of all places, make such a mistake with name titles? Should I answer and embarrass myself in front of all the people sat near me or just wandering around?
I felt a cold sweat come over me. I suddenly realised the ‘Mr’ had been intentional. It was a joke perhaps, a test or maybe just for his amusement..?

I knew if I didn’t acknowledge him he would turn and go. I’d not get my appointment. Instead I would get a snotty letter in the mail from the GIC next week, informing me that I’d failed to show up, and therefore my name was being removed from the list. I would have to go through all the hassle of asking my GP for a new referral and all the time that took. Worse, I’d lose my supply of regular safe hormones!
All this stuff was flashing through my mind in the few seconds of silence as Richard Green stood before me arrogant and waiting.

I had a revelation. I was nothing. He was everything. He was in complete control and I’d better understand that!

I nodded weakly in Richard Greens direction, he was looking straight at me. I still hoped he would realise his ‘mistake’ and skilfully be able to salvage my confidence. Maybe he could say, “oh I’m sorry, it says Mr and you are clearly Miss, must be a typing error”

But no. He said: “Ah, you must be Mr ******** come with me please” then he briskly turned and left. I had to get up in front of all the burning eyes and meekly follow like a scolded cat, my confidence shattered.

I understood now. I was pathetic, I was worthless, I was a pervert and a freak. How could I possibly have thought I was anything else?
Only a few hours earlier I was a happy confident young women walking through the London streets. Now, I knew my place!

When I finally caught up with Richard Green he was behind his desk. I wasn’t invited to sit, but I did anyway. My eye-liner was burning my eyes and the mascara was running down my cheeks. I realised my tears were flowing.

He was very business like, addressed me as ‘Mr’ all through the appointment. When I dared to weakly question his use of that title, he replied with a grin “well you answered to ‘Mr’ didn’t you?” and brushed it off. He criticised me for wearing ‘male’ clothes (the tight spandex jeans). He questioned my commitment.

I don’t remember much else of what was said during that appointment. I got the train home. I felt very self conscious on the journey. I thought everyone on that train was looking at me, they KNEW my secret. I was shit.

That appointment set me back a few years. I probably should have been stronger, but I was young and trusting. I couldn’t understand the pointless cruelty.

In the following years much worse incidents happened to me, but my encounter with Green has always stayed close with me.
I was caught up in the Charring Cross internal politics. Russell Reid was forced out. He had been my champion. I was relegated down the surgery waiting lists and sidelined.
I turned to drugs and alcohol and even attempted to de transition at one point. It would be several years before I finally had surgery.

I’m not saying that small incident with Richard Green caused all of my future problems, but it’s the one thing I can remember clearly of my time at Charring Cross. I’ve never forgotten the shame and guilt I felt. I had to rebuild myself after that, and it took a while. I lost several years of post op life and I feel he definitely contributed to that. What I still don’t understand, is why did he do that to me?

Why did Dr. Green do that?  Since then we have come to know that he engages in a form of child abuse, reparative therapy upon children aimed at curing them of being different as though being different is a crime in need of a cure.

We know of Stoller’s Freudian bullshit and how he postulates things like smoother mother and distant father as causes of transsexualism

The same goes for Bailey, Blanchard et. al… Two types heterosexual transvestite and homosexual transvestite.  Which type of pervert are you?  Oh let’s not forget Person and Ovesey.  If you had sex prior to SRS then you are not a pure primary transsexual.

Way back when Virginia Prince observed without noticing cause and effect that when kids first cross dressed in adolescence they found it sexually arousing but as time went on they found it less so.  Duh…  Is that so?  Who would have thunk that?  Never mind that we protect adolescent kids from adult predators because their hormones mean they are aroused by almost everything.  Perversification based on a trait one wishes to stigmatize.

But for me the big nagging question give the questionable and problematic relationships of Stoller, Green, Bailey, Blanchard, Zucker, Rekers and others have with the founders of NARTH is this.

Did at least some of these theorists view SRS as a way to heterosexualize homosexuality?  In a sense a way to cure us of what they saw as an otherwise incurable form of homosexuality?

Obviously people with transsexualism and people like Green have to completely different POV and agendas.

But if what I am speculating on has merit it would place people like Green and others in a category usually reserved for people like Mengele and Walter Freeman (developer of lobotomies)