The APA and the transgender community ~ A diary of links ~

From Daily Kos:

By CA Treehugger
April 28, 2011

In 2010, at the insistence of the transgender community, the World Professional Association for Transgender Heath released the following statement regarding proposed changes to the American Psychiatric Association’s infamous bible of “mental disorders”, DSM-V.

The WPATH Board of Directors strongly urges the de-psychopathologisation of gender variance worldwide. The expression of gender characteristics, including identities, that are not stereotypically associated with one’s assigned sex at birth is a common and culturally-diverse human phenomenon which should not be judged as inherently pathological or negative. The psychopathologlisation of gender characteristics and identities reinforces or can prompt stigma, making prejudice and discrimination more likely, rendering transgender and transsexual people more vulnerable to social and legal marginalisation and exclusion, and increasing risks to mental and physical well-being. WPATH urges governmental and medical professional organizations to review their policies and practices to eliminate stigma toward gender-variant people.

WPATH did not have the courage to point to the shameful records of certain members of the relevant committees on DSM-V, but they are well aware of the outrage in the transgender community over selection of Drs. Kenneth Zucker and Raymond Blanchard as chairmen. These are men whom the TG community regards as reparatist reactionaries, who practice “therapies” that force trans children to accept their socially assigned gender roles. They also have a long history of pathologizing adult transgender people and subjecting both them and children to humilating and pseudoscientific procedures such as penile plethysmography — which has been banned as evidence in US courts but is still used on sex offenders.

This is the sort of “treatment” these quacks provide to the trans community, who are frequently “captives” of their clinics in order to get needed medical services, or are children involuntarily subjected to their brutality.

Their selection by the APA is an affront to the entire LGBT community, and reveals the low intellectual and ethical standards prevailing at the APA.

Here are a few starting points for more information.

Ray Blanchard

Michael Bailey

Blanchard-Bailey-Laurence Clearinghouse

J. Michael Bailey Investigation

Paul McHugh

The webpage Zucker attempted to suppress

Zucker’s role in the pathologization of gender variance (Scroll down to see article.)

The GID reform movement

Petition to remove crossdressing from the DSM

One Response to “The APA and the transgender community ~ A diary of links ~”

  1. HenryHall Says:

    According to the DSM5 website the next comment period on proposed diagnoses ends 30 September, 2011 (and opens sometime in August or September 2011).

    This fits well with the 2011 WPATH International Symposium
    Atlanta, Georgia (USA) September 24 – 28, 2011

    I believe that WPATH should be providing formal feedback on the basis of WPATH’s authority as SOC authors, and preferably adopted in plenary session.

    Along the lines of “WPATH is the acknowledged authority in Transgender Health. It is the carefully considered formal policy that all forms of gender variance should be de-psychopathologised worldwide. WPATH therefore calls on the DSM5 committees to abolish diagnoses (list headed by 302.85) since these no longer have any valid purpose.”

    The question is – who is able to get the matter raised for debate at the Symposium?

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