U.S. v. Bradley Manning: Being Transgender Doesn’t Mean You’re Unstable

From The New Civil Rights Movement:  http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/u-s-v-bradley-manning-being-transgender-doesnt-mean-youre-unstable/news/2012/12/05/55477

by Zinnia Jones
on December 5, 2012

I’ve usually avoided talking about the trial of Private Bradley Manning, given that I’ve been directly involved with this situation before and I probably will be in the future. But I feel that certain recent developments in the case deserve to be addressed.

 Private Manning has been charged with various offenses relating to his alleged leaking of classified material to Wikileaks in 2009, including the “Collateral Murder” video, thousands of diplomatic cables of the State Department, and Army field reports from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The current phase of the trial is not about the charges against Manning, but rather about the conditions he was held in prior to the trial.

After he was arrested, he was detained in the brig at Marine Corps Base Quantico for nine months, and placed on suicide watch as well as “Prevention of Injury” status. During this time, he was effectively held in solitary confinement, he was not allowed to speak to other detainees, and he could only leave his cell for 20 minutes each day. He had to ask for toilet paper and then return it when he was done. He was required to remove all of his clothing at night and sleep naked, as well as stand at attention in the nude. Manning’s defense has been arguing that this treatment was unwarranted and constituted unlawful pretrial punishment. This could lead to the dismissal of some charges, or a reduction in sentencing. The prosecution, in turn, has argued that these conditions of his confinement were necessary and appropriate.

As part of this phase of the trial, the court heard the testimony of Master Sgt. Craig Blenis, who acted as Manning’s counselor during his detainment at Quantico. According to reporters covering the hearing, Blenis stated that Manning had sent two letters from the brig using the name “Breanna”, and he considered this a reason to place Manning on Prevention of Injury status. Blenis claimed that this was “not normal” and “not stable”.

There is a history of some uncertainty over how Manning identifies. Prior to his arrest, he had spoken to a gender counselor online, and said he felt that he was female. He told his superiors in the Army that he had gender identity disorder, which he talked about in his conversations with Adrian Lamo. He also set up Twitter and YouTube accounts under the name “Breanna Manning,” and listed this as an alias when he was first confined at Quantico. However, the Bradley Manning Support Network have stated that he prefers to be addressed as Bradley, and when I talked with people who are in close contact with Manning, they all told me he currently identifies as male.

None of this is conclusive, and anything is possible. People who are trans don’t always know it.

Continue reading at:  http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/u-s-v-bradley-manning-being-transgender-doesnt-mean-youre-unstable/news/2012/12/05/55477

Transgender People Want Shrinks to Stop Calling Them Crazy

From Mother Jones:    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/12/transgender-psychiatry-dsm-dysphoria

But will the new diagnosis from the American Psychiatric Association cause them other trouble?

By Wed Dec. 5, 2012

By just about every standard, Dr. Nick Gorton is like any regular, well-adjusted guy. A 42-year-old veteran emergency-room doctor in the San Francisco Bay Area, he is happily married to his partner of 16 years. He is a self-professed science geek who enjoys hanging out with his Chihuahua-Jack Russell mix and spending too much time online.

But according to the American Psychiatric Association, Gorton has a major mental illness: gender identity disorder. Gorton was raised female, though as early as nursery school he knew he did not feel like a girl. Or, in the phrasing of Diagnosis 302.85 in the fourth edition of the APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), he had “a strong persistent cross-gender identification” and “persistent discomfort with his or her sex or sense of inappropriateness in the gender role of that sex.”

Transgender activists have long called for this diagnosis to be revised or removed altogether from the DSM, arguing that being transgender is not a disease but a human variation—more like being left-handed than schizophrenic. The manual listed homosexuality as a form of “sexual deviation” until 1974, and some advocates say that in a generation most people will see the diagnosis of gender identity disorder as equally absurd. Now, a new diagnosis has just been approved by the American Psychiatric Association, but challenges remain for transgender people in need of help.
Until the FAA changed its policy recently, transgender people aspiring to be pilots had to undergo expensive psychological testing.

Many trans people do describe being intensely unhappy before they came out—feeling betrayed by their bodies and unable to live as their true selves. This disconnect between one’s body and sense of self, known as gender dysphoria, can be crippling. “I literally spent the first three decades of my life, pretty much every day, unhappy,” Gorton says. He recalls seeing homeless men on the streets of New York City and wishing he could trade places with them just to have their bodies. In his early 30s, he decided to undergo a course of treatments that included a mastectomy, male hormones, and talk therapy. Now that he’s transitioned to living fully as a man, he says, his “tremendous amount of mental-health issues” are “virtually gone.”

Yet according to the current DSM, he still has a mental-health problem. The manual is the scientific bible by which psychiatrists and other mental-health professionals standardize, identify, and, importantly, bill insurance companies for their patients’ afflictions. Because the gender identity disorder diagnosis includes “a lot of stuff that basically just describes trans people,” explains Dr. Dan Karasic, a psychiatrist at the Bay Area-based Transgender Life Care Program, there is no way to be transgender, according to the DSM, without being mentally ill.

Continue reading at:  http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/12/transgender-psychiatry-dsm-dysphoria

American Psychiatric Association to stop classifying transgender people as having a mental illness

From Pink News UK:  http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/12/04/american-psychiatric-association-to-longer-classify-transgender-people-as-having-a-mental-illness/

4 December 2012,

The American Psychiatric Association has agreed to no longer classify people who are transgender and non-gender conforming as having mental illness.

The revisions to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders mirrors similar moves to declassify homosexuality as a mental illness in the USA in 1973.

Until now “gender identity disorder” was used to label people who are trans and this has been used as a basis for anti-equality campaigners to argue against the rights of trans people.

The new edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders will label trans people as having “Gender Dysphoria,” a term to communicate the distress caused by “a marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender.” The aim is so that treatment can be offered without stigmatising trans people as having a mental disorder.

Temple University psychology professor Frank Farley told CBS News that even though the change is an improvement; it’s not complete. “Significant decisions are made about people in the courts, in the mental health system, with insurers so we want it to be absolutely impeccable and so some of these aspects are not particularly solid science,” he said.

Last year, the European Parliament has passed a resolution calling for the World Health Organisation to stop classifying transgender people as mentally ill.

Continue reading at:  http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/12/04/american-psychiatric-association-to-longer-classify-transgender-people-as-having-a-mental-illness/

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Conservative Activists Condemn APA for Declassifying Transgender Identity as a Mental Disorder

From Right Wing Watch:   http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/conservative-activists-condemn-apa-declassifying-transgender-identity-mental-disorder

by Brian Tashman
on Wednesday, 12/5/2012

Janet Mefferd hosted Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality yesterday on her radio show to criticize the American Psychiatric Association for its decision to remove “gender identity disorder” from their manual on mental health. Mefferd even wondered if the APA’s reasoning behind the move might “give pedophiles moral cover.”

According to LaBarbera, “these professional bodies have all been infiltrated by LGBT activists” and have “politicized” science. After lamenting that now schools will have to provide protections for transgender students, he said that sex reassignment surgeries should be made illegal.

One of the things they’re going to do, we all know it, these professional bodies have all been infiltrated by LGBT activists, homosexuals, bisexuals, transgenders, and they are going to set down these guidelines for these poor children who we’ve seen you know with ‘the little Johnny wants to go to second grade in a dress,’ and people who still have common sense in our society say that’s ridiculous, that’s preposterous, that has an effect on all the other kids in school, but we’re going to get these guidelines that say ‘go with that.’

A lot of people go by science, even though science has been very politicized as we’re discussing here, and they go by science and they say ‘well maybe Johnny wasn’t mean to be a boy, he was meant to be a girl.’ We already see parents doing that with their gender-confused children. The importance of this saying it’s no longer a disorder means basically it will propel this radical transgender movement forward. The transgender movement, there’s a whole bunch of variations, some are people who just want to live as another gender without getting the so-called sex-change operation, at its extreme it’s getting these awful , disfiguring sex-change operations which I believe shouldn’t even be legal.

The two agreed that schools should be able to discriminate against homosexual and transgender teachers and warned that a lesbian teacher may try to put a picture of her partner on her desk!

Later, LaBarbera made a completely incoherent argument where he claimed that schools must discriminate against transgender students because if they don’t then “the majority loses its right to guide their children morally and spiritually to the school.” “Law used to be to restrain sin, that’s the biblical purpose,” LaBarbera said, “but now it is flipped in American society and law is encouraging sin.”

Complete article and audio links at:  http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/conservative-activists-condemn-apa-declassifying-transgender-identity-mental-disorder

TWO Praises Second Reparative Therapy Ruling In California

From Truth Wins Out:  http://www.truthwinsout.org/news/2012/12/32325/

December 04, 2012

A second ruling came down today in California from a separate case dealing with SB1172, which bans the child abuse of minors in the guise of a phony treatment that is termed “reparative therapy.”

According to the Associated Press, U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller issued a ruling Tuesday that will allow the ban on “conversion” therapy to take effect on Jan. 1. Reporter Lisa Leff writes, “Her ruling came in a lawsuit filed by four counselors, two families, a professional organization for practitioners and a Christian therapists group seeking to overturn the law. On Monday night, Mueller’s colleague, U.S. District Judge William Shubb, handed down a somewhat competing ruling.”

“We are gratified that common sense has returned to the California courts and that gay youth appear to be safe from predatory practitioners,” said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “Reparative therapy is harm posing as help and contradicts the guidelines of every respected medial and mental health organization in America.”

Behind the scenes, TWO is building a bulletproof case against reparative therapy that will highlight what the backward techniques actually are and what its practitioners truly believe. Once the majority of Americans realize what it is, they are not going to support it and will agree that reparative therapy should be banned for minors.

It appears that the law is scheduled to go forward as planned.

California’s attorney general, Kamala D. Harris, said, “My office will continue to protect California minors by vigorously defending this law.”

However, one of the fundie groups fighting the law pledges to not give up.

Continue reading at:  http://www.truthwinsout.org/news/2012/12/32325/

See also Truth Wins Out:  TWO Analysis: Judge Shubb’s Injudicious View Of ‘Ex-Gay’ Therapy

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Federal judge rules California ban on conversion therapy can go forward

From LGBTQ Nation:  http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2012/12/federal-judge-rules-california-ban-on-conversion-therapy-can-go-forward/

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge on Tuesday denied a request by an anti-LGBT group to postpone the January 1, 2013 start of California’s new law banning controversial gay-to-straight conversion, or “reparative” therapy, for LGBT youth.

The ruling by Judge Kimberly Mueller of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California means that the law will go into effect as scheduled.

Mueller’s decision follows a separate decision Monday by Judge William B. Shubb, also of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, in another case brought by a different set of plaintiffs who are also challenging the California law.

In that ruling, Shubb issued an order temporarily exempting three plaintiffs in that case from being subjected to enforcement of the law while the case proceeds in his court. Shubb’s order applies only to the three plaintiffs in the case before him and does not prevent the state from enforcing the law against other licensed mental health professionals.

Mueller’s decision today clears the way for the law to go into effect on January 1, 2013.

The court also granted a motion by Equality California to intervene in the lawsuit in order to defend the law alongside California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who represents the State of California defendants. Equality California was the lead sponsor of the law and is the state’s leading political advocacy group representing LGBT people and their families.

The Court’s decision Tuesday was prompted by a lawsuit filed by the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) that challenges the new law protecting LGBT youth from practices — including the use of shame and aversion therapy — that are known to lead to depression and suicide attempts. The group is represented by Liberty Counsel, an anti-LGBT legal group.

Continue reading at:  http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2012/12/federal-judge-rules-california-ban-on-conversion-therapy-can-go-forward/

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Dave Brubeck: 1920-2012

From The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/06/arts/music/dave-brubeck-jazz-musician-dies-at-91.html

His Music Gave Jazz New Pop

Published: December 5, 2012

Dave Brubeck, the pianist and composer who helped make jazz popular again in the 1950s and ’60s with recordings like “Time Out,” the first jazz album to sell a million copies, and “Take Five,” the still instantly recognizable hit single that was that album’s centerpiece, died on Wednesday in Norwalk, Conn. He would have turned 92 on Thursday.

He died while on his way to a cardiology appointment, Russell Gloyd, his producer, conductor and manager for 36 years, said. Mr. Brubeck lived in Wilton, Conn.

In a long and successful career, Mr. Brubeck brought a distinctive mixture of experimentation and accessibility that won over listeners who had been trained to the sonic dimensions of the three-minute pop single.

Mr. Brubeck experimented with time signatures and polytonality and explored musical theater and the oratorio, baroque compositional devices and foreign modes. He did not always please the critics, who often described his music as schematic, bombastic and — a word he particularly disliked — stolid. But his very stubbornness and strangeness — the blockiness of his playing, the oppositional push-and-pull between his piano and Paul Desmond’s alto saxophone — make the Brubeck quartet’s best work still sound original.

Outside of the group’s most famous originals, which had the charm and durability of pop songs ( “Blue Rondo à la Turk,” “It’s a Raggy Waltz” and “Take Five”), some of its best work was in its overhauls of standards like “You Go to My Head,” “All the Things You Are” and “Pennies From Heaven.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/06/arts/music/dave-brubeck-jazz-musician-dies-at-91.html

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