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Editors' note: Frequent guest blogger Mercedes Allen looks at who's
in charge of deciding the fate of Gender Identity Disorder in the DSM-

A short time ago, I'd discussed the movement to have "Gender Identity
Disorder" (GID, a.k.a. "Gender Dysphoria") removed from the DSM-IV or
reclassified, and how we needed to work to ensure that any such
change was an improvement on the existing model, rather than a
scrapping or savaging of it. F

Lynn Conway reports that on May 1st, 2008, the American Psychiatric
Association named its work group members appointed to revise the
Manual for Diagnosis of Mental Disorders in preparation for the DSM-
V. Such a revision would include the entry for GID.

On the Task Force, named as Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders
Chair, we find Dr. Kenneth Zucker, from Toronto's infamous Centre for
Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH, formerly the Clarke Institute).
Dr. Zucker is infamous for utilizing reparative (i.e. "ex-gay")
therapy to "cure" gender-variant children. Named to his work group,
we find Zucker's mentor, Dr. Ray Blanchard, Head of Clinical Sexology
Services at CAMH and creator of the theory of autogynephilia,
categorized as a paraphilia and defined as "a man's paraphilic
tendency to be sexually aroused by the thought or image of himself as
a woman."

Drs. Blanchard, Zucker, J. Michael Bailey (whose work has even gone
so far as to touch on eugenics) and a small cadre of others are
proponents of dividing the transsexual population by sexual
orientation ("homosexual transsexuals" vs. "autogynephilic" ) and have
repeatedly run afoul of the World Professional Association for
Transgender Health (WPATH, formerly HBIGDA), and openly defied the
Standards of Care that WPATH maintains (modeled after the original
SoC developed by Dr. Harry Benjamin) in favor of conversion
techniques. Blanchard and Bailey supporters also include Dr. Alice
Dreger, who re-stigmatized treatment of intersex, controversial
sexologist Dr. Anne Lawrence, and Dr. Paul McHugh, who had set out in
the begining of his career to close the Gender Clinic at Johns
Hopkins University and has been one of our most vocal detractors.

An additional danger that gay and lesbian communities need to be
cognizant of is that if Zucker and company entrench conversion
therapy in the DSM-V, then it is a clear, dangerous step toward also
legitimizing ex-gay therapy and re-stigmatizing homosexuality.

I am not familiar with others named to the Work Group. It would be
worthwhile looking into any history with WPATH that they might have,
to know if we have any positive advocates on board, or just more
stigmatizing adversarial clinicians. They may be appointed primarily
to address other listings categorized as "Sexual and Gender Identity
Disorders," I don't know. They are:

Dr. Irving M. Binik, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Dr. Peggy T. Cohen-Kettenis, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam
Dr. Jack Drescher, New York Medical College, St. Luke's-Roosevelt
Hospital Center, NY
Dr. Cynthia Graham, Isis Education Centre, Warneford Hospital,
Oxfordshire, UK
Dr. Richard B. Krueger, NY State Psyciatric Institute and Columbia
University, NY
Dr. Niklas Langstrom, Karolinka Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Dr. Heino F.L. Meyer-Bahlburg, Columbia University, NY
Dr. Robert Taylor Segraves, MetroHealth Medical Center, Cleveland

The APA press release states that for further information regarding
this, to contact Rhondalee Dean-Royce (rroyce@psych. org) and Sharon
Reis (, though it's possible that they may govern the
press release only, rather than have any involvement in the decision
to appoint Zucker. The APA itself is headquartered at 1000 Wilson
Boulevard, Suite 1825, Arlington VA, 22209. Their Annual General
Meeting is currently being held (May 3-8, 2008) in Washington, DC.

I'm poorly situated (Western Canada, with no travel budget) to lead
the drive for this, which I see as a very serious danger to the
transgender community. So I am calling on the various Transgender and
GLBT organizations to band together to take action on this, and will
assist in whatever way that I and AlbertaTrans can.

I am also calling upon our allies and advocates in the medical
community and affiliated with WPATH to band together with us and
combat this move which could potentially see WPATH stripped of its
authority on matters regarding treatment of transsexuals.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 6th, 2008 08:15 pm (UTC)
thanks i posted your link and an action alert about this on my blog
Oct. 5th, 2010 12:31 pm (UTC)
I am from Amsterdam, and I can assure you that Peggy Cohen-Kettenis is a wonderful, good person who really supports trans rights and does not favour abusive treatments. I don't give her much of a chance when she's up to Zucker and Blanchard's violence, though, sadly. =(

Fingers crossed~
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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