Janice Raymond, TERFs, & Insurance Policy

Views: 8473

Someone recently asked me to breakdown the link between the TERF opinion leader Janice Raymond and insurance policies that exclude trans care. Here’s the link to the original article. This article meticulously exposes a few less than truthful fact assertions Raymond has made, but it’s quite long.

So, here’s the TL;DR article excerpt version:


It was Raymond’s NCHCT report that allowed the OHTA report to assert that trans medical care was ethically “controversial”.

Therefore, exclusionary health policies which appeal to Raymond’s “controversial” claim constitute Raymond’s fingerprint. Consider the following:

1.) In 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Departmental Appeals Board reversed the HHS rule banning trans medical care. In the document, HHS reviewed the reason HHS had originally banned trans care:

HHS Appeals Board Decision, page 3

The HHS Appeals Board Decision continues (NOTE: “NCD” = National Coverage Determination):

The NCHCT’s May 6, 1981 memorandum, the 1981 NCHCT report, and the notes of the HCFA Physicians Panel meeting on May 11, 1982, are the materials in the NCD record containing analysis by HCFA or PHS of the issue of Medicare coverage of transsexual surgery. Although the NCD was not issued until 1989, it is clear that the NCD was based on the NCHCT report and memorandum from 1981. 

In other words, HHS has concluded that it was the 1981 report that HHS used to issue an NCD banning trans services.

2.) Recall that Raymond’s controversial claim is the very first sentence in HHS’ review of how and why trans services were banned from public health insurance policies. What follows is from a 2009 United Health policy banning trans services:

Note that the exclusionary language in this private insurance policy is the same word-for-word language as the exclusionary language from the HHS’ public insurance policy, as quoted by HHS:

This then, is the smoking gun. Here we have a private insurer quoting word-for-word a governmental policy which relied on Raymond for 1/3 of it’s findings; specifically, it’s finding that trans care is ethically controversial. Thus we can easily follow the timeline for Raymond’s part in the decimation of trans care in America:

From Raymond’s Transsexual Empire (1979)

1979: Raymond writes in her book, “I contend that the problem of transsexualism would best be served by morally mandating it out of existence.”

1980: Raymond is contracted by the NCHCT to write a report on the ethics of trans medical care because the NCHCT must, by law, report on the ethical implications of medical technologies. In Raymond’s 1980 NCHCT report footnotes, her second citation reads, “See Thomas Szasz, review of THE TRANSSEXUAL EMPIRE: THE MAKING OF THE SHE-MALE by Janice G. Raymond, New York Times Book Review, June 10, 1979, p. 11.”

1981: Raymond’s NCHCT report and Raymond’s own citation are used to make the ethical case that trans medical care should be excluded from public insurance policies because it’s “controversial.” Thomas Szasz’s review of Raymond’s 1979 book (in which she calls for trans care to be morally mandated out of existence) is also cited.

1989: The National Coverage Determination (NCD) to exclude trans care from public insurance is published in the Federal Register.

1989 – 2013: Trans medical care is routinely excluded from both public and private health insurance plans.

2012: The State of California finds that barriers to trans health care “was a more reliable predictor of suicide than depression, history of alcohol/drug abuse treatment, physical victimization, or sexual assault.”

2013: HHS finds that the 1981 rational for excluding trans care is “no longer reasonable.”

2014: Private healthcare providers, citing HHS’s ruling, begin rolling back their trans healthcare exclusions. Janice Raymond sets up a webpage to publicly diminish her role in the revocation of trans health care (to which this fact checking article is a response). Raymond clarifies that when, in 1979 she wrote, “I contend that the problem of transsexualism would best be served by morally mandating it out of existence,” she meant, “that I want to eliminate the medical and social systems that support transsexualism…”

Internet Drama: The Handmaiden of Cis Fragility

Views: 9826

“I have been somewhat overwhelmed with J’s dominating conversations and manipulative style. J’s comments rarely bring any positive discussion and seem to frequently derail conversation. I feel like they threaten the safety of the group for the voices of transwomen and people of color.”  –  Complaint made to me from a PoC TCP group member yesterday

Some Context:

As many of you know, I’m involved with a historical project that seeks to uncover an erased trans-inclusive radical feminist hirstory. This effort is called The Conversations Project (TCP). Here’s what TCP clearly says that its purpose is:

From TCP’s “About” page

I personally think that it’s important to reclaim the voices of those women who risked even physical violence (from TERFs) to make sure that that trans women were included in their fight for the liberation of all women. As a primer, check out the feminist courage that can be found in the trans-inclusive radical feminist hirstory TCP is interested in examining:

In upcoming interviews, you’ll hear how a Black Lesbian radical feminist MichFest ride organizer related to Camp Trans. You’ll hear how TERFs destroyed one of the early militant radical feminist groups. In fact, there’s a year’s worth of upcoming interviews still to come.

As a historian, it’s hugely problematic that these stories appear nowhere else in feminist hirstory. Instead, we (especially trans people) are taught to believe that “radical feminism” is anti-trans and that “radical feminists” are transphobic. Such narratives go a long way towards erasing the very real courage of radical feminist women who risked their groups, organizations, and even put their own bodies in harm’s way to ensure that their feminism was trans inclusive. That courage should have its place in feminist hirstory.

Some disagree. Some, in the name of “radical feminism,” think those voices need to remain lost; they say time spent examining those voices is wasted time.

The Internet Drama

Here’s the long and short of a drama that’s been unfolding around TCP for months now. The project has a FaceBook group whose purpose is quite clearly spelled out:


The pinned TCP FB group guidelines.

Part of TCP is the serialized publication of a discussion between John Stoltenberg and I that began more than a year ago. This conversation is important because it represents a trans feminist and a radical feminist (finally) coming together to have an in-depth talk about radical and trans feminist hirstory and how that hirstory has affected the lives of just about every trans person in America. Through that context, a lot of radical and trans feminist content is covered. I know of no other book-length discussion like this. In some significant ways, this is what reconciliation between radical and trans feminism looks like.

John Stoltenberg is a radical feminist author and was the life partner of Andrea Dworkin. That John would be willing to break ranks and engage in a conversation like this with me, a trans woman and editor of the TransAdvocate, has been viewed as (in certain circles) a heresy of the highest order. For John’s (perceived) betrayal, TERFs have spent the last couple of months character assassinating John. Here are the basic BS criticisms of John and, of course, TCP:

  • John didn’t really know Andrea the way that her friends knew her. A couple of people who knew Andrea (and who tends to think that Janice Raymond and Sheila Jeffreys had powerful insights into what they call “transgenderism” and “transgender ideology”), think that they, not her life partner were privy to Andrea’s true feelings towards trans folk.
  • A friend of Andrea used Andrea to submit her anti-trans screed to a publisher who rejected it and this proves that she was anti-trans. Nikki Craft asked Andrea to please submit Nikki’s anti-trans essay* to Psychology Today. Because Andrea did this for her friend, this proves that, contrary to what Andrea herself wrote, Andrea was anti-trans. Moreover, passing along an essay, means that Andrea actually co-wrote the essay. Yup, physically touching a paper to hand it off to someone else is apparently now enough to bestow full co-author status to Andrea, thus proving that Andrea didn’t support trans people accessing trans health care.
  • Talking about what Andrea wrote in Woman Hating about trans folk is wrong because Andrea actually later repudiated it. Where? Nobody seems to be able to actually point to anything specific, but I’m told that if I “read Dworkin’s other books” (which I have, more than once) I’ll see that this is true.
  • People of color won’t participate in TCP because it’s all about white people. (*cough* quote at the beginning of this post *cough*)

I’m not going to innumerate that attacks against me because they’re just the same stuff TS Separatists used to say about me when I was researching “transgender.” Except now they’re saying it about “radical feminism.” Basically, it’s all different shades of this nonsense:

“Cristan is a MAN and MUST be hiding something!!!! Also, let’s pretend that the TransAdvocate didn’t out the Woolbert story!!!”

So, Julian Real is someone who has been publicly open about being a member of TCP group. Julian is also a supporter of the cis woman who’s promulgating many of the above claims. After numerous group member complaints and innumerable moderation incidents relating to Julian’s posturing within the group, Julian was recently removed from the group by unanimous consensus of all six group moderators.  As a result, Julian (a white non-trans woman MAAB) is now running around bemoaning TCP’s purpose and talking up how much more radical and feminist their understanding of everything is and how the voices of TCP are really just neoliberal pablum.

So, for the record, here’s how things went down:

Julian attacked a commentary about a specific passage in a specific book that was written in a specific historical context… for not being commentary about something other than that specific passage of that specific book in that specific historical context. Then, after being confronted for trying to derail yet another group conversation, Julian began to again posture in the group. Here’s the response to Julian’s behavior that I posted:

Your reply is erasure from a place of privilege.

You’ve privileged yourself in deciding for poor trans women of color that exclusion -as full Sisters- from the women’s liberation movement should be subordinate to your ideas of how to overcome “capitalism, colonialism and patriarchy” (as if we’re talking about fundamentally different things). The irony is that you rhetorically subordinate their inclusion from women’s liberation from an asserted position of speaking *for* them. It’s sometimes a bit like hearing the rich of the USSR tell the poor -in the name of anti-capitalism/colonialism/patriarchy- that work will make them free.

Your persistent effort to, in violation of the boundaries of this group, advocate that its members should to spend their group time thinking about the rationals SET “feminists” cite when projecting, popularizing, and promoting their anti-trans fears, anxieties, and animus is an act of hostility against this group and its membership. Moreover, it’s an act of profound the group members and the erased, hidden, and silenced inclusive radical feminist hirstories we meet here to respect.

I 100% reject your premise that focusing our group on the radical feminism that bravely fought to include trans women as Sisters in women’s liberation = being pro-capitalism/colonialism/patriarchy. Additionally, I think the fact that you are not a trans women whose existence has been defined by the (as you privilege yourself in seeing it, irrelevant) actions of a “few white lesbians” (as you call it), contributes to the problematic ways you’ve engaged in this group. While I also reject this characterization as being patently false, that you state it as fact provides some insight into the place of (apparent) unexamined privilege you engage from.

As a trans woman who lived through deaths and hardships caused by the very ideology you claim must be considered, in the name of life and liberation no less, I experience your verbal gesticulations as a (possibly clueless) hubris born of privilege that is very toxic.

It’s not only me that experiences your privilege as toxic, numerous individuals of various racial/ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds have, since your arrival in this group, contacted mods to express exasperation with the position/way you approach group participation. In fact, I’ve noticed that we’ve lost members and that *many* others no longer participate.

It’s not that people are turned off by the theory you sometimes share. I very much enjoy some of the books, resources, etc. that you share. I think they enrich the experience of this group. That’s not the problem that I and others have with your participation… It’s the way you privilege yourself to define for others what their primary emergency is that’s the issue. From what I see, the fact that you’ve not shared that primary emergency seems to color much of the way you interact with this group.

It’s ridiculous

At this point, I find the sound and fury coming from the side that wants TCP to just go away ridiculous. It’s a bunch of wasted time and energy. Do these people really think that we’re going to stop interviewing the people who were on the ground in the 70s and 80s? Do they think we’re just going to stop publishing those hirstories?

If anything, as evidenced by this very post, their hyperbole just brings attention to the very thing they wish to mandate out of existence. Yes, their blogosphere chamber might well echo, but really… Why lie about Andrea co-authoring anti-trans screeds? Why spend months personally attacking and defaming John? Why use (as in, appropriate) the oppression and pain of POC as a tool to disrupt conversations about silenced feminist hirstory? How does any of these online teapot tempests advance the liberation of women as a sex class? How can they claim to do all of this in the name of feminism?

Personally, all of this feels very familiar to me. It feels a lot like the pushback I faced when researching the history of “transgender”. When I was researching the history of “transgender,” the demonstrable historical record conflicted with the history a certain identity was founded upon and they attacked. Now I’m researching the historical narrative that asserts “radical feminism” wants to mandate trans bodies out of existence. Both John and I have faced significant pushback for our efforts.

Even so, I expect that what will happen is that, regardless of these attacks, this hirstory will become part of the feminist hirstorical record. I expect that it will become harder for international news outlets to propagate the false narrative that “radical feminism” is anti-trans. I expect that those who are fighting to keep an erased feminist hirstory lost will find that people are actually interested in what these silenced voices have to say:

Presenting on The Conversations Project at Rice University

So, hopefully this will be my one and only post regarding the hyperbole spewing from a certain section of the internet.

*NOTE: The “anti-trans” essay Nikki Craft wrote was written upon the (absolutely wrong) premise that trans folk love Dr. John Money. Money was an ass who was willing to hurt people in furtherance of his bogus gender theories. He was willing to force children to live as the sex assigned them, telling them to accept their bodies. Moreover, Money promoted the ridiculous idea gender stereotypes and roles came from neurology, not culture. While it’s true that one must have a brain in order to become indoctrinated to sexism, Money was wrong; sexism isn’t innate to brains.

Houston Community College: Trans People Need Not Apply?

Views: 9003

hccMany of you will remember that Houston Community College (HCC) seemed to have attempted to cover up the anti-trans bashing of Lance Reyna, a female-to-male transgender student after he suffered an on-campus attack. On June 22, 2010 Reyna was washing his hands in the restroom when a man with a shaved head said in a mocking falsetto voice, “Hey queer!” and put a knife to his throat. Once Lance was on the ground, the attacker began kicking Lance in the head. Lance was rushed to the emergency room.

Campus Police did not file a report with the Houston Police Department and admonished Reyna to allow the Campus Police to deal with the attack without officially bringing HPD in. Furthermore, HCC police attempted to stop the local Fox News affiliate from filming a news piece on the attack. HPD became officially involved when the Transgender Foundation of America (TFA) took Reyna to file an official report. Without the police report, Reyna would not have been able to access assistance from the State of Texas Victim Assistance Fund. Additionally, TFA accompanied Reyna to the line-up and all court proceedings.

I’m sad to say that HCC seems to continue having issues with ensuring that transgender students are welcomed and that they have equal access to a supportive learning environment. I recently learned of a situation in which a HCC instructor named Donny Leveston, who prior to working at HCC was a truck driver and Drill Sargent, organized a classroom discussion in which transgender people were referred to as “weirdoes” and “freaks”. Leveston wound up his presentation by stating “I don’t care what those people do as long as they keep it away from me.” What seemed particularly cruel about this instructor-lead discussion was that Leveston was aware that he had a transitioning student in the classroom.

This incident followed an assignment in which students were asked to read a paper written by Leveston titled, “Taboo: Incest and Homoeroticism” in which the instructor required students to explore passages such as:

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After the students read Leveston’s thoughts on this subject, the class then discussed GLBT issues.

In an email to the instructor, the student attempted to explain to Leveston how his classroom behavior affected her and that the experience was so disturbing that she was considering withdrawing from his class. Leveston’s response was to dismiss the incident and flippantly claim that if the student didn’t feel welcome in his class, that she could withdraw.

Consider the following email exchange between the student and Leveston:

Student:

I left class early on Tuesday because I was highly offended by the way class was going that day and too clarify, I don’t offend easy. I was ok with the GLBT (gay lesbian bisexual transgender) discussion. I didn’t even mind your honesty about your conservative background. In fact, I found it refreshing to hear your honesty. The thing that got me wasn’t that you allowed the class to continue to laugh and say the things they said, nor was it that you didn’t stop them, it was mainly the comment at the end about not caring what people do, as long as they don’t come near you, or something close to that affect.

I really considered dropping your class then and there…. I had never felt such dehumanized as I did that day. This is why I wasn’t in class on Thursday. However I realized it wouldn’t hurt you, it would just hurt me. So I am not going to pursue this any further, I find it pointless. I am there to learn what you have to teach, the rest I will ignore. The only thing I ask is if you are going to allow your class to mock and insult those of us who are different, do it when I’m not there.

Leveston:

I apologize if I offended you in anyway…  I informed you and the rest of the class that everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. And, we all need to respect each other. You made it perfectly clear on where you stand on LGBT, and other students did, too. We must all respect that. Again, if I missed something that someone in the class said, it was merely an oversight on my part. I assure you that is and was not my purpose.

And, to clarify my point, which you took completely out of context… I said, basically, everyone has the right to his or her own preference, just do not go trying to push your views on me. Case close.

We will will have disagreements from time to time. Arguments are a part of of our class. Some of those arguments will make some individuals uncomfortable.

If you you decide to drop the class, then do so. I cannot make you stay. I would like for you to stay, but that is up to you.

Student:

The idea that you find it fine to attack the GLBT community using the guise of class discussion is disgusting to me. Would you have such an open mind if I had said about African American people what you said about GLBT people? Or would you say its ok to speak that way because all’s fair in the classroom?

Its not the discussion that got me, as I tried to explain. It was that you not only allowed the comments like freaks, weirdoes, the laughing, its you said you don’t care what they do, just keep it away from you. That went well beyond a simple classroom discussion to your personal feelings. How did I take that out of context?

I am a transsexual lesbian. I am exactly what you want to keep away from you. Again, how is that out of context?

Levenston:

I see where you stand.

At this point, I think it’s important to review what an apology is since Levenston wrote, “I apologize if I offended you in anyway…

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Of the above two definitions, which type of “apology” did Levenston offer? Did he acknowledge his error or did he simply offer a justification and/or excuse? This is an important question to ask when one is reviewing this exchange because only one of these two types of apologies will lead toward ensuring that all students – yes, even trans students – are afforded an equal chance at moving forward with their education free of discrimination.

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– Donny L Leveston, photo not available  –

Consider the following scenario:

  • I require students to read a scholarly yet inflammatory paper I wrote about “Incest and Black Eroticism.”
  • I then lead students in a discussion about African-Americans in which students make racial slurs and laughingly mocked black people.
  • I then end the discussion by saying, “I don’t care what black people do as long as they keep it away from me.”
  • I did this in a classroom full of white people… with the exception of one black student.

What do you think the HCC’s response should be? How quickly should I expect to be looking for other employment?

Now, consider the this scenario:

  • I require students to read a scholarly yet inflammatory paper I made about “Incest and Homoeroticism.”
  • I then lead students in a discussion about GLBT people in which students make anti-trans statements and laughingly mocked transgender people.
  • I then end the discussion by saying, “I don’t care what GLBT people do as long as they keep it away from me.”
  • I did this in a classroom full of cisgender people… with the exception of one transgender student.

What do you suppose HCC’s response would be to the second scenario? Yup, you guessed it; while this student alerted HCC administration to this problem a week ago, they have yet to do anything about it. Levenston simply attempted to justify what he allowed to take place in his classroom by framing the mocking as an exercise in education and feels quite happy about his response. As Levenston said, “Case closed.”

How does this experience mirror the experience of other transgender students?

image

Transgender people reported alarming rates of harassment (78%), physical assault (35%) and sexual violence (12%) – this from the nation’s largest (6,400+ respondents) and most comprehensive transgender study. This study found that 23% faced a “catastrophic” level of discrimination and concluded “It is part of social and legal convention to discriminate against, ridicule, and abuse transgender people within foundational institutions such as… schools every day.”

Medical providers and health systems, government agencies, families, businesses and employers, schools and colleges, police departments, jail and prison systems—each of these systems and institutions is failing daily in its obligation to serve transgender and gender non-conforming people, instead  subjecting them to mistreatment ranging from commonplace disrespect to outright violence, abuse and the denial of human dignity. The consequences of these widespread injustices are human and real, ranging from unemployment and homelessness to illness and death.


So, what can we do about this you ask?

You can contact the school administration and the Academic Dean’s Council to demand that they address this issue.

Academic Dean’s Council:

HCC Administration:

Hold Dr. Keith Ablow Responsible… NOW!

Views: 14179

Note: Updated 10/18/2011: Ablow is at it YET AGAIN and this time he is targeting an 11 YEAR OLD CHILD! In his newest professional anti-trans assertions, note how Ablow attempts to deflect being held accountable by claiming that his professional actions do not meet the dictionary definition of bullying. Since professional bullying is precisely one of the things I and a number of others accused Ablow of in our ethics complaints, I view his targeting of this trans CHILD particularly disgusting.   

Note: Updated 9/18/2011 @ 4:42 PM Central. Thank you Zoe and Genderqueer Riff Raff for your help in tracking down resource info!

Note: Update 9/19/2011, here’s my ethics complaint letter against Dr. Ablow before I sent it off today:


By now, you are probably aware of the disgusting and shameful professional behavior of Dr. Keith Ablow, a pop psychiatrist employed by Fox News. Here’s a quick refresher:

On September 2,  Dr. Keith Ablow, the Fox News psychiatrist, advised parents not to allow their children to see a transgender person on television because he feels that doing so might turn children into transsexuals.  The statement was made in response to an announcement that Chaz Bono, a transgender man, would appear on the next season of Dancing with the Stars:

“I advise parents to not allow their children to watch the episodes in which Chaz appears. Here’s why: Many of the children who might be watching will be establishing a sense of self which includes, of course, a sexual/gender identity. Some will be girls becoming comfortable with dramatic changes in their bodies. Some will be boys coming to terms with integrating the dawn of manhood with exquisite feelings of vulnerability. Young viewers will include tomboyish girls and sensitive, less stereotypically “masculine” boys. They will also include children who have sustained the losses of loved ones and are wrestling with depression, perhaps wondering who they are absent their deceased mothers or fathers.”
Keith Ablow for FOX News, 9/2/2011

Ten days later on the Howard Stern Show, Ablow claimed that transsexualism is like getting a tattoo: “… if a person came to me tattooed as a zebra,” adding, “I’m not going to have my kids watch a show in which people pretend to be farm animals.”  Ablow is famed for his Chris Angel-like “Street Therapy” addressing the traumas of strangers on the streets of New York and claiming to resolve their mental health issues within minutes. Ablow worked his way towards media celebrity in the 1980s working in New York television and writing columns for the Washington Post. He increased his celebrity as a frequent guest on day-time talk shows Sally Jesse Raphael, Maury Povich and Gerardo and “infotainment” programs Inside Edition and Glen Beck. Recently, Ablow has enjoyed best-selling author status after co-writing a book about family values with Glen Beck. He is now a paid commentator for Fox News. Ablow generated controversy earlier this year when he claimed that allowing a boy to paint his toe nails would cause him to become a transsexual. The Daily Show’s John Stewart spent a significant portion of his April 13, 2011 show openly mocking Ablow’s assertions.

Apparently mocking all trans people and specifically targeting and singling out one transsexual for his special attention wasn’t enough. Ablow doubled down on Sept. 16:

I stand by that advice.

I believe that mainstreaming behavior makes it more likely that others will engage in that behavior. I believe this is particularly true for those who are still forming a psychological identity—a firm sense of self. Children and adolescents certainly fit those criteria. There is a wealth of scientific data supporting that view, but many activists and media personalities and even some mental health professionals have taken issue with that claim.

Opioid dependence is, after all, a recognized psychiatric disorder in the DSM IV-TR, just like Gender Identity Disorder. Why would we discriminate against someone with a known psychiatric condition? Similarly, networks should be encouraged to have people on game shows who suffer with anorexia and who wish wholeheartedly—and quite sincerely—to be 80 pounds. They should cue the audience to get to their feet and applaud. What could the risk of that be?

I believe the risks are clear.

Keith Ablow for FOX News, 9/16/2011

Ablow has been denounced by most of his professional peers. To hit the point home as to how egregious his professional behavior has been, compare the misinformation Ablow continues (see above) to spread against the platform of the KKK (below):

“… the liberal government and its media encourage our young children to behave like primitive savages. Homosexuality, bisexuality, transsexuals, sado-masochism, and every other type of vile perversion is [sic] applauded by the scum that control our country. The American Knights demand a return to sanity.”

– Platform of the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan

While Ablow and the Klan see eye to eye on this issue and seem to speak with the same voice, the time has come for us to use our voice!

Ablow has committed many professional ethics violations and the time has come for the community to report his violations. When Ablow obtained a license to practice, he agreed to abide by certain professional ethics. Specifically, his ability to continue practicing is contingent upon his adherence to the following  American Psychiatric Association’s ethical standards. The following list represents the ethical violations I feel Ablow is guilty of violating:

Section 1
A physician shall be dedicated to providing competent medical care with compassion and  respect for human dignity and rights.

Ablow has publicly stated that transsexualism is like heroin addiction and obtaining tattoos. Furthermore, he has singled out and targeted one transsexual and in a very public way used his status as a licensed psychiatrist to make a number of disparaging comments about Chaz Bono.

Section 2
A physician shall uphold the standards of professionalism, be honest in all professional  interactions and strive to report physicians deficient in character or competence, or engaging in  fraud or deception to appropriate entities.

3. A psychiatrist who regularly practices outside his or her area of professional competence  should be considered unethical. Determination of professional competence should be made by peer review boards or other appropriate bodies.

Ablow is not a gender specialist; he is a trained forensic psychiatrist. He falsely presents himself to the entire nation as a psychiatric professional who is qualified to make pronouncements about the mental health of Chaz Bono and ALL transsexuals.

Section 5
A physician shall continue to study, apply, and advance scientific knowledge, maintain a  commitment to medical education, make relevant information available to patients, colleagues,  and the public, obtain consultation, and use the talents of other health professionals when  indicated.

1. Psychiatrists are responsible for their own continuing education and should be mindful of  the fact that theirs must be a lifetime of learning

Ablow has publicly rejected established scientific and professional knowledge the field of gender studies. The sitting president of the American Psychological Association has publicly denounced Ablows  statements about transsexualism.

In Ablows  9/12/11 Fox News post, he cites the debunked decades old opinions of a psychiatrist as being the basis of the ideas about transsexualism he is pushing on a national basis in his role as a licensed psychiatrist.

Section 7
A physician shall recognize a responsibility to participate in activities contributing to the improvement of the community and the betterment of public health

1. Psychiatrists should foster the cooperation of those legitimately concerned with the medical, psychological, social, and legal aspects of mental health and illness. Psychiatrists are encouraged to serve society by advising and consulting with the executive, legislative, and judiciary branches of the government. A psychiatrist should clarify whether he/ she speaks as an  individual or as a representative of an organization. Furthermore, psychiatrists should avoid  cloaking their public statements with the authority of the profession.

3. On occasion psychiatrists are asked for an opinion about an individual who is in the light of public attention or who has disclosed information about himself/herself through public media.  In such circumstances, a psychiatrist may share with the public his or her expertise about psychiatric issues in general. However, it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.

Ablow has, in his role as a paid psychiatrist for Fox News, made numerous public assessments about Chaz Bono’s mental health without Bono’s consent. Ablow has publicly stated that transsexualism is like heroin addiction and obtaining tattoos. Furthermore, he has singled out and targeted one recently transitioned transsexual and in a very public way used his status as a licensed psychiatrist to make a number of disparaging public comments about Bono.

According to the American Psychiatric Association anyone with “personal knowledge of the alleged unethical conduct” may file a valid ethics complaint. When fining the complaint, refer to yourself as the  “Complainant” and to Ablow as the  “Accused Member.”

Ablow’s professional behavior has been deplorable. If you are trans or have a trans child, I urge you to fill out THIS ETHICS VIOLATION FORM and send it in!

The form used in Massachusetts is generalized for all medical doctors:

Page 1, Box 1:

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Page 1, Box 2:

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Page 1, Box 3:

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Page 2, Box 4:

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Page 2, Box 5:

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Page 2, Box 6:

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And, most importantly, Page 3, Box 7:

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Here is where it’s best to use your own words to describe how Ablow misused his status as a psychiatrist to push ideas not supported by current scientific consensus as being scientific fact, for singling out a recently transitioned transsexual for his special band of professional bullying by purposefully – via a national platform FOX News provides him as their paid psychiatrist – misgendering Bono and making Bono’s condition a subject of national scorn and mockery.

Specifically note the ethical sections he violated. Here’s what I’ve written. Please feel free to use what you like. You can certainly cut and paste the entire thing into your statement if you wish. However, I urge you to use your own words, ideas and insights.

Dr. Keith Ablow, from hereon referred to as the Accused Member has, on multiple public occasions, violated the American Psychiatric Association’s Principles of Medical Ethics code of professional behavior.

On 9/2/2011, The Accused Member, acting in his professional capacity as a psychiatrist for Fox News, stated “I advise parents to not allow their children to watch the episodes in which Chaz appears. Chaz Bono, the “transsexual” woman who underwent plastic surgery and takes male hormones in an effort to appear to be a man, and who asserts she is a man… Chaz Bono should not be applauded for asserting she is a man… Chaz Bono should not be applauded any more than someone who, tragically, believes that his species, rather than gender, is what is amiss and asks a plastic surgeon to build him a tail of flesh harvested from his abdomen. It’s position is that Chaz Bono’s chemically and surgically altered appearance is a blessing to us all, a triumph of autonomy and self-possession on par with the triumphs achieved by the heroes of the Civil Rights movement. That’s very nearly insane. So, here it is. One psychiatrist’s prescription, sure to cost me a lot of hate mail, but reward me with the certainty that I am stating what I believe to be true and that I am doing my job: If you care about your kids, don’t let them watch “Dancing with the Stars” starring Chaz Bono.”

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/09/02/dont-let-your-kids-watch-chaz-bono-on-dancing-with-stars

On 9/6/2011, The Accused Member, representing himself as an opinion leader within the psychiatric community, went on satellite radio ad said, “When somebody has taken a really torturous path–literally having breasts removed, injecting oneself with hormones and is mid-stream in that process and wants me and the rest of the nation and all of our kids to agree that he is a man–that’s reality bending… If you are inhabiting a male body and you believe yourself to be female you are essentially delusional.”

http://mediamatters.org/blog/201109120022

On 9/16/2011. The Accused Member, acting in his professional capacity as a psychiatrist for Fox News, stated “I stand by that advice… Opioid dependence is, after all, a recognized psychiatric disorder in the DSM IV-TR, just like Gender Identity Disorder… Similarly, networks should be encouraged to have people on game shows who suffer with anorexia and who wish wholeheartedly—and quite sincerely—to be 80 pounds.”

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/09/16/dr-paul-mchughs-views-on-gender-reassignment-surgery

I assert that the above professional statements violates the following sections of the Psychiatric Medical Ethics code:

Section 1

A physician shall be dedicated to providing competent medical care with compassion and  respect for human dignity and rights.”

Section 2
A physician shall uphold the standards of professionalism, be honest in all professional  interactions and strive to report physicians deficient in character or competence, or engaging in  fraud or deception to appropriate entities.

3. A psychiatrist who regularly practices outside his or her area of professional competence  should be considered unethical. Determination of professional competence should be made by peer review boards or other appropriate bodies.

Section 5
A physician shall continue to study, apply, and advance scientific knowledge, maintain a  commitment to medical education, make relevant information available to patients, colleagues,  and the public, obtain consultation, and use the talents of other health professionals when  indicated.

1. Psychiatrists are responsible for their own continuing education and should be mindful of  the fact that theirs must be a lifetime of learning

Section 7
A physician shall recognize a responsibility to participate in activities contributing to the improvement of the community and the betterment of public health

1. Psychiatrists should foster the cooperation of those legitimately concerned with the medical, psychological, social, and legal aspects of mental health and illness. Psychiatrists are encouraged to serve society by advising and consulting with the executive, legislative, and judiciary branches of the government. A psychiatrist should clarify whether he/ she speaks as an  individual or as a representative of an organization. Furthermore, psychiatrists should avoid  cloaking their public statements with the authority of the profession.

3. On occasion psychiatrists are asked for an opinion about an individual who is in the light of public attention or who has disclosed information about himself/herself through public media.  In such circumstances, a psychiatrist may share with the public his or her expertise about psychiatric issues in general. However, it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.

In violation of Section 1, Section 2 and Section 2 subsection 3 and Section 7 subsection 3, the Accused Member, in his professional role, chose to refer to Bono, who is legally a male, as a female in the national media on multiple occasions. Writing in his professional capacity as a psychiatrist, the Accused Member claimed, contrary to current scientific consensus on the matter, that transsexualism is like believing that one is a lizard, horse, monkey or some other species which possesses a tail. Furthermore the Accused Member, using  the unique national media reach afforded him as a paid psychiatrist for an international media organization, stated that from his point of view as a psychiatrist, people who are transsexual are “very nearly insane” and “delusional” – again, positions which are contrary to current scientific consensus.

In direction violation of Section 2 subsection 3 and Section 7 subsection 3, the Accused Member, a forensic psychiatrist, has made national statements about transsexuals and the nature of transsexualism. While the Accused Member is not a gender specialist, he used his unique status as a paid psychiatrist for an international media organization to make a number of statements which, while inconsistent with current scientific consensus, were nonetheless put forward by the Accused Member as mainstream scientific consensus. The Accused Member explicitly represents that he is qualified to make public assessments about the mental health of Mr. Bono as well as the mental health status of transsexuals as a group even though doing so is outside his area of professional competence.

The Accused Member’s professional statements are so contrary to scientific consensus that the sitting President of the American Psychiatric Association took the unprecedented step of publicly denouncing the Accused Member’s professional assertions about transsexualism. Even after receiving correction from APA, on 9/16/2011 the Accused Member stated via Fox News that he is choosing to disregard the guidance from the APA in favor of propagating decades old beliefs about transsexualism that are not consistent with current scientific consensus. He compounded his error by comparing transsexualism with heroin addiction. These actions are in violation of Section 5, Section 5 subsection 1, Section 7 and Section 7 subsections 1 and 2.

In violation of Section 1, Section 2, Section 2 subsection 3, Section 5, Section 7, Section 7 subsections 1 and 3, the Accused Member, acting in his role as a psychiatrist, targeted the recently transitioned transsexual man, Chaz Bono, in what amounts to professional bullying. The Accused Member has consistently and unrepentantly targeted Bono through a national campaign of misinformation and innuendo given validity by his status as a psychiatrist. Additionally, the Accused Member has consistently and unrepentantly targeted transgender people – a particularly vulnerable class of American citizens – through a national media campaign of misinformation and innuendo given validity by his status as a psychiatrist. Furthermore, the Accused Member, acting in his role as a psychiatrist, engaged in fear mongering by instructing parents to prevent their children from viewing a transgender person on television because, according to the Accused Member,  it could cause children to turn into transsexuals. This, as the Accused Member put it, “psychiatrist’s prescription” is completely unsupported by scientific consensus and yet, the Accused Member used his status as a psychiatrist to inspire unfounded fears in parents through an implied danger transsexuals pose to the mental health of our nation’s children.

Send your complaint to:

Commonwealth of Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine
200 Harvard Mill Square, Suite 330
Wakefield, MA 01880
Phone:   (781) 876-8200     
Fax:         (781) 876-8383

Do not allow this man to continue his unethical professional behavior. I feel that his behavior is nothing more than bullying wrapped up in a professional guise of psychiatry. Please stand up to this professional bully now!

Dancing with Keith Ablow: The Trans Community Responds

Views: 2368

Houston – On September 2,  Dr. Keith Ablow, the Fox News psychologist, advised parents not to allow their children to see a transgender person on television because he feels that doing so might turn children into transsexuals.  The statement was made in response to an announcement that Chaz Bono, a transgender man, would appear on the next season of Dancing with the Stars:

I advise parents to not allow their children to watch the episodes in which Chaz appears. Here’s why: Many of the children who might be watching will be establishing a sense of self which includes, of course, a sexual/gender identity. Some will be girls becoming comfortable with dramatic changes in their bodies. Some will be boys coming to terms with integrating the dawn of manhood with exquisite feelings of vulnerability. Young viewers will include tomboyish girls and sensitive, less stereotypically “masculine” boys. They will also include children who have sustained the losses of loved ones and are wrestling with depression, perhaps wondering who they are absent their deceased mothers or fathers. – Keith Ablow for FOX News, 9/2/2011

Ten days later on the Howard Stern Show, Ablow claimed that transsexualism is like getting a tattoo: “… if a person came to me tattooed as a zebra," adding, "I’m not going to have my kids watch a show in which people pretend to be farm animals."  Ablow is famed for his Chris Angel-like “Street Therapy” addressing the traumas of strangers on the streets of New York and claiming to resolve their mental health issues within minutes. Ablow worked his way towards media celebrity in the 1980s working in New York television and writing columns for the Washington Post. He increased his celebrity as a frequent guest on day-time talk shows Sally Jesse Raphael, Maury Povich and Gerardo and "infotainment" programs Inside Edition and Glen Beck. Recently, Ablow has enjoyed best-selling author status after co-writing a book about family values with Glen Beck. He is now a paid commentator for Fox News. Ablow generated controversy earlier this year when he claimed that allowing a boy to paint his toe nails would cause him to become a transsexual. The Daily Show’s John Stewart spent a significant portion of his April 13, 2011 show openly mocking Ablow’s assertions.

 

Ablow’s most recent statement was discredited in its entirety by sitting President of the American Psychiatric Association, Dr. John M. Oldham:

"The American Psychiatric Association (APA) recognizes gender identity disorder (GID) as a psychiatric disorder that involves significant distress or impairment in functioning. The APA supports access to appropriate diagnosis and treatment for persons with GID and recognizes that the decision to undergo gender transition is a deeply personal one. The APA opposes all forms of discrimination against persons with GID. There is no evidence that viewing a television game show with a transgender contestant would induce Gender Identity Disorder in young people." – Dr. John M. Oldham, American Psychiatric Association President

Cristan Williams, Executive Director of the Transgender Foundation of America, spoke with ABC News about the controversy Ablow initiated,  saying, "Ablow is a pop-psychologist trained in criminal psychology. He’s making claims about a specialized field of medicine and psychology that he’s simply not qualified to make. He’s making the same sort of debunked claims made by known hate groups and while he’s entitled to his personal opinions, it certainly seems unethical to use the platform Fox News gives him to make claims that are not only demonstrably false, but can be incredibly harmful to transgender children who are already at significant risk of bullying as suicide."

No credible information available today suggests that being exposed to transgender people causes someone to be transgender. What we do know, however, is that ignorance about transgender people, and lack of exposure to gender diversity, may be factors leading to negative attitudes, discrimination, and violence directed at transgender and gender nonconforming people. Further, more and more gender experts are coming to understand childhood gender diversity as normal and non-pathological. What “tomboyish girls and sensitive, less stereotypically ‘masculine’ boys” need is to know that they are not alone, and that they are valued just as they are. For all these reasons, Chaz Bono’s appearance on Dancing with the Stars presents parents with a unique opportunity to open an important dialogue with their children, whatever their child’s gender expression or identity may be. – Dr. Karl Bryant, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies, State University of New York

On September 2, 2011, Ablow admitted he never interviewed, diagnosed or treated Bono in a professional setting. He wrote in his opinion piece on FoxNews.com, "Chaz Bono didn’t come to me for help, though. She [sic] didn’t ask me for my opinion. But when she [sic] decided to promote gender reassignment surgery in the media as a happy triumph, she [sic] ended up getting my attention, anyhow… Would you not prefer that they try every available medication to impact mood, thought and perception before going under the knife?" Reparative therapy is an effort rooted in the fundamental belief that gender identity is malleable. In other words, those who subscribe to the idea that transsexualism is a psychiatric condition believe that a female-to-male transsexual can choose to posses a female gender identity if a therapist can apply the right combination of ‘therapeutic’ techniques ranging from electroshock therapy and sexual stimulation to shame tactics and heavy medication. The postulation is that if transsexualism is an acquired psychological pathology, it should be responsive to psychotherapy. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of psychotherapy for the purposes of “curing” transsexualism is exceedingly poor and reparative therapy efforts have been abandoned by the ethical psychological community.

Gender Dysphoria or Gender Identity Disorder is a neuroendocrinological condition present at birth. It is not contagious. It is not about sex per se, but rather about one’s core identity. Such individuals make good citizens, productive workers, and loving parents. Why is there so much discrimination and misunderstanding? – Dr. Collier M. Cole, Rosenberg Clinic 

 

Lou Weaver, President of the Transgender Foundation of America said, "I’m grateful to see a transgender role model in the media." Weaver, like Bono is a female-to-male transgender person and feels strongly about the importance of transgender people in the media. "I admire Chaz for what he has done, and for remaining in the spot light. I know that it is difficult to constantly be under observation; but the best way to educate others is to allow them to hear our stories. I wish there had been someone like Chaz out there when I was younger, it could have erased years of suffering for me. "

“It is really important to teach our children about the diversity of gender identity. This education is an important step toward increasing acceptance of transgender people. Chaz Bono’s story of courageous transformation is one that many children, and many adults, can relate to, regardless of whether or not they are transgender.” – Dr. Kristen Schilt, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago.

 

In a 2006 open letter, the Gender Identity Research and Education Society laid out the case for a biological cause to transsexualism, citing the growing mountain of studies that trace the transsexual phenomena back to physiological causes. Since then the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, a 40 year old organization that writes the medical and psychological standards of care for transgender people, has stated, "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 marginalization and exclusion, and increasing risks to mental and physical well-being."

As a Navajo transgender woman, we are a valued identity to our tribe, and that is what the rest of American society needs to catch up with, to love our sisters and brothers, as my people loved me for the journey I have made in my life. – Aveda Husniyah Adara is a “Nádleehé” (the traditional Navajo word for “transgender”) member of the Navajo Dine Tribe of the Kiyaa’ani and Dibe Izhiini clans

 

Ablow’s statements contribute to a culture of shame that, all too often, endangers the mental health of transgender people.  The findings of a recent landmark study of the transgender community highlights the impact of anti-transgender bias which is oftentimes justified by misinformation. In this study of more than six thousand American transgender people found that a staggering 41% reported attempting suicide compared to 1.6% of the general population. Additionally, transgender students in grades K-12 reported alarming rates of harassment (78%), physical assault (35%) and sexual violence (12%); harassment was so severe that it led almost one-sixth (15%) to leave a school in K-12 settings or in higher education. Sixty-three percent (63%) had experienced a serious act of discrimination and almost a quarter (23%) experienced a catastrophic level of discrimination. ### Transgender Foundation of America (TFA) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that seeks to improve the quality of life for transgender people.

Repost from TFA Press Release

The REAL “Response” in Houston, Texas to Hate, Bigotry and Murder

Views: 3582

While Perry and his 3 ring circus of anti-queer hate is gearing up to congratulate each other for passing the buck to Yahweh Elohim in what he’s calling “The Response”, the GLBT community in Houston came together to remember those we have lost to hate and to dedicate a small garden as a lasting place of reflection. This effort was sparked to life as a reaction to a recent murder that took place in Houston. A young gay man named Aaron Scheerhoorn had been stabbed as was running from his attacker. Upon seeing a nightclub, he ran to the club’s entrance seeking help. The doorman turned him away… whereupon Aaron’s attacker pushed him down and in front of dozens of onlookers, commenced to stabbing Aaron over and over again… the onlookers did absolutely nothing to stop the attack and allowed the murderer to escape without hindrance.

This place of remembrance is significant to me because 1/3 of those remembered that night were transgender. I’ve known more than one trans person who fell victim to hated. It helps me knowing that others will at least remember their names. I hope is place of remembrance might inspire others to consider the price the innocent pays for our culture’s need to cling to hate.

I will be forever grateful to the organizers of this event. I knew some of these victims… It was so incredibly moving to hear folks explicitly acknowledge their suffering. While Garnet Coleman was speaking, I was moved to tears.

On top of Myra, I also knew Kendrick “Cinnamon” Perry. She had come to our organization seeking shelter because no emergency homeless shelter would take a transwoman. Unfortunately, our economy had taken a hit after 9/11 and the program we had to house these folks had to close due to lack of funding. The night the Board was meeting at the GLBT Center to officially end this housing program, grabbed my hand and Cinnamon asked me for shelter… and I had to tell her that we were unable to take her because the program had closed it’s doors. It was just 2 weeks later that, while walking down Lovett Blvd, someone drove by and shot her in the head.

She would have lived had she been able to have access to shelter. Had a foundation been willing to fund a transgender shelter program at the time or if their had been more support, the shelter would have been open for her. I remember that during the days, we would be down at the shelter and on the weekends, we were in the bars collecting change to keep the program going. For years I blamed myself. Her murder affected me in a way that felt just like a punch to the solar plexus. I felt utterly defeated when her life was cut short.

While I certainly know that hate – from the murder itself to the bigotry that wouldn’t allow her access to a shelter – was to blame for her death, it certainly haunts me to this day still.

This was the first ceremony I’ve attended in which she was publicly remembered. It was profoundly moving to me. Thank you… to each and every one of the organizers of this event… Thank you.

Metal Band’s Lead to Transition

Views: 3059

First, WATCH THIS VIDEO:

Caputo: Monsters

So, if you like metal you may have heard of Life of Agony. They are one of those mature bands that tend to be spot on with their delivery; controlled… focused. When they play with tempo, sounds, and the baseline, they get it right. 

Well, as you might have guessed by watching the above video, their singer is trans.

caputo

Caputo’s coming out tweet

I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a piece of media art that captures the essence of what it’s like to be trans more than this. Caputo hit it out of the park with this video.