Friday, 28 August 2015

We are killing children

There are many photos of dead children floating in the sea or washed up on beaches going round on social media, so I'm not going to include any here. But it has to be said that we in Europe, and especially the UK have the ability to prevent such deaths. These children are refugees from war and violence in places like Syria, they are coming here because there is no alternative for them. They are not coming to sponge off social security or take our jobs, they are coming because they have no choice.

The fact that the BBC is still describing such people as "migrants" is a disgrace and demonstrates just how badly the BBC has been taken over by the racist Ukip narrative. I recommend that everyone stops paying their TV licence and stops watching TV, in protest. I have learned so much more since I started doing that.

As a nation and a continent we have responsibilities to the people fleeing violence, and our first responsibility is to stop them from dying, our second to use the correct term for them and the third to take care of them until they can go back home. Anything less is murder.


Monday, 24 August 2015

A "Psychotherapist" writes...



This is a guest post from a retiring clinical “Teen” psychotherapist, Lyin Anderson who has spent the last 35 years treating trans kids according to her wonderful intuition under the guidance of 2nd wave feminist “mandating” theory, her story is similar to that of Lane Anderson, another retiring fictional psycho therapist featured in this blog.

“It is with regret that I pack up for my last day at work. I have decided that I can no longer work in this oppressive atmosphere after doing this work since the 1980s. So I have decided to retire on a full pension to my yacht and luxury condominium in the Florida Keys. 

Why has working as a psychotherapist suddenly become so oppressive? Well, ever since I started work in the 1980s and a young trans person was brought in front of me, I have been able to do what I liked. What I liked was Radical Feminist Reparative Therapy (RFRT). Essentiallly this means telling the parents to take her away, remove all her dresses and barbie dolls and force her to do macho, masculine things like football, baseball and fishing. Unless the trans child was a boy, of course, in which case they had to put him in frilly dresses and force him to wear make-up, play with dolls and fret about his appearance all day.

Of course I never called it RFRT, it was always dressed up in phrases like “questioning gender roles”, “managing life’s gray areas”, “intersecting interests”, “resuming contact with our critical thinking skills and reducing our growing sense of self doubt”, “fatal for a civilization”, “looking for ways to belong, ways to understand who they are in place and in time.” Those of us who have used RFRT get used to talking in vague euphemisms, ultimately they are all about Reparative Therapy.

What if the kids didn’t like that, what if they self-harmed or committed suicide as a result? Tough titties, these kids shouldn’t have been trans anyway, serves them right, because being trans harms women and feminists. We know this because Janice Raymond said so. She told us that transgenderism should be morally mandated out of existence, well I have done my fair share of mandating trans kids out of existence; RFRT works really well, either they become miserable cis kids or they die, pour encourager les autres. Job done. With people like me around no wonder there were so few trans kids in the 80s and 90s. 

Back in those days life was sweet and I truly felt I was doing my bit to defend the world from the scourge of transgenderism. So what happens now? Those fucking trannies start getting together and demanding to be treated fairly. They tell us what they want, they get protocols changed so that I can’t use RFRT any more, well yes I know RFRT isn’t based on any accepted psychological theory but it is effective in getting rid of trannies. Janice Raymond would be proud. I am told she helped the Republicans get rid of poor, black and hispanic trans people when she helped them withdraw trans healthcare, forcing them into dangerous situations where they get murdered. Well I mopped up the rest. Trouble is the psychology establishment is now saying we must listen to these trannies and that driving them to suicide and self-harm is no longer an acceptable treatment for transgenderism.

Have you ever heard anything so ridiculous? 

Next they will be saying these trannies deserve human rights, why soon they will be doing normal jobs, living normal healthy lives having normal healthy relationships and normal healthy kids in our communities and well then where would we be… I ask you?

Anyway, the situation has now become so oppressive at work, now that they are not letting me use RFRT any more, I’m going to have to retire. But days in the sunshine on my yacht will be scant reward for being unable to continue ridding the world of trannies. This really is a denial of human rights, my right to treat these kids as I wish is most important, and I will no longer tolerate being told by my boss to follow professional, clinical, academically evidenced guidelines.This is totally unreasonable and I will not stand for it. My intuition is much more valid than those.

At our final staff meeting last week I could finally speak up against this repressive regime, and I used all the euphemistic phrases for Reparative Therapy, the wide-eyed silence round the room was palpable. Somebody must have made a joke about these trannies because as soon as I left the room they all burst out laughing. Pity they all got the time of my leaving do wrong, but eating all that food on my own is something I enjoyed terribly."

Nb; Hans Christian Anderson (no relation) was a fiction writer

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Letter to editors of Rutters

Dear Editors,

We the undersigned transgender and non-transgender academics wish to raise the issue of your inclusion in the new edition of Rutter's Child and Adolescent Psychology of a section written by Kenneth Zucker regarding "treatment" of transgender children.

Kenneth Zucker's approach to transgender children is one we believe to be fundamentally flawed and extremely dangerous and that his approach amounts to a version of "conversion therapy" which has for many years been discredited as a "treatment" for homosexuality. One of the most recent studies (De Vries et al 2013) demonstrates that the most beneficial outcome for trans children and adolescents comes from allowing trans children to transition as they wish and to express their gender identities rather than suppressing them.

We would also like to draw your attention to the case of 17-year-old transgender girl Leelah Alcorn who committed suicide in December last year after being subjected to conversion therapy. Leelah, left behind a suicide note on Tumblr, which has been reproduced here; http://lazerprincess.soup.io Please read it, it is very well known amongst the transgender community and beyond. Survivors of conversion therapy overwhelmingly report that it has left them feeling traumatised and suicidal but has not altered their gender identity or sexual orientation. The possibility of suing those who carried out this "treatment" for malpractice is still being explored.

We understand why you may have selected Kenneth Zucker to contribute to this text book but we suggest that you first read Ansara and Hegarty (2012) whose research exposes what they characterise as an "invisible college" of psychologists who cite and peer review each other's work regarding transgender issues, and in particular transgender children.

In addition not only may the inclusion of this section breach the APA's nondiscrimination policy, but it also runs counter to the World Professional Association for Transgender Health's (WPATH 2012) explicit guidelines on treatment of transgender children and young people. Our opinion is that maintaining the inclusion of this section without reference to current accepted practice may significantly harm the reputation of this publication

We feel sure that, once you have found out a bit more about the misuse of conversion therapy you will agree that inclusion of this element was a mistake and would wish to distance yourselves from it and we suggest that you do so publicly,and request that the publisher withdraws and reprints this version.

We respectfully suggest that you consider having Zucker's section taken out of your publication because we believe that his approach is profoundly harmful to transgender children and young people and has the potential to cause death by suicide as in the case of Leelah Alcorn and others. Including this section in your publication legitimises such approaches.

Finally it should be noted that Kenneth Zucker is no longer able to practice these "therapies" since the province of Ontario banned them. An increasing number of jurisdictions have banned conversion therapy or are withdrawing public funding for it;

 http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/09/us/politics/obama-to-call-for-end-to-conversion-therapies-for-gay-and-transgender-youth.html?_r=0
.



References


Ansara, G and Hegarty, P (2012) Cisgenderism in psychology: pathologising and misgendering children from 1999 to 2008 Psychology & SexualityVolume 3, Issue 2, 2012, pages 137- 160

De Vries et al (2013) Young Adult Psychological Outcome After Puberty Suppression and Gender Reassignment Pediatrics .2013-2958

WPATH (2012) Standards of care for the health of transsexual, transgender, and gender non-conforming people WPATH
http://www.wpath.org/uploaded_files/140/files/Standards%20of%20Care,%20V7%20Full%20Book.pdf



Signatories,

Natacha Kennedy (Goldsmiths College and University College, University of London)



I will organise these into alphabetical order once people have signed

Monday, 10 August 2015

UPDATED VERSION: The TERFs sink even lower...

OK, so this is the updated, revised and unabridged version of this blog post. It is being updated in response to feedback from some trans people who didn’t know what TERFs are. I have put my definition below but before getting to that I would like to comment on this. The fact that quite a few trans people don’t know about TERFs is, I believe, a positive sign. TERFs used to be everywhere and harassing and abusing any out trans person, especially on social media. Their aim of silencing trans people was working; trans people were threatened with abuse, doxxing and even violence. Now things are different; it is perfectly possible to be trans and not ever encounter a TERF, nope, not even a little one.

There are, I believe, a number of reasons for this. Firstly, TERFism is clearly failing. It always was a failed ideology but now it is failing to do what it set out to do which was, in Janice Rayomnd’s words to ensure that what she calls “transsexualism” (a delberately chosen term, designed to dehumanise - the corect term is “trans people”) is “morally mandated out of existence”. When Raymond wrote this incitement to bullying and hate crime in 1979, there were few out trans people. That is why she could get away with an incitement to hate crime and why TERFs could bully those few trans people who were around. 

Secondly there are more of us now. As a result of their failed action and hate-crimes against trans people, lots and lots and lots of people have come out as trans. There must be at least a thousand more out trans people in the world than there were in 1979. So it is harder for the dwindling number of TERFs to harass and hassle every trans person. This is a good thing. 

Thirdly, this bullying took the shape of using their greater socioeconomic positions to control the media narrative about trans people. Mainstream media discourse about trans people was, prior to 2008, pretty much controlled by the TERF point of view, with a complimentary contribution from their friends the right-wing psychologists. Trans people were pathologised, othered and positioned as “the problem”. We rarely got a look in. Now, newspapers like the Guardian regularly publish sympatheic articles about trans people.

So the TERF project, always nothing more than an abusing and hate-fliied mode of action, has descended into a ghastly and ghostly farce, a pale shadow of a pale shadow with senior TERFs running around in what can only be described as a flap, desperately digging up examples of supposed victimisation or silencing of their increasingly ridiculous narrative. Obviously we must not be complacent; TERFism is primarliy a mode of action, as I have established before, rather than a discourse or ideology; their aim is to harm trans people and will attempt to do so by covert means, we saw earlier in the year how TERF discourse has infected the Green Party, and there has been evidence in the past that it has infected the Labour Party also, this is why it is important that we maintain a strong trans presence in political parties. TERFism may appear dead but somewhere in a cesspit far removed from reality, it still rumbles like a grotesque creature from the underworld.

Anyway the first definition of TERF on Google, (thanks to Sahra Rae Taylor) is;

“Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist, that group of feminists that claims that trans women aren’t really women, as biological determinism is only a fallacy when used against them, not when they use it against others.”

Anyway, on to the original blog post, hope it makes more sense now to everyone;

"TERFs sink even lower" type of headline has become a regular response to whatever the TERFs have been up to in their action to harm trans people.

TERFs like to call themselves "gender critical" feminists, trying to promote the idea that they are interested in a kind of academic, open debate about trans people, and weaponising any attempt by trans people to oppose what they do, by pretending it is 'silencing'.

Well they have sunk to a new low by using one of their anonymous, coward, Twitter feeds to abuse and harass a disabled trans woman. Once again this exposes their true nature. They are not interested in any kind of open discussion or debate, that is just a cover.

It is a cover for action which includes harassment, abuse, stalking - including doxxing minors - and spreading deliberate misinformation about trans people. As I have said before, TERFism is a mode of action, it is nothing to do with being 'gender critical' it is everything to do with an obsessive, fanatical hatred of trans people and represents a determination to take action unto and including violence against trans people, including campaigning to have trans people's healthcare withdrawn and replaced with "talking therapies" which we know from the experience of people like Leelah Alcorn merely results in depressed and suicidal victims. 

In short the TERFs are engaged in an assault on trans people and, and many of them have argued, they would like to see us dead, their only suggestion to deal with the 'problem' of trans people - "talking therapies", or morally mandating us out of existence - is in effect an extermination strategy. This kind of abuse and harassment is indicative of this.


Friday, 7 August 2015

Still Pulling up the Drawbridge: Cultural and "Physical" Erasure.



Two things have happened this week which suggest that LGBT rights are not what they should be, or at least LB and T rights. The apparent erasure of trans people, lesbians and bisexual people from the film “Stonewall” to be released in September essentially rewrites history, erasing people like Silvia Rivera who played arguably the most important role in the riot which started Gay Lib and eventually LGBTI rights movements.

This is important not merely because we need to remember our history but to recognise that cis gay people continued to erase trans people in particular from LGBTI rights for a long while afterwards. Veteran trans rights campaigner, Denise Norris explains;

"My blood is boiling. The seed crystal in final creation of LGBT arrived in 1994 when G&L excluded T (&B) from the main Stonewall 25 march in NYC because T inclusion would hurt G&L chances at equality. We could march on the secondary, less visible, parade, we were told (sort of like being told we should ride at the back of the bus). At the same time, T was being excised from the official G&L Stonewall history. T pushed back on the systematic erasure, threatening to block the parade on Fifth Avenue. Eventually, G&L resistance broke and here we are today.

Today, two decades later, we are revisiting the same revisionism now in a major Hollywood movie.”

Strong words from someone I know does not often express such forthright opinions these days.

In other words the revisionism of the early 1990s is back. This revisionism harmed trans people in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and the early part of this century, the fact that the director is continuing to engage in this can only be cause for serious concern. The LGBTI rights campaigning organisation in the UK of the same name, Stonewall, has become trans inclusive at last and their wonderful director Ruth Hunt has ensured that this erasure will not continue from their side, and we await this organisation's response, which will doubtlessly be considered and inclusive. However it would appear that some cis gay men still have not understood the past and how they have pulled up the drawbridge on trans people again and again and again since 1969.

It now appears that the film will, rightfully, run the gauntlet of trans protests both outside venues where it premieres and online. This is not only to be expected but should serve as a wake-up call to the cis-male dominated film industry. One would like to imagine that it might constitute a learning experience but I have enough experience to know that this is unlikely to be the case.

However more seriously the United Nations has also engaged in an erasure this week, removing LGBTI rights from its development goals. This is no cultural erasure like Stonewall, it will result in physical erasure (i.e. death) of LGBTI people through state-sponsored murder and oppression and worse and through religious and culturally-inspired vigilanteism encouraged by the state authorities turning a blind eye to crimes against LGBTI people. 

Despite the fine speeches by Ban-Ki Moon, and many countries that have supported LGBTI rights including my own, the United Kingdom, these countries have failed to stand up to oppressive regimes, from Russia to Zimbabwe, from Mongolia to Lithuania which have had LGBTI rights removed and who encourage, or connive with, transphobes and homophobes. The UN has failed in its duty to these people. This will cost lives. It will embolden those who, around the world, are violently and oppressively resisting the advance of LGBTI people’s rights, it will have an important actual and symbolic effect, it will let the Putins and Mugabes of this world off the hook.



It reminds us that, although the erasure resulting from the Stonewall movie is serious, it is not as serious as the erasure of LGBTI people in some countries by the UN. Here in the UK we can, and will, oppose Stonewall the movie, we will make our point through social and mainstream media as well as outside cinemas where it is playing, we will un-erase the people upon whose shoulders we stand. We can do that because long fought-for rights have made that possible, but we should not forget our LGBTI siblings in countries where their genders, their sexualities, and in some cases their bodies, are illegal or the cause of oppression, presecution and death, countries where attending Pride marches means risking death or imprisonment. Countries where being yourself can be a death sentence.

Finally, and possibly most importantly, Stonewall, no the actual historical incident, not its decades-long cultural erasure, should remind us about something important. It shows that we in the 'civilised West' have violently oppressed (and in some cases continue to do so) LGBTI people in our recent past. Even a war hero was not able to escape this oppression. we should be careful about how we regard these jurisdictions in relation to our own societies.