I'm writing you because you are well-connected with our LGBT community
organizations. A catastrophic thing has just happened to the community
on the federal level, there's still time to stop it, and most folks in
the community seem not to know.
A few days ago the American Psychiatric Association announced who
would write the new revision of the DSMV, the manual of mental
disorders that controls the diagnosis and treatment of gender and
sexual difference. The "expert" just named to chair the revisions on
sexuality and gender is Kenneth Zucker. Zucker is the major remaining
proponent of "reparative therapy" to "cure" kids they think are LGBT.
If the APA doesn't change the committee, the next edition of the DSMV
will probably prescribe reparative therapies as recommended
"treatment" for LGBT people. Zucker's named Ray Blanchard to the work
group that will rewrite Gender Identity Disorder.
Here's the deal: Blanchard is connected with ex-gay organizations; his
core theory is that transpeople are "really" sex offenders or
homosexuals, and homosexuals are mentally ill. Zucker's stated purpose
for reparative therapy is that, without it, gay kids will grow up into
transsexuals. So any version of Gender Identity Disorder the two of
them write will not only put transpeople out of medical help and into
conversion therapy, but also redefine GID from an independent
diagnosis to a kind of homosexuality.
In other words, their goal is to put homosexuality back in the DSMV as
a mental illness. We'd be back where we were before 1973. I hoped I'd
never have to live with this crap again, but here we are in the Stone
Age. These are the folks that "cure" boys who play with dolls and
girls who like sports. The APA just gave these wackos the authority to
define American gays and lesbians as mentally ill. They're likely to
We have to get the word out. If the community protests loudly and
fast, the APA will probably have to remove Zucker and Blanchard. I am
terrified it won't happen because it'll get tagged as a "trans issue."
The HRC, the Advocate and so on have no love lost on transpeople, but
transpeople don't have the pull with the APA.
Only the gay and lesbian communities can apply the necessary pressure.
It's use it or lose it. Once your identity has been defined as a
mental illness your political clout falls to zero. Folks in the know
say the appointment was so unexpected that it's likely most APA
leadership doesn't really understand what they just did.
Zucker and Blanchard are considered fringe--Zucker's clinic in Toronto
has been defunded by the Canadian government. But they're famous for
their political skills, taking over academic forums and then using
them to set themselves up as "recognized experts." I think if we call
the APA on it right away, they'll fold and replace them.
Here's a link to more info: http://www.bilerico.com/2008/05/uh_oh.p
Please help. Spread the word to everyone you know. Any contacts you
have with LGBT political advocacy and media organizations, please
light a fire with them to pressure the APA to remove Zucker and
Blanchard from the DSMV committee. It matters for all of us