This is a recent report just in from Toronto, Canada containing a fascinating inside look at a seminar meeting at the infamous Clarke Insititute for Psychiatry (now known as the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)).
For more than a decade, the Blanchard/Zucker/Petersen/Cantor clique at The Clarke have had a devastating impact on the lives of Canadian transwomen, many of whom have been forced to go through The Clarke's notorious research program and treatment protocols if they lacked funds for accessing outside private care. Any Canadian trans women who had the means to do so avoided The Clarke like the plague. (For more background on The Clarke's clique of "sexologists", see the accumulating information on Andrea James' BBL Clearinghouse.)
As just one tiny example of the sinister way the staff at The Clarke Institute treat transwomen, consider the following report from a trans woman who attended a July 9, 2003 presentation on transsexualism by Cantor CAMH. Here we see that Cantor stridently insists on calling all trans woman "transsexual men" as a matter of scientific terminology, without any concern about the cruel emotional impact such hate-speech has on these women!
In the past, the government sponsored work of this strange clique of people has gone relatively unchallenged. However, as this report shows, these people are incredibly vulnerable to the most basic of questions thrown at them by folks outside the small group of true believers who usually attend their seminars and lectures.
They've never faced such questions before, having lived for years insulated in ivory towers and protected by outsiders presumptions of expertise and infallibility, whilst trans people cowered outside those towers and took whatever crumbs of "treatment" they could get - never thinking of simply attending lectures and asking questions themselves!
Well folks, the world has just turned, and it's never going to be the same again for these so-called "sexologists". From now on we ARE going to attend their lectures and seminars. We ARE going to ask the hard questions, and we ARE going to reveal what is going on in these places - as Kristin J. has just so courageously done - as you will see below.
July 16, 2003
Date: Wed, 9 Jul 2003 18:41:51 -0700
Subject: Meeting today at The Clarke.../
From: Kristin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Lynn Conway
re: Meeting today at The Clarke.../
You would have loved who I shared a lecture hall with this morning at the Clarke: Dr. Ray Blanchard, Maxine Petersen aka, Len Clemmensen, and Dr. Ken Zucker. Maxine was sitting in front of Alison and me, and Blanchard and Zucker were directly behind us.
And to add to this, Dr. James Cantor presented the one hour lecture on "Is Transsexualism Really Independent of Sexual Orientation?" The audience considered of budding student psychiatrists, psychiatrists, and a handful of TS men and women. A total crowd of maybe 60 people in the lecture hall.
And of course at the top of the lecture was that all transsexuals are related to their study of "autogynophelia". What a lovely topic, and how shallow their research and thinking is. They had graphs explaining the correlation between homosexuality and transvestism... I had no idea I was such a "thing".... Dr. Conway, I never ever, ever think of these things. They went as far are discussing height differences between gay men and women to autogynophelia transsexuals....
In one slide, they noted source references for the lecture, of which they listed approximately 12 resources, and the most recent was dated 1989. Dr. Cantor continued to say in his own words, " this is the most recent material available". And in the last slide he commented on the lack of source funding to their program now, and SRS surgery being pulled from OHIP (Ontario Hospital Insurance Plan)
So anyway, it was time to ask questions from the audience. I put my hand up and was selected a the 3rd person to speak. I stared off asking Dr. Cantor two things, one was about autogynophelia.... I said:
"I enjoyed the lecture, but your almost 30 years of research fails in trying to explain the transsexual phenomena. This research which you and your colleagues conjured up fails, or the wheels falls off, when it comes to children. In your extensive models where do you even talk about gender dysphoric children? Gender dysphoria occurs at the beginning of life. I was cross dressing at the ages of 4-5, and had tremendous influences accenting on me at that time because of my gender dysphoria. We all know sexuality does not occur till we are closer to puberty. All these discussions of transvestism, or sexual arousal, and homosexuality, and then trying to plug it all into what makes up a transsexual doesn't work. Boy, if this were such a case, I would certainly find it difficult to get through a working day!!!"
I then went onto say, "Dr. Cantor, you illustrated and commented on your recent research. The last date on the slide in the presentation which was the most recent read, 1989. That was 14 years ago on my calendar. "
Dr . Conway, he began to fumble, and could not answer what thought were very simple questions or comments. He then responded to me about children, " 80% of gender dysphoric children go onto leading gay lives." I gave him a quirky look, like "Hummmm?"
Then I reflected back to him, then he started to regress on his comment.
I then said, "Well whose fault is that?" Maybe your colleague sitting directly behind me, Dr. Kenneth Zucker? Of whom was published in our national publication "Saturday Night Magazine" this past November, on his treatment of gender dysphoric children, and encouraging them to change their lives, and to let go of their female or male tendencies opposite of their born gender. This is like telling someone to not believe or defy they are heterosexual or gay." I paused, then continued to say and asked, "Isn't this the fault of the researchers doing the research, and misinforming the child and their families?"
These guys are acting like mad scientists with human lives. I said to Dr, Cantor, to be a transsexual person in our society is not a bad thing. Yes it is different than what we all grew up with as the "church" and social standards of which we all function as the guidelines of human gender and sexuality. But you guys have beaten the science out of this for 30 years, and have only made it worse for those who are gender dysphoric. It is hard enough to transition successfully in society, with PHD's like you mucking about in something you know nothing about. As I said to him Dr. Conway, I am a local kid that grew up like any other child, and I competed internationally on to national teams for Canada etc... I am like any other kid or person, and I was fortunate to have resources and family to support me through this troubling time.
Dr. Conway, it is no wonder people commit suicide, or their families explode. It is because of researchers like these guys, who have spent years of studies, millions of federal dollars to support their PHD's.
This has nothing to do with supporting TS people and assisting them and their families and helping their child to right a wrong so they can get on with their lives. It is about money and their "single" minded careers.
Two thoughts on this, I recently saw my endocrinologist. She is the selected endocrinologist for the Clarke gender clinic. She of the entire group I have continued to see. Interesting too, to support my above notions, she has just purchased as part of her clinic a laser therapy machine for hair removal etc.... These machines are over a $100,000 .usd. and incredibly expensive to run. I looked at her, and thought, "another money maker for you." Of course I kept this to myself. It certainly changed my professional opinion of her.
Dr. Conway, she is forced fed patients from the Clarke as she
is the only endocrinologist, and is part of the gender team outside
of the Clarke premises in private practice. She has 4 children
etc... she is making extreme amounts of money by her relationship
with the Clarke off of desperate people suffering from gender
dysphoria, knowing they have few places to turn too, at least
in Toronto and Canada on the whole
My second thought is, the Clarke when under the approval of the Canada's Federal Government and Provincial government for "gender clinic" funding and SRS was covered under OHIP, which was de regulated in 1989, until this time had all their clients shipped to a surgeon in England. Do you think, like my endocrinologist, these doctors like Dickey, Clemensen, Blanchard and Zucker were receiving some kind of benefit from this?
These guys have been living in a PHD dream world.... Blanchard now retiring or retired like he was today, when I challenged him and his colleagues on their years of studies of autogynophelia, didn't know what to say....
(I am sure Dr. Blanchard is living quite a nice retirement off the lives of many transsexual that have suffered under his research, and lack of action to set proper standards in Canada to ensure the medical safety and support networks required to assist these peoples lives.... )
No - instead I get a stupid nervous comment from Dr. Cantor when I started to push his buttons more: " I got a fax on a Friday evening from the provincial government stating that they were excluding support in OHIP for SRS surgeries." That is how personal he became when he got nervous with me.
Dr. Conway, as I said above, "who fault is that do you think? It is the researchers and their research that came out of this clinic over the years, not properly educating lawyers, politicians and the medical community accurately the issues surrounding gender dyphoria, and transsexualism on the whole. Your studies of 1989, perpetuated as they have been today, create great misunderstanding of what gender dysphoria actually is and how many people world wide are effected by this phenomena.... You make people feel this is sexually related and not gender, and feel it falls into the world based on your studies of 1989, that TS people are sexually deviant, fetish related behaviors and dress up for kicks as the opposite gender for fun, or for sexual gratification like tranvestites. So in a government forum, which of only a month ago, is Canada legislating same sex marriages. So in no way, back in 1989, would the government conceivably continue SRS surgery with the research the Clarke and your colleagues have provided. We have been setup for failure... "
Dr. Conway, this is so upsetting. No wonder like doctors like Dr. Brassard will have nothing to do with the Clarke. As mentioned, he felt they were closed down because of their practices. Dr. Brassard has also made very clear to me, he felt in his mind that their was no psychiatrist in Toronto "qualified" in his eyes to allow him to approve someone for SRS surgery set out by the Standards of Care. Montreal and Toronto are only 5 hours apart, and their is no contact between the two clinics, with one of the top surgeons in the world, and is Canadian too. Why is this? You have to ask yourself why?
I think too, now knowing what I know now, having this surgeon in England and not Montreal enables the Clarke to lessen the tracking ability of costs spent by OHIP on a patients SRS surgery, which is provincial and federal governments by paying out expenditures to a foreign body, and not another doctor in the same country. Dr. Brassard for instance, would have to track his billings too, and provide documentation for each surgery he would do under OHIP billing.... The government could make them accountable easier for OHIP billings, by checking each others accounting accounting records in their clinic. So by going to England, similar to my endocrinologist model, it is abuse of a system by a handful of doctors, for their personal gains at the expense of the gender dysphoric person, who by the researchers model at the Clarke has painted us into a corner lower than that of an alcoholic or wife abuser in society.
These arguments are becoming clearer and clearer over time. And now meeting the core "fellowship" group of the Clarke's gender Clinic all together, and watching them collapse and shutter when I asked specific questions, they couldn't answer not one of my logical questions or comments. They just shut down, and tried to change the subject quickly.
Dr. Conway, I want to note here too, in no way was I ever aggressive or step out of my professional composure. Alison and stayed tell the very end of the lecture question an and answer period. I just ever got answers to my questions, which I felt were very logical, and based on the research and lecture presented appeared as a suitable argument.
It was the question they didn't want to hear.....
I so wished you were with me....
I would certainly like to talk to Dr. Coleman at Harry Benjamin about this. The Clarke researchers, feel they are still the number one gender clinic in Canada still today, and think they are the number one research group in the world today. They boasted this in the completion of the question and answer period. These were the words from Dr. Cantor's, and Zucker's mouths.... There must be quite a fellowship going on...
Anyway, thoughts for now....
I so hope you're well.