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Changing the world
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On the off schance there's something to this... 
16th-May-2008 12:56 am
I needed a gay icon
Please forward....

Dear folks,
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 Psychological 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 use it.

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.php

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.
23rd-May-2008 02:49 pm (UTC)
For every step forward there seems to be at least one back. I was glad to hear that the CA supreme court made gay marriage legal again.
23rd-May-2008 06:50 pm (UTC)
We'll see how long it lasts this time.

(Yeah, I'm a bit oessamistic.)
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