#1 [url]

Feb 16 16 12:50 PM

Jack, thanks for the link. Indeed it is a balanced article, presenting both sides of this complex issue. I like how it included examples of 2 different outcomes, and how the children, and families, were impacted. I think this quote from the article sums up the situation:

"It is a legitimate debate about how to treat a complicated issue when science doesn’t yet know what works best, when culture’s view of gender identity is shifting quickly, and when behind all the politicking, infighting and duelling scientific papers, parents are just trying to raise their children to be happy"

Jack, do you think Zucker was truly trying to do what he thought was in the best interest of the children, or was he pushing his own agenda, without enough regard for the well being of his patients?

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#2 [url]

Feb 17 16 5:47 AM

Its an interesting article to be sure, and shows how thinking was at one time that being a 'gay male' is seen as a side branch to the gender transisitioning road......

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#3 [url]

Feb 17 16 9:19 AM

Happy day! I definitely don't feel bad for Zucker at all, what an inconsistent hypocrite, clearly lying about his motivations.

So, the reason that it's better to teach children to suppress their identities and needs, and conform to social expectations is because it's better, and easier to live in the world being conventional, and politically correct -- but when society changes, and expectations and political correctness shifts to be more accepting of trans expression, it's wrong now? Trans people ought still suppress their identities because "science"? You're being victimized and disenfranchised like your Jewish ancestors, because of evil PC conformity?

Sounds like bigoted ass-hatery to me. Bye-bye.

Personally though, when I'm being hypocritical, or inconsistent, it's just because I'm excluded through a combination of irony, and my paraconsistent enchantments. :D

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#4 [url]

Feb 17 16 10:45 AM

Elsa, I pretty much saw exactly the same thing as you. Essentially his whole argument for his approach is simply that it is just better to conform and fit in, than not. It's a view of mental health that dominated the medical professional ranks about 75 years ago. He really doesn't care what these people feel like inside. His goal is simply to get them to a point where they can appear to conform. So essentially it comes down to teaching people how to get better at lying to others, and perhaps even to themselves. I found it ironic as well that this man has an ancestry which experienced extreme bigotry because of not conforming to popular beliefs. But I suspect that people who have known what it is like to be an outsider often embrace super conformity in a bid for acceptance. I even see this trait in parts of the trans community; we have people who are obsessed with appearing as utterly "normal", if that is alone is the real ticket to respectability. I also suspect that much of gay and trans phobias are rooted in people's own insecurities about being accepted as utterly mainstream.

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#5 [url]

Feb 17 16 11:52 AM

I think that that's a bullshit reason he made up, because social conformity happened to agree with him, or he coincidentally thought was correct (but most likely was conditioned by the prejudices of his own upbringing and social setting, believing himself to be solely immune) but he never thought it was just convention, and trans kids were in for a hard life if they didn't conform, based on how he rejects social change, and now says "look at the science". He really thought, and thinks, that it's morally and factually wrong, and that's why it needs to be cured and purged.

That said, the whole "conforming makes life easier" is basically the Buddhist position. The idea that's it's all just convention, or social constructs, and one ought to just follow them then, and get by without working or contributing to the community in any substantial way, and acting self-righteous for it -- and also of course, somehow having the special God-eye-view of the world which allows them to be in sole possession of the truth, so that everything is just social constructs, and not actually representative of the real world, except when I open my mouth, from which flows decrees directly from heaven. To claim something of this sort is always to either proclaim one's own super powers, or to say something that is necessarily false on its own terms.

Last Edited By: Elsa Delyth Feb 17 16 11:54 AM. Edited 1 time.

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#6 [url]

Feb 17 16 12:34 PM

Elsa, I have a relative who is deeply into Buddhism. Interestingly, she is also a therapist. She is not a gender expert, but she has been one of the few people in my family who has listened in detail to me since I was outed a year and a half ago. Before I was outed, I suspect she probably sensed some of the turmoil in me, even though I worked very hard to hard it from my family. At the very least, I think she knew me as a restless spirit. She often suggested books to me that incorporated pieces of Buddhist philosophy. From that, I gathered that much of Buddhism is about accepting one's present state, something that I always found difficult. This is particularly difficult if one's life contains large contradictions. The way society needed to see me just became too far removed from what my soul was telling me. To accept both, simultaneously, seemed increasingly impossible. In the end, embracing one meant eliminating the other. Yes, I could have gone to my grave never acting upon my secret feelings, but I would have died with regret.

Last Edited By: April Feb 17 16 3:09 PM. Edited 2 times.

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#7 [url]

Feb 17 16 1:04 PM

Lol, I was probably harsh there. I would back-peddle mu Buddhist slam but adding some social context. There are unlikely to be very many, if any conservative Buddhists in the west, because it's rather recently popular, and a co-opted spiritual tradition which serves as an alternative to conservative Christianity.

I run the circles of course where most everyone has some Buddhist leanings, as it has mainly only positive selling points in the west, with a reputation for compassion, organic living, and secular non-theological interpretations. This isn't so in non-western Buddhism. There are no significant secular non-theological movements, and there aren't nearly as liberal, or accepting. In the 1990s, the Dalai Lama was against homosexuality, but is no longer. The Buddha only said to not engage in unconventional sexual practices, and wasn't at all specific about what exactly. The Dalai Lama is now cool with it, simply because it is main stream, and his western followers are surely cool with it. He would almost certainly say something different in a place that wasn't.

Transgenderism isn't as clear, as because it wasn't associated with sexual practices, one could in fact transition, and remain a Buddhist monk in Buddha's day, and move from the male to the female groups, or female to male groups, but only because it wasn't seen in the same way that homosexuality was by society. Homosexuals were originally allowed to be monks as well, but were kicked out later because they worried PR damage.

Buddhism is worried about different things depending on how deep you are into it. For lay Buddhists, it's just about mitigating suffering, and keeping decent Karma. For Monks, it's about extinction. The permanent removal of suffering in the world, by ceasing to be reborn into living, which is inherently suffering at its core. In life being unaffected by suffering, unconditioned by suffering, unattached to anything, and then dying forever.

Of course a hell of a lot of people are going to disagree with me, probably 99.9999% of all Buddhists, but I'm still right.

That said, I didn't mean that all Buddhists are going to think that, or think your identity is illegitimate, or not be understanding and compassionate and such -- actually, given the context and setting within which it exists in the west, the precise opposite of that is far more likely to be true.

My therapist was also very much into Buddhism, and she was absolutely fantastic, and I really miss her after moving. She was extremely supportive, and thought that I should definitely do it, even not weight to go through the proper channels, and just buy my own HRT, and told me that you can get blood tests for hormone levels online, and stuff. It was impossible for her to have been more supportive and validating, and I just was polite, and spared her my opinions of Buddhism, besides vague disinterest.

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#8 [url]

Feb 17 16 1:22 PM

All religious groups have good and bad adherents and have texts that are open to interpretation.

The same is probably true of trains of thought in psychology.

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#10 [url]

Feb 18 17 7:12 AM

Hmm, I wonder if they might not be changing their minds a bit, with a more or less total hegemony over both the media and the medical/psychiatric profession, who gets to set the rules over both what is or isn't 'science' and/or socially acceptable?

Let the the kids be relatively happy trannies, and out there living their regular lives in relative peace, or at least being rabid SJW types proudly expressing their trendy alternate identities and complaining about the massive expense of their oh so necessary upcoming surgeries over on Tumblr, and it leaves far fewer left to be 'weaponised autism' type kids digging up other things in other corners of the web, maybe topics that you'd rather were still brushed under the carpet, and passed off as just being 'fake news'. 

Ok, that's 'anti-semitic' I guess, but you know I'm pretty sure I'm part Jewish genetically myself, maybe only a couple of generations removed from being at least culturally Jewish on my fathers side, and well, I kind of know enough about myself to know not to really trust someone like me, if you see what I mean. 

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#11 [url]

Feb 19 17 6:22 PM

Zucker endlessly contradicts himself in his public statements and his (200+) papers.

He (correctly) stated that gender identity forms between 2-5, that someone with gender dysphoria (GD) at the start of puberty will be very unlikely to change, that even his GIC at CAMH (reluctantly) prescribed puberty blockers and later HRT to trans adolescents. He also stated that the majority (70%) of the kids they saw did not have GD but were only gender non conforming (GNC) as judged by their parents in some way and thus were not transgender. Note a stated aim of the GIC was to accept parents fears/wishes and treat the child accordingly, in other words (like intersex kids) the actual child had no say in this.

Then his 'methodology' was based on ‘gay reparative therapy’ techniques developed for so called 'sissy boys'. This was based on:

(1) GNC behaviour (whatever that is) seen as the key indicator of being a ‘pre homosexual’, that if this behaviour was stamped out early in life then the person would become straight.

(2) In fact in 1990s he (and Bradley) claimed that his ‘therapy’ would not only stop a kid from growing up to be transgender but also not to be gay. That part got dropped when it became politically and socially impossible to state it, however the methodology never changed.

(3) All transgender kids would grow up to be gay/lesbian if they didn’t transition…flying in the face of endless evidence that this is not true. The UK’s Tacistok centre put it as 50% of trans girls were not male attracted and 30% of trans boys not female attracted.

(4) The ‘treatment’ was a weird mix of behavioural and Freudian ideas (the only difference to what NARTH recommended was that they dropped the Freudian bit). GNC behaviour was punished and conforming behaviour rewarded. While the mother was seen to be a causative factor, by alternatively being: too close, too clingy, too distant, feminist (yes really), man hating (ditto), too domineering ….and all the sorry rest.
Naturally the only fault of the father was being too distant and not showing ‘proper’ gender stereotypical actions and relations, or in other words he should insist and force proper ‘masculine’ and ’feminine’ behaviour within the family.

Note how similar that is to the same things said in the past about parents of gay/lesbian kids. And in fact everything they said and did to trans kids was taken from what was said and done to those ‘pre homosexual’ kids….and was still being done to GNC kids that had no GD at CAMH, in reality making what they did being ‘gay reparative therapy’.

At the very least if a kid did grow up gay then they would be conforming, closeted ones and thus invisible in society. The wonder is why all the big gay/lesbian activist groups didn’t jump on them long ago for what they were doing under the smokescreen of it being about trans people.

(5) Since they were really all gay according to them, trans kids were explained by them being extremely GNC and the ‘treatment’ would force them away from that, even if they did grow up gay in the end (trans being the stated ‘worst possible outcome’).

(6) Because of that ‘model’ GNC behaviour was catagorised as Gender Identity Disorder (GID) where GD was not a qualifier for that diagnosis. It wasn't until much later that they tested for GD (hence why Singh's paper is flawed, see it for how they tested for GID under DSM II & IV)..

So they had lots of kids, supposedly GNC with no GD, who (duh) didn’t grow up to be transgender. So they claimed ‘success’ in their treatment.

The analogy would be to take a bunch of people with no cancer, give them treatments and then claim they cured their cancer.

In the review the data showed one kid, brought in at 5 not diagnosed with GD (hence not trans) got 105 sessions, with all the reparative ‘drop the barbie’ treatment. That’s child abuse.

(7) Simple arithmetic from their own statements (80% ‘desist’, 70% were not trans) then 67% of the kids they saw with GD then persisted into adolescence  after reparative 'therapy'.
Given that GD varies and that someone with moderate GD might or might not later transition (though may express a non-binary identity), while whose with strong GD would nearly always transition, then they had a lot of kids that showed 100% (or close to it) persistence.

And they knew this.

(8) Zucker stated repeatedly (in Baileys book for example) that he had no proof that his gay/trans reparative therapy worked as a ‘cure’ , but they did it anyway showing ‘magical thinking’ in effect (sometimes) forcing people into the closet been seen as a ‘success’.

(9) The final review that led to the closing of the GIC came on top of the 2007 review which was far more damning, with even racism and homophobia being mentioned as issues and a large list of recommendations for change.
Fast forward to 2015 and it was clear that the GIC had not changed and the Ontario bill would mean many of Zucker’s procedures would be defunded. We can only speculate about the internal politics, but CAMH had to do something otherwise it faced a revenue black hole. Closing a dept and making people redundant is a time honoured method of getting rid of recalcitrant employees.

(10) Zucker's own words
2015 GIC Review. Interview with Dr Zucker.
GIC-Review-26Nov2015b.pdf Page 11.
"70% of the children we see are sub threshold for GD.", hence the so called high 'desistance' rate, the majority of kids seen at his GIC were not transgender at all.

Page 12: "at age 3 , children begin to self label and form their gender identity. " .

Page 12 again: " At age 15 in adolescence the most likely outcome is persistence of the GD. 70%-80% would continue to have GD. The treatment would be social transition and biomedical treatment."

Last Edited By: LisaM Feb 19 17 6:38 PM. Edited 2 times.

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#12 [url]

Feb 19 17 6:34 PM

Brynn Tannehill has done several articles on him:


"Twenty years ago, though, Zucker was also pushing hard for reparative therapy of potentially gay children who were too effeminate, in order to prevent them from growing up to be gay. In 1990, Zucker wrote:

Two short term goals have been discussed in the literature: the reduction or elimination of social ostracism and conflict, and the alleviation of underlying or associated psychopathology. Longer term goals have focused on the prevention of transsexualism and/or homosexuality.

He felt that this was for the best, because, “a homosexual lifestyle in a basically unaccepting culture simply creates unnecessary social difficulties.” In other words, force children to change, rather than working to change a homophobic culture. Along the way, Dr. Zucker became the darling of hate groups and their media outlets, such as Focus on the Family, NARTH, CourageC, Alliance Defending Freedom, Life Site News, American Family Association, Liberty Counsel, Family Research Council, Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH), and Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX).

In effect, because of his position, Dr. Kenneth Zucker was the last “respectable” patron of reparative therapy. He took the model for “fixing” gay kids, slapped a new label on it, and sold it as a way to fix gender non-conforming children. When the transgender activists tried to bring attention to these abuses, Dr. Zucker attempted to silence them with threats of lawsuits.

That is, until December 2015, when an independent investigation led to Dr. Zucker’s firing and his clinic being closed. The investigation results were highly damning, finding:
• The methods being used were 30 years out of date
• The clinic assumed that all gender variant children need to be clinically “fixed” (i.e. they used coercive behavior modification on queer kids to make them act straight)
• Children were pressured into being photographed without clothing
• The clinic emphasized tests, treatment, methods with no scientific basis in evidence based medicine
• CAMH staff asked pre-pubescent children questions that were highly sexual in nature
• Former patients, parents, and therapists of former patients described the treatment as “disturbing” and “harmful”
• CAMH hid affirming community and medical resources from patients
• Dr. Zucker regarded being cisgender, heterosexual, and gender conforming as the “best” outcome
• Dr. Zucker and his team could not conclusively demonstrate that what they were doing was not reparative therapy

In a 2014 German study, 13 experts in treatment for gender identity were asked if CAMH’s methods were ethical. 11 said no. The two who said yes were Dr. Zucker and another CAMH staffer."

As for being a 'darling' of anti LGBTI people take these 2

The National Catholic Bioethics Center 2009
The Psychopathology of “Sex Reassignment” Surgery
Position: “If SRS is neither medically nor ethically justifiable for adults, then starting hormone treatments on adolescents with GID in order to suppress puberty, with the promise of later proceeding to SRS, is even less so.”

Quotes/references: Blanchard: 11 times, Zucker: 19 times, Bailey: 10 times, Raymond 6 times, Lawrence: 21 times. McHugh 13 times. Autogynephilia: 32 times.

Understanding and Responding to the Transgender Movement
Position: "We believe that governments should not recognize any change in sexual identity from that
identified at birth (with the exception of the rare cases in which a biological disorder of sexual development can be diagnosed), and the law should not force any private entities to grant such recognition."

Quotes/references:" Ray Blanchard is mentioned and referenced twice, Zucker 10 times, Bailey twice, Dreger twice, Lawrence 3 times, Janice Raymond 7 times. McHugh 11 times. Autogynephilia 6 times.

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#13 [url]

Feb 20 17 12:58 AM

The Sexuality of Female to Male Transgender Men

Gender Infinity Conference Co-Founder Colt Keo-Meier underline that it is possible to argue with Zucker. (In an interview in Cristan Williams' series series on Ken Zucker over at Transadvocate).

Keo-Meier (which is and FTM trans man) apparently succeeded in getting Zucker to understand that FTM trans men might be attracted to men (unlike Blanhard, who apparently continue to believe that this is impossible):

I think that I should first tell you an anecdote that informs some of my personal views. The first time that I met him was at a 2009 WPATH conference in Norway. He came up to my research poster where I was presenting data on the fact that there are a lot of trans men who, once they transition, experience shifts in their sexual orientation; that their identified sexual orientation moved more towards a queer-identified orientation. Zucker was, of course, the head of the gender diagnoses group for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and they had statements in there that claimed that it was rare and exceptional to find trans men who were attracted to other men and my research found that more than half of them were attracted to other men. So, I was excited to have him see my data of over 600 trans guys for that reason. At the time, it was the biggest sample of trans men ever presented at WPATH . (...)

For instance, in the next version of the DSM-5, the false premise about the sexuality of trans men was removed and he did invite me to submit my poster as a manuscript to his journal, which I did, and which was accepted after going through grueling revisions by people who viewed the trans experience in the way that Zucker did.

(Unfortunately the false premise of trans women was not removed)

However, Keo-Meier also tells us about a conversation that clearly shows that Zucker does not understand gender dysphoria.

Keo-Meier also discusses the detransitioning narrative (that the fact that a few people decide to transition back to their assigned gender proves that a social transitioning for trans kid is bad. Keo-Meier brings up another type of regret:

 In my research, I found that in the overwhelming majority of my sample of transgender participants did not have any regrets about any aspect of their transition whatsoever and of the small minority who did, the most common regret they had was, “I wish I would have done this earlier.” I found that to be interesting because that’s never the “regret” that people assume in trans people.

Arlene Lev, who is working on affirmative therapies for trans children, has also some good words to say about Zucker:
So I think all things need to be in perspective. Dr. Zucker spent much of his career studying a population virtually no one cared about or had experience working with – what some now call gender-variant children and transgender youth. He was a researcher and clinician. His body of research is quite extensive, and actually quite interesting, and I recommend more people actually read his work. I found that most of his critics have read none of it. I encourage people – especially therapists – to read it, because there is much to be gleaned from it. He actually raises important questions about how young people experience gender, and how we as therapists can begin to understand their developmental processes. I think those of us who are therapists and researchers need to be asking lots more questions about this, but from an affirmative point-of-view, not an oppressive one.

But she is also very clear about where his ideas come from:
What I have long said about Zucker, is that he is at heart sexist – he truly believes that boys and girls are fundamentally “different,” and that these differences lay in superficial things like clothes and toys. He is at heart cisgenderist, in the sense that he truly believes that being cisgender is a more “optimal” outcome than being trans*, a concept I find quite absurd. His body of work, and his therapeutic modalities, come from these assumptions.

And this is where it all goes wrong, in my opinion. If you start taking the social and cultural order for granted, and start "helping" children to adapt to this order, nothing will ever change, and you will have generation after generation of unhappy transgender kids and adults who are asked to sacrifice their own happiness on the altar of conformity.

Zucker's way of thinking also illustrates this.

The success of the pro-gay struggle shows us that it is possible to change social rules in a way that let people live in according with their own nature. Whether it is possible to do so without making other people uncomfortable, is another matter. Some people seem to think that their own hang-ups about gender and sexuality is much more important than the happiness of others, and are willing to do anything to uphold that "order". So, that research informed my interest in working with kids and families. Adults who transition later in life and regret that they were not able to do so earlier face many, many more difficulties than those who were able to transition earlier in life. In this sense, affirmative therapy attempts to ensure that, for those who transition is appropriate, they aren’t systematically compelled to experience the regret and avoidable difficulties they would otherwise face.: In my research, I found that in the overwhelming majority of my sample of transgender participants did not have any regrets about any aspect of their transition whatsoever and of the small minority who did, the most common regret they had was, “I wish I would have done this earlier.” I found that to be interesting because that’s never the “regret” that people assume in trans people. So, that research informed my interest in working with kids and families. Adults who transition later in life and regret that they were not able to do so earlier face many, many more difficulties than those who were able to transition earlier in life. In this sense, affirmative therapy attempts to ensure that, for those who transition is appropriate, they aren’t systematically compelled to experience the regret and avoidable difficulties they would otherwise face.


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#14 [url]

Feb 21 17 10:37 PM

There was another nasty side to the old diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder (GID), you were only considered 'cured' if you reverted to your natal gender and were cis all the time..

You could transition, be happy, have a great life but your were always considered to have GID, it was a lifelong pathologisation for transitioned trans women.

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