Title: All A-Cluster? Credit: Craig Young Comment Friday 15th January 2016 - 10:48am1452808080 Article: 17781 Rights
Why is Family First's Bob McCoskrie citing a discredited Canadian source as if it were a credible professional authority on transgender children's safety, despite a recent review that led to the closure of that source's Toronto-based gender identity clinic?   I first noticed that this was the case when McCoskrie posted a transcribed excerpt, "Transgender Fad- Clusters Emerging as Children Copy Friends (UK)" on January 4, 2016. Sourced from the Breitbart website, which seems to have derived it from the right-wing UK Murdoch tabloid Daily Telegraph, and which carried the following misinformation. The article cites Susie Green, chair of Mermaids, a British support organisation for transgender children and their families, who notes that following initial children who come out as transgender, others summon up the courage to do so. However, Breitbart, the Telegraph and Family First then veer off on an unsubstantiated and junk science tangent. The cause "isn't" gender dysphoria, it is "probably""a teacher who promotes transgender ideology."The article goes on: "Her anecdotal evidence correlates with the results of a study by Mark Zucker at the Centre for Mental Health and Addiction in Toronto, Canada, which found that transgenderism was more prominent and persistent among children when followed by adults. Researchers observed that children who saw therapists and others in authority who assume that they belong to the 'opposite sex" can actually become more distressed, exacerbating their gender dysphoric identity" However, citing Kenneth Zucker as an 'authoritative' source is highly problematic these days. Zucker is no longer the Psychologist in Chief and Head of the Gender Identity Clinic at Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, as it notes on that organisation's website. Why? Zucker has several professional critics that question his approach to treatment of gender dysphoria in children, comparing it to the chicanery of 'reparative therapy' carried out against lesbians, gay men and bisexuals, although Zucker states that he does not support reparative therapy in the context of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals. One is Dr. Simon Pickstone Taylor. However, when Member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament Cheri diNovo drafted a private members bill in that provincial legislature to outlaw the (ab)use of reparative therapy against LGBT minors in Ontario, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health decided to closely scrutinise Dr Zucker's treatment protocols. After a six month review, CAMH decided to close down its Gender Identity Clinic, as its reviewers, Dr Suzanne Zinck of Dalhousie University and Dr Antonio Pigniatello of Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, found that the clinic operated in an "insular" manner, and did not reflect best practice in treatment of transgender youth. It referred to Zucker's professional behaviour as intimidation and noted that a CAMH Gender Identity Clinic clinician had asked a nine year old about their sexual fantasies. Dr Kwame MacKenzie, CAMH's director, stated that Dr Zucker no longer worked at CAMH and that CAMH was consulting with Ontario transgender community members about best treatment modalities using mainstream treatment protocols. Nor is gender dysphoria an ideology. It is a recognised medical condition whose diagnostic clarity is observed by the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American Medical Association, American College of Obsteitricians and Gynaecologists and American Public Health Association. All of which are credible sources on this issue, which base their support for reassignment surgery, hormone treatment and affirmative psychotherapy and counselling on evidence-based research. Which, it appears, is more than can be said for Dr. Zucker... But wait, there's more. On the far right Canadian Lifesite, the extremist "Mass Resistance" pressure group argued that New York now had the most rigorous trans-inclusive anti-discrimination bill in the United States. The legislation mandates the use of gender-appropriate personal descriptions, opens facilities to transpeople of the gender that they are transitioning toward, or have reached, opposes mandatory gender stereotyped clothing, arranges payment for the medical costs of transitioning, and provides a set of 'bizarre definitions.' Like calling someone who has had reassignment surgery and who dresses and identifies as their desired gender by their birth gender, for example? According to Wikipedia, Mass Resistance is widely regarded as an extremist and unrepresentative state Christian Right pressure group by Massachusetts legislators and media, known for its opposition to evidence-based comprehensive sexuality education, inclusive children's books, LGBT youth suicide prevention programmes, marriage equality, LGBT anti-bullying educational initiatives, abortion rights, Pride celebrations, its designation as a hate group and Mitt Romney's presidential campaign. It's off the deep end even when it comes to the US Christian Right, which is probably why it won't be showing up on Family First's right-wing "news' page anytime soon. And probably, nor will this: "Gender health is defined as a child's opportunity to live in the gender that feels most real or comfortable to that child and to express that gender with freedom from restriction, aspersion or rejection. Children not allowed those freedoms by agents within their developmental systems are at risk for later developing a downward cascade of psychosocial adversities including depressive symptoms, low life satisfaction, self-harm, isolation, homelessness, incarceration, post-traumatic stress, suicidal ideation and attempts"(Hidalgo et al, 2013) Not Recommended: "Transgender Fad- Clusters emerging as children copy friends" Family First: 06.01.2015:https://www. familyfirst.o clusters-emerging-as-children- copy-friends-uk/ Mass Resistance: "New York City initiates the most severe 'transgender rights' enforcement in America" Lifesite: 04.01.2016:https://www. york-city-initiates-the-most- severe-transgender-rights- enforcement-in -a Recommended: Wikipedia/Kenneth Zucker: Kenneth_Zucker Arshy Mann: "Toronto centre shutters gender identity clinic"Daily Xtra: 15.12.2015:http://www. /toronto/news-and-ideas/news/ toronto-centre-shutters-youth- gender-clinic-181985 Arshy Mann: "Why the closing of Toronto's gender clinic matters"Daily Xtra:16.12.2015:http://www. /toronto/news-and-ideas/news/ toronto-centre-shutters-youth- gender-clinic-181985 Official Documentation: CAMH: "CAMH to make changes to child and youth gender identity services" Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (Media Release): en/hospital/about_camh/ newsroom/news_releases_media_ advisories_and_backgrounders/ current_year /Pages/CAMH-to-make-changes- to-Child-and-Youth-Gender- Identity-Services.aspx External Review of the Gender Identity Clinic of the Child, Youth and Family Services in the Underserved Populations Program at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health" 15.11.2015:http://www.camh. ca/en/hospital/about_camh/ newsroom/news_releases_media_ advisories_and_backgrounders/ current_year/Documents/GIC- Review-26Nov2015.pdf External Review Appendices 1: hospital/about_camh/newsroom/ news_releases_media_ advisories_and_backgrounders/ current_year/Documents/ Appendix1-3-GIC-Review.pdf External Review Appendices 2: hospital/about_camh/newsroom/ news_releases_media_ advisories_and_backgrounders/ current_year/Documents/ Appendix5-15-GIC-Review.pdf [See especially M. Hidalgo et al: "The Gender Affirmative Model: What We Know and What We Seek to Learn" Human Development (2013): 56: 285-290: Appendix 8, in above] Craig Young - 15th January 2016    
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