Tuesday, April 19, 2011

U.K.'s Transsexual & Transgender Communities Successfully Shut down a Transphobic Hate-fest "Conference" by The Royal Collage. Stop Misrepresentation!

Either make the conference affirming, accurate and inclusive, or shut that hate-fest down!

In another example of the empowered transsexual and transgender (TS/TG) community’s growing resistance against being misrepresented by insensitive gay and lesbian organizations who sometimes harm TS/TG people, rather than help, ( aka, Stonewall UK, and in this case, RCPsych’s Lesbian and Gay Special Interest Group ), transphobic and unscientific shrinks (like Zucker, Bailey, Blancahrd, and in this case, Dr Az Hakeem) and lesbian anti-transsexual activists (Julie Bindel), the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ conference on TS/TG issues has been cancelled due to the large public outcry from U.K’s TS/TG communities.

Well done UK brothers and sisters, including Jane Fae, Natacha Jessica Kennedy, Paris Lees, Christine Burns and others who so worked hard to remedy this situation! Keep up the good fight! Don’t ever back down!

The complaints against the “conference”, was that it was not truly a “conference” or even a discussion, for it was one sided and biased, and left out voices of the TS/TG communities. The keynote speaker would have been Dr Az Hakeem, yet he is a transphobic spaz, pathologizes TS/TG people and believes in reparative therapy. An invited speaker, Julie Bindel, is one of the world’s most transphobic personalities. Although she is lesbian, and identifies as a feminist, her hatred against women born different actually makes her an anti-feminist. Also, for the RCPsych’s Lesbian and Gay Special Interest Group to be hosting this event is actually appropriation and co-opting. Transsexualism is a medical condition, and transgendersim is a gender identity. Therefore, it’s inappropriate and confusing to the public for a sexual orientation group to be hosting this event, especially when many gay and lesbian professionals have proven to militant transphobes.

Jennie Kermode of U.K.’s Trans Media Watch, commented:
"I’m really glad that sense has prevailed in this instance. For psychology to be respected it must draw a clear line between evidence-based work and prejudice which merely masquerades as science."

The last straw in the conference being cancelled came shortly after the The Gender Identity Clinic at Charing Cross Hospital pulled out, which is the UK’s oldest and most respected TS/TG treatment center.

In a statement by Charing Cross Hospital, they stated why they pulled support:
Although we were somewhat wary of engaging in what is essentially a clinical discussion with a predominantly non-trans panel, which, moreover, features a non-clinician whose personal opinion is already well known, we agreed to do so in order that discussion might focus on evidence rather than anecdote.

“The Royal College should be aware that there is a great deal of disquiet around this event within the trans community. Interested parties should also note that the discussion as it now stands will be one-sided at best

Christine Beckett, applauded Charring Cross’ decision. She stated,
"We are not laboratory animals, but human beings. The patronizing notion that we should not even be given a voice in such conferences is no longer supportable or acceptable.

And the notion of asking the likes of Bindel and Az Hakeem to “contribute” is not just insulting to transpeople, but gives the transphobic nonsense they spout a validity that it has no right to.

It would be akin to asking the pope and Fred Phelps to contribute to a conference on Gay marriage, whilst excluding anyone Gay from the platform.

So well done all concerned, including Charring Cross."

However, as usual when the establishment realizes they made a mistake, instead of admitting wrongdoing, they concoct a PR spin story. In this case, the spin is that the conference was cancelled due to “lack of ticket sales”. Ok, we all know that’s just hog wash and a pathetic ploy to *try* to save face.

Paris Lees , a popular trans advocate in the U.K., responded to RCPsych’s lame excuse:
"They clearly don’t know how the human mind works if they think anyone with so much as an inch of sense will believe that pathetic excuse. Imbeciles."

The Royal College should have known better then to plan a conference about TS/TG people, yet not pursue sufficient buy-in from the community that the conference actually affects. To not enroll TS/TG people in the decision making process sends a clear and loud statement that they don’t see them as equals, as able, as valid. Just that message alone proves The Royal Collage is not a true ally to the TS/TG communities. In the past, The Royals Collage has held conferences on gay and lesbian issues, yet they most definitely included gay people in the process, and didn’t have offensive speakers. Why didn’t they give the TS/TG communities the same respect? It’s because TS/TG people in the U.K’ are still deemed “less than” by many institutions. In this case of RCPsych’s Lesbian and Gay Special Interest Group actually endorsing this problematic event, it says that TS/TG people are “property” of the gay and lesbian establishment.

The TS/TG community would beg to differ.

It’s an exciting time in both the U.K and the U.S. The TS/TG communities are taking ownership of their movement, exercising their voice in high volumes, not allowing the gay and lesbian establishment to dictate to them, and successfully challenging the psychiatric world from misrepresenting them

The transsexual and transgender colony of the Gay Inc Empire are breaking free and re-founding their country.

Our lives. Our needs. Our votes. Our voices. Our decisions. Our agenda!!

Advocate Helen Wilson commented under the Pink News article on this story, and sums it up nicely:

"For the Royal College of Psychiatrists Lesbian and Gay Special Interest Group to host this conference in the first place is just bazaar.

They reject reparative therapy for LGB people, but by organizing this conference seem to support it for the T.

Talk about hypocrisy

The fact we got ourselves organized and successfully campaigned to get this conference cancelled shows we are not victims… People don’t like the fact we now have a voice and are not afraid to shout if necessary."

God job to the U.K. transsexual and transgender people who spoke out against this hate-fest! Because of you, the U.K. is now a safer, healthier and more affirming place for people who are not afraid of diversity! Hugs and kisses from the west, keep up the good fight!

You MUST READ the shocking email correspondence between the Royal College of Psychiatrists and noted U.K advcoates Natacha Kennedy & Jane Fae which led up to the cancellation of the transhobic [one-sided] conference: http://uncommon-scents.blogspot.com/2011/04/email-correspondence-with-royal-college.html


  1. This is indeed a great day for U.K Trans activism (and all Trans people)!

    I'm proud of my Trans sisters and brothers. Julie Bindel is a sick joke, and Dr Az Hakeem has done great damage to Trans people here in the U.K.

    Respect to Jane Fae, Natacha Jessica Kennedy,Paris Lees , Christine Burns, and everyone else involved in stopping this disgrace !

  2. This is a great victory for the world empowerment of trans people against the "evil empire" of hate-- a coalition of misogynist, trans-misogynist and transphobic therapists, religious fundamentalists and lesbian separatists-- that would be at each others throats (like the Nazis & Japanese in World War II) if they had not selected us as a common enemy.

    Now we are engaged in a great struggle for our basic Human, Civil & Equal Rights and we must not fail. And we will not fail if we keep on speaking out and taking action, so that no one will ever regard us as invisible and silent and as vulnerable victims ever again!.

    The U.N. Declaration of Human Rights in 1946 outlined basic human rights in its 30 articles. But even women were not entitled to vote in the United States until 1920 and it took the Civil Rights Movement and the Civil Rights Acts of the the 1950s and 1960s to establish the rights of racial minorities in the U.S.

    Human Rights should be for all people-- humans, but even by 2006, no one had formally declared the Human Rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual/ transgender & intersex people. A conference of advocates in Yogayakarta, Indonesia issued the Yogyakarta Principles, a statement of human rights in 29 principles for L G B T I people akin to the UN Declaration 60 years previously.

    We must together take a stand against fear and hate, fueled by ignorance and paranoid propaganda, that drives so many to the brink of violence and beyond. We must stand together against exclusion, segregation and separatism in the name of purification of gender, the group, the revolution or society-- with attacks upon us-- When all that we seek is to be who we are and to live our lives in peace.

    As I approach on Thursday April 21, my 34th anniversary of the sex reassignment surgery that was then the greatest day in my life, I realize that I have a chance to give back something in appreciation of the wonderful gift of wholeness and congruence so long ago that might make a difference in declaring our own empowerment, seeking respect and acceptance-- and staking our claim for a better future for us all.

    Six months ago I was included by a Facebook friend into two groups:
    1) An LGBTI unity group, an open group
    2) A lesbian separatist, possibility a transwomen excluding group, working on an event.

    The first group is ok, with noble goals and a plan for action.
    But I asked the administrator about the second group and whether I was invited, welcome or safe. She brushed me off with a quick affirmation, but then she suggested I wasn't on topic.
    Six months later I appear to be the only transwoman in this large group and the administrator is the only friend I have in common with the group.

    But I am going to take her including me in the group at face value.
    That I am accepted as a woman and that I and others like me are also welcome! So on my "Rebirthday" on going to invite my trans women friends to join this enlightened new accepting group!.
    Just a few friends. Maybe 500 or so! And I am going to thank her out loud for opening the door us and letting us in and declaring her to be a hero ally to all of us!

    I'm preparing an invitation for us all-- a chance to start to end Lesbian
    Transmisogynistic Apartheid Exclusion. To knock out perhaps one leg from the tripod that holds up the table where we are not invited. To say hello to our own empowerment and to reach for and to build a new and better future! Come join us! Accept my invitation, Thursday!

  3. Hopefully our Alternative Conference (run by trans people for and about trans people) will still take place at King's College. that will be a real trans conference.

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  5. Really pleased to hear about this victory - always shocked and sickened by how pervasive transphobia is, particularly amongst lesbian and feminist groups who should know better.
    In the spirit of solidarity with oppressed minorities,the solidarity that is so often lacking - I have to point out that just as you probably want the papers, or Joe Bloggs, to stop casually bandying around derogatory and hateful terms like tranny etc, as a disabled activist I have to take issue with casual use of words like 'spaz' (as above) to tar your enemies. Comparing people unfavourably to someone with a learning disability is only offensive to people with learning disabilities, and their friends and supporters. I totally support and applaud the achievements, the hard work and campaigns you write about here - and I challenge any casual (and therefor endemic) transphobia I encounter - please extend the same solidarity to another overlooked and persecuted group.

  6. I'm so glad this conference was shut down by Charing Cross and other trans. It did upset me a little about Dr az Hakeem using reparative therapy on trans. A lot of lives are ruined from the lights of him and others. I had ECT from a psychiatrist when i was younger, thinking he could so called "cure" me. I can't believe the barbaric reparative therapy is still being practiced. Sorry i'm 3 years late in replying but it sure is a victory that we're not being silenced or told to shut up anymore about our trans issues. I remember reading that Dr az hakeem wrote an article back in 2007 "the emperors new clothes" lectures on violence, perversion and delinquency. I think to class us as a perversion is certainly offensive and insulting to us trans, even though the article is 7 years old.