Gay NZ, New Zealand
PROCLAMATIONS OF THE RED QUEEN
Bob McCoskrie, “Gender Specialist??!!”
October 7, 2013 in General
The tiresome Bob McCoskrie (Family First) seems to have given up whingeing about marriage equality and has now decided to target the transgender community instead. Never mind that he has absolutely no qualifications to do so.
And never mind that the basis of religious social conservative transphobia can’t even be labelled “traditional” to excuse its clear role in denying transpeople access to hormone treatment and surgical intervention- it was the malignant invention of John Paul II’s long pontificate (1978-2005) and was only developed a decade ago, in 2003. For yes, it is “natural law” philosophy which is at the centre of this sorry attempt to convince cisgender New Zealanders that transsexual hormone treatment and reassignment surgery is somehow an attack on “essential” or “core” gender attributes that “cannot” be altered through administration of hormones or surgical transformation.
McCoskrie has no psychotherapeutic or medical qualifications to allow him to make this prognosis. Gender dysphoria is a medical condition, listed in the American Psychological Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Let’s look at the sources that he manipulates to legitimise his claim and mask its actual sectarian, religious social conservative provenance.
McCoskrie cites Dr Paul McHugh, who shut down the Johns Hopkins University Gender Program in 1979. What he doesn’t tell you is that McHugh is a conservative Catholic as well. His work is frequently cited in the work of the discredited US “exgay” organisation NARTH (National Association for Research and Treatment of Homosexuality) and Concerned Women for America. He was apparently the “Vatican advisor” on transgender issues that set the stage for the fabrication of the transphobic “natural law” propaganda that conservative Catholics and their fundamentalist allies have suddenly spouted. He’s also a diehard anti-abortionist.
He also cites Joseph Berger, listing his qualifications as a figure at Canada’s Royal College of Psychiatrists. Berger is also a conservative Christian and believes in the validity of so-called “reparative therapy”, despite it being rejected by mainstream US and other international mental health associations. He defended “reparative therapy” earlier this year at a House of Commons hearing on the English and Welsh marriage equality legislation. In Canada, he also testified against Bill C-279, which sought to add gender identity to Canadian anti-discrimination legislation.
And unsurprisingly, Ken Zucker, another Canadian transphobe, runs an organisation called the Clarke Institute in Toronto, whose task seems to be to force transgender children into gender straightjackets. Like McHugh, his work is cited on the NARTH website as condoning “reparative therapy” in this context, as well as the US Christian Right’s “Leadership University” website.
So, what do we have here? All three of McCoskrie’s cited figures appear to be affiliates of the Canadian and US Christian Right. He’s using the mere fact that they have medical or psychotherapeutic qualifications in this context, without alerting us to the actual provenance of their beliefs and that their professional practise and rhetoric is far from mainstream. Under such circumstances, I would strongly recommend that people not take McCoskrie’s cited “authorities” at their face value- because as with marriage equality, they are not what they seem.
“Kenneth Zucker on transsexualism” TS Roadmap: http://www.tsroadmap.com/info/kenneth-zucker.html
“Exgay debate occurs in UK Parliament” Truth Wins Out: 05.02.2013: http://www.truthwinsout.org/news/2013/02/33150/
“Paul McHugh on transsexualism” TS Roadmap: http://www.tsroadmap.com/info/paul-mchugh.html
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