Lynn Conway targeted by Kenneth Zucker for speaking out against his appointment to the APA Task Force

March 5, 2009


Staying Sane
365Gay News
Originally aired 26 February 2009

Ross Palombo: A transgender university professor targeted, she says, for speaking out, and her fight against a prominent psychiatrist may help others keep their sanity. Chagmion Antoine has that story from New York. Chagmion.

Chagmion Antoine: Ross, even though homosexuality was removed from the American Psychiatric Association’s list of mental illnesses back in 1973, people who are transgender are still diagnosed with gender identity disorder today. And one professor at the University of Michigan says that’s crazy talk.

Chagmion Antoine (voiceover): Lynn Conway has been fighting for the rights of transgender people ever since her own experience cost her her job in the 1960s. Now she’s a professor emeritus at the University of Michigan, and her website is a respected resource for trans people all around the world. So why is she being sued for libel by one of the world’s leading researchers on gender identity?

Professor Lynn Conway: This isn’t between Dr. Zucker and Professor Lynn Conway, this is between Dr. Zucker and the entire transgender community.

Chagmion Antoine (voiceover): Dr. Kenneth Zucker, a Toronto-based sexologist, spent his career diagnosing children with gender identity issues as mentally ill. When he was appointed to the APA as an authority on gender identity disorders last year, Conway sounded the alarm.

Professor Lynn Conway: Dr. Zucker and his clinic are the sources of decades of pseudoscience claiming that transgender people, especially transgender children, are mentally disordered and in need of reparative therapy. I seek to expose that.

Chagmion Antoine (voiceover): And she did. Zucker’s appointment to the APA’s committee was protested by trans people around the world.

Mishyana: To say the least, Dr. Zucker is not appropriate for this position.

Chagmion Antoine (voiceover): Zucker fired back with this letter to Conway, threatening to sue. He never followed through. Zucker declined to comment to 365, but Conway says his scare tactics are meant to draw attention from the bigger picture.

Professor Lynn Conway: There are a lot of us out there. A lot of us are actually rather cool people. I think he’d enjoy meeting us all.

Chagmion Antoine: Here’s an interesting fact. Lynn Conway is also a pioneering researcher in computer chip technology. She literally helped write the book. Ross.

Ross Palombo: Thanks, Chagmion.

Lynn Conway’s side of the story can be found by clicking here.

I’ve been unable to find any response from Kenneth Zucker; if anyone knows of such a thing, please post the link in the comments and I’ll update this post accordingly.

The TS Roadmap website’s page about Kenneth Zucker can be found by clicking here.

(Cross-posted at Questioning Transphobia)


Here are the links to my previous posts (newest first) on DSM related topics:


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