Close the CAMH Gender Identity Clinic – Facebook group

April 28, 2009

Close the CAMH Gender Identity ClinicThere’s a new Facebook group (link here) aimed at highlighting the controversial policies and practises which are carried out at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto.

Lynn Conway has also posted a wealth of information on the TSRoadmap site (link here) about CAMH and its staff, including Ken Zucker and Ray Blanchard. In addition to their favoured ‘reparative therapy’ approach at CAMH, they have also been the subjects of some controversy following their appointments to the American Psychiatric Association’s Sexual & Gender Identity Disorders Work Group, which is charged with reviewing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) – a hugely influential document which includes five different diagnoses for ‘Gender Identity Disorder’ (GID).

The Clarke Institute is a Toronto mental institution charged with serving gender-variant clients in the area. Under the direction of Ray Blanchard, it has become widely known as one of the most notorious facilities in the world in terms of controlling access to medical services.

According to their website they offer services, including for “those who wish to manage their cross-gender feelings and the expression of those feelings while remaining in their original gender role.” This is another way to describe reparative therapy similar to groups who claim to “cure” gays and lesbians.

Much of the anti-trans thinking in the world today emanates from The Clarke, long nicknamed “Jurassic Clarke” in the trans community for its regressive policies.

(Via TSRoadmap)

However, even a recent internal report has voiced concerns about “dismissive, condescending and authoritarian attitudes” at CAMH and cites the following key concerns:

1. Homophobia has been cited as one of 3 major internal issues
2. LGBTTTQQI issues are not part of the cultural competency of all staff
3. Although there are Queer & Trans-specific services in the Addictions program, these are not offered in Mental Health
4. The Gender Identity Clinic (GIC) and the Gender Identity Disorder Service (GIDS) have not been well regarded by some members of LGBTTTQQI communities due to negative experiences, underlying operational theories, approach, and treatment philosophy.

(Direct link here to PDF of the full report – and – direct link here to PDF of the executive summary)


(Cross-posted at Questioning Transphobia)


Here are the links to previous posts on this blog on DSM related topics (as mentioned above, Ken Zucker and Ray Blanchard of CAMH have also been appointed to the APA’s Sexual & Gender Identity Disorders Work Group, which is charged with reviewing the DSM):

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