June '97 GenderNews Roundup

CONTACT: Riki Anne Wilchins, (212) 645-1753,
Online Editor: Clare Howell,

Mother of Genitally Mutilated Child Starts Group for Parents

New Book Details Treatment of "Pre-Homosexual" Kids Through GID Diagnosis

Turkish Transactivist and Prisoner of Conscience Honored by Gay Rights Group

NYC'S Last Trans-Bar Closed By Police

Federal Court Rules Transexuals Protected by Human Rights Laws

On the Lighter Side: We Wus Robbed!


[New York, NY: 1 June 97] THE MOTHER of an intersexed infant who was a victim of Intersex Genital Mutilation (IGM) at just over 5 months of age has started a support group for parents of intersexed children. Helena Smith of Jacksonville, Florida announced formation of HELP: Hermaphrodite Education & Listening Post to help other parents cope with the enormous pressures of bringing up intersexed children.

Mrs. Smith's own child, Patrick, had been admitted to Baptist Wolfson Hospital in Jacksonville to have a single undescended testicle removed. While the infant was there, the attending pediatric urologist asked to test the remaining gonad for cancer.

But, according to the Ms. Smith, the doctor instead tested the gonad to ascertain if it was an ovo-teste - an organ containing both ovarian and testicular tissue. When he found that it was, he cut it off without her authorization or consent.

when she confronted the doctor, he told her the organ was malignant and had to be removed. However after months of struggling with the hospital and the doctor, Mrs. Smith finally obtained the pathology report on her child which confirmed what she had suspected all along: there was nothing wrong with her healthy child except that it was intersexed.

Said Mrs. Smith in a telephone interview, "This has traumatized and wounded both of us terribly. Patrick is the most wonderful, precious gift I was ever blessed with, from the day he was born. He was perfect the was he was, until a doctor decided to cut him up and try to make him into a girl -- without my consent or his - at just 5 months of age."

She added that Patrick refuses to be categorized as a boy or a girl; when asked which he is, he'll only say, "I'm Pat-Pat," his name for himself. Mrs. Smith has retained counsel and a suit is currently pending against the hospital and surgeon.

H.E.L.P can be reached at their web-site WWW.SouthEast.Com/~HELP ; or, by mail at PO 26292, Jacksonville FL 32226, or through GenderPAC.


A new book has just been published on the use of Gender Identity Disorder (GID) to treat "pre-homosexual" children. The practice, increasingly described by gender activists as Psychiatric Abuse of Gender-Variant Children (PAGC), has come under fire as groups including the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, BiNet USA, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and the Transexual Menace have stepped up pressure on the American Psychiatric Association to reform the diagnosis as applied to both children and adults.

The book, "Gender Identity Disorder and Psychosexual Problems in Children and Adolescents," by Kenneth Zucker, Ph.D. and Susan Bradley, M. D., was recently and favorably reviewed by NARTH, the National Association for the Research, Treatment and Prevention of Homosexuality, and leaves few illusions as to how GID is being used to "cure" gender-variance and homosexuality in children.

"...the family histories associated with childhood GID are closely related to the common developmental pathways leading to homosexuality; and, as research has shown, the majority of gender-disordered children grow up to be homosexual or bisexual."

"...Because GID children are usually pre-homosexual, gay-activist groups have been working to remove the GID category from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual... Zucker and Bradley quote Richard Green, who persuasively states, `Who is to dictate that parents may not try to raise their children in a manner that maximizes the possibility of a heterosexual outcome?'"

"To defend the concept that GID is a disorder, Zucker and Bradley quote Spitzer and Endicott's useful definition -- a psychological condition characterized by `distress, disability and disadvantage.'"

Said author Phyllis Burke, whose recent book, "GenderShock," details the toll PAGC extracts from genderqueer children, "The diagnosis of GID in children, as supported by Zucker and Bradley, is simply child abuse."


Sydney Levy, IGLHRC, (415)255-8680,


[New York, NY: 1 Jun 97] DEMET DEMIR, a transexual woman and the first person ever considered a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International because of sexual orientation, will be one of 3 activists given the 1997 Felipa de Souza Award for exemplary service to their communities. The award will be given on June 2nd by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC).

Ms. Demir is from Cihangir, a district of Istanbul, and has worked on behalf of gay men, lesbians, transvestites, transexuals, and sex workers throughout Turkey. She has been imprisoned numerous times, tortured, had her home broken into and her telephone cables cut in efforts to silence her. Even in her efforts to attend this month's ceremony, Turkey has refused to issue her a passport.

Her accounts of aggressive persecution by Cihangir police are emblematic of the plight of transgendered people in Turkey. Reports from the Turkish gay group, Lambda Istanbul, state that Turkey's transexual and transvestite community have been facing vicious attacks from police in Cihangir, including torture while in police custody.


[New York, NY: 25 April 97] CLUB EDELWEISS, New York City's last remaining bar for transpeople, their friends, and admirers was closed today. The New York Times reported that the closing was linked to neighborhood complaints that sex workers who frequented the premises were soliciting at all hours on the surrounding streets.

However, customers of the bar allege that the closing is more likely the result of Mayor Rudolph Guliani's "Disney-fication" effort to clean-up Times Square's image. Said Hal Weiner of the law firm Coles & Weiner PC, representing Club Edelweiss in its bid to re-open, "The city has just as much of an obligation, under the Human Rights Laws, to protect the rights of its gay and transgender patrons to peaceably associate as it does to annoy and harass them under the Nuisance Laws."


[New York, NY: 2 May 97] A FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT has held that transexuals are protected under New York State and City Human Rights Laws. This ruling contravenes long-standing Federal Title VII precedent which holds that transexuals are not a protected class. The court noted, "...every federal court that has considered the question has rejected the application of Title VII to a transexual claiming employment discrimination." But added, "The interpretation of the state HRL and the city HRL is independent of the federal law analysis."

The case involves a complaint filed by Corinne Rentos, a transgender woman who alleges that her former employer subjected her to sexual harassment and sexual discrimination in violation of State and City Human Rights Laws.

On the Lighter Side - We Wuz Robbed!


[New York, NY: 27 May 97] WELL, IT looked too good to be true and the Utah story was indeed a hummer (although we still like the "Defense of Delling Act (DODA))."

Paul Varnell of Chicago's WINDY CITY TIMES writes: "The Utah 'Farmer in the Dell' story is, alas, a hoax. Several people have now checked into it and found that there is no Brigham Elementary, there was no emergency school board and that the incident did not occur. This little story has gotten 'way' too much attention."

And Wendy Johson of the WASHINGTON BLADE writes: "Just so you know: I noticed that you included the 'Farmer in the Dell' story in your latest media advisory. I recieved an email from one of the original senders of that story alerting me that it was an April Fool's joke and never really happened."

This item lacked a byline when it was submitted to us; in the future, we will no longer publish anything which lacks a verifiable source. In the meantime, we humbly apologize and offer this retraction from the depths of our well-worn kneepads. (As we write, we are also wearing clamps on some unmentionable part of our bodies as added penance.)

(c) 1997 InYourFace, an online, news-only service for gender activism. When re-posting, please credit InYourFace.

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Previous Issues of IYF News Roundup:

May '97
April '97
March '97

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