UPDATED with revised conclusion.

Feministe say wrote May 13 of efforts to assist people struggling with gender identity:

Ken Zucker of Toronto’ Clarke Institute represents the widespread, traditional approach, where the goal is to eliminate cross-gender behavior and the desire to be a different gender. He basically describes his success rate as the number of kids he’ managed to steer away from becoming an adult trans person; as he’ said elsewhere, he wants to “help these kids be more content in their biological gender.”

Which sounds all right on paper, but how far do you go in denying a child’ perfectly innocent inclinations?

Feministe notes that some view Zucker’s attitude toward gender-variant people as repackaged ex-gay therapy. And so Feministe is naturally concerned that the American Psychiatric Association has put Ken Zucker in charge of a working group that will weigh changes to the definition of gender identity disorder.

Although I don’t know if I quite understand this given that the DSM is a diagnostic tool rather than a prescriptive tool, and given that previous DSMs were written from similarly retrogressive approaches, she also feels there’ “an additional danger that gay and lesbian communities need to be cognizant of […] if Zucker and company entrench conversion therapy in the DSM-V, then it is a clear, dangerous step toward also legitimizing ex-gay therapy and re-stigmatizing homosexuality.”

That may seem to be a logical fear, but apparently it is unwarranted:

Gay City News wrote a story today that addresses some (not all) activist apprehensions. Key points:

  • The working groups will not prescribe treatment
  • The diagnosis of homosexuality will not be put back into DSM

Dr. Jack Drescher, a gay Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry affiliated with New York Medical College and a member of the APA’s DSM Work Group for Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders, was helpful in clearing up concern relating to the scope of working-group efforts.