RCPsych, Julie Bindel and Witchcraft

Creative Commons Witches Image via Jeff Hitchcock, http://www.flickr.com/people/arbron/For those who haven’t seen, the catchily-titled Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Mental Health Special Interest Group is holding a one-day meeting titled “Transgender: Time To Change” (Word DOC link) in May. There has been much grumbling about this behind closed doors for a while now and it’s now been officially confirmed with the speakers including the ever-controversial Julie Bindel.

Reading the line up, this meeting looks like it could be a welcome step for the wider Trans community as with the exception of Christina Richards, all the speakers are known for what can be regarded as outdated and controversial views. If those pushing these views have to have a meeting with such speakers, struggling to attract more progressive speakers that are now becoming mainstream, it points towards a day where their voice is ignored so much that they can only talk amongst each other in dark corners, not bothering the rest of the world.

Perhaps this is the beginning of a day where outdated concepts of Transsexualism are relegated to the shelf of history alongside witchcraft and “reparative therapy” for homosexuals. I certainly hope so.

(Oh, and I’ll note that the group is the LGB SIG – no T. Perhaps that too is telling?)

Updated: Here’s a nice little letter to the Telegraph co-signed by one of the speakers. I’ll give you a little taster here: “The recent judgment in the ECHR, in which a post-operative transsexual person was granted permission to marry in his adopted gender role, is a victory of fantasy over reality. … It is a measure of the urgency and desperation of their situation that they frequently seek surgery to make their fantasy real.” (Thanks to @earwicga for pointing me at this one)


  1. Speaking of catchy titles, Bindel’s entry into the programme is listed as:

    “There is no such a thing as a real woman (or a real man, for what matters). A feminist perspective on Gender Identity Disorder”

    I just hope that there are people there who are able to point out that many of Bindel’s ideas shouldn’t be read as representing a *mainstream* feminist perpective.

  2. I hope you are correct that this is a sign of the increasing marginalisation of the trans-oppositionists views, but I rather suspect that granting these people the imprimatur of the RCP suggests the opposite.

    That such a prestigious organisation sees nothing wrong with having an almost total exclusion of trans-positive speakers at any such conference is something I find worrying.

  3. btw, that letter in the Torygraph is outrageous. For medical practitioners to write something that is soaked through with such contempt for their patients should be a matter for the authorities, they are surely unfit to continue practice while they hold such disdain.

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