LGBT Perspectives editor
QUEBEC — One Julie Bindel from the United Kingdom is among the 500 or so people who have signed a petition so far decrying the closing of a controversial child and youth gender clinic at Ontario’s CAMH, and what they feel is the besmirching of its former head, Kenneth Zucker.
Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente has a column, with the headline Kids pay the price of transgender politics, decrying the clinic’s demise as well, and she links to the aforementioned petition.
Personally, as an objective newspaper journalist and commentator, I can’t take a position about the clinic’s closing because I have no direct knowledge of what went down there: I’ve heard positive reports and negative reports from transgender people over the years. But the clinic was thought by many to be practicing “conversion therapy,” which is now banned in Ontario — and one has to hope the government there is on top of things, and that CAMH board members had good reason to shut down the clinic; obviously, they felt they did.
But there is a lot of second-guessing going on, by people with expertise in the field of gender studies and by others who simply don’t buy into transgenderism and see the clinic’s closing as just another “victim in the raging battles in gender-identity politics,” as Wente puts it.
And, as Wente points out, an “external review of Dr. Zucker’s clinic was both pro and con. It acknowledged outstanding research and happy clients, contained a lot of picky criticisms, and quoted a couple of highly inflammatory and unsubstantiated claims by former patients. It did not say the clinic did so-called conversion therapy. It didn’t recommend the closure of the clinic.”
She also quotes some of the experts who feel the clinic should not have been shut down — but none who agree with the decision to close it — and then concludes that CAMH simply caved in to leftist “political agitators du jour.”
Are CAMH board members so weak and shallow? Or did they have more insight on Dr. Zucker and his clinic than Wente and company have?
I can’t say. But I feel it is safe to say there is more to this than meets the eye of Wente and Bindel — and me.