Royal College of Psychiatrists, Make A Right Royal Mess Of It!

26 Apr

Well, well. They may have plenty of letters after their names, but sometimes you do have to wonder about their thought processes! Those (seemingly not so enlightened) people at the Royal College of Psychiatry have had to cancel a meeting titled ‘Transgender: Time To Change’.

Now, this may be due to poor ticket sales, as they claim, or may be to do with the outrage voiced by, and proposed demonstration organised by, trans* people that was to happen if it went ahead.

With an amazing lack of insight, the Royal College of Psychiatry were going to hold a meeting that was, to quote them:

‘exploring the most recent academic, clinical and contemporary thinking on transgender issues, for all people interested in this field.’

with speakers to include every transperson’s bete noir Julie Bindel!! Oh dear!

The Gender Identity Clinic at Charing Cross Hospital had decided to pull out of the meeting, having been aware of the disquiet Bindel’s appearance was causing in the trans* community. Let’s hope the next time the R.C.P decide to talk about transfolk, they actually engage with us first.



2 Responses to “Royal College of Psychiatrists, Make A Right Royal Mess Of It!”

  1. Finn May 3, 2011 at 7:06 pm #

    I’m not sure it’s a victory to prevent an academic meeting from representing a range of voices in a particular debate. I can’t say I agree with all Bindel says, but if the purpose of the event was to ‘explore transgender issues’ then – provided the provenance of her views was well understood – it was reasonable to include her.

    Psychiatrists and others have a duty to listen to all voices in order to inform research, interpretation of research and the action they take on both, not just the voices they like the sound of. I’m disappointed that the Gender Identity Clinic pulled out because I suspect it had more to do with politics and the preservation of their public perception than their disapproval of the event itself. I would rather see them attend in order to represent what they believe.

    • 1lysander May 10, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

      If Bindel’s writing on the subject was well researched, or not coming from a narrow-minded personal political slant, then maybe she should have had a say. However, the conference was not a political or, it seems, purely academic one. The lack of balance on the panel, the lack of a truly representative panel or array of voices was what troubled the people who organised the protest. Trans* people have enough ‘experts’ talking/writing about them, without the engagement of the community itself.
      No doubt another conference will take place. Hopefully with representation being more well-rounded, enabling a fuller debate on the issues that affect all with trans* identities.

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