Press

Task Force questions critical appointments to APA’s Committee on Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders

Date: 
May 28, 2008

MEDIA CONTACT:
Inga Sarda-Sorensen
Deputy Director of Communications
(Office) 646.358.1463
(Cell) 202.641.5592
isorensen@theTaskForce.org

WASHINGTON, May 28 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is questioning the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) recent appointments of Kenneth Zucker, Ph.D., to chair the Committee on Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders for the revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), and Ray Blanchard, Ph.D., to serve as a committee member. These appointments are raising great concerns within the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Zucker has built his reputation on the position that children can be directed away from nonconforming gender expression via therapy, while Blanchard has a long list of articles pathologizing commonplace expressions of sexuality and gender.

In 1973, the Task Force was instrumental in getting the APA to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.

Statement by Rea Carey, Acting Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

“We are very concerned about these appointments. Kenneth Zucker and Ray Blanchard are clearly out of step with the occurring shift in how doctors and other health professionals think about transgender people and gender variance. It is extremely disappointing and disturbing that the APA appears to be failing in keeping up with the times when it comes to serving the needs of transgender adults and gender-variant children.”

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.