Over the course of the past few months, TransActive has been working behind the scenes with organizational allies and officials in Germany to facilitate a positive outcome with regard to the treatment of an adolescent transgender girl.
Jul 09, 2012 -
Alexandra (Alex) Kaminski (a pseudonym) socially transitioned from her assigned male birth gender to her female gender identity several years ago with the full-support of her mother and with the full-knowledge of her father, who no longer lived with the family. When the time came for Alex to begin puberty blockers to prevent the development of secondary male sex characteristics (deeper voice, facial hair, muscular/skeletal bone structure, etc.) her father filed a complaint with the Berlin Youth Welfare Office (YWO). He claimed that Alex’s mother was coercing Alex’s gender transition.
As a result, the YWO revoked the mother’s right to make medical decisions for her daughter and refused to authorize the start of therapist and physician recommended pubertal suppression treatment. The YWO was also threatening to have Alex committed to a closed-ward psychiatric facility for extended counseling treatment targeted at making her ‘more comfortable’with her assigned birth gender. All of these developments caused Alex and her mother great emotional and psychological trauma.
TransActive is now able to report that as the result of our efforts and the tireless and invaluable assistance of Dr. Amelie Zapf, Ph.D. in Berlin – a positive outcome appears to be on the horizon for Alex and her mother.
Included below is an email we received on July 9, 2012 from Dr. Zapf, along with an image from the current issue of the internationally known German magazine “Der Spiegel” which recently published letters from Dr. Zapf and TransActive Executive Director Jenn Burleton. (The magazine had featured a story about the Alex Kaminski case a few weeks ago.)
Translations of the magazine letters are provided below Dr. Zapf’s letter.
How are you? I hope all is well. Please find attached our letters to the editor, as printed in this week’s edition of “Der Spiegel”. Though much abbreviated, they did print them. Nice teamwork there!
Meanwhile, Alex’s first meeting with the new counselor went well and everything appears to be rolling along smoothly now. I expect her to be on blockers by the end of summer break (that is, early August).
Dr. Amelie Zapf
[TransActive Letter to Der Spiegel]
Alex’s gender is not open for debate by other individuals, including her parents. Those things have been prenatally determined, expressed by the only person capable of knowing such things: Alex Kaminski. Taking a “wait and see” approach will result in unnecessary negative outcomes. This young lady is a victim of ill-informed institutional interference and the kind of professional arrogance that would allow someone to think that a child or adolescent’s gender identity can be changed by parental, psychological or administrative pressure. What is happening to Alex Kaminski is nothing short of child abuse.
Jenn Burleton, Portland (USA)
TransActive Education & Advocacy
[Dr. Amelie Zapf Letter to Der Spiegel]
Enforcing a male puberty by witholding medication would be tantamount to coercing the child into a physical gender change. However, the psyche would remain unchanged. Ostracism would be the consequence, not to mention the physical pubertal changes perceived as disfiguration. These factors are leading to suicide attempts for roughly 30% of the victims.
Dr. Amelie Zapf, Berlin
—- end —-
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