Laura's Harry Benjamin Syndrome HBS: A Peer Review
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Laura's Harry Benjamin Syndrome HBS: A Peer Review
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In September of 2006 I came across a web site that changed my life Called Harry Benjamin Syndrome and the Standards of Care for Harry Benjamin Syndrome . What I found odd though is that there was no listed author for HBS and no professional signatures on the HBS SOC. I should have listened to the warning bells going off in my head. Instead I embraced it, researched it, created a site and introduced it to my users. Thinking back I was caught in the headlights by a familiar respected name, Harry Benjamin. If it was connected to the Father of Transsexual research then it must be true, I thought. Many others bought into that as well. We were wrong. The facts are that HBS SOC is NOT medically approved by a single Doctor. The Current and only Medically approved SOC are HBIGDA version 6 which is now administered by Wpath. They are a professional group of Doctors and therapists, unlike HBS.
With such an impressive name you must be wondering how many MEDICAL DOCTOR"S invented this medical syndrome? The answer is NONE. The inventor of this syndrome is a non-medical lay person. Charlotte Goiar claims to own the originating web site. Does this give her authorship? In addition permission was never obtained from DR Benjamin's heirs to use his name. Can a layperson invent a Medical Syndrome? NO! Can A layperson write Medical Standards of Care for anyone? No! Can a layman change terms and definitions established for Transsexuals by Medical Doctors? NO!
I do support fully the research on Transsexuals written before the HBS Declaration. Some of their research is based on this. While I am not a fan of being called Transsexual I am not authorized to change the name or original "TS Phenomenon". Neither is HBS. I can see the work HBS is doing being presented to those professionals responsible for our care. But until the American Medical Association which now endorses WPATH supports HBS Medical Standards over the present ones I cannot. It would be foolish to do so. Neither do I believe that medical care for transgenderists should be dropped. The dangers exceed the risks.
I was born into the body of a boy but according to my parents insisted I was a girl at the age of two. It was my first remebered thought at the age of 4 that I was a girl. I have had several suicide attempts as well as mutilating myself. What was between my legs was disgusting to me. This is a pretty standard scenario with those born with Transsxualism.
As the owner of a Transsexual,Transgender web site I have always provided the latest information on Transsexual research on my site long before HBS was first uttered. So the research on HBS sites was very familiar to me. In order to learn more I joined the Official Yahoo HBS Support Group. What I learned had little to do with HBS. It instead turned out to be an anti-GLBT group. People who asked simple questions and needed support, were diagnosed by militant members as being transgendered, perverts and fetishists. Gays and lesbians were also denigrated with frequent slurs. In fact those who did support GLBT rights were banned simply for supporting them. Several that were diagnosed by those without medical degrees were affirmed post-ops with similar stories to mine. One thing Yahoos HBS groups are not is an HBS Support Group. The group moderator defends the constant anti-GLBT slurs as member venting. While I have the posts to prove this it isn't necesarry yet as you can visit the group to see for yourself. You can also see the posts against this site and my users who were members there. The group banned all of them and wrongly diagnosed us all as Transgendered (post-ban of course) including several Post-ops. Interestingly enough they were already diagnosed by well qualified Gender Therapists With Gender Identity Disorder and Transsexualism. Apparantly Charlotte Goiar can dignose anyone without a medical exam or license or even a history of the individual. She also believes that if you are born with the condition that it disappears if you have been married or are a non-op for medical reasons. NO professional would say this. You either are born with it or you are not.
Starting in January 2007 I started to receive email that first indicated something was very wrong. Users told tales of verbal abuse by members of the Yahoo HBS group. Many were depressed and shaken. Some had even attempted suicide blaming the group members for their distress. Of course there was no way to confirm this. Letters started to arrive from therapists on my HBS therapist list asking to be removed. As that list increased in size I began to ask why. Most liked the basic idea of HBS and accepted the research done was on Transsexualism by their collegues. Their objection was to the "disparaging teminology and total lack of objectivity". Many had not only Transsexual clients but Transgenderists as well. As one therapist put it "HBS is not about transgenderism it is about transsexualism. Yet the author is clearly anti-trangender and makes it a part of the thesis for her medical Syndrome. Disparaging remarks have no place in such documentation". Another wrote: "Usually only the medical profession creates new medical syndromes. I cannot seem to find the authors medical credentials. The person seems to be a layman which makes their qualifications for diagnosis and the HB Syndrome itself invalid". The list has since been removed , Still another therapist said that the professional signatures gathered By Charlotte Goiar (Guren) was in fact on a document about Transsexualism not an endorsement of HBS. Read the title on the page.
As a result of these findings I wrote a public letter to Charlotte Goiar with suggestions to improve it as I wanted HBS to succeed. Her reply was co-operative at first, and she agreed to label her SOC as a proposal rather than medical fact. Other HBS sites still list them as facts however which is dangerous. Major damage has already been done to people as a result of being told "NOT to obtain therapy". I replied to Charlottes reply but it was rejected while being submitted to her group. I later found out I was banned for not silencing a user in my forums for speaking her mind. Certainly I don't tell Charlotte how to run her anti-LGBT hate group. In the days that followed Charlotte's Moderator attacked my forums and it's users under several fake names with all kinds of anti-transgender rhetoric, while telling users they were'nt prejudiced. This despite the fact anyone can see the venom in her groups posts. While Charlotte disavows hate her users still denigrate this site and me personally in her group. Why, because I pointed out that the LGBT slurs and anti-transgender messages in HBS docucments were going to have a negative effect on HBS itself? It already has. No Medical Professional or Therapist is going to back a Syndrome based on subectivity, hate and prejudice. In fact the (Ama) American Medical Association, just wrote a document banning prejudice against those with gender Identity and Transgender issues. Doctors will not discriminate to validate HBS as written.
Obviously HBS is way past due for a peer review even if it is done by those who disagree with Charlotte that she wrongly labels as Transgendered. Peer review of Harry Benjamin Syndrome and support are the main missions of this site. No one here wants to see HBS fail but if it doesn't change it will. If you are going to have a HBS support group it should support not denigrate others. Even the Transgendered know that Crossdressers, Transgenderists, Transsexuals, Intersexed and Androgyne are all very different groups with different criteria. That doesn't mean they can't get along. Except for Real Transsexuals and the Intersexed no one else is interested in HBS. The Transgendered that Charlottes fears are the ones she creates (diagnoses) that visit her group. If you disagree you are labeled Transgender pure and simple. That doesn't make it so since she is unqualified to diagnose anyone. Doing that won't make your peers shut up and go away Charlotte. It certainly won't stop a review by your peers, no matter what you call them. HBS is a brilliant "thesis" spoiled by personal feelings against people that have nothing at all to do with it.
It's official: The AMA (American Medical Association) officially endorses the HBIGDA (Wpath) Standards of Care as the appropriate and accepted treatment for transgender and transsexual people. You will notice that NOWHERE is HBS or Harry Benjamin Syndrome mentioned. This means the AMA does not endorse HBS or their Standards. The choice is simple and between the SOC endorsed by lay people and the SOC endorsed by the AMA.
Copyright 2006 Laura Amato all rights and images reserved