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On day 10 of the disciplinary hearing of Amy Hamm, the Canadian nurse under investigation for allegedly transphobic off-duty activity, the lead counsel for the British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM) spent a large amount of time trying to discredit one of Hamm’s witnesses.
barbara findlay KC, counsel for the BCCNM, who requests that her name be written in lowercase letters to signify something about oppression, put forward that Dr. Miriam Grossman does not meet the criteria to qualify as an expert witness in these proceedings, calling her “spectacularly unqualified,” and stopped just short of accusing her of practicing conversion therapy.
Grossman is a child and adolescent psychologist who is vocally opposed to the medicalization of young people who believe themselves to be transgender. Grossman’s practice now focuses almost entirely on providing exploratory psychotherapy for what she calls “gender-confused youth.” Findlay took exception to Grossman’s refusal to call these children transgender, and also to Grossman’s therapeutic approach that seeks to help the distressed young people accept their bodies without the need for invasive medical intervention.
“Grossman expresses her goal of therapy as to have [gender-confused youth] become more comfortable with the bodies they were born with,” said Findlay. “In Canada, that might be called conversion therapy, and that’s illegal.”
Should the BCCNM succeed in their attempt to discredit Grossman, her opinion will be disregarded and not entered as evidence in the hearing. One of the allegations against Hamm is that she is transphobic for publicly opposing the medical transition of minors, and Grossman was called as a witness to testify about the harm of “gender-affirming care,” or in other words child sex changes, to demonstrate that opposition to this model of care is a reasonable stance that does not come from a place of bigotry.
However, it is the position of the BCCNM that the science is settled. Findlay, invoking the authority of the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH), the leading trans organization that recently added eunuch as a valid gender identity for children, stated that gender-affirming care in Canada is well-established, making Hamm’s opposition to it “unprofessional.”
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