Maxine Petersen and transgender people

Petersen is at Clarke Institute and called an “ace clinician” by Bailey.

Jennifer Booth writes in September 2003:

I have to disagree with a few things mentioned in the letter you received from “Ruth” on April 23, 2003 as posted on your website.
I have known Maxine Petersen for 17 years and do think she is an “Ace Gender Therapist”. How much more informed can a therapist possibly be than to have gone through the change herself. She is also a wonderful person. I think Ruth was out of line mentioning Maxine’s former name, none of us would like that. I often run into Maxine in Toronto and occasionally share a conversation. I know for a fact that Maxine is very happy with her result and her life in general. Where ever “Ruth” got the idea that Maxine regrets her surgery is beyond me, nothing could be further from the truth. I would hope you would remove that statement or display my letter on your site for clarification. It sounds more like a patient holding anamosity for what ever reason. I didn’t mention that “Ruth” had placed that in a letter on your site, but did ask Maxine on a personal level how she felt about her new life and she couldn’t be happier. I believe her.

Petersen resigned from HBIGDA when Petersen’s boss Ray Blanchard did.

> From: Maxine Petersen
> Sent: 11/5/03 8:10 AM
> Subject: Letter of Resignation
> November 4, 2003
> Walter J. Meyer, III., M.D.
> President, Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association
> Department of Psychiatry
> University of Texas Medical Branch
> 301 University Blvd.
> Galveston, TX 77555-0189
> Bean Robinson, Ph.D.
> Executive Director, Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria
> Association
> 1300 South 2nd St., #180
> Minneapolis, MN 55454
> Dear Drs. Meyer and Robinson:
> I am writing today regarding the letter sent on behalf of the Harry
> Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association Board of Directors
> and Officers in response to a letter from a number of transsexual
> Internet activists who have taken exception to the work of Professor J.
> Michael Bailey.
> As a transwoman and a member of the committee that was responsible for
> the 1998 revision of the Standards of Care, I am intensely saddened and
> shocked that the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria
> Association has taken such an irresponsible action. I have worked for
> more than twenty-one years for the betterment of hundreds of transsexual
> patients/clients and have consistently supported healthcare funding for
> sex reassignment surgery in my home province. I have also published a
> number of papers on the treatment of transsexual individuals.
> As recently as September of 2003 I testified against our government at a
> Provincial Human Rights Tribunal in support of a number of complainants
> seeking to have funding for sex reassignment surgery restored to our
> publicly funded Provincial healthcare plan.
> The actions of the Board in this matter have tarnished the reputation of
> the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association. By
> failing to grasp the importance of scientific research to be above the
> political correctness that is so pervasive in our society, you have
> perhaps unwittingly but clearly sent a signal to other researchers that
> they “dare not” explore certain areas of research for fear of the same
> or similar threat to their career. If there has been any breach of
> ethical standards, it is up to Northwestern University to investigate
> these allegations, and that is what they are in the process of doing.
> I am certain not one of us wants to see the day when politics trumps
> scientific inquiry. I have noted recently the considerable justifiable
> concern expressed by scientists in the U.S. about the Federal Government
> interfering with or even hinting at withdrawal of funding for research
> in sexology and the chilling effect this appears to have had on
> researchers. It is ironic that the Harry Benjamin International Gender
> Dysphoria Association seems to have taken a page out of the book of the
> Bush government and done exactly the same thing.
> Regrettably, your actions leave me with no option but to resign my
> membership in the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria
> Association.
> Sincerely,
> Maxine Petersen, MA, C. Psych. Assoc.
> Coordinator, Gender Identity Clinic
> Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
> Lecturer, University of Toronto,
> Faculty of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry