German Trans Girl Forcibly Institutionalized

Remember when I wrote about the 11 year old trans girl whose absentee father was trying to have her committed to involuntary inpatient psychiatric care because he believed she’d been “brainwashed” by her mother into having a female gender identity?

In some of the most appalling, disgusting news I’ve ever heard, the German courts have ruled in favour of the father, forcing her into the custody of psychiatrists who will, theoretically, attempt to “cure” her transgenderism.

Not only is it a horrifying violation of human rights, it is the State sanctioning the torture and permanent disfigurement of a child, robbing her of her bodily autonomy, and inflicting upon her her worst nightmare, all in the name of “helping”. And maintaining completely bullshit ideas about how gender works.

You CANNOT brainwash someone into a given gender identification. If you could, there’d be no such thing as trans people in the first place. There is abundant evidence indicating that reparative therapy for gender identity disorder DOES NOT WORK.

It is also barbaric and monstrously unethical.

I’m so angry right now. Angry and sick.

And people have the audacity to get all up in arms when we symbolically express that anger through tattoos?  But allow things like this to happen?

In other news…

Proof that Emma Goldman would have been a tranarchist, from The Distant Panic.

And oldie but a goodie (albeit imperfect in its definitions of radical feminism, which is not just extra-feministy feminism), especially relevant now in relation to the whole Cotton Ceiling controversy and how spitting mad Brennan and her followers have been lately, You Cannot Smash Patriarchy With Transphobia.

A trans man sets up his own ministry. No need for me to add my thoughts on this just yet, but I’m working on some more atheism stuff for next week.

Cathy Brennan Vs. The Cotton Ceiling. Excellent overview of what’s been going on in this debate lately. Something else I’ll be discussing soon.

And if you’re as seething with rage as I am about the German case, here’s a bat that might help make you feel at least a little bit better:


I’ll try to write more about the Germany thing once my vacation is over. I think this is important. State-sanctioned torture of children in a developed western democracy of the 21st century.


  1. says

    That’s fucked up, disgusting and a shame for Berlin and its judges.
    It is also foremost a tragedy for Alex.
    I hope the Constitutional Court will rule quickly and in her favour, especially since the Berlin judges refused any mediation or actual expert witnesses.
    It seems to me that after a couple of failures by youth offices in Germany that led to deaths of children, they’re trying to “play tough” here at the expense of a girl who doesn’t seem to need them.
    To give a bit of background, youth offices and judges have been getting lots of attention and criticism lately because they failed to intervene in many cases.
    So they’re probably making a young transgirl, somebody marginalized in all of society their scapegoat.
    There isn’t much information about transsexuals avaible to the German public. Most people think it’s just men in drag and therefore, without understanding shit about the issue, would support the youth office and the court.
    It certainly isn’t the standard treatment of transsexual children in Germany.
    That doesn’t make it any less a violation of her human rights, but since your source sadly decided to go with the accurate translation of an article by the TAZ and then feels the need to preface it by making Nazi allegations, I think I should point that out.

    • Sebor says

      I think your analysis of the situation is spot on.

      I read the article in the TAZ a couple of days ago and it is extremely poorly written, errors in grammar, missing words and at one point they even misgender her but that could have been a quotation fail. So every comment I make here is based on what little information I could extract from that article.

      While it certainly is a very fucked up situation for Alex, this could also be a source of hope for trans people in Germany.
      The constitutional court is pretty much the only thing that keeps the country running at the moment, but there is a recent trend that their rulings are broader than the original case required. According to my lawyer friends they sometimes include some very scalding remarks on the rulings of the lower courts. Although I don’t speak legalese, this is definitely something to keep an eye on. It still could have a positive outcome. Thumbs crossed!

      • says

        do you mean you read the original article, or the translation?
        the original, AFAICT, only misgenders in the one spot where they are paraphrasing that fuckweasel Klaus Beier, when he talks about the reeducation they’re planning for her.

        • Sebor says

          I read the original TAZ article, the misgendering is probably a quote from Beier, but it is not correctly marked as one.
          The error in grammar was a lapse on my part, there is one incomplete sentence where something is missing. Also the original version of the article did not give the correct link to the petition, they fixed the link but not the sentence.
          So it’s more a general feeling of sloppiness, which is very sad because the TAZ as far as I know is the only German newspaper reporting this at all, they could at least put some effort into it.

  2. Dalillama says

    It’s dreadful that this kind of shit goes on, and quite frankly any judge flatly refuses to consult expert witnesses should be summarily removed from the bench as unfit for the job. It is to be hoped that the psychiatrists at the institution are competent and will deal appropriately with her, but the fact that her father and the judge chose it makes me suspect that it’s run by ideologues instead.

    • says

      Sadly, although the Charité is usually a very good hospital, the head of the Institute for sexual healthcare, Beier, believes that you can “cure” transsexual youths and “reunite them” with their birth-gender.
      There are very good institutions for transsexual youths in Germany, but the Charité isn’t one of them.
      The hopes must lie with the Constitutional Court now. They generally have a good track record, but sometimes they fuck up spectacularly.
      Let’s just hope that this isn’t one of those times.

      • davroslives says

        Damnit. I was just thinking, “well, maybe the psychiatrists will roll their eyes and just treat her nicely and help her deal with her psychologically abusive father.”

        I guess that dream is down the crapper.

  3. Sheena says

    And also, although I don’t particularly like the phrase “cotton ceiling,” I don’t understand how someone can confuse the semantics of “you know, it’d be great if cis lesbians were more open to relationships with trans women” with “you must fuck us.”

    It’s the same thing when people flipped out on tumblr about a post by a friend of mine who said, paraphrasically, ‘cis lesbians should not equate lesbianism with the hatred of penises.’ It didn’t say ALL cis lesbians must LOVE the cock.

  4. Erin W says

    Fucking hell. I’ve been planning on Germany as my escape from the US. Now I’ve got to rethink that.

    Still probably better, though. The terrible bargains we have to make.

  5. says

    In some of the most appalling, disgusting news I’ve ever heard, the German courts have ruled in favour of the father, forcing her into the custody of psychiatrists who will, theoretically, attempt to “cure” her transgenderism.

    there was a protest earlier today. according to the one person I managed to sent to it, it was small *sigh*
    said person also claims that this is illegal in the EU human rights court, but I have some doubts about that… maybe I should look up whether the human rights provisions in the EU actually protect trans people.

      • Sebor says

        I don’t want to sound to cynical, but honestly, don’t bother with looking for EU trans rights. Even if there were any, getting any country to comply to even a minimum would probably be a fruitless endeavour. For example the EU human rights court found it could not force Ireland to relax their abortion law, even though the rights of the three women who sued had been violated.
        The best thing a trans person could hope for from the EU courts is some compensation after the damage is done.
        If you are interested in the actual human rights situation of trans people you will probably have to check this for every individual EU country.

        • says

          I don’t doubt this. It just feels seriously awkward to know less about the legal situation in my own country than about the situation in the US & Canada. I just noticed this, so I decided to do my homework, which includes figuring out the law in Germany, and also EU law.

          • Sebor says

            I tried to do some research but the legalese is really hurting my brain.
            Apparently trans* people should be protected against workplace discrimination both by German and EU law, but on different grounds.
            The administrative law in Germany is really fucked up, until recently it required SRS for trans women but not trans men and forced married people who wanted to transition to divorce first, this and several other aspects of it have been ruled unconstitutional by the German constitutional court (yay), but finding out the laws currently in place is quite a challenge. But it seems there is progress being made. Which is why I have hope that the court will rule in Alex’s favor.
            When it comes to forced institutionalisation here in Germany, a friend of mine is a lawyer who specializes in those cases, the implications are terrible, I decided that should it come to that I will try to kill or be killed by the people who try to lock me away, it is probably the best course of action. I know it sounds crazy, but in principle forced medication can be ordered by a judge after looking at you for a couple of minutes.

  6. Sas says

    This makes me want to track down every person that whined about the dumb tattoo and ask them why the fuck they aren’t screaming about THIS from the rooftops. People are so fucking glad to come out and chastise everything trans people do and dissect it to the syllable, but a little trans girl gets institutionalized for reprogramming and and it’s just “Oh, too bad. *ignores*”.

      • says

        One can have honest issues with the phrase, but I would wager that underlying MOST of those issues is unexamined privilege. No one can respond to every single issue that surrounds us, so we have to pick and choose, and it’s telling that the issues most people tend to pick are those that happen to align with their own biases.

      • Sas says

        My point was not that people could not have honest issues with the phrase, but that people are so much more up in arms over cis people’s feelings being hurt than trans people being brainwashed.

    • Anders says

      I signed the petition (actually, I signed the petition the first time around). I will spread the news on the forums where I post (except where it would get me smacked). I also think german posters should talk with their local LGBTA organizations and create a mail-storm (or at least a slight breeze) with the large newspapers. I only know of der Spiegel but whatever other newspapers there are. Maybe we can get this into the public consciousness.

      I think that non-german posters should contact their local LGBTA organization and try to create a mail-storm to two places – your Foreign Office and the German Ambassador. If the various transfeminist blogs (how many are there, BTW) could put together a post about what points to hit in these letters – maybe even a form letter – that would help greatly. If you say that “I am not a trans person, but here’s what I think…” is objectionable you have to tell us what to say.

      Finally, I think that Sas should not compare a person being troubled by ethical implications of a statement with whining.

      • Anders says

        If you say that “I am not a trans person, but here’s what I think…” is objectionable you have to tell us what to say.

        Unnecessarily abrasive. What I wanted to say was:

        a) you know these issues better than any of us cis-people.

        b) you want the movers & shakers of the trans movement to be trans people (and I agree, I think that’s the only way things could work), you have to formulate policy and how to implement them. This is the implementation part. You are certainly up to it, so tell us what to write.

      • Sas says

        Finally, I think that Sas should not compare a person being troubled by ethical implications of a statement with whining.

        Sorry, but dissecting the troubling ethical implications of a tattoo while trans children are being taken for reprogramming (and of course the host of other injustices visited upon trans people daily) is not just comparable to whining, it IS privileged whining.

        • Anders says

          I am screaming about it, just in places you don’t hear. You are painting a false dichotomy. It is possible to worry about the movement selling part of its soul (and not getting a very good price for it) and write letters to the Foreign Office, the German Ambassador, the local LGBTA community. How many letters have you written? What have you done?

          I would appreciate if the experts told me what to scream, though. I’m working partly blind here.

          But if you mail me (Natalie has my e-mail address and I hereby empower her to give it to you) I can give my address. Spares you the trouble of tracking me down, and we can talk about this eye-to-eye.

          • Anders says

            Never mind. I don’t want to go down that route again.

            What do we do to raise hell and scream bloody murder about this girl?

          • Sas says

            I don’t CARE if I’m painting a false dichotomy! For god’s sake, my original comment was a pissed-off rant at a horrible injustice, not a goddamned mission statement.

            How many letters have you written? What have you done?

            FUCK. YOU.

          • Anders says

            You are right, I read too much into your original message.

            *extends hand*

            I’m sorry. I should not have responded the way I did. I don’t want to make enemies here.

            And I want to know what you, and everyone else, thinks we should do. I think I’ve covered the basics, but there must be something else we can do.

            A pair of handcuffs cost about $20. Those of us with the money could send a couple of handcuffs to the German Embassy. Or is that a stupid idea?

          • Anders says

            It will only work if many people can do it. It’s a stunt to get the media’s attention. But you’re probably right.

            And Sas, to clarify: I don’t expect you to kiss me and send me birthday presents. I just want us to not be enemies. Ok?

  7. says

    Disfigurement? My understanding of ‘curing’ transgender people is apparently woefully incomplete. I thought they just did simple brainwashing. I suspect I’ll regret asking, but can someone explain?

    • says

      as earlier articles noted, the girl wants to be put on hormone blockers to postpone puberty, so that she doesn’t go through male puberty; if they won’t let her, she’ll develop physical characteristics that are in disagreement with what her brain is telling her, which are hard-to-impossible to undo in hindsight. so yeah, disfigurement: they’d be forcing her through male puberty, instead of pausing it and ultimately letting her go through female puberty.

    • Eris says

      Fuck them all. There is no excuse. They have no reason to not let her delay puberty. NONE. Even if they think she’ll change her mind, even if they think it won’t last, they could at least give her the decency of allowing her to make the decision as an adult. But no, those unholy monsters aren’t interested in that. They want to coerce into being what THEY choose. The more difficult they make it, the more impossible to reverse, the more they win. If it screws her over? Well, at least they held on to their CONTROL.

      I feel like I’m going to have a fucking stroke.

  8. Louis says

    And here I was thinking I lived in the 21st century. This is fucking disgusting. Thanks for the petition link, Sebor.

  9. Sebor says

    Sorry for the spam, but I think this might be interesting for some people.
    I found a German law blog discussing the case at length and far greater quality than the TAZ article.
    The consensus among the commenters seems to be that the ruling of the Kammergericht is very questionable if the TAZ article is reporting correctly.

  10. starskeptic says

    It’s a good thing that fruit bats don’t know the difference between
    slices of watermelon and gold rings…

  11. Yoritomo says

    Vile. This sounds like a bad parody of a 19th century madhouse, not like one of Germany’s foremost hospitals, and I’ve told the Charité what I think of their complicity in this matter.

  12. Eris says

    Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.


    This shit makes me feel so helpless. I can’t even fathom it. Damn them all to hell.

  13. Chirico says

    How ironic that I happen to be revisiting Monster as this story drops. I suppose reality will always be crueler than fiction.

  14. Robert B. says

    That poor girl. I can’t believe they actually did it. I would have been less surprised if it had been here in the US, but I somehow had the idea that the grass was greener in Germany.

    When you referred to forcing a girl to go through male puberty as “disfigurement,” I felt like I’d been hit between the eyes. What a powerful way to express the nature of the wrong. There is a world of perspective in that word.

  15. Tony says

    In some of the most appalling, disgusting news I’ve ever heard, the German courts have ruled in favour of the father, forcing her into the custody of psychiatrists who will, theoretically, attempt to “cure” her transgenderism.

    -It sounds like they’re trying to mold her into what they perceive as the “correct” gender. I don’t know much about transgenderism, so I don’t have an informed opinion, but I do believe that no one has the right to tell (and/or try to force) someone what gender role they’re going to fit into.
    On that note, Natalie or anyone else, what are some recommended sites with relevant information so that I can become educated? This hasn’t been on my radar in the past I’m sorry to say, but it is an issue of basic human rights and I feel the need to have a better understanding.

    • Lena says

      Natalie’s own blog would probably be a good start; she’s done a series of really good articles debunking a lot of the misconceptions involving trans* people.

  16. says

    How awful for this little girl. It must have been hard for you to even read this, Natalie. I can’t begin to image what trans people go through, but I know if someone tried to “cure” me of my sexual orientation, I’d probably kill myself.

    • says

      Winterwind, I was greatly impressed with your guest post over on Black Skeptics, and the patience with which you have commented there – which cannot have been easy given the ERV-ite troll infestation.

      • says

        Thanks for the kind words, Xanthe. They mean more to me than you can know. It’s hard enough talking about such a personal, painful subject without being attacked for it. If it weren’t for the supportive comments from people who understand what I’m talking about, I don’t think I’d have the strength to continue.

        Also, great to see yet another Aussie on FTB! Looks like our plan for world domination is proceeding slowly but surely.

  17. says

    OK, I’m tring to get some background information together for this.
    Complicated things are complicated.
    Please note that this is mostly about legal terms.

    First problem is that the youth office (CPS) legally has the right to commit the girl to a hospital.
    Now, why’s that.
    Custody in Germany is “subdivided”. This means that you don’t automatically lose custody, it means that you can lose custody for a certain part of your kid’s life.
    The one we’re talking about is healthcare custody,which is, for example, often revoked for Jehova’s Witnesses, so the kids can get adequate healthcare.
    Especially with a divorce it is common that, although parents still share custody, some parts of that are given exclusively to the parent with whom the child lives.
    What is less common is what has happened in this case: healthcare custod was given to the youth office because the parents couldn’t agree.
    Now, as the one with the health care custody, the guardian from the youth office was allowed to make heathcare decissions in the best interest of the child. If I thought my child needed medical care and a physician agrees with me, that medical care is done, often against the will of my child (which toddler is happy to get a vaccination?).
    Which leads to a three part fuck-up:
    Part 1: The youth office guardian who obviously is at least horribly uneducated about trans issues. Youth office workers are extremely overworked. They often have more than 80 cases on their hands, which naturally means that they can’t give each case the attention it requires. This led in the past to some gross missjudgements that resulted in death. I don’t want to excuse that woman, but she probably did what’s best for her. You don’t want to be the one whose name’s in the records when a scandal blows up.
    Well, now she’l be, hopefully.

    Part 2: The judge who didn’t find it necessary to evaluate expert witnesses (apart from Beier). Seems like nobody has seen the actual ruling yet, so it’s hard to tell on what grounds he made his decission. From the article and his comment that the youth office guardian was acting in the child’s best interest, it seems to me that he was probably simply on the health care custody.
    Of course, nobody with any actual education about transsexuality would think that, but this leads directly to part 3.

    Part 3: Beier, the main fuckweasel. Link to German Wiki about him
    I am not a doctor, and especially not for sexual health, but his main hypothesis that sexual preferences and identity are developed during youth and unchangeable after that seem to be highly questionable to me, not in accordance with the current state of knowledge and contradictory to the many stories of people who realized very early that they were gay or transpeople.
    His “therapy” doesn’t only aim to “reunite trans youth with their birth gender”, it also aims to “stop gender-nonconforming behaviour”.
    That’s an alarm-bell not only with the regards to transpeople, who obviously suffer the most, but for every feminist out there since he doesn’t only postulate that there are right ways to behave for different genders, it also means that those behaviours must be trained and enforced.
    So, yeah, I have a new person to passionately hate.
    I think he wants to come down in history as the person who revolutionized gender and sexual identity healthcare. He will come down in history as somebody who failed to do so and who hurt many people on his way.
    I can understand that the youth office guardian and the judge fell for him.
    After all he’s the head of the department of sexual heathcare and science of one of the best hospitals in the country.

    Finally, please don’t think that this is the norm for transgender people and youth in Germany. There are good medical institutions that actually help transgender youth. Kim, to whose Wiki-article I linked earlier is a good example I think of how it can work out when supportive parents and dedicated healthcare professionals work together.
    So, no, transpeople are not routinely institutionalized and “treated”.
    How’s the legal situation?
    Mostly nonexistent, it seems. There was a law from 1980 which, by now, has been deemed unconstitutional in almost every aspect of the law, apart from the recognition that transsexuality exists and that it can be treated by therapy to get the body in accordance with the mind (and not vice versa).
    The last ruling of the Consitutional Court was in 2011 and it deemed that the governemnt ahs to seriously rework the law.
    Which hasn’t happened yet, so the “current law” is the ruling of the constitutional court that deemed many of the restrictive criteria as unconstitutional.

    • Lena says

      A German friend of mine told me that a positive ruling by the constitutional court could help prevent further cases of this happening as well; to what degree is this possible?

      • says

        Urgh, I’m seriously overstepping my knowledge here, so please take this with a tablespoon of salt.
        Main problem is that I don’t know on what grounds the mother is fighting the verdict in the constitutional court.
        Ehm, I mean legal grounds.
        Althogh, of course, transsexuality lies at the core of this case, it legally is only a “side-issue”.
        So, pure speculation:
        The Constitutional court could rule that the will and rights of the child have not been paid enough attention to and that in further cases courts have to make sure that actual interest of the child is better represented.
        This would generally strengthen the rights of children against their legal guardians whoever they are and therefore also help other transgender youth who are lacking supportive parents.

        Again, there are two serious mistakes in the OP:

        -It has nothing to do with the father of the child. His transphobia was probably at the root of having the healthcare custody transfered to the youth office, but he doesn’t seem to be present in this case at all.

        -It is not about institutionalizing her, only about the right of the youth office to seek insitutionalisation. The verdict does not mean that she’ll be commited to the hospital now.

        • resident_alien says

          Erm,actually the father wrote volumes of letters on this matter to the Youth Office,even accusing his ex-wife of hating males because she alledgedly is a survivor of childhood sexualized abuse (charming fella,right?). He basically played the “I’m a desperate father and my ex is a crazy cow from hell”-bit.

          • says

            Yes, but…
            I know, not a good start, but from what I take from various sources, he’s not the source of the current legal issue.
            Asshole fathers writing volumes to the youth office about their horrible exes is sadly a common occurence.
            The current legal battle wasn’t initialized by him (he might have had a hand in youth office dropping the case), the legal fuck-up wasn’t caused by him.
            I don’t mean to defend him, I just wanted to get some of the facts right.

  18. says

    OK, I’m trying to translate and sort the more informative comments from the German law blog linked to earlier

    In 2007, the parents disputed over the adequate treatment of their daughter. As a result, the healthcare custody was given to the youth office.
    As part of that trial there was a first evaluation from the Charité.
    In 2008, the Kammergericht deemed that evaluation and report to be worthless.
    Institutionalisation was explicitly denied.
    In 2009 the mother tried to win back sole healthcare custody.
    They agreed on a compromise agreement that, yet again denied institutionalisation and agreed that she should start (outpatient) therapy.
    In 2011 the mother tried to win back the custody again. Her application was denied without any reason or trial and the Kammergericht now confirmed this ruling without even mentioning their own previous ruling in 2008.

    Some mildly good news:
    This ruling does not mean that she’s going to be institutionalized now.
    There is another court case pending about this, trying to remove custody of residency from the mother, which then would mean that she can be institutionalized.

    Now, the major court fuck-up
    The commenter in that blog who posted this information seems to have pretty detailed knowledge of the whole case. Xe’s also the one who posted the timeline above.
    The Kammergericht decided that the wellbeing of the child is endangered:
    -without getting expert evidence
    -they denied Alex a voice in the matter because they decided she was brainwashed by her mother. [This is most unusal. In court cases involving the wellbeing of children, they are heard and interviewed. This happens with children as young as 3. Alex is 12]
    -They didn’t get any expert testimony on whether that “brainwashing” actually happened.
    -her pediatrician wasn’t heard
    -her therapist wasn’t heard
    -they actually accused the mother of wanting to have her daughter treated by the best institutions we currently have. They had a “unilateral focus”
    -they ignored the statement of the pediatrician that he’s been falsely represented by the youth office guardian in her expert opinion
    -they gave sole importance to the opinion of the youth office guardian who only practised since winter 2011 and who has seen Alex for the total amount of an hour.
    -they also based their decission on the 2007 Charité report another senat of the court had deemed worthless. A 6 year old report on a 6 year old child (!)
    -They denied Alex a “VerfahrenspflegerIn”. This is an expert lawyer who usually focusses on the interest of the child as a third party in cases where two legal guardians (in this case the youth office and the mother) are fighting over an issue. They deemed that her interests were represented adequately b the youth office guardian (!)
    -They denied finacial aid to cover the legal fees.
    -They completely ignored the scientific publications and written expert testimonies about standard treatment of transsexuality and the (scientific) criticism of the Charité approach that were presented by the mother.

    Now I hate the judge, too.

    • Sebor says

      Hating on the judge seems justified. What kind of a dimwit does a judge have to be to rule a child brainwashed without hearing her? Judging how trustworthy a person’s statement is is the core skill of any judge, so the court basically declared its own incompetence.

  19. Lena says

    This is really infuriating; I was greatly worried about the whole situation just taking place back when I heard about it a while back already. Just the fact that there was a dispute is sickening.

  20. says

    Oh, I was too upset before to add that I love Megachiroptera bats. They’re adorable. I like them better than the Microchiroptera.

    To me, the Megas have intelligent faces which remind me of dogs or something – probably why they’re called flying foxes. The Minis are cool because they can echolocate, but they look kind of alien and scary.

  21. says

    I have a serious problem with the whole idea of “reuniting someone with their birth gender” and “stopping gender-nonconforming behaviour”, because it makes some alarming presumptions both about reality and about what is desirable.

    If gender is fluid, then why would someone need to be reunited with their birth gender? Alternatively, if gender is rigid but nonetheless subject to occasional error, maybe their birth gender was wrong in the first place. (And if gender was both rigid and error-free, there would be no transpeople in the first place.)

    And how can anyone hear the phrase “gender-nonconforming behaviour” without feeling physically sick? This implies that gender has discrete eigenstates, anything outside of which is undesirable.

    The whole affair smacks of trying to make the (cis) majority comfortable at the expense of the (trans) minority, and it stinks.

  22. Anders says

    The whole affair smacks of trying to make the (cis) majority comfortable at the expense of the (trans) minority

    Now there’s a tune I’ve heard whistled before.

    *talking to the trans community*

    So, how can we help you raise a stink about this and other things? How can we help you not be erased? What can we do to help trans people in our daily lives?

    Finally, some links:

  23. says

    Smallish update and correction:
    The person I translated as “youth office guardian” actually isn’t an employee of the youth office but a private person who took up the job after the youth office declared that they couldn’t handle the case any longer.
    What her qualifications supposedly are I don’t know.

  24. RowanVT says

    That simply horrifies me. I hope she comes out of there still sane, angry, and willing to fight for the rights that others attempted to deny her.

  25. Anders says

    I’m starting this over again.

    I think the various transfeminist blogs (how many are there, BTW) could put together a post about what points to hit in these letters – maybe even a form letter – that would help greatly. You know what to say, you have researched this and you have experience with trying to reach cis-people with these questions. What’s our message and how do we get it across?

    I think german posters should talk with their local LGBTA organizations and create a mail-storm (or at least a slight breeze) with the large newspapers. I only know of der Spiegel but whatever other newspapers there are. Maybe we can get this into the public consciousness.

    I think that non-german posters should contact their local LGBTA organization and try to create a mail-storm to two places – your Foreign Office and the German Ambassador.

    Any other ideas? IIUC, we have a while before the case comes up again. Might be best to hold our shitstorm until that time. Does that make sense?

    • annas says

      The big German daily “Die Süddeutsche” online had a good article about Jenna Talackova being disqualified from the Miss Universe Canada competition. I posted a link to the German law blog discussing Alex’ case in the comments there, proposing an article on her.

  26. Yoritomo says

    The German law blog linked to earlier has an update: The court’s decision for now was to deny the mother’s request to have health care custody transferred back to her from the Jugendamt (CPS). The Jugendamt has asked the courts to revoke the mother’s right to determine her daughter’s residence, a necessary step towards a stationary diagnosis. That decision is still pending, but the current ruling seems to agree in principle with the Jugendamt‘s approach.

  27. says

    Gods… that’s… no. No. NonononononononoNO.

    Natalie, please keep us updated on this, and let us know if there is ANYTHING we can do to help.

  28. says

    Having lived in Germany for a number of years, I am more than appalled. It’s a basic human rights issue that needs to be taken to the international courts and I suspect its a breach of the EU law. We need to get greater visibility of the issue with German politicians but not sure how to do that. Perhaps a petition to the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel. let me know too what I can do to help

    • Yoritomo says

      Thanks. It’s not quite as bad as it’s made out to be. It’s a rather narrow ruling, concerning only the lower court’s ruling not to transfer health care custody from the Jugendamt (CPA) to the mother. The court basically says that because the parents cannot agree on what kind of medical treatment the child needs, transferring health care custody back to both parents or to just one of them would lead to a clash between them, which would in turn be stressful for the child. Therefore it concludes it’s better for the child if health care custody remains in the hands of the CPA. It explicitly does not rule on whether the stationary diagnostic proposed by the youth office guardian is appropriate, saying that it’s the CPA’s job to ascertain that their guardian acts in the child’s best interest. The court also acknowledges that appropriate medical treatment, as determined by the proposed diagnostic, could include the hormonal treatments desired by the mother.

      So far, all they say is that it’s important to ascertain whether the child is transsexual or not, and then get her whatever treatment her situation requires, without involving her more than necessary in the conflict between her parents. That part seems reasonable to me.

      Where they go wrong is when they discuss the mother’s influence on the child, the possibility of her “inducing” the child’s transsexuality, and hold the fact that she prefers diagnosis and treatment in hospitals which do not accept the hypothesis of “induced transsexuality” against her. That to me seems an acceptance of junk science and a catch-22 for the mother: Either she accepts “diagnosis” at an institution willing to believe that the child’s transsexuality is her doing, or she is seen as preventing the child from hearing opinions other than her own and not acting in the child’s best interest.

  29. says

    In case anybody is still reading this…
    Over the last days I’ve been in a discussion with people involved with the case in Germany (in a broad sense).
    The bad news
    The hospitals’s ward for “sexual health and psychology” is a den of last-century “reperative therapy”. The medical chief does this neat trick of identifying all children who are somehow gender-nonconforming as children with “Gender Identity Disorder” and then, since most of them are not trans, claims that
    a) he can “cure” transchildren
    b) most GID kids don’t become Transsexuals and therefore you’re not allowed to give transchildren puberty-blockers

    the good news
    Obviously due to the public spotlight, the clinic has announced that they will not take Alex as a patient.
    So, they cannot have her institutionalized there.
    So although, as we say in German, the cow is off the ice for Alex at the moment, the wider problem of sub-standard and pathologizing and stigmatizing care remains

    • Luna_the_cat says

      In the hope that you’re still reading this and tracking, what is happening with Alex? Has there been any update? I’m very glad to know that horrible place wasn’t taking her as a patient, but it didn’t seem like her father would be happy to let it rest.

    • Kizzy says

      the good news
      Obviously due to the public spotlight, the clinic has announced that they will not take Alex as a patient.

      Thank goodness for that!

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