Originally published at The Globe and Mail
Debra Soh was a gender dysphoric child. She liked trucks, not dolls. She hated being a girl. In the 1980s, the idea that a kid might transition to another sex was completely unknown. “My parents allowed me to wear boys’ clothing and shave my head, to live as a girl who otherwise looked and behaved like a boy,” she wrote in The Wall Street Journal. By her late teens, she outgrew her dysphoria. Her parents’ support, she says, “helped me work things out.”
Today, a child like Debra might be treated at a gender clinic (where the waiting lists are very long). Canada was renowned for having one of the best in the world – the child and youth clinic at CAMH, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. The clinic’s former head, Ken Zucker, is world-renowned for his path-breaking research. Hundreds of parents – and former clients – testify to the care and guidance they received there.
But last month, the clinic was abruptly shut down, and Dr. Zucker was dismissed.