Target: Charité University Hospital in Berlin, Germany
Goal: Allow 11-year-old Alex Kaminsky to live and be treated as a girl while she remains institutionalized at Charité mental hospital
11-year-old Alex Kaminsky was identified male at birth, but she has lived as a girl for as long as she can remember. She is accepted and treated as female at school, and her mother considers her to be a girl and treats her as such. However, a recent ruling by a Berlin court has resulted in Alex’s coerced institutionalization in a local mental hospital where she will be treated psychiatrist Klaus M. Bier, a noted supporter and practitioner of ‘conversion therapy,’ the process by which sexual orientation and/or gender identity can supposedly be changed via extensive therapy. Alex’s case ended up in court because her parents, who are separated, differ completely on how medical treatment ought to proceed for their child: while her mother has always been accepting, her father rejects Alex’s identity as female and wishes for her to be forced to grow up as a boy. As a result, the decision was ceded to the Youth Health Care Office in Berlin, where a male nurse quickly took up the perspective that Alex ought to be treated at Charité before being placed into foster care because, supposedly, her transsexualism had been induced by her mother and could be repaired.
The battle over who gets custody of Alex still continues, as her case has now been referred upwards to Germany’s Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Alex continues to receive treatment at Charité in an attempt to change her gender identity to male against her mother’s will. Alert Charité University Hospital to your concern over Alex Kaminsky’s case and the treatment she is receiving, and ask that she be allowed to live as a female without intervention or treatment pending the final outcome of her court case.
Dear Charité University Hospital,
It has come to my attention that 11-year old Alex Kaminsky is being treated at your hospital in an attempt to change her gender identity from female to male (the sex she was assigned at birth), following the failure of her mother’s appeal to a local court. I am writing to express my concern that these attempts to make Alex, who has considered herself female most of her life, identify as male instead may end up harming her far more than they help her. Evidence produced by the psychiatric community in Germany and elsewhere suggests that reparative therapy, the treatment process practiced by Alex’s psychiatrist Klaus Bier which attempts to erase gender non-conforming behavior in trans people and/or same-sex attraction in gay people, is not only ineffective, but potentially dangerous. Patients who have received reparative therapy, especially those as young as Alex, are often more susceptible to depression and prone to suicide than others.
Currently, it is unclear in whose custody Alex will ultimately end up. I believe it would be most beneficial for Alex to be released into the care of her mother, who supports her gender identity and expression and considers her to be female. However, pending such an official decision in court, I believe that Alex be allowed to live at a girl while institutionalized at Charité, and that treatments meant to convert her gender identity to male cease. I hope you will consider evidence from the psychiatric community questioning the wisdom of reparative therapy as a method and that you will practice a different option for Alex’s continued treatment.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: anticapitalistes.net