German courts rule that an eleven year old German transgender girl can legally be institutionalized.

German courts rule that an eleven year old German transgender girl can legally be institutionalized.

Alexis Kaminsky

Getting to the heart of the ethical dilemma of an eleven year old’s desire to re assert their gender and human rights group stage protest in Berlin.

The case of an eleven year old child who goes by the alias Alex Kaminsky has once again stirred debate as to Germany’s stance towards gender neutrality, sex and clinical devices of purity, especially in light of its torrid history with respect to forced sterilization and aspirations towards racial purity.

At the heart of the matter can a young girl and her mother decide what is best for her daughter who biologically was not born a girl but wishes to pursue a female gender or are they obligated to subscribe to the courts view which at present allows open the possibility of the child being institutionalized whom according to human rights group now fear the child will be exposed to a type of redressing with the expressed intent of correcting what is implicitly perceived to be mental deficiencies of a the child.

The commotion came about as Berlin’s Kammergericht this past Thursday re affirmed a lower court’s decision allowing the state to institutionalize an eleven year old. At the time of the ruling, the child’s mother who had sought therapy for her child but to date has been inexplicably denied reiterated that she will now take her case to the constitutional court in an effort to allow her eleven year old to remain living as a female despite being born a male, something the mother supports.

The incident initially found itself in front of the courts as a consequence of the girl’s parents separating and being of different opinions as to how the medical treatment of the child should proceed, with state youth office mandating that the child should be treated in an institution before eventually being made available to a foster family.

Implicit in the court’s decision is the very real possibility that the child may now be preempted from pursuing her desire to live as a female, and exposed to a type of indoctrination that does not promote gender neutrality or choice. Also of concern is whether the child is too young to completely understand the ramifications of her choices and the technical legality that German law requires before one can have a sex change or at least begin the process of hormone adaptation to become one’s innate sense of gender.

To date the youth office has asserted that it believes the best interest of the ‘child ‘ would be achieved if it were removed from a sphere of influence that is predisposed to the girl asserting a female identity . This of course raises the question can a child’s ‘transsexuality’ be induced without the child resisting?

To date no reported incidents exist where a child was forced to accept a gender re alignment against their will, which has stirred the plaintiff’s lawyer to argue that a nurse which the youth office assigned has on the back of one single solitary hour long meeting been able to insist that the mother has sought to unduly influence the child in their choice of gender. The plaintiff’s lawyer  has also expressed shock and reticence that to date their client, the mother and daughter have been denied the right to an expert report or therapy, something that the youth office is unwilling to yield to.

Come this Monday at 3pm, human right activists will protest on behalf of the child. Argue the group who go by the banner attache ‘Stop Alex forced into institutionalization at once’: “Institutions like the youth office and the Charité use force on humans through enforcement and psychological pressure! Each gender and each gender identity is a right, not a disease.”

Activists are particularly disturbed with the state’s view that the child might be mentally diseased and thus seeking to institutionalize it to ‘correct’ what it perceives to be mental deficiencies which would run counter with the notion that gender isn’t necessarily what one is born with but what one innately relates to and chooses.

Already a signature campaign as organized by British transsexual activist  Katrina Swales is under way to challenge the court’s decision. Asserts Katrina Swales who to date has amassed over 9000 signatures: “This young girl gets taught that her feelings are wrong. She gets pushed into self denial more and more. Something that has already cost the lives of so many transsexuals.”

In light of the court’s current stance a deep mistrust amongst human activists has been instilled who fear clinical assessments may be adopting sterile dispositions towards gender choices and other aspects of human rights manifestations especially in light of a nation known to have had a torrid history with respect to gender rights, discrimination and what has to date been publicly left unsaid, previous ethnic purity aspirations.

As translated by google: taz.de

  • NikkiH

    Are you kidding me? This is barbaric. I can not believe this is happening in a European country in 2012! I would expect this in Saudi Arabia or Uganda but not in Germany.

  • Joanie

    Wait a minute isn’t this the same Germany that has a pop start by the name of Kim Petras. After watching “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” It almost seems like some clandestine plot to prevent her from living as her true self. The only one that knows what is best for her is herself, not some court appointed custodian or her parents but her.

  • Roger

    She probably read some magazine glamorizing the transgender lifestyle and now thinks it’s the cool thing to do. She’ll grow out of it. Those wgi don’t like Chaz Bono are just doing it for publicity. The rest are either mentally ill or possesed by demonic beings.

  • Walton

    I think the ones who are mentally ill are those who are quick to judge and assume that trans*gender people are demonic beings. Ahem.

  • Eva

    I’m having an issue with demon possession too, I think I’ve identified the demon in question http://pictures.fanart-central.net/b/blackpaintbucket/678424.jpg, I’m filled with a persistent desire to buy new shoes.

    A lot of trans people I know started feeling that way at a very young age, so it’s definitely possible that this child is trans but you would likely have to see a psychiatrist’s report before being sure one way or the other.

    It seems pretty extreme to take the kid away from the mother, I would have imagined there would have to be some pretty serious abuse before that would happen.
    Particularly given how liberal Germany can be I would kind of surprised if this was exactly what it seems.

    If it is what it seems than this is seriously depressing news.

    Poor kid either way. :(

  • Mike

    From what I can tell by what I’ve just read, we have no details at all about the supposed treatment this child will undergo after being ‘institutionalized’ and the idea that she will be “preempted from pursuing her desire to live as a female,” or of the “perceived to be mental deficiencies of a the child,” is purely conjecture on the part of the writer, who also made some cheap shots about racial purity and sterilization; because all Germans will forever be Nazis.

    As far as I can see, the German government has done exactly the right thing. We are not talking about a man who has struggled his whole life trying to fit a into a gender binary model of behavior and now defiantly breaking free and realizing who he really is. We are talking about a child at an impressionable age whose mother is encouraging him to pursue an extremely difficult lifestyle and a course of treatment that will end in life altering surgery. To think that a child’s wishes in this matter should be respected at that age is totally absurd, and to call this decision bigoted is dishonest.

    The transgender community seems to attract a lot of unwarranted indignation. In this case, for instance, those speaking on behalf of the right of the child to pursue a transgendered identity seem to believe that all people who believe that they are transsexual are, in fact, transsexual; something we all should know is not true.

  • Johnnyhorstman

    Sounds like Germany is reverting to Nazism.

  • Shee

    Transgender life glamorous? I have yet to see one thing glamorizing it.

    Oh, if you wanted to see someone possessed by demonic beings you should have seen me before accepting what I was. Said demons have sense been silenced. :)

  • Sas

    Yeah, idiots come up with all sorts of ridiculous excuses for why trans people are crazy, evil, or lying. That isn’t going to stop us from existing.

  • Jaye

    I’m glad you did her the courtesy of using the correct pronouns. Really, though, I don’t understand why you feel so threatened about a young girl who doesn’t want to go through male puberty. Calling her mentally ill or demon possessed is just cruel and not something the Christ portrayed in the bible would do. WWJD?

  • Lisa5

    The mother should go to jail for ruining her sons life.

  • Jaye

    The mother is supporting her child’s desire for self determination. How is that wrong?

  • Shee

    D’oh! Since….

  • David Marjanović

    I live in Berlin, I just came back from the rally. Nazi references were brought up several times — no wonder: a chief resident declaring that “gender-atypical behavior” is to be “ended” by institutionalization, and that only because somebody who spoke to the child for just one hour believes the transsexuality was “induced” by the mother? That’s… rather… totalitarian behavior, and the Germans know totalitarian behavior when they see it.

    Is there even any evidence that transsexuality can be induced??? Is there any reason to expect that gender identity should be more fluid than sexual orientation? To me, it sounds like made up as someone went along.

  • Sas

    It’s people who would criminalize treating a trans child with kindness and respect for her self that are going to ruin her life.

  • anarchic

    I am not firmiliar with this situation and the first that I have heard about it is from this article.Is there more stuff availible re this case. Sort of disturbed as to the tone of some of the posts in relation to Germany’s past.I assure you that the stance that Germany takes on the issue of trans Identities is significantly better that the one adopted in Ireland. One has to travel in order to obtain a gerder reasignment operation and if one is depending on funding it become’s even harder not to mention about obtaining access to gate keepers( shrinks, endicrinologists etc) I sort of imagine that if a kid in Ireland was exspressing a desire to transition the reaction would be crazy. That said I woud really like to see more about the ins and outs of this case before making a judgement about who’s right or wrong and as to who’s interests are being served

  • Damarc

    While you’re right to say that the “Nazi” comments were cheap shots, you’re wrong about most of the other things you said.

    >idea that she will be “preempted from pursuing her desire to live as a female,” [...] is purely conjecture

    No, it’s not. If she goes through puberty without hormone therapy, she will develop a male body, and this can never be totally reversed. If she does get hormone therapy? The type of hormones children get typically only delay puberty – so basically, she would be able to, as an adult, choose which type of sex hormones she wants to take, and how her body should develop. This choice is being taken from her.

    >those speaking on behalf of the right of the child to pursue a transgendered identity seem to believe that all people who believe that they are transsexual are, in fact, transsexual; something we all should know is not true.

    Should we know that? Any citations to back that up? Of course not all who believe to be transsexual are transsexual, but the vast majority are. And again, the only thing that would be done would be to preserve her choice, instead of making her body go through a puberty she finds horrifying.

  • Brittany

    What an ignorant bunch of BIGOTS! I thought Germany was full of enlightened and tolerant people — I guess things have NOT changed over there after all… And then there is this: “sphere of influence that is predisposed to the girl asserting a female identity” !! Well guess what you IDIOTS, you will find out that there IS NO “sphere of influence” that made her Transgender — you ARE born that way! The people who did this to that kid are pathetic!

  • Origami_isopod

    Go fuck yourself, you ignorant fundie piece of shit.

  • Leigh Williams

    Oh, you must be right, Roger. Because gender identity is so malleable that reading a magazine article can influence it. And demons exist. STFU, you moron.

  • Mike

    I don’t know the particulars of this case. What I do know is that prepubescent children should not make life-altering decisions. If this child were allowed to get a tattoo, I would feel that his parents acted irresponsibly, let alone choosing to develop a female body.

    As for the vast majority of transsexuals, I believe you are mistaken when you say “Of course not all who believe to be transsexual are transsexual, but the vast majority are.” From Transsexuals I’ve known, I’m given to understand that, in the United States at least, one is required to undergo counselling for a number of years before undergoing gender reassignment, because a majority of those who circumvent this process find that they regret having done so. Presumably something other than a genuine desire to live their lives with the body of their preferred gender motivated them to pursue this path, as I would expect from an eleven-year-old.

    Honestly, I’m only worried that this child has grown up in an environment where transgenderism is not normalized (as it should be), but praised as a desirable goal, rather than being respected as a difficult struggle (as I have seen happen). I find it impossible to think that a child of that age regards this decision with the weight it deserves.

  • J.

    Pfff, I accidentally clicked Like instead of Reply, but I really don’t like your post. You really don’t get it. This girl would not be getting sexual reassignment (there is no such thing as *gender* reassignment), she would be getting puberty blockers, which gives her the option to make the choice when she is old enough to do it.

  • Bree

    I fail to see the connection between tattoos, which are a form of self-expression, and transsexual children.
    If she is given access to hormone blockers NOW, then she will have time for the years of counselling you suggested. If she doesn’t, if she is treated as confused or unhealthily influenced, she will go through normal male puberty and never be able to look completely female. The effects of hormone blockers aren’t permanent- if there turned out to be an actual problem with parenting, the child could stop taking them and develop as a normal male. With the girl being at puberty, though, there’s no time to waste.

  • Bree

    How does one even answer this?

  • http://www.facebook.com/lita.kelley Lita Kelley

    This is outrageous. This poor girl will end up miserable and unhappy. What the court and father are doing is actually destructive

  • CS010

    FFS, it’s an 11YO! You know, a prepubescent child? This kid is not capable of deciding its sexual orientation let alone its “gender identity”.
    Apart from that, the parents gave the state custody of the child. They knew and wanted the kid to be put into custody. They brought the case before the court as their divorce was v. bitter. And the mother was ordered to have a psych evaluation. The mother was raising the child as a girl, the dad a boy and the kid’s confused. Who’d have thought? That they assess the child is completely legitimate.
    And what’s the worst that’s going to happen? The psychiatrist is going to convince them that they’re a boy? The psychiatrist will assess them and take appropriate action. It could well involve the kid going down the transsexual route, but it could well be that the kid was just manipulated into gender confusion. The details omitted to allow for outrage is appalling.
    But I’m sure you’ll take no heed of this, as you’re all to busy jumping on NAZIS LOCKING UP TRANNY KID!!! bandwagon.

  • Tony Falcon

    You can unlike by clicking the like button again. I made the same mistake as you and reversed it. Your comment is spot on btw.

  • Hughes

    It seems like there are a lot of people here who don’t seem to understand what transgender is. Being transgender is not CHOOSING YOUR GENDER, nor is it a choice at all. After all, who would choose to be transgender? It’s a horrible thing to have to go through, and a very difficult thing to have to live with. It happens to people nonetheless. I’m not sure if it’s caused by an imbalance in hormones or by people’s life experiences (and neither does anyone else), but either way, the feelings are real, and I really doubt a person, even a person’s mother, would be able to make them feel like this about their gender. It’s something that starts early in a person’s life and is not controllable.

    Lots of transgender people (probably most) really hate that they have to be transgender. I dated a transgender man once and the things he has to go through on a daily basis is devastating. Some days he couldn’t leave the house just because he wasn’t comfortable enough with himself. For a kid to be able to get help with the situation at a young age is FANTASTIC, but institutionalization is DESTRUCTIVE. This kid is never, not EVER going to be happy if she is repressed from being herself, and that is just plain sad. I thought Germany was better about these things, and hopefully I’m right, and if I am then I hope this situation goes over as it should.

  • Hughes

    That is a very obnoxious, ignorant, F-CKING STUPID thing to say.

  • Hughes

    Oh f-ck, sorry. That wasn’t meant for you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sevrin-Caswell/100001467558274 Sevrin Caswell

    Supposedly she is being locked up because she said she would rather commit suicide than live as a boy. Locking her up and denying her gender reassignment therapy is just going to make more suicidal not less.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sevrin-Caswell/100001467558274 Sevrin Caswell

    There has been no professional expert analysis of this situation. At no time has the child been seen by a psychologist with knowledge of Gender Identity Disorder or Gender Dysphoria. By all accounts I have read the father is using the child against its mother, like most divorcing couples do, but this time there is more than just where the poor kid spends its holidays at stake.