Psychiatrist: There’s no such thing as a ‘transgendered’ person

In what may come as a shock to many, there’s no such thing as a transgendered person.

And that’s not just my view. Canadian psychiatrist, Dr Joseph Berger, made the statement when testifying to the Canadian Parliament’s Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights earlier this year.

His point was that the whole desire was a figment of the imagination. No doubt this will stir up a few angry emotions, but as the eminently qualified and truthful doctor pointed out, this whole debate is not about scientific facts but feelings. We are dealing with people who are unhappy and wish that they were something else.

There’s a word for that and Dr Berger used it as well: delusion

His testimony is outlined below and can be found here (thanks to reader Catherine).


These are the comments presented by Dr. Berger to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, regarding Bill C 279


I was asked to make a statement with reference to a bill C 279 that is under consideration. It appears to me that this bill requests that some special allowances or attitudes or possibly even ‘rights’ be given to people who identify themselves as being ‘transgendered’.

From a scientific perspective, let me clarify what ‘transgendered’ actually means. I am speaking now about the scientific perspective and not any political lobbying position that may be proposed by any group, medical or non medical.

‘Transgendered’ are people who claim that they really are or wish to be people of the sex opposite to which they were born as, or to which their chromosomal configuration attests.

Some times, some of these people have claimed that they are ‘a woman trapped in a man’s body’ or alternatively ‘a man trapped in a woman’s body’. Scientifically, there is no such a thing. Therefore anyone who actually truly believes that notion, is by definition deluded, psychotic.

The medical treatment of delusions or psychosis is not by surgery.

On the other hand, if these people are asked to clarify exactly what they believe, that is to say do they truly believe whichever of those above propositions applies to them and they say ‘no’, they know that such a proposition is not true, but that they ‘feel’ it, then what we are talking about scientifically, is just unhappiness, and that unhappiness is being accompanied by a wish that leads some people into taking hormones that predominate in the other sex, and even having cosmetic surgery designed to make them ‘appear’ as if they are a person of the opposite sex.

The proper treatment of emotional unhappiness is not surgery.

Cosmetic surgery will not change the chromosomes of a human being. Cosmetic surgery will not make a man become a woman, capable of menstruating, ovulating, and having children. Cosmetic surgery will not make a woman into a man, capable of generating sperm that can unite with an egg or ovum from a woman and fertilize that egg to produce a human child.

These are the scientific facts.

There seems to me to be no medical or scientific reason to grant any special rights or considerations to people who are unhappy with the sex they were born into, or to people who wish to dress in the clothes of the opposite sex – which I believe is not illegal.

I have read the brief put forward by those advocating special rights, and I find nothing of scientific value in it. Words and phrases are used that have no objective scientific basis such as “the inner space”.

The committee examining these proposals should be aware that there are indeed some quite rare examples where the sex of a baby at birth is uncertain.

Two particular conditions are well recognized.

One is where the child is a boy, but the testes have not descended into the testicular sac, but remain somewhere ‘stuck’ in the abdomen. The other well recognized condition is where the child is a girl, but because of some abnormal hormonal levels as the baby was growing in the mother’s uterus, the clitoris of the baby girl is unusually large, and might at first be mistaken for a penis.

Both these conditions are now diagnosed earlier, chromosome testing to confirm the genetic sex is widely available. They should not nowadays lead to any confusion about the real sex of the baby.

Other than these and possibly even rarer abnormalities, the so called ‘confusion’ about their sexuality that a teenager or adult has is purely psychological.

As a psychiatrist, I see no reason for people who identify themselves in these ways to have any rights or privileges different from everyone else in Canada.

Dr Joseph Berger. Consulting Psychiatrist.

  • Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
  • Examiner from 1977-2005 for the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in the Board Examinations to become a Board Certified Psychiatrist.
  • Past Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Toronto.
  • Past President, Ontario District Branch of the American Psychiatric Association.
  • Representative for Ontario 2002-2010 to the Assembly (parliament) of the American Psychiatric Association.
  • Distinguished Life Fellow, American Psychiatric Association.
  • Author and Presenter, numerous medical and academic Papers at Conferences, Seminars, and in Medical Journals.
  • Book Author “The Independent Medical Examination in Psychiatry”

Author: Bernard Gaynor

Bernard Gaynor is a married father of nine children. He has a background in military intelligence, Arabic language and culture and is an outspoken advocate of conservative and family values.

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  1. Perhaps there is something amiss with societies gendef expectations?

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    • Scuse the misspelling can’t cope with an apostroohe and this dinkey keyboard at the same time!

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  2. Thank you for sharing this story of rationality with us. For too long has this circus of overreaching political correctness and pandering to delusions gone unabated. It makes me proud that a Canadian doctor is the one to come out and say it. Humans are born male or female with few exceptions as stated. The notion of anything in between is fiction.

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  3. No child should be allowed to go to school posing as the opposite sex no matter how persistently they express cross-gendered feelings. It’s playing in to the hands of activists who are attempting to link transgenderism with physical pseudo-hermaphroditism. There are sexual identity situations where things aren’t as clear cut as we might like but they are not transgender issues. Here’s one example which has been publicly reported. A western suburbs local councillor in Melbourne goes by the name, Tony, and until recently identified exclusively as a male . Tony has a normal male chromosomal karyotype but was raised as a girl called Antoinette due to possessing normal female genitalia. The condition, Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, wasn’t discovered until puberty. That’s a vexing situation for anyone. Tony, however, is not transgendered but is physically “intersexed.” The weirdest aspect of transgenderism is that people are now identifying as “transgendered” which seems rather crazy when the term is meant to describe someone who identifies as the opposite sex. That provides a clue that all is not well. The condition has become the identity. That is truly delusional.

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  4. Let’s hear the ultimate word on all this – from Monty Python. “Why don’t you shut up about women, Stan – you’re putting us off”. “Women have a perfect right to play a part in our movement, Reg.” “Why are you always on about women, Stan?” … pause … “I want to be one!” … longer pause …. “WHAT??” “I want to be a woman. From now on, I want you all to call me … LORETTA!” … pause … “WHAAAA??” “It’s my right as a man!” “Well, why do you want to be ‘Loretta’, Stan ?” “I want to have babies!” “You want to have BABIES??” “It’s every man’s right to have babies if he wants them!” “But – you CAN’T have babies!” “DON’T YOU OPPRESS ME!” “I’m not oppressing you, Stan – you haven’t got a womb! Where’s the foetus going to gestate – you gunna keep it in a box?” Stan dissolves into sobs and tears. “Hear – I’ve got an idea! Suppose you agree that he can’t actually have babies, not having a womb – which is nobody’s fault, not even the Romans – but that he can have the RIGHT to have babies!” “Good idea, Judith! We shall fight the oppressors for your RIGHT to have babies, brother – SISTER!! sorry!” “What’s the point?” “What?” “What’s the point of fighting for his right to have babies when he CAN’T have babies?” … pause … “It’s symbolic of our struggle against oppression!” …. pause …. “It’s symbolic of his struggle against reality!”

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  5. This is an opinion and that is all it is. He fails to provide any proof of his opinion. There is an extensive body of medical evidence and scientific work which has been extensively researched in the past 50 years which supports the reality of the lived transgender experience including the DSM-V. Most people suffering Gender Dysphoria try everything they can to conform to societies gender binary expectations. This puts an immense pressure on the person in the form of anxiety and depression. There is a 40% self-harm rate (up to suicide) in this population. Once they are assessed and address the underlying cause (the Gender Dysphoria) the anxiety and depression is resolved. Gender Dysphoria is a recognised medical condition for which there is an effective well established treatment regime which is to transition gender. The aim of transitioning gender is to relieve the Gender Dysphoria. Some people get relief from the diagnosis, others from being able to express their gender identity and living in their affirmed gender (social transition) some need hormonal treatment and some will have the need to progress to surgery. The surgical techniques available today can provide functional sensate genitalia however the person is rendered sterile by the treatment. For a male to female they are no different from a post hysterectomy female. Virtually all cases treated will have the Gender Dysphoria relieved.

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    • “For a male to female they are no different from a post hysterectomy female.”

      That is just so much rubbish. A surgically constructed pseudo-vagina is not the same as the real thing.

      Skeletal shape is different and male features persist even after comprehensive cosmetic surgery. As for hormonal therapy – it’s dangerous and can lead to all sorts of serious physical conditions, especially auto-immune and vascular diseases.

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  6. Hi Bernard. Do you also agree with Berger’s reported advice: “I suggest … letting children who wish to go to school in clothes of the opposite sex – but not counseling other children to not tease them or hurt their feelings … On the contrary, don’t interfere, and let the other children ridicule the child who has lost that clear boundary between play-acting at home and the reality needs of the outside world. Maybe, in this way, the child will re-establish that necessary boundary.”?

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    • Sure – kids that are put in cotton wool because of their delusional feelings end up growing to think that the taxpayer should fund their cosmetic surgery. It’s not teasing. It’s letting them know that they need to grow up, not live in a fantasy land.

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      • Well if you don’t want to fund a surgery that will fix something that is broken then I don’t want to fund anyone that ever has a broken arm or leg. You have no idea at all, and it is people like you that are ruining society. Transsexuals are born with the brain of the opposite sex to their outside anatomy and that is now proven science. It is not cosmetic surgery, it is a life saving surgery to repair what was wrong in the first place and no different to someone getting surgery to remove cancer. Do some research and reply, but you will never win the debate.

      • In that case, it’s the brain that needs fixing, not the body. Furthermore, curing homosexuals could also be considered life saving treatment to repair what was wrong in the first place and no different to someone getting surgery to remove cancer.

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