An example of what psychiatrists have done to trans people

I am putting this behind cuts because it is incredibly harrowing – there are all sorts of interesting little side-lights, such as the fact that they considered her of low intelligence because she had trouble at school even though she read a lot and taught herself photography. I started to translate the account and realized that I just could not bear it.


The account, along with a lot of patronizing nonsense is here Basically L knew she was female from childhood and had a bad time at school – from time to time she would try and butch up and not be girly, but it never worked for her. In her teens she started hustling and slept with a lot of men; she also had an affair with a woman, and regarded this as a lesbian relationship. In her early 20s, her parents persuaded her to go into psychoanalysis and when this failed to ‘cure’ her, got her admitted to hospital. There they repeatedly put her in insulin comas, some hundred times in total, often associating it with electric shock therapy. When this had no effect whatever, except to make her more confused, they gave her a lobotomy, and followed it up with more coma and shock treatments. The surgical site got infected and she developed an infection in her brain – they continued to give her electric shock treatment and she eventually suffocated on the table. When they opened her skull, they found signs of endless trauma from the shocks and brain surgery. And had a meeting to discuss ways of carrying out such procedures more efficiently and without negative outcomes

Words fucking fail me.

Later I had better add for people who don’t follow the link that this was 1952, but presumably many of those involved continued to practice medicine for years thereafter.

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About rozkaveney

Middleaged, trans, novelist, poet, activist
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10 Responses to An example of what psychiatrists have done to trans people

  1. clanwilliam says:

    I’ve had a mellow evening out and am very relaxed. Now I want to go out and hurt people, to the extent that I not only want to hurt some of them, I want to watch them suffer.

    I would post more, but I need to go and cry now. The worst is that I’m not crying in shock – i’m crying because this shit still happens and I know it still does to so many people – trans or cis; straight or gay; male or female – all around the world. (I orginally typed “women”, but such a fight is everyone’s fight.)

  2. cluegirl says:

    Fucking apes, man. Fucking shit-throwing, cannibalistic apes. I might have to go throw up now. Or beat my head against a wall for a very long time.

    (Translation: I wish this were not true. I wish my world did not contain such atrocity. I wish my species did not perpetrate its like so easily and with such little regard. But I needed to know this, and so I’m grateful you showed it to me. Just not happy about it.)

  3. cmcmck says:

    I was threatened with parts of this myself in the seventies- go figure why I don’t trust pshrinks or medical so-called ‘experts’ :o(

    *Shiver* :oZ

  4. sammason says:

    That is indeed harrowing. I so wish it were not true.

  5. andrewducker says:

    I hope that this is a historical document as a warning to others, not an introduction to current practice…

    Julie was telling me about the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, which was shown to her in first year as part of a “This is not how to do psychology, you should be shocked by this.” session.

  6. x_mass says:

    I an idiot for even reading this

    I going to try and think of this as fiction so I don’t damage others explaining what is upsetting me

  7. x_mass says:

    i don’t now the actual dates of this and i cant cope with knowing but if it was in the seventies it gives me some justification in after the first debacle with parents when i was 12 just dropping it, not talking to them about it and avoiding the local shrinks – (i lived by a psych hospital btw that practised shock therapy etc)

  8. dmsherwood53 says:

    yeah that was the 50’s that was

    As non-Trans I don’t feel entitled to more than cold disgust.
    But i got that yeah
    Psyciatry has always had a dark side & it didn’t stop with the 50’s. So called reality theripy comtinues a abuse the Young & disfuntional

  9. I’m sure they’re still practicing, or enjoying a nice retirement, and electroshock therapy is definitely still in use today, on trans ppl and many others.

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