A new unheralded regulation is in the works to medically rehabilitate Russians suffering from gender dysphoria and sexual orientation dysfunction. This regulation would install one ‘sexologist’ per 250,000 residents, in existing reproductive centers. But there’s strong disagreement amongst advocacy groups over the intended purpose and scope of the regulation.
Julia Guseinova with Association of Russian Lawyers for Human Rights contacted Planet Trans this morning with a dire warning. According to her, the centers would be nothing more than sexual gender identity and sexual orientation conversion programs. What’s more, Guseinova contends that members of the LGBT community are suffering from Stockholm syndrome and actively working to keep the true intent of the centers from western attention. She said her groups attempts to involve and inform the TGEU, ILGA and UN have been stymied by a few LGBT people who are working within the government for the regulations adoption.
A quick google search reveals no information substantiating Guseinova warnings or indicates a basis for concern. But Russia being Russia this bears examination.
While some ‘gay propaganda’ laws have been successfully challenged, outlawed pride celebrations are routinely attacked by skinheads and orthodox priests while police laugh. And new, more vitriolic laws criminalizing gender nonconformity and sexual orientation are currently passing through the DUMA.
“We are concerned”, Guseinova said, “about the goals of these sexological offices, because the authors of the initiative stated, that the specialists of the sexological offices will work with transgender people, LGBT people with the aim to change the point of view of LGBT to themselves.”
“Also, the specialists of the sexological offices will be empowered to diagnose the LGBT as a mental illness and disorder and may guide the LGBT (patient) to compulsory treatment.”
“We consider that the creation of the sexological offices are the second filter for LGBT and the mechanism of the pressure on LGBT, the mechanism of the discrimination of LGBT, the mechanism of the discrimination of human rights and freedoms.”
“We are concerned, that Russian LGBT agree with the mechanism of the discrimination and some persons, who work with Ministry of Health of Russian Federation support the discrimination model of Ministry of Health of Russian Federation.”
“We are sure, that international organizations would not support the discrimination of LGBT and will support the protest against the fascist draft law.”
Russian Transman Kirill Sabir, advocate with the group FTM Phoenix couldn’t disagree more.
We contacted Kirill immediately following our conversation with Julia Guseinova. Sabir has been a major advocate of this regulation and feels it would be good for a number of reasons. One, the treatment. according to Kirill, follows the standards set by the ICD. And secondly, it takes the financial burden off of Russian trans people who currently must pay to be seen by a doctor.
In the future, the treatment would be funded by the government but that opens another whole other can of worms.
I asked Sabir given Putin’s and the Russian govt track record on LGBT issues why in the world would they support this regulation if the outcome of proposed treatment enhances successful transition.
“LGB(T) issues is a hot political topic,” said Sabir, “that’s true”. “But healthcare for trans people is different. There is ICD diagnosis for trans people and there is local legislation that supports patients’ rights. Therefore, Russian Government would support internally driven efforts and regulations that are beneficial to transgender people.
“This regulation is not aimed at gay people,” he said, “Otherwise they definitely would not propose or support it.”
KB: Are you advising the govt or member of an official council?
Kirill Sabir: No x2, but “FtM Phoenix” Group that I’m heading successfully advocated for the beginning development of federal clinical recommendations for F64 (GID), and this particular regulation is definitely a part of the process.
About the regulations relative obscurity I asked if had contacted western media or advocacy groups such as TGEU.
His answer understandably was defensive due to national pride, “We have not contacted TGEU – what for? We would disturb the West in case of any campaign or assistance needed.”
So there it is as best as I can present it. The regulation, in my humble opinion, is vaguely worded and leaves the door open to subjective interpretation. Accordingly some advocates are trying to sound the alarm while other say that there is no need for alarm.
Time will tell.