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03 April 2011

Joanne Proctor (1947 – 2011) HBS activist.

Proctor was raised in Kaikoura on the South Island of Aotearoa New Zealand, the second of four children. After a difficult adolescence he was drug dependent for seven years, culminating in a suicide attempt. Neither parent accepted his femininity, and both died before he transitioned.

In 1980s, Proctor worked as a crane driver at the port of Lyttelton outside Christchurch during a period of strikes.

He starting female hormones and became Joanne when she started a BA at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, and then qualified as a lawyer in 1990 at the University of Waikato Law School.

An unsympathetic psychiatrist told her emphatically that her stature and looks eliminated her as a potential candidate. However she persevered. She was on an invalid's benefit when she was scheduled to have surgery at Waikato Hospital in May 1997, but the local health authority decided to stop funding sex changes less than a week before.

In 2000 the Chief Ombudsman, Brian Elwood, ruled that Joanne had been unfairly treated, but it still took two more years before the surgery was done by New Zealand's sole sex-change surgeon, Peter Walker. Without consulting her, Walker decided to do a colovaginoplasty rather than a penile inversion, and left Joanne with post-surgical complications, which ended up costing the New Zealand Health Service as much again as the vaginoplasty had done.

The Chief Ombudsman had to appeal to the Broadcasting Standards Authority in that TVNZ edited an interview with him about Joanne to imply that the decision was a landmark and unusual when Elwood had in fact emphasized that it was neither.

Joanne lived at an isolated country home with minimal human interaction: "six or seven 'contact hours' with people a month, including grocery shopping and GP visits" (Martin 1/6/02).

She became an HBS activist on the internet, and the HBS liaison to OII in February 2009. She was also active on TS-SI, and was one of the major authors of the short-lived HBS Wikipedia page.

In 2010 she closed down her personal blog, and the New Zealand HBS site, and wrote Trans-Fried-Fluff, then deleted its contents, and rewrote it as Trans-FriedFluff. She has claimed that Wikipedia should be treated as the publishing arm of CAMH, she was an admirer of Jan Wålinder, and of Thomas Szasz, and presented 'gender' as a creation of Robert Stoller and her co-patriate John Money, and transgenderism as a social construct similar to multiple-personality disorder and false memory syndrome. Sometimes she posted using the name P. J. Schrödinger.
"Professor Wålinder’s definition fell out of favour solely due to John Money’s duplicity over the outcome of the Reimer case. It was not the definition that was wrong. It was John Money. (Schrödinger,2010)"

Joanne died at age 63 of medical problems.
The TS-Si obituary says that Joanne served "with distinction as a barrister".  However this is not confirmed by the numerous articles in the NZ press.
     "Wikipedia should be treated as the publishing arm of CAMH". Does this mean that she thought that, say, Andrea James, is a spokesperson for the CAMH?

    Wålinder's definition of transsexualism was:
    1. A sense of belonging to the opposite sex, of having been born into the wrong sex, of being one of nature’s extant errors.
    2. A sense of estrangement with one's own body; all indications of sex differentiation are considered as afflictions and repugnant.
    3. A strong desire to resemble physically the opposite sex via therapy including surgery.
    4. A desire to be accepted in the community as belonging to the opposite sex.

    I agree that Jan Wålinder should not be so forgotten.  Even the Swedish Wikipedia does not have an entry for him.  However to connect his lapse into obscurity and Money's behaviour in the Reimer case is going out on a limb. True, the ICD definition of transsexualism was originally that of Wålinder and later adopted a John Money type wording based on gender identity, but that was because Wålinder had slipped into obscurity.

    She doesn't apologize for, explain or even mention Szasz's transphobia.

    Joanne's account of 'gender' totally ignores its use before the 19th century when it was reduced in scope to grammar, and also ignores how feminists took the concept and turned it into something quite different from what Money had intended.


      1. Courtney Holder who blogs as Purple Speaks objects to this posting.

        Courtney claims that she is a 'true transsexual' and I am not. I have been informed that Courtney has been living as a non-op for a full 15 years, and with no attempt to obtain surgery, and I think that she has not actually worked as a woman.

        I am obviously not a 'true transsexual' in her sense. I had my sex correction 22 years ago, and have worked, married and travelled the world as a woman. So what she is, I definitely am not.

      2. Anonymous12/4/11 08:43

        I don't know why you are accusing me of being this Courtney person and parroting Andrea's
        misinformation. We are 2 different persons. Besides, even if I was, her, and I am not, it is
        not your business, and you have no right to know. I have never outed you nor pried into your business, and I never will. I am better than that, and I thought you were too.

        This is a gender-variance blog, and I am not gender-variant. Just CIS-gendered where it counts, but with a physical condition I did not ask for. You would do better to have 2 sites, one for the gender variant, and one for actual TSs who strive to destroy all variance and conform to CIS-gendered values. But really, I feel you should pick one or the other and stick to it without mixing.

      3. Ms Purple, you speak with forked tongue:

        "TSs who strive to destroy all variance and conform to CIS-gendered values". That sounds like fascism. I don't think that I have featured even one person on this blog who could be described by that phrase.

        "I have never ... pried into your business". You say my site show 'dishonesty and/or stupidity', and that I want "to destroy TS's, mainstream society, and ALL true TSs stand for". That sound like prying to me.

        A 'true TS' is someone who has the operation and does not regret it. I see no evidence that you meet the definition.

        PS. cis in cis-gendered is not an acronym.

      4. Anonymous13/4/11 03:18

        We strive to destroy all gender variance WITHIN ourselves so we can conform to CIS-gendered values. Unlike TGs, we're not queers.

        Who's prying? You out others and discuss CIS-gendered TSs on your gender variant forum. I have a right to call anyone out on stupidity which threatens my rights in the way I need them. I need born-female rights, not transgender rights. As long as you lump people like me in your community, you cut those like me who need mainstream living to even be alive from mainstream support.

        I'll continue my tradition of capitalizing CIS-gendered to emphasize the first part, and if TGs type it lower case, then I have more reason not to. It is wrong for equal adults to correct each other. It is rude and demonstrates presumed superiority of the one "helping" over the other.

      5. Just because you are in self-denial, it does not mean that you are not queer. The "cis-gendered' values that you are so attached to have denied trans persons the right to transition for the last 2,000 years in Christian cultures. It is LGBTI organizing, with the help of a few cis allies, that has achieved the Gender Recognition Act and the Ley de Identidad de Género that permit me and many other transsexuals to live in mainstream society. Don't you live in mainstream society with the rest of us?

        I don't know what community you are talking about. Perhaps that is why I am not part of it, whatever it is.

        Surely you are not trying to imply that I outed Joanna. She outed herself in 1997, and then continued as a trans activist. How would I know about her if she did not?

        Mature adults frequently assist each other, what you apparently think of as 'correcting'.

        PS. this is a blog, not a forum.


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