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24 April 2012

A short history of (Harry) Benjamin Syndrome.

a)  the first usage of the term was in Paris in 1994, where it was a radical and inclusive term
b) the Argentinean usage seems to be closer to the Parisian, than to the Goiar-Kearny usage.
c) TS-Si and WBT identified with HBS in 2007, but later disassociated.
d) no HBS person has published a history of the HBS movement.
e) neither Reucher nor Goiar seem to have discussed the other.


-- Margaret O’Hartigan wrote:
"Every application of the term transgender to me is an attempt to mask what I've done and as such co-opts my life, denies my experience, violates my very soul.”('Changing sex is not changing gender', Sound Out, May 1993:20.). 
While she was a pre-curser to the Goiar-Kearny flavour of HBS, she is never acknowledged by them.


 -- Tom Reucher, Diane Potiron, Hugues Cariou and others found Association du Syndrome de Benjamin in Paris.  This was an inclusive group working with gays and with the trans spectrum.


-- Association du Syndrome de Benjamin start an annual march in Paris, Existrans, the first Saturday in October.


-- Tom Reucher leaves Association du Syndrome de Benjamin.


-- Charlotte Goiar of Spain sets up  
-- She posted on the Australian WOMAN forum and encountered Diane Kearny in the US who already had a forum.  Goiar participated for a while and then they separated.  
-- September: Síndrome de Harry Benjamin Spanish Yahoo Forum founded.
-- October Existrans attracts over 1,000 marchers.


-- May: The Original Benjamin Syndrome English Yahoo Forum founded.  Proposed HBS Standards of Care published.
-- Goiar and Kearny both then had a website, a forum and a Standards of Care. Goiar’s  was multi-lingual.  Kearny’s was in English only. Kearny’s required members to be post-op, a condition that Goiar could not meet. 
-- Laura Amato joined Goiar’s forum enthusiastically.
-- Alejandra Portatadino of Argentina completed transition:  an HBS woman, she worked with GLBTTI and sex workers. 


-- Karen Gurney “Harry Benjamin Syndrome is a neurobiological condition”. 
-- Laura Amato, turned off by disparagements  and anti TG and anti GLBT sentiments within the group, warns her readers. 
-- Diane Kearny, Jennifer Usher and 3 others attend a WPATH Symposium in Chicago to give an HBS presentation. 
-- A BBC news item on Argentinian trans woman Nati and her support from the gay community uses the expression “Harry Benjamin Syndrome” – while this one article is cited by HBS advocates for many years, the press doesn’t use the term again until 2012. 
-- Suzan Cooke:  “Good-Bye to Transgender and All That”  says that: “The transgender community is like a cult that pounds extremely negative messages into the heads of people treated for TS/HBS”.   
-- Lisa Jain Thompson: “Ruminations On HBS, Revolution, Society, And Real Life” – editor of TS-Si identifies with HBS.


-- Association du Syndrome de Benjamin is dissolved and Objectif Respect Trans continues with many of the same members.
-- Alejandra Portatadino recognized by Buenos Aires Legislature as one of 20 Argentinean women who ‘broke traditional moulds’.


-- Zagria’s Gender Variance Who’s Who discusses the major HBS players. 
-- Goiar revises her estimate of the frequency of HBS and estimates that: “an extremely rare condition [1:100,000]”.  Zagria  points out that therefore HBS are only a fraction of 1% of transsexuals. 
-- Goiar removed her Myspace page.
-- Suzan Cooke’s blog Women Born Transsexual has HBS in its About, although her postings show that she is reconsidering her allegiance.
-- HBS International created pages on English, French, Spanish, Italian, German and Simple Wikipedias. However they did not comply with Wikipedia standards in that they were mainly an advertisement with no historical references and made unsupported medical claims. The English version was also very rude about the other 99% of transsexuals. The pages lasted only several weeks.
-- Joanne Proctor writing as P.J. Schrödinger: Trans-Fried Fluff , in which she claims that:“Wikipedia should be treated as the publishing arm of CAMH”.  
-- Joanne became the HBS liaison to OII. 
-- Goiar creats an HBS Knol


-- Rose White writing as as Violet Grey: Harry Benjamin Syndrome Review.  CompletelyNovel,  2010.  (Review).  A very idiosyncratic book obsessed with the dangers of oral sex.   Goiar endorsed it and linked to it; other HBS persons ignored it.  None have disassociated from it.
-- HBS International put a page on  in January. It lasted less than a day.
-- Joanne Proctor HBS blog  was discontinued, as was the New Zealand HBS  site.
-- Cassandra Speaks  (HBS) blog was discontinued.
-- Diane Kearny’s HBS International  site was discontinued.
-- Ophelia Bradley. ’They Need Labels’: Contemporary Institutional And Popular Frameworks For Gender Variance. MA Thesis. Georgia State University. Discusses AGP, HSTS and HBS persons using their blog names rather than their person names.


-- Goiar’s forum discontinued and closed.  Its active members moved to a Facebook group
-- Joanne Proctor closed Trans-Fried Fluff , and replaced it with trans-friedfluff
-- Joanne died from medical problems.


-- Goiar at age 39 wins a court ruling that the Galacian Health Service should pay for her to have genital surgery.  This results in many Spanish newspapers using the expression Síndrome de Harry Benjamin for the first time.

1 comment:


Well researched. Perhaps the use of the HBS term by courts in Spain, Argentina and Denmark could have been mentioned.
Gayle, Perth, WA