In a surprising last minute move, the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference (PTHC) quietly banned two scheduled panels addressing the needs of individuals who detransition, leaving organizers stunned and left with non-refundable travel expenses less than two weeks before the conference.
According to blogger ThirdWaveTrans, who underwent male to female sex reassignment before later growing to accept his biological reality, the PTHC banned the panels out of concern that presenters may be harboring sympathies towards feminism, specifically the feminist analysis which views gender itself as a culturally created system of behavioral codes designed to perpetuate male dominance (masculinity) and female subjugation (femininity).
“The first I found out that something was amiss was by reading a thread on Reddit’s r/asktg which was questioning whether the panels should be presented at the conference or not because they were presented by people that had “TERF-leaning” blogs. I am not a radical feminist, but they tend to place anyone who holds views they oppose in this category.
One of them claimed to receive the following reply from the conference:
“Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention! Our workshops are chosen by our community run planning committee. They did not know the toxic nature of this workshop. We have decided to cancel their workshop and they will not be allowed to submit workshops in the future. We here at Mazzoni and at the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference extend our apologizes for letting this slip through. Thank you so much for keeping us accountable.”
We had not heard any news of this, so I asked my contact at the planning committee about it and she hadn’t heard anything either. Eventually it turned out this was not official, and the planning committee decided to vote on whether we should be included or not as they had received calls and emails complaining about our inclusion in the conference. The committee met and voted over the next few days.
A couple of hours ago I received word that the committee voted to cancel our workshops. We had worked very hard on this and much energy went into it. Additionally, some of us are out our travel costs as we were expecting these workshops to go on until just now, less than two weeks before the conference.”
A review of the writings and materials emanating from the banned detransitioner panel presenters shows that all of them support medical transition. None are radical feminists. None are religious conservatives.
Two forums were subject to the last minute detransitioner ban. The first addressed the experiences and health care needs of those who desist from pursuing a medicalized course of treatment for gender dysphoria, including those who no longer relate to the transgender paradigm. You can read the full description of the scheduled panel here:
The second forum which was banned presented non-medical options for dealing with gender dysphoria for those who cannot undergo hormone and surgical treatments due to health issues, for those who suffer from gender dysphoria but do not identify within the transgender paradigm, and for those who have undergone hormonal and surgical treatment but continue to suffer from dysphoria.
The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) in 38 years of existence, has never in a single instance offered any support or resource whatsoever for transgender individuals who suffer from gender dysphoria and cannot undergo medical transition due to health issues, nor for individuals who have undergone treatment but continue to suffer from dysphoria, nor for those who suffer gender dysphoria but who don’t disassociate with their biological sex. WPATH has never included any guidelines or support for individuals needing (or choosing) to bypass or halt the cross-sex hormone treatments that WPATH advocates for. The second detransitioner panel banned by the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference sought to address the needs of these individuals.
You can read the full description of that scheduled panel here:
You can read the reddit thread referenced above, where transgender activists present their arguments in support of no-platforming detransitioners, here:
Read ThirdWaveTrans’s full post here:
Watch organizer Carey Callahan’s response video here:
Ironically, banning detransitioner participation may have set the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference afoul of the Philadelphia Public Accommodations Discrimination Charter which forbids public events and services from limiting the participation of individuals based on Gender Identity. It reads:
Philadelphia law protects an individual’s basic right to fair and equal treatment by public accommodations.
Public accommodations discrimination may happen when services are denied outright, such as when someone is refused admission to a public place.
Discrimination may also occur in other ways, such as when someone is offered less favorable service than others or when a physical barrier or other issue makes services inaccessible to someone who has a disability.
Examples of public accommodations include:
- Hotels, motels, inns and other places of lodging;
- Restaurant, bars and other places where food and/or drinks are served;
- Casinos, theaters and other places of entertainment;
- Stores, banks, barber/beauty shops and retail establishments;
- Colleges, universities and educational institutions;
- Medical clinics, homeless shelters and other social service providers;
- Parks, health clubs and other centers for recreation or fitness centers; and
Museums and other places of public display.
The Philadelphia Trans Health Conference is a program of the non-profit (5013c designated) healthcare provider Mazzoni Center, formerly Philadelphia Community Health Alternatives (PCHA). The Mazzoni Center is funded in part by a grant from the Arcus Foundation.
According to the PTHC website, Hahnemann Hospital is the largest sponsor of the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference. Other sponsors are listed here: