Trigger warning for suicide and for gender-based familial and psychologist-inflicted violence and abuse behind the cut — this one is pretty grim.

This is the tragic and infuriating story of a young man who was subjected to mental and physical abuse by his parents, at the behest of a “therapist,” because he was unmasculine. The therapist used him as a data point supposedly validating his “therapy” for “unwanted” gender presentation and the gayness with which he linked it. Despite growing into a superficially successful adult, he was never able to heal from the trauma this had caused and took his own life at age 38. His sister and brother are left to pick up the pieces.

According to the case study, Kaytee Murphy was told to ignore her son when he played with feminine toys and compliment him when he played with masculine toys.
“They pretty much told him he wasn’t right the way that he was, but they never really explained it to him what the issue was. They did it through play,” Maris [his sister] said.

At home, the punishment for feminine behavior would become more severe. The therapists instructed Kirk’s parents to use poker chips as a system of rewards and punishments.
According to Rekers’ case study, blue chips were given for masculine behavior and would bring rewards, such as candy. But the red chips, given for effeminate behavior, resulted in “physical punishment by spanking from the father.” […]

Sometimes Mark would try to protect his brother, to make his beatings less severe.
“I took some of the red chips and I put them on my side,” said Mark, as tears came to his eyes. But he said the beatings were still frequent. […]

“This is my brother, Kirk Andrew Murphy, right here,” Mark said, pointing to the picture. “This is the way he’s supposed to be right here,” Mark said tearfully.
Mark said the photo shows the last time he remembers his brother as a happy child.
Maris, who was too young to remember Kirk when he went to therapy, said she only knew Kirk after his treatment.
“It left Kirk just totally stricken with the belief that he was broken, that he was different from everybody else,” she recalled. […]

As recently as 2009, a book Rekers co-authored, Handbook of Therapy for Unwanted Homosexual Attractions, cites Kraig’s [a pseudonym his family believes was used for Kirk] case as a success. That was six years after Kirk Murphy took his own life.

Funny he should author a book like that — George Rekers was the same “ex-gay” leader who became prominent for being caught going on vacation with a rent boy in 2010.

This is far from the only case in which a young person has been tormented to death for their failure to conform to tyrannical gender norms, but it points the complicity of some in the psychological and psychiatric professions. They completely ignore the well-being of their living, human patient in favour of some ideal of masculinity, and if the patient will have their childhood blighted and their life ruined for the sake of being the ideal man or woman, well, that’s the way it’s going to be.

This is especially pertinent now that the proposed revisions to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Illness (DSM-V) are slated to maintain the diagnosis of “transvestic fetishism” as a mental illness (only for assigned-male people who express femininity in dress, of course — the reverse is just fine!) ETA: thanks to Jack for the correction. And one of the prime movers behind the new DSM, in fact the chair of the committee dealing with gender issues, is a psychiatrist, Dr. Kenneth Zucker, who is responsible for inflicting similar hateful therapy with a view to browbeating gender-variant children into a state of gender conformity.

It should be completely clear that we have a duty to ourselves and to our young ones to vigorously resist and repulse the fanaticism that violently imposes gender norms and, worse, robes this violence in the aureole of science. We cannot allow more young people to be shredded simply for making up a harmless and needed part of the diversity of nature and the human spirit.