For more than two years, Canadian nurse Amy Hamm has been going through an ordeal that can only be described as Kafkaesque.
In November of 2020, Hamm had been informed by the British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM) that she was under investigation for her “off-duty conduct.”
Two members of the public – neither of whom were Hamm’s patients – had complained, essentially, that she was a “transphobe.”
Despite Hamm’s flawless track record and her history working with transgender patients over the course of her decade-long career, the BCCNM took the random complaints seriously. Six months later, Hamm was sent a document over 300-pages in length detailing dubious “evidence” of her transphobia in the form of her published articles and posts on social media.
Hamm is an advocate for women’s single-sex spaces, and has been involved in the Canadian iteration of the debate around gender ideology – the idea that one’s self-declared “gender identity” is more important than their biological sex. BCCNM took the position that Hamm’s personal views made her unfit to be a nurse.
Hamm’s lawyers described her views to the BCCNM as follows:
“Men are not women. Humans are a dimorphic species. Women and men are biologically different from one another. Women and girls have sex-based rights as a result of those differences. Those rights are under threat. This is the truth. It has always been the truth. Speaking the truth should not be a punishable offense.”
Hamm has written and spoken publicly about gender ideology in addition to organizing large events where this topic can be debated and differing perspectives can be heard. While she had been doing this for almost 7 years, what eventually triggered the two complaints against Hamm was her involvement in erecting a billboard in Vancouver that simply said “I [heart] JK Rowling.”
The billboard didn’t last long, and was vandalized repeatedly in its short time being up on Hastings Street.
For this, she was put at risk of losing her nursing license and her livelihood on the charge that she has made discriminatory and derogatory statements regarding transgender people while identifying herself as a nurse.
Initially, her disciplinary hearing, which is taking place over video, was scheduled for May 30 through June 3, 2022. However, it quickly ballooned to an expected seven days and was rescheduled for September 21-23 and October 24-27, 2022.
After the first seven days, four more days were subsequently added the week of January 10. The fourth day in January was canceled when it became obvious that the hearing was nowhere near completion, and it was decided that another eight days would be added.
Those dates have not yet been scheduled, but one wonders if even the added days will be sufficient to conclude what has so far been a demonstration of the ideological capture of the BCCNM.
It all kicked off on day one when BCCNM legal counsel Michael Seaborn (who displays he/him pronouns next to his name, like the rest of the BCCNM legal team) declared that insisting there are only two sexes denies the very existence of transgender people.
The BCCNM contends that, as a regulated professional, Hamm is not allowed to make such basic, factually accurate statements.
The next day, the BCCNM called on its first expert witness, Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc, who is the Director of the University of British Columbia School of Nursing and a member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), which recently decided that a man who castrates himself as part of a sexual fetish is a gender identity.
One of the highlights of Saewyc’s testimony was when she had great trouble (or, at least, pretended to have great trouble) understanding that lesbians are females attracted to other females. In fact, she opined that it might be transphobic for a lesbian to openly state her exclusive interest in other females.
The next witness for the BCCNM was Dr. Greta Bauer, a Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Western Ontario. Bauer is also a member of WPATH.
Bauer continued to present ludicrous ideas about sex and gender identity as if they were universally accepted and unquestioned.
She spoke confidently about toddlers having gender identities and people changing sex over the course of their life. At the same time, she was unable to define terms like “gender,” “sex,” “women,” and “female.”
At one point, Lisa Bildy, legal counsel for Hamm, put to Bauer a definition of “female,” coined by biologist Heather Heying, that accounts for all possible caveats: “Females are individuals who do or did or will or would, but for developmental or genetic anomalies, produce eggs.”
Bauer could not agree with this definition. When Bildy pressed further, legal counsel for BCCNM Barbara Findley objected, claiming that the definition of “female” was outside of the scope of Bauer’s expertise.
Like Saewyc, Bauer did not agree that lesbians are females who are exclusively attracted to other females. She said that lesbians should examine why they are not attracted to men who identify as women and likened sexual orientation to sexual racial preferences.
Bauer also dismissed concerns about the potential harms of placing trans-identified male prisoners, many of them sex offenders, into women’s prisons. She hand-waved away the suggestion that this situation may create an unacceptable level of risk by saying that “cisgender” women assault each other in prison as well.
On the topic of gender-affirming medical procedures for minors, Bauer stated that it would be transphobic to question any of the extreme and experimental interventions that are being performed.
When Bildy suggested that one of the side effects of hormonal interventions for young trans-identified females is early menopause and corresponding symptoms like hot flashes, Bauer remarked that some adolescents might be “excited about that.”
Bildy closed her cross-examination by pulling up a photo of the infamous Oakville, Ontario high school shop teacher.
She then asked Bauer if the man wearing the enormous prosthetic breasts is a woman.
“If she identifies as a woman, then her gender identity is a woman,” Bauer responded.
“With full access to female spaces?” Bildy pressed.
“As per the law,” Bauer said.
Hamm is, essentially, in trouble for holding the opposite position.
After Bauer’s cross-examination was complete, it should have been time for Hamm’s witnesses to give their testimony. However, counsel for BCCNM has spent a good portion of the 10 days of proceedings trying to get her impeccably qualified witnesses dismissed.
Legal counsel for Hamm intends to call Dr. Miriam Grossman, Dr. Kathleen Stock, Dr. Linda Blade, and Heather Mason. All have extensive knowledge of the gender ideology debate and experience in different areas pertaining to it.
Dr. Grossman is a practicing psychiatrist who works with trans-identified patients and has been raising concerns about gender ideology since 2006.
Dr. Stock is a philosopher, a writer, and the author of Material Girls: Why Reality Matters for Feminism.
Dr. Blade is the president of Athletics Alberta and co-author, along with journalist Barbara Kay, of Unsporting: How Trans Activism and Science Denial are Destroying Sport.
Mason is an advocate for women in prison and a former federal prisoner who knows more than anyone what is happening to the marginalized women who are bearing the brunt of Canada’s disastrous policies regarding the placement of trans-identified male prisoners.
BCCNM counsel has argued that none of these witnesses’ experience, expertise, and opinions are relevant to Hamm’s case, despite the fact that they clearly demonstrate the existence of an ongoing debate of great public interest.
On day 10 of the hearing, Karen Bastow, legal counsel for Hamm, reiterated that what is taking place is not a negligence case but a free speech case. She stressed that Hamm’s speech is protected by her charter right of freedom of expression.
Opposing counsel Findlay made it clear that the BCCNM cares nothing for Hamm’s charter rights by launching into a description of how Canadian institutions have been completely captured by gender identity ideology as if this is a positive and desirable state of affairs.
“A transgender youth in Canada, or an adult for that matter, may discover their identity as transgender and, when they do, they find it in the context of a medical and a legal system and an educational system that recognizes and understands, accepts, and assists with their identity as transgender people. The schools teach it, the doctors practice it, the nurses care with it.”
She concluded, “there is no debate here. Here, the debate is settled.”
Except the debate is not settled in Canada: it has not even begun. The BCCNM is trying to prevent it from even starting by silencing Hamm and not allowing her witnesses a chance to testify.
What is happening to Hamm should not happen in a free and sane society. It is an example of the totalitarian nature of gender ideology and its “no debate” mantra come to manifest.
Amy Eileen Hamm is a dedicated nurse who has never faced any workplace discipline. She is a mother of two young children. And she is now facing the loss of her job for stating basic facts that most people agree with. This should concern everyone.
Our society should be applauding the kind of people who can stand up to social pressure and against atrocities like the sterilization of children and the destruction of women’s boundaries. Instead, it has cowed to a regressive orthodoxy that is burning heretics at the stake.
No, the debate is not settled. Amy Eileen Hamm’s hearing is only its beginning.
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