Susan Bradley is Professor Emerita at the University of Toronto. She graduated with her medical degree in 1966 and completed her residency in Psychiatry U of Toronto from 1968 to 1972. In 1975 she became the Founder of Gender Identity Clinic for Children and Adolescents at Clarke Institute of Psychiatry. In 1985 dr bradley handed over the head position to Dr Kenneth Zucker (who we interviewed in ep 59). She is the author or co-author of over 50 articles on various forms of psychopathology including gender identity disorders in children and adolescents. After stepping down as Psychiatrist-in-Chief at HSC spent almost 20 years consulting to Children’s Mental Health Agencies around the Greater Toronto Area with a special interest in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder who are high functioning. Dr Bradley retired in 2010.
This conversation was an incredible opportunity to hear Susan give her extremely informed long-term perspective on gender nonconforming children and their treatment. She describes what she calls the ‘naivety’ of the early clinicians who put too much trust in the endocrinologists’ eager and scientifically weak recommendations. Looking back, she worries that puberty blockers were just facilitating transition and wonders if many of the dysphoric children the clinic saw actually had undiagnosed high-functioning autism. We discuss the cognitive rigidity associated with autism as well as the laser-like focus some young people have when seeking medical transition. She also shares her thoughts on the new population of ROGD kids and the cult-like aspects of social media trans activism. Dr Bradley was honest, incredibly knowledgeable, and this conversation gives us all much food for thought.