Nurse’s ‘discriminatory and derogatory’ comments on transgender people at issue in B.C. hearing

A disciplinary hearing resumed Monday morning for a B.C. nurse facing allegations of unprofessional conduct over her public statements about transgender people.

The B.C. College of Nurses and Midwives’ discipline committee is considering whether Amy Hamm’s public statements denying the gender identities of transgender people amount to unprofessional conduct.

Monday’s virtual hearing was delayed several times by procedural questions and interruptions from members of the public, but the substance of the proceedings concerned Hamm’s attempts to introduce evidence from a Canadian psychologist who has become increasingly popular with U.S. conservatives implementing anti-trans laws.

Hamm faces potential discipline for a series of social media posts, podcast appearances, videos and other writings dating from July 2018 to March 2021 in which she “made discriminatory and derogatory statements regarding transgender people” while identifying herself as a nurse, according to a citation from the college.

Her online posts have mocked various transgender women as “a man in a dress” and referred to them using the pronouns “he” or “him.” In 2020, she co-sponsored the erection of a billboard on Hastings Street in Vancouver reading “I [heart] J.K. Rowling” in support of the author’s public anti-trans statements.

In a typical post on her Twitter account on Sunday, Hamm referred to the college hearings as a “witch trial” and suggested she is being persecuted.

“Should a nurse be allowed to keep her job after saying that trans women are men? This is the Galileo affair of nursing,” Hamm tweeted on Sunday.

Her views have received supportive coverage from media outlets such as Rebel News, The Daily Wire, The Post Millennial and the National Post’s opinion section.

Expert called on as states defend anti-trans laws

Before Monday, there had been 11 days of hearings in the case, and the college has already presented its evidence.

The main question up for discussion as the hearing resumed concerns Toronto psychologist James Cantor’s suitability as an expert witness on Hamm’s behalf.

Hamm’s lawyer, Karen Bastow, spent almost two hours of Monday’s hearing reading through Cantor’s resume and asking him about his research and public statements, and said she expected to take another hour when proceedings resumed on Tuesday.

But, she added, “I think it’s clear that Dr. Cantor is an expert.”

College lawyer barbara findlay, however, indicated that she planned to contest the admissibility of a significant portion of Cantor’s expected evidence.

Since 2021, Toronto psychologist James Cantor has testified in more than 20 cases in the U.S. involving transgender issues.
Since 2021, Toronto psychologist James Cantor has testified in more than 20 cases in the U.S. involving transgender issues. (Craig Chivers/CBC)

The hearing heard that much of Cantor’s research has focused on pedophilia as well as what he described as “atypical sexualities” ranging from sex addiction to the furry community.

As a CBC investigation recently revealed, Cantor has become one of the most in-demand witnesses for U.S. states defending their restrictions on transgender rights. He estimates that he has more than doubled his income this year by providing testimony in these cases.

Since 2021, he’s testified in 25 different cases, including for several states that have been taken to court over bans on gender-affirming care. He’s also appeared on behalf of states defending laws that bar transgender students from school sports and restrict which bathrooms they can use.

In general, Cantor has questioned the safety and effectiveness of gender-affirming care and suggested that many teens who identify as trans are really just insecure about fitting in and growing up.

However, Cantor has acknowledged under cross-examination that he has never diagnosed or treated an adolescent with gender dysphoria.

Interruptions from the public

More than 100 people were part of the virtual audience for Monday’s hearing, which was periodically interrupted by members of the public.

The interruptions included someone with the screen name “Donald Smith is a Criminal” muttering obscenities, a “Crystal Bieber” playing snippets of Justin Bieber songs, “Muslims are terrorists” playing Arabic music, and someone who shared a virtual whiteboard on which they’d written messages supporting “Antifa.”

By the afternoon, the college had updated the settings on the video hearing to prevent members of the audience from speaking or displaying their screens.

Hamm’s hearing resumes Tuesday morning.

She faces allegations of violating the college’s standards on professional responsibility and accountability, client-focused provision of service and ethical practice.

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