Transgender advocates protest ‘transphobic lecture’ at St Pius V Church in Providence

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Michelle Cretella, a member of the American College of Pediatrics (ACPed), gave a lecture Thursday evening at St Pius V Church in Providence on the dangers of the “transgender agenda.” In response, nearly 50 people supportive of transgender rights held signs protesting Cretella outside the church. They pointed out that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) considers Cretella’s organization, ACPed, “a fringe anti-LGBT hate group that masquerades as a premier United States association of pediatricians to push LGBT junk science…”

“Our presence at St Pius tonight achieved exactly what we hoped to achieve — to provide information to our community and support the transgender youth who deserve to know that their experiences are valid,” said protest organizer Galen Auer. “I don’t believe that St. Pius teaches hatred for the LGBTQ community, or that tonight’s event was motivated by hatred, but we know that factually misinformed rhetoric like Michelle Cretella’s has the potential to harm trans kids regardless of her intentions, which is why every major medical association in the country disagrees with her position on this subject.”

Here’s Cretella’s presentation, as described by the Rhode Island Catholic:

“Last year, the State of Rhode Island made it illegal for a licensed medical professional to counsel a child away from the desire to change his/her gender identity, yet it remains legal to inject that same child with hormone blockers and cross-sex hormones. Currently, Rhode Island public schools are deciding how to implement statewide transgender policies that would open up bathrooms, locker rooms, and sports teams to anyone who claims to be the opposite gender from their biological sex. Dr Cretella has been on the front lines of the fight against the transgender agenda for 25 years. She has seen firsthand the severe mental and physical abuse that children have endured at the hands of medical professionals who are willing to “transition” a child from boy to girl or girl to boy, a feat that is biologically impossible.”

ACPed is not the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), founded in 1937 with 64,000 members. ACPed was founded in 2002 and has less than 500 members. Whereas the AAP supports the idea that transgender children, adolescents and adults should be affirmed and supported in their gender identity and expression, Cretella’s ACPed supports practices, such as forcing children to hide their gender or sexuality and corporal punishment, that are harmful to children’s health. ACPed places a premium on heterosexual parents, and falsely claims that same sex parents harm their children.

In addition to the AAP, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the American Medical Association all support and affirm the gender identity and expression of transgender children adolescents and adults. The SPLC goes on to say that Cretella’s ACPed, “opposes adoption by LGBT couples, links homosexuality to pedophilia, endorses so-called reparative or sexual orientation conversion therapy for homosexual youth, believes transgender people have a mental illness and has called transgender health care for youth child abuse.”

The protest itself was entirely peaceful. Protesters held signs and handed out flyers to those entering the church. In a kind gesture, the church put out a table with coffee and hot chocolate for the protesters. The Providence Police Department was on hand but did not interfere with the protest. A few minutes before the lecture was due to start, several protesters went inside the church to hear Cretella’s lecture. Signs being prohibited, some of the protester-attendees expected to be ejected from the lecture when they held up signs emblazoned with the word, “LIE!”

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About Steve Ahlquist 996 Articles
Steve Ahlquist is a frontline reporter in Rhode Island. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for half a decade.Uprise RI is his new project, and he's doing all he can to make it essential


  1. Trans* folks are the ones subject to harassment and violence, some are even KILLED just because they’re expressing their authentic selves. I’m trans*, and proud. We are not going away. We exist.

  2. Michelle Critella might be the least of the problems that post transsexual people face. There are LGBT organizations, such as the Fenway Institute in Boston, which works in concert with the Podesta affiliated group, Center for American Progress, and, also, Lamda Legal which support public policy that would carry criminal penalties in the U K.

    e. g.:

    from the Fenway Institute’s Documenting Gender Identity and Assigned Sex at Birth:

    “Some transgender people may not identify as transgender, but only as male or female. In these cases, assigned sex at birth can indicate that the individual is transgender . . . ”

    Since at least The Model State and Vital Statistics Act and Model State Vital Statistics Act of 1977 it has been recognized that those who’ve undergone triadic sex reasignment are the sex they are reassigned to. My Irish Gender Recognition Certificate says my gender is female for ALL purposes and that sex shall mean gender and gender shall mean sex.

    Lambda, which, Incidentally, recommends that people who think of themselves as the sex they were reassigned to be “tagged as transgender” for surveillance purposes, as if a post transsexual person is some feral animal in the wild. Post transsexual females are to be put on a registry called the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System maintained by the CDC. This is something one might expect in the former German Democratic Republic. Even Michelle Cretella has not gone that far.

    Several states, Connecticut included, refuse to make information about a person’s sex reassignment and the medical history involved available. As I stated above, the recommendations to violate a person’s confidential history along with their medical history would carry criminal penalties in the U K:

    “Q Why would doctors face criminal charges over mis-recording gender?

    The Gender Recognition Act 2004 outlines the rights of patients who have legally changed their gender and presented a GRC.

    It is an offence under Section 22 of the Act for doctors to disclose information relating to the patient’s former gender to any third party without the explicit consent from the patient. Consent should be obtained prior to sharing information with any other party (including to another person within the practice), even if considered necessary for the provision of care.

    An exception might be if disclosure were justified in the public interest (for example, if the patient was displaying violent characteristics as a result of hormone changes).

    However, doctors in this situation are advised to seek advice from MPS or their medical defence organisation first.”

    • I apologize, the name of the 1977 CDC document is not “The Model State and Vital Statistics Act and Model State Vital Statistics Act” but the The Model State and Vital Statistics Act and Model State Vital Statistics Regulations, where it is stated on page 17, Section 21e :

      “(e) Upcn receipt of a certified copy of an order of (a court of corpetent jurisdiction) indicating the sex of an individual born in this State has keen changed by surgical proceduxe and that such individuals name has been changed, the certificate of birth of such individual shall be amended as prescribedin Regulation 10.8 (e) tc reflect such changes.

      further stating in Regulation 10.8:

      “(e) A certificate of birth amended pursuant to the previsions of (Secticn 21(e) of the model Act) shall he amended by greFaring a new certificate. The item numbers of the entries that were amended shall not, however, te identified on the new certificate or on any certified copies that may be issued of that certificate.”

      In other words, the best practices proposal by the CDC at the time was to keep the history of the sex reassignment confidential, as opposed to almost all the other cases where a birth certificate has been amended in which the regulations call for clearly showing the birth certificate has been amended.

      How much different these proposals are now coming out of the Fenway, the Center for American Progress and Lambda Legal. Compared to the CDC’s recommendations of 1977 the new public policy being promoted is horribly oppressive and potentially dangerous for many:

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