The Tavistock; are 1000 really families suing?

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An article posted to The Times has led people to believe 1000 families are suing The Tavistock, a clinic which includes the gender identity development service for trans youth. The rhetoric is being shared online as a statement of fact.

You can search it yourself, “1000 families are suing The Tavistock”, and you’ll get page after page replicating the original piece in The Times. Many of which from sources like “European Conservative” and “Christian.org.uk”. Transphobes of all kinds appear desperate for this rhetoric to take hold.

In fact, they’ve been saying it for years. You don’t have to talk to one for very long before they start saying that the tide is turning and in no time at all there will be a surge of today’s trans youth suing doctors and their families for allowing them to transition. Any minute now!

So I for one am not surprised that they have seen this piece by The Times and read it at face value as if yes, 1000 families are suing The Tavistock, for real. But that’s just not what the article itself even says. At no point in the article does it say that 1000 families have actually joined up to take part in legal action against The Tavistock.

Instead the article says that The Tavistock gender clinic is “facing mass legal action” and that “Lawyers expect about 1000 families to join a medical negligence lawsuit” according to those lawyers themselves. Not that they already have 1000 families or even indeed any families who have signed up to their lawsuit. Just that they expect, from what they know and believe, that 1000 families will sign up.

The whole article serves as nothing more than an advert for the lawyers, a weak attempt to drum up business chasing ambulances through a transphobic press. A transphobic press which are all too happy to sensationalise trans lives and apply constant pressure to us for no good reason.

This kind of transphobic telephone game is about 90% of all transphobic rhetoric. They are seeing and reading the same things as the rest of us, but something different happens in their brains where it’s filter through their transphobic beliefs and ends up the worst version of itself. In this case, an advert for ambulance chasers has become 1000 families are suing The Tavistock.

It’s not just this lawsuit that’s received this treatment either. The Cass Review’s Hillary Cass had to put out a statement begging transphobes to calm down and stop misrepresenting what her review is about. This following the announcement that The Tavistock would be closing down and being replaced with 3 new services running out of existing pediatric care services.

Transphobes ran wild with this and particularly one part of the statement which said that the way The Tavistock operated was “unsafe”. They were all over social media claiming total victory and vindication for every horrible thing they’ve ever said about trans people, trans youth, parents of trans kids and the doctors supporting us. But that’s just not what Cass’ statement said.

Cass statement said that one segregated service, often hundreds of miles away from home, was not a safe model of treatment for trans youth. This is why she has instructed that more services open up in more areas. They eventually want to have at least 8 of these services across England and Wales.

Cass also said that The Tavistock would be closed so that these new gender services could exist alongside and work more closely with other services for youth with complex needs. Such as those with traumas, those who are neurodivergent and those with mental health issues.

This is something trans people have been campaigning for for years and still haven’t managed to succeed in achieving for adults; the desegregation of our healthcare. Pushing us off into specialist services doesn’t help us and makes it harder to access healthcare for any of our other needs. We shouldn’t have to travel hundreds of miles just to get a diagnosis and then have to fight with our GPs to get the prescriptions filled.

This all seems super positive yet if you spend any time in anti-trans social media circles its not hard to find them hailing it as a victory for them. As if the walls are about to come tumbling down around trans youth – vindicating transphobia and finally exposing trans people as bad. But it’s just… not…

Things generally seem to be improving for transgender people and less people seem to be so easily had by basic transphobic rhetoric. Instead transphobia is having to invent scenarios, such as 1000 families suing The Tavistock or that The Tavistock closing down proves them entirely right.

Transphobes are acting more and more dramatic as the trans news, outside of transphobes acting dramatic about something, is more and more just normal stuff about us living our lives. The general public are already bored of it and I don’t expect it to be the moral panic gripping (a tiny but dedicated minority of) the nation for much longer. They’ll get bored and move on to the next thing soon enough.

 

 

 

 

Gemma Stone
Gemma Stone is a transgender writer who has been covering the rise of transphobic hate campaigning in the UK. She has written hundreds of articles dissecting aspects of transphobia including debunking blatant disinformation. She is very tired and trying her best, and hopefully having a positive impact on such a beautiful community.

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