The Trans Agenda #26

[22 April 2024]

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Publications known for taking an anti-trans stance are and will be referenced and linked. Often, these are the most comprehensive sources for these stories because of their obsession with trans people. I give a summary for those stories so you can make the choice if you want to click the link or seek out more information elsewhere.

As always, if you have any suggestions, I’m open to feedback and you can contact me using the links on this page near the bottom.

The Trans Agenda


Cass backpedals on Cass [Erin in the Morning]

  • Dr Hilary Cass, head of the controversial Cass Review, seems to have softened her stance from the report’s ‘findings’. In an interview during her recent press rounds, she endorsed puberty blockers and hormone therapy based on individual need, contradicting the restrictive tone of the review. These remarks come after the report was used to justify care bans in the UK and cited by anti-trans groups in the US.Dr Cass also attempted to downplay a meeting with the DeSantis administration’s medical board, despite evidence suggesting deeper involvement. These inconsistencies raise further questions about the review’s validity and underscore the political motivations behind it.

    On the 17th April, The Kite Trust and other LGBTQ+ support organisations met with Dr Cass and her team to get answers to the questions raised by trans young people and their families in the wake of the report release. You can read those here and I would recommend that you do (it’s after the initial statement).


Puberty blockers paused in Scotland

  • Scotland‘s only youth gender clinic at Sandyford in Glasgow has stopped prescribing puberty blockers to under-18s, following NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s (NHSGGC) decision. This follows NHS England’s recent suspension influenced by the Cass report’s recommendations for extreme caution in treating trans youth. The NHSGGC plans further research to ensure safe care (they’re safe), while existing patients will continue their treatment. The decision will harm trans children, as once again politics is put ahead of healthcare.

Jeremy Corbyn calls for an end to the ‘horrors’ of anti-trans discrimination [Pink News]

  • The Islington North MP told the Council of Europe that there had to be an end to the “horrors of transgender discrimination”, in his speech on Thursday.

Kemi Badenoch has told financial regulators she wants to “kill off” plans to impose equality quotas on large businesses amid concerns that it will damage economic growth.

  • It doesn’t. In fact, it does the opposite. [Times, Daily Mail, Friday 19 April 2024]

The Trans Agenda by Lee Hurley is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.


Guardian/Observer print letter attacking GIDS ‘scandal’

  • Too cowardly to put their names to it, The Observer have found 16 people who say they are senior clinical psychologists to write a letter about the ‘scandal’ at GIDS apparently revealed by the Cass review. 16 is almost twice the number of detransitioners Cass found (under 10) during her four year search. You can see the full letter in the PAPERS section below.

Sunday Times blame one trans woman for ruining ‘upward trajectory’ of women’s professional pool [Sunday Times]

  • As you can see in the PAPERS section below, Tom Kershaw in The Sunday Times was given an entire page to imply that, because a trans woman won a few games of pool, she is ruining the ‘upward trajectory’ of a sport Tom Kershaw didn’t give two fucks about before a trans woman started doing well. The “Sport was on an upward trajectory after fresh investment,” Kershaw writes, “but the dominance of trans player Harriet Haynes has led to rows and court battles.” It would never occur to Kershaw that ‘journalists’ like him, alongside publications like The Times, are the reason these ‘problems’ seem to be occurring. If they’d just shut up about trans people, nobody would even notice us. Maybe once in a while, I don’t know, write about all the other women who also play pool and not just because they played a trans woman. You know, if you actually care about women’s sports and not just attacking trans people, that is.

Mail and Times can’t get enough flags [Sunday Times]

  • As you’ll also see in the PAPERS section below, The Sunday Times and Saturday’s Daily Mail are running a story on the 21 different sexuality and gender flags recently displayed by NHS staff at Royal Stoke University Hospital. Does nobody from those papers read their previous editions? The Times and the Mail, along with all the other usual suspects, already covered this story last week. Are they just so short of anti-trans stories, they needed to fill some space by repeating them? [Trans Agenda #25]

Press Awards reward anti-trans ‘journalists’

  • The Sunday TimesHadley Freeman was named Broadsheet Columnist of the Year for “impactful pieces on antisemitism, gender ideology and sexual trends.” Kathleen Stock got an honourable mention in the same category. These awards are seen by many in the industry as among the most coveted, even though it’s just the legacy media patting their mates on the back and you can only win if you enter.

Presenter Martine Croxall is suing the BBC for age and sex discrimination [Daily Mail]

  • The 55-year-old newsreader, off the air for more than a year, is set to take her bosses to an employment tribunal next month.

GB News begins redundancy round, seeking to cut 40 roles [Press Gazette]

Nuala McGovern will replace Emma Barnett as the new presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.

Gay furry hacker group targets far-right media []

  • A gay furry hacker group named SiegedSec breached a far-right media outlet, exposing private data in protest of the outlet’s anti-LGBTQ+ stance.

Channel 4 election night coverage

  • Channel 4 announced its line up for general election night, featuring Krishnan Guru-Murthy, News Agents host Emily Maitlis and The Rest is Politics hosts Rory Stewart and Alastair Campbell.

Report reveals Northern Ireland police put up to 18 journalists and lawyers under surveillance [Computer Weekly]

The Trans Agenda by Lee Hurley is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.


Friday 19 April 2024 [Total: 6. Publications 6, positive 0, negative 6, written by trans people 0]

The Guardian [1, positive 0, negative 0, written by trans person 0]
Scottish clinics pause on puberty blockers The Guardian19 Apr 2024Libby Brooks Scotland correspondent Scotland’s only clinic to offer treatment to gender-questioning young people has paused prescribing puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones in light of last week’s publication of the Cass review. The Sandyford clinic, based in Glasgow, which offers a range of services including emergency contraception, abortion and support for sexual assault victims as well as transgender healthcare, posted a service update online yesterday. It stated: “Referrals from the Sandyford sexual health services to paediatric endocrinology for the prescription of puberty suppressing hormones have been paused for any new patients assessed by our young person’s gender service. “Patients aged 16 to 17 years old who have not been treated by paediatric endocrinology, but who are still seeking treatment for their gender incongruence, will no longer be prescribed gender-affirming hormone treatment until they are 18 years old.” Last week, a landmark review by the paediatrician Dr Hilary Cass, which was commissioned by NHS England, found “weak evidence” for the use of puberty blockers and crosssex hormones to treat young people experiencing gender incongruence and said that this vulnerable cohort had been “let down” by the “toxicity” of the debate surrounding their care. The move follows weeks of attacks on the Sandyford clinic for not immediately following the effective ban on puberty blockers imposed by NHS England in March. Yesterday NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) revealed it had already paused starting new patients on the treatments since mid-March, in response to the NHS England decision and while awaiting the Cass review. This week, the first minister, Humza Yousaf, said Scottish heath boards would give the “utmost consideration” to Cass’s 388-page report, adding: “When it comes to the prescribing of medicine, clinicians are best placed – not politicians, government ministers or myself as first minister.” While critics have described the clinic as “the tartan Tavistock”, in reference to the gender identity clinic that was closed in London, the Guardian understands the Sandyford does not follow a strictly affirmative model of care for young people, an approach that Cass called into question. According to Freedom of Information data, between 2016 and 2023, 71 under-18s received prescriptions for puberty blockers after referrals from the clinic. The Sandyford emphasised that existing patients who were already receiving hormone suppressants or gender-affirming hormones were not affected by the pause. Dr Emilia Crighton, the NHSGGC director of public health, said: “We echo the views of Dr Hilary Cass that toxicity around public debate is impacting the lives of young people seeking the care of our service and does not serve the teams working hard to care and support them.” Vic Valentine, the manager of Scottish Trans – part of the Equality Network charity, said they were “saddened” that the decision would result in “some young people being unable to access the care they need at all, or having to wait even longer for it”. Article Name:Scottish clinics pause on puberty blockers Publication:The Guardian Author:Libby Brooks Scotland correspondent Start Page:11 End Page:11
The Times [0]
  • There were no articles about trans people in The Times on Friday. Honestly.
Daily Mail [2, positive 0, negative 2, written by trans person 0]
Now Scots ‘pause’ the prescription of puberty blockers Daily Mail19 Apr 2024By Alex Ward PrEScrIbINg puberty blockers to children has been ‘paused’ in Scotland. The move by NHS greater glasgow and clyde and NHS Lothian comes days after Dr Hilary cass’s review of gender identity services in England. The health boards are the only two in Scotland to provide such services. Under the change, those already taking puberty blockers will continue to receive them but new patients will not. Scotland’s Health Secretary Neil gray said yesterday: ‘We have been clear it is for clinicians and health boards to make decisions about clinical pathways, and that these decisions should be made carefully and based on the best evidence available. ‘This is what both health boards have done and their position is supported by the chief medical officer. More broadly, the cass review’s final report and findings are being closely considered by both the Scottish government and health boards, in the context of how such healthcare can be best delivered in Scotland.’ Dr cass’s review concluded that puberty blockers, which pause changes such as breast development or facial hair, had been prescribed despite ‘remarkably weak evidence’. It said children had been ‘caught in the middle’ of the ‘toxic’ trans debate. The Scottish boards said they made the decision last month, after NHS England had banned the routine prescription of puberty blockers to children. Maya Forstater, chief executive of charity Sex Matters, hopes the move ‘will be the beginning of a long- overdue winding back of NHS Scotland’s ideology-based approach to so-called gender medicine’. A spokesman for the Scottish ‘Based on the best evidence’ Trans charity said the decision ‘will result in some young people being unable to access the care they need at all, or having to wait even longer for it’. THE SNP yesterday ditched a key climate change target after experts warned it was ‘beyond credible’. Net Zero Secretary Mairi McAllan admitted that reducing emissions by 75 per cent by 2030 is ‘out of reach’. but she insisted Scotland’s target to reach net zero by 2045 – five years earlier than the rest of the UK – will remain. Article Name:Now Scots ‘pause’ the prescription of puberty blockers Publication:Daily Mail Author:By Alex Ward Start Page:26 End Page:26
Make sport fair for all Daily Mail19 Apr 2024 MaNy sporting activities are segregated into male and female, plus paralympic, categories. Surely it’s not beyond the wit of mankind to create a transgender category? this would permit fair competition for all. Competitors and spectators alike have been let down by various authorities for far too long. Just deal with it. mIcHael younG, dover, kent. It IS cheering to see Lucy Frazer, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, support fairness in sport for women and girls (Mail). the Football association and england and Wales Cricket Board should be ashamed that they are not saying the same. But it’s disappointing that fairness is proposed only for those women who are already ‘elite’. out of 18 million women and girls in the UK who play sport regularly, only around a thousand are ‘elite’, earning their living from it. how does anyone get there? through school and club sport, usually starting in childhood. If boys who identify as trans are allowed to compete against girls, the contest will not be a fair one. Girls put off by this unfairness in schools and clubs may give up sport altogether. the same goes for nonelite women. all women and girls deserve fair, safe sport as much as world- class women do. Men and boys already have fair, safe sport. to deny it to women and girls is sexism. FIona mcanena, director of campaigns, Sex matters, e. london. Article Name:Make sport fair for all Publication:Daily Mail Start Page:50 End Page:50
Telegraph [3, positive 0, negative 3, written by trans person 0]
SNP climbdown over puberty blockers Scotland suspends drugs’ use in wake of Cass Review, despite earlier insistence of no ‘snap judgements’ The Daily Telegraph19 Apr 2024By Daniel Sanderson SCOTTISH CORRESPONDENT SCOTLAND is to suspend the use of puberty blockers as a result of the Cass Review, in a major about-turn by the SNP. The Sandyford Clinic in Glasgow said that it would also no longer prescribe “gender-affirming hormones” to under- 18s. The move follows intense scrutiny of methods at the Sandyford, which has been branded the “tartan Tavistock”, in the wake of the review by Hilary Cass, the esteemed paediatrician. The SNP had previously said the Scottish NHS would take time to review her findings, suggesting many parts of the damning Cass report for NHS England did not apply to Scotland. As recently as Monday, ministers insisted there would be no “snap judgments” over whether to follow Cass and they backed clinicians prescribing the drugs, saying they followed “very high standards”. Maree Todd, an SNP health minister, claimed puberty blockers “were never routinely prescribed” in Scotland. However, Dr Cass’s report warned that there was no credible evidence to suggest that puberty blockers were effective or safe. She could also not rule out that they could contribute to psychological or physical problems in later life, including infertility. The move could lead to a rift with the SNP’S coalition partner, the Scottish Greens, who had criticised aspects of the Cass Review and support “affirmative” gender healthcare. The decision means that under-18s will no longer be referred for prescriptions of puberty blockers or hormone treatments. Young people could previously be prescribed puberty blockers, which stop physical changes, before then being put onto oestrogen or testosterone in an effort to align their bodies with their gender identity. In a statement yesterday, Sandyford’s young person’s gender service said it had “paused” referrals to endocrinologists for puberty blockers “for any new patients assessed by our Young Person’s Gender Service”. It added: “Patients aged 16 to 17 years old who have not been treated by Paediatric Endocrinology, but who are still seeking treatment for their gender incongruence, will no longer be prescribed gender-affirming hormone treatment until they are 18 years old.” The suspension will not apply to existing patients, in line with the ban announced last month by NHS England. The youngest known patient prescribed puberty blockers at Sandyford was just nine years old. Meghan Gallacher, the Scottish Conservatives deputy leader, said: “This long-overdue decision should have been taken weeks ago when NHS England put a pause on the prescribing of puberty blockers.” Article Name:SNP climbdown over puberty blockers Publication:The Daily Telegraph Author:By Daniel Sanderson SCOTTISH CORRESPONDENT Start Page:2 End Page:2
The war against trans madness is far from over JK Rowling is right to turn her fury against those who colluded in this nightmare, which still grips schools The Daily Telegraph19 Apr 2024FOLLOW Allison Pearson on Twitter @Allisonpearson READ MORE at opinion ALLISON PEARSON Following the Cass Review, a riveting ding-dong has broken out on X (formerly Twitter) between JK Rowling and the TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp. In broad terms, Allsopp belongs to the Pollyannaish “Be kind to trans people” side. While she admits there is a real issue around the impact of puberty blockers on long-term health, Allsopp insists “it is and always has been possible to debate these things and those saying there was no debate are wrong”. This disingenuous assertion so enraged the Harry Potter author that J K spat back at Allsopp with examples of men and women who were bullied, harassed and lost their careers for daring to be critical of gender ideology. Detransitioners, Rowling pointed out bitterly, “are subject to horrendous abuse from their ‘community’ … We’ve all watched them being jeered at, even told to kill themselves.” This is not a match between intellectual equals: it’s Kirstie’s jolly hockey stick against Joanne’s world-bestselling-author flamethrower. “People like you who now claim there’s never been any attempt to stifle debate are part of the reason this mess happened in the first place,” rages Rowling, “If you want to remain in a state of blithe unconcern, fine, but don’t tell those in the trenches they’re making a fuss about nothing.” The choice of “trenches” is revealing. Rowling and other campaigners have been at war against an enemy so ruthless it thought the mutilated bodies of teenagers, who may simply have been gay, autistic or just anxious, was a price worth paying to impose its warped creed. (Yes, Stonewall and Mermaids, I mean you.) Now that Hilary Cass has decreed the evidence for such life-changing interventions was “weak” all the colluders – Labour MPS, Cabinet ministers, doctors, broadcasters, actors, comedians – are claiming that they knew that all along. Behold a Tour de France of backpedalling. In her industry, Allsopp would have been a pariah had she stood up for vulnerable children against the trans mob; look how those brave luvvies shunned the Father Ted comic genius Graham Linehan. Instead, Kirstie complained about the “absolutely staggering lack of humour in this debate”. When a mother replied that her daughter was about to have her healthy breasts removed and she didn’t find it funny, Allsopp advised, “Believe me there is a great deal of dark humour in [a mastectomy] and you’d do well to recognise that.” Hang on, that’s odd. When I interviewed Allsopp in 2021, she told me she hated the jaunty trans term “top surgery” because it belied the suffering her mother and sister had gone through. Saying that on telly would have got her cancelled, of course. A point that is in danger of being overlooked is that Cass is not the total victory some claim; like Hamas, the fanatics have tunnelled deep into our society, hiding in hospitals and schools. On X this week, I asked parents for examples of schools teaching harmful “You may be in the wrong body” tripe to 10-year-olds. You’d be horrified by the stories that came back. The Genderbread Person worksheet (“My Gender Identity does not have to match my Expression, and neither of them have to match my body!”) used by one Yorkshire LGBTQ+ centre is typical. Schools have bought in third-party providers to do their RSHE (relationship, sex, health education). Many are trans Trojan horses, run by activists who seize the chance to drip-feed unscientific gender confusion into impressionable young minds. The Safe Schools Alliance has written to the Prime Minister calling for a public inquiry into “regulatory capture in the education sector” and safeguarding failures in schools. Janine, a schools service volunteer for the NSPCC, told me a refresher course she did had a section on “so-called ‘trans’ children” and that this was a real thing now in primary schools. “There was no acknowledgement that this could be a safeguarding issue, just a directive to use the correct pronouns,” Janine says. “The blind parroting of the thought-terminating clichés angered me so much I couldn’t help but point out that a trans child was as real as a vegan cat; we all know who is making the decisions.” If that pernicious ideology has infiltrated the NSPCC, where are children safe? JK Rowling is right to turn her blazing word wizardry on Allsopp; this is no time for platitudes about “grown-up debate”, “healing divisions and correcting misunderstandings”. There is no misunderstanding. The war goes on. Expelliarmus! Article Name:The war against trans madness is far from over Publication:The Daily Telegraph Author:FOLLOW Allison Pearson on Twitter @Allisonpearson READ MORE at opinion ALLISON PEARSON Start Page:14 End Page:14
The drugs loophole at the heart of the Tavistock scandal Puberty blockers were originally licensed only to treat rare conditions. Eleanor Steafel investigates how off-label prescriptions made them more widely used The Daily Telegraph19 Apr 2024 “Shaky foundations”. That’s how Dr Hilary Cass characterised the ground that gender medicine was built on in this country. In a health system where clinicians are typically cautious, where emerging areas are treated carefully and medicines well regulated, the Cass Review into the gender identity clinic at the Tavistock Centre, in London, determined “quite the reverse” had been true when it came to gender care for children. Of the myriad holes Cass exposed – from the lack of evidence underpinning the guidelines for managing gender dysphoria, to the insufficient studies supporting the use of hormone treatment – perhaps the most striking were her findings on puberty blockers. The use of the drugs (historically prescribed to pause symptoms in very young children experiencing precocious puberty) was informed by a single, Dutch medical study, which, Cass said, suggested puberty blockers “may improve psychological wellbeing for a narrowly defined group of children with gender incongruence”. “Some practitioners abandoned normal clinical approaches to holistic assessment which has meant this group of young people have been exceptionalised compared to other young people with similarly complex presentations. They deserve very much better.” Puberty blockers were meant to simply buy children time to think. In fact, Cass showed the vast majority of children who were prescribed them went on to have hormone treatment. Of the 50 papers on the effects of puberty blockers in adolescents that researchers at the University of York identified for the report, only one was deemed high quality. In the wake of Cass’s findings, published last week, it’s tempting to look forward – to focus on her recommendations and consider what happens next. But to do that, you have to understand how it happened in the first place. For many, the fact it was possible for clinicians to prescribe an underresearched drug freely to children exposes a gaping hole in our drug regulation system. At the NHS’s Gender Identity Development Service (Gids) clinics, including the Tavistock in London, puberty blockers were prescribed “off-label”. Put simply, if a drug is being used off-label it will have been originally licensed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) but is now being used in a different way, for a different condition or group of patients or at a different dosage. It is common practice in paediatrics, as drugs aren’t generally trialled on children. But National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) guidelines state that healthcare professionals must “[give] information about the treatment and [discuss] the possible benefits and harms so that the person has enough information to decide whether or not to have the treatment. This is called giving informed consent.” “The key thing the General Medical Council would say,” says Prof Anthony Cox, an expert in clinical pharmacy and drug safety at the University of Birmingham, “is that you have to be satisfied there is sufficient evidence or experience of using the medicine to demonstrate safety and efficacy. I think that wasn’t met by Tavistock when prescribing puberty blockers.” How did they get around it? “They’d argue there was evidence,” says Cox. “And that they’d developed a practice over years. But by the late 2010s it was clear that there were concerns about the lack of evidence.” Those concerns, he says, were being shared by whistleblowers: “who raised their voices and were knocked down”. There may be a loophole in the system that allowed professionals prescribing these drugs to fall back on the fact it had been licensed and used on children before – just for a different purpose. There was a sense of “What’s the problem?”, says Prof Carl Heneghan, director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford. Using off-label drugs is common practice, he says. “That’s the loophole that’s been used here. We need a much more robust, evidence-based approach for how we licence children’s medicines. That’s why we said we need a new regulator that looks into this.” The fact the drug had already been prescribed to children legitimised its use in young people experiencing gender dysphoria. “That’s the loophole,” says Heneghan. “You say we’re doing it over here, in precocious puberty, and therefore it’s all right to be using it in children for transgender or gender dysphoria.” It should have been particularly important to interrogate the way the drugs were being prescribed given the “irreversibility” of the intervention, he says. “That should create a more stringent approach to the regulation.” For Heneghan, the whole system of off-label drug regulation requires examination. The current one “puts the onus on individual doctors to take the responsibility”. “I think, given what’s happened with gender dysphoria, there needs to be a real look at the situation,” he says. “Certainly, a general practitioner can’t have the evidence and experience to say ‘I can prescribe off-label in children’ where the harms are quite significant and the use is limited. A regulator, if they were in place, might say, ‘This drug, if it’s to be used off-label, can only be prescribed in the context of secondary care where the person is known to A, B and C.’ That would bring in another level of safety that is missing at this moment in time. “There needs to be a tightening of the regulations to prevent this happening again.” Meanwhile the MHRA, he says, “should say it is our responsibility to keep children safe and ultimately we will take the can for when it goes wrong”. The MHRA is clear it has not licensed any medicines for treating gender dysphoria. Dr Alison Cave, its chief safety officer, says: “Clinicians, under their professional responsibility, may decide to prescribe a medicine ‘off-label’. This is a matter of clinical practice and is not regulated by the MHRA.” Patient safety, she adds, is their top priority. Dr Sallie Baxendale, a professor of clinical neuropsychology at UCL, says that, though doctors have a right to prescribe off-label, puberty blockers “escaped out into the wild”. “Now they’re bringing it right the way back to ‘OK, if you want to use this drug, it’s got to be part of research. If it’s going to be part of research it will have to go through an ethics committee, so you will have to present to the ethics committee the reasons why you want to use it, why you think it’s going to work, who you’re going to give it to, why you’re going to give it to them.’ All of that will have to be set out and that’s going to be a challenge on the back of Cass.” Baxendale points to the dysfunctional prescription process at Gids, as laid out in Time to Think by Hannah Barnes. “She described how psychologists, who do not have prescribing rights, were making recommendations for the drugs. Endocrinologists were then prescribing them on the recommendation of psychologists. “Barnes reports that it became a process where no one really took responsibility for the treatment. The psychologists were not responsible because they weren’t actually prescribing. The endocrinologists were only going on what the psychologists said. That’s why Cass insists on a medically led service now, as part of a multidisciplinary team. “It’s extraordinary that such a model developed with an experimental, off-label treatment.” Ashley Grossman, a consultant endocrinologist and professor of endocrinology at Oxford, says if he was prescribing a drug off-label he would first run it past a multidisciplinary group or a pharmacology committee in his hospital and “get other people’s views”. “Almost certainly that didn’t happen at all [at Gids] and that was the problem,” he says. “I think people came from a viewpoint that any child that says ‘I’m in the wrong sex’ had to be believed automatically and had to transition. “It was an affirmation of a change without any counselling, any discussion, any consideration of other possibilities. It was a mindset that was pointed in one direction and one direction alone.” The result, he says, was children “being treated with essentially a completely new and experimental drug – experimental in the sense that it had never been used in this situation.” Campaigners have long insisted that puberty blockers are “just one possible part of a young person’s gender journey”. Grossman points out that people who raised doubts about the drugs “were shut down”. “On social media, a lot of us who were concerned were frightened to put our heads above the parapet because of the trolling and nastiness that went around.” “A custom of practice, and perhaps ideology led clinicians at Gids to believe they were doing the right thing,” says Cox. “I don’t think they had the evidence to say it was safe and effective.” Any structures that may have hindered the use of a controversial drug weren’t present at Gids, he says. “If your whole organisation has a sort of groupthink going on, then the normal mechanisms you might have in place within an NHS trust to oversee such things like prescribing would start to fail.” It didn’t help that the Tavistock was seen as an expert hub. “If you’re considered to be a national centre of excellence in whatever condition you’re dealing with there is a certain expectation that there would be a level of professionalism that would mean that you wouldn’t get this sort of behaviour,” says Cox. “You would have thought a national centre would be the type of place that would be on top of the evidence.” He wonders if there should be a “review of professional bodies” but warns against overcorrecting. “It’s dangerous to start tying the hands of clinicians too much because you will end up having a perverse outcome in that you will cause harm to patients by creating a system where you can’t actually use medicines that there is evidence for.” What’s clear, he says, is that in the case of puberty blockers, it was too “simplistic” a defence to argue that off-label prescribing was common practice in paediatrics. “Off-label drugs [should be] used with due regard to safety and efficacy,” says Cox. “And if that isn’t happening there’s a failure. And if you’ve got people telling you there’s a potential issue and you’re not taking that seriously, and you develop a groupthink that ‘We are right’ and have an almost ideological stance towards the use of a drug, then I think you’ve gone down a really dangerous dead end.” Many hope that dead end has come to its conclusion with Cass – that the loophole will be closed. Maria Caulfield, the health minister, says: “There are no circumstances where a child under the age of 18 should be prescribed puberty blockers off-label for gender dysphoria under the recommendations of the Cass Review. We are working to implement all of Dr Cass’s recommendations, including closing any loopholes to prevent these treatments from being given to children.” ‘Off-label puberty blockers escaped out into the wild. No one took the blame’ Article Name:The drugs loophole at the heart of the Tavistock scandal Publication:The Daily Telegraph Start Page:8 End Page:8

Saturday 20 April 2024 [Total: 4. Publications 3, positive 0, negative 4, written by trans people 0]

The Guardian [0]
  • There were no articles about trans people in The Guardian on Saturday.
The Times [3, positive 0, negative 3, written by trans person 0]
‘Misreading my report is worse than all the abuse’ James Beal - Social Affairs Editor Dr Hilary Cass said some responses to her review were “pretty aggressive” Dr Hilary Cass, the paediatrician behind last week’s landmark review on the treatment of transgender children, has criticised the spread of “disinformation” about her report, including by a Labour MP, after revealing she has been told not to travel on public transport amid fears for her safety. In an interview with The Times, Cass, 66, said young people were being put at risk by the false information. Since the publication of the 388-page report, campaigners including the Labour MP Dawn Butler have repeated claims that Cass had not included 100 transgender studies in it. Calling that assertion “completely wrong”, Cass said yesterday that it was “unforgivable” for people to undermine her report by spreading “straight disinformation”. Cass said she had been sent “vile” abusive emails and been given security advice to help keep her safe. “I have been really frustrated by the criticisms because it is straight disinformation. It is completely inaccurate,” she said. “If you deliberately try to undermine a report that has looked at the evidence of children’s healthcare, that’s unforgivable. You are putting children at risk.” In the days after the review was published, activists claimed on social media that only two out of 100 studies were included in the report. Butler told the Commons: “There are around 100 studies that have not been included in this Cass report and we need to know why.” Cass said researchers had appraised every single paper but pulled the results from the ones that were high-quality and medium-quality, which was 60 out of 103. “You don’t get up in parliament with an intent to spread misinformation … [but] what I was dismayed about was the understanding she got [from the report],” Cass said. Her NHS review found that an entire field of medicine aimed at enabling children to change gender was “built on shaky foundations”. She found there was no good evidence to support the global clinical practice of prescribing hormones to under-18s to pause puberty or transition to the opposite sex. The Gender Identity Development Service (Gids) at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust was ordered to close after her interim report found it “was not a safe or viable long-term option”. Her final report — the biggest ever review into the contested field of transgender healthcare — involved trans patients, families, academics and doctors. Cass said she was pleased that, for the most part, her report had not been “weaponised” by any side of the debate. But she has faced a “pretty aggressive” response from some activists and is staying away from Twitter/X. Cass said: “There are some pretty vile emails coming in at the moment, most of which my team is protecting me from, so I’m not getting to see them.” Some of them contained “words I wouldn’t put in a newspaper”, she said. However, the former president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health remains resolute, despite being thrown into the middle of the culture wars. Asked if the abuse had taken a toll on her, she said: “No … these people don’t know me. I’m much more upset and frustrated about all this disinformation than I am about the abuse. The thing that makes me seethe is the misinformation.” But she added: “I’m not going on public transport at the moment, following security advice, which is inconvenient.” Last week it emerged that NHS adult gender clinics had finally agreed to share missing data on the outcomes of 9,000 patients who were treated as children at the Tavistock clinic. Cass said six clinics had thwarted her review by refusing to co-operate with research into the long-term impact of prescribing puberty blockers and sex hormones, describing their failure to share data as “co-ordinated” and “ideologically driven”. During her review she had a “really difficult” meeting with the clinics, which accused the review team of taking up their “valuable time”, she said. Cass also revealed that the Tavistock clinic had refused to co-operate with the review by not handing over data on detransitioners who were examined by a psychiatrist. Instead, a consultant who had carried out an audit of information from Gids patients agreed to give it to the Cass team. Meanwhile, last week NHS England announced a Cass-style review of adult gender clinics. “You heard it right here: I am not going to do the adult gender clinic review,” Cass said. Butler said last night: “I said in parliament that there are around 100 studies that have not been included in the Cass report. Only two out of 103 studies assessed by the systematic review on puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones (50 and 53 studies respectively) were included as ‘high-quality’, while the other 101 studies were not ... “Organisations such as Stonewall have raised serious concerns about how research was selected and what the criteria for inclusion and exclusion were.” Support for Stonewall crumbles after review The LGBT rights charity, which is the most recognisable in the country, has been accused of demanding change and shutting out debate over trans issues since 2015. Many public bodies are now withdrawing membership Adecade ago, as same-sex marriage became legal, Stonewall was riding high (Geraldine Scott writes). Lauded for its key role in pushing for equal rights and campaigning prowess, it was helping government departments and schools expand their diversity offering and become more welcoming to all. Now, the NHS has distanced itself and other public bodies are reviewing their associations with the charity, as the fallout from a landmark report on gender identity shines a spotlight on the organisation. Stonewall, Britain’s most wellknown LGBT rights charity, has come under intense scrutiny for its stance on trans rights since the publication of the report by Dr Hilary Cass. Campaigning for transgender people became a key part of Stonewall’s offering from 2015, including backing the prescription of “puberty blockers” for transgender teenagers. The Times revealed last week that the charity had tried to suppress early warnings to schools about the shaky evidence base, telling teachers to shred a resource pack which highlighted potential dangers. But Cass found that children experiencing gender distress and wanting to transition had been let down by a lack of research and “remarkably weak” evidence on medical interventions. She said studies had been “exaggerated or misrepresented by people on all sides of the debate to support their viewpoint” and there was a “toxicity” in discussions, with young people being caught in “stormy social discourse”. Critics have put some of the blame for that at Stonewall’s door. Baroness Hunt of Bethnal Green, who ran Stonewall between 2014 and 2019, said in an interview with The Times that she had never attempted to shut down debate and that her only regret was trusting the “experts”. She said she did not recognise the characterisation of Stonewall as being a bullying campaign group. But one source close to the charity said it was Stonewall’s increasing stance of “demanding” change rather than campaigning and enabling progress to be made that had caused issues. They said: “What Stonewall does now is ‘we demand you agree with this, we demand you agree with that, we demand the next thing’, and it just doesn’t enable that bigger principle which is ‘what support should we be giving to some young people and vulnerable young adults so that they can make the best decisions for their life?’” They added: “Some people think it shouldn’t be campaigning on trans rights at all, I think that’s up to it and that’s not my point. My point is that actually it just didn’t build broad alliances and it absolutely did no debate.” Responding to the report, Stonewall said Cass’s recommendations could “make a positive impact” if implemented properly. But in a review of the recommendations published on Thursday it said hormones and puberty blockers should still be prescribed to children and young people in a “timely manner” — against Cass’s recommendations — if supported by a medical practitioner. In a sign that the charity’s influence is waning, The Times understands NHS England has distanced itself from the organisation, cancelling conference tickets and a planned membership of the charity’s Diversity Champions Scheme. Other quangos which The Times revealed last month had kept their memberships, despite a government diktat to withdraw from the scheme, are now reviewing their associations. Sport England had been part of the Diversity Champions Scheme, which brought in £3.9 million for Stonewall last year. But a spokesman told The Times: “We have reviewed the partnership and Sport England will not be renewing membership. “As a public body which scrutinises how we spend every penny of public funds, this decision has been taken with value for money as our primary concern.” Historic England had also paid £3,000 a year for the scheme. It said it was also reviewing whether to renew its membership “based on a value-for-money test” with the Stonewall partnership due to end this month. Arts Council England, which had a three-month membership which ended in October, is also no longer part of the scheme. Other government departments have also withdrawn from the scheme over the years, and Kemi Badenoch, the women and equalities minister, said last year: “We have engaged with numerous LGBT groups, but the fact of the matter is that many of them support self-ID. “That is not this government’s policy. Stonewall does not decide the law in this country.” A government source added: “Stonewall has gone from being a leading civil rights organisation, to the leading pusher of the dangerous trans ideology that led to the outrageous events documented in the Cass Review.” They said the government had “made it clear that Stonewall’s divisive schemes aren’t welcome in Whitehall” but that some armslength bodies and civil society groups still handed over funds. “This needs to stop,” they said.Gender dysphoria’s link to autism ‘must be explored’ One expert began to question diagnoses at the Tavistock clinic, write Rhys Blakely and Tom Whipple Michael Craig believes that about a fifth of the gender dysphoria patients he observed at Gids had autism For six months during the Covid lockdown, Professor Michael Craig sat in remotely on sessions with patients at the Tavistock gender clinic in London. They were children who were being seen for gender dysphoria, the term used to describe a sense of distress caused by somebody feeling that their biological sex does not match their gender identity. But as Craig watched them pass through he says he was “perturbed” by how many also seemed to have another condition: autism. “There were certainly some days where I was fairly convinced 40-50 per cent of the patients I was seeing were autistic,” he said. Overall, he estimates about 20 per cent might have qualified for an autism diagnosis. “I was trying to find out what it is that might explain this overlap, but it’s a difficult area to research for all sorts of reasons.” Craig, who is based at King’s College London, was the clinical lead for the NHS National Autism Unit from 2007 until 2023. He has studied sex differences in “typical” brains, neurodevelopmental conditions including autism and ADHD, and the links between sex hormones and mental health. As an observer at the Tavistock, where the gender identity development service (Gids) was closed last month after whistleblowers repeatedly raised concerns, he found himself grappling with a puzzle at the heart of how best to help a growing number of young people: how exactly are autism and gender dysphoria linked? In the 1980s autism was thought to affect about 1 in 2,500 children; by 2018 about 1 in 34 of those aged 10 to 14 in England was estimated to have an autism diagnosis. Experts ascribe that growth to rising awareness, broader definitions of “autism spectrum disorder”, reduced stigma and a realisation that girls and women — once essentially thought to be immune — can be on the spectrum but are often able to mask their symptoms. Some overdiagnosis is another possibility, they add. There are far fewer gender dysphoria cases, but the rise has been similarly steep. In 2009 Gids saw fewer than 50 children a year. By 2021-22 demand had increased a hundredfold, with more than 5,000 seeking help. That the two conditions often seem to occur together was highlighted in a review by Dr Hilary Cass this month, on the state of NHS services for children identifying as trans. One of its recommendations is that children presenting at gender clinics should be screened for neurological conditions, especially autism. “Clinicians report seeing teenage girls who have good cognitive ability and are articulate, but are struggling with gender identity, suicidal ideation and self-harm,” Cass explained. “In some of these young people the common denominator is undiagnosed autism, which is often missed in adolescent girls.” To support this anecdote, she cited a study which estimated that people who are transgender and gender diverse are three to six times more likely to be autistic than those who are not. Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, from Cambridge University, was the senior author of that research. His paper argued that there were possible mechanisms that may explain the link, such as hormone exposure in the womb. He told The Times, though, that it was clearly sensible to check for both when people present at clinics with gender dysphoria. “If at present many young people are being referred for gender dysphoria as an explanation for their depression, and an underlying autism diagnosis is being missed, then it makes good clinical practice to also check for autism too, in case the person’s mental health struggles might also be partly due to not getting support for their autism,” he said. “The two are not mutually exclusive but could be co-occurring conditions, each of which deserves support.” There’s no doubt that failures to recognise the true nature of neurodevelopmental conditions have done harm in the past. When Dr Wenn Lawson was two years old, a doctor wrongly told his parents that he was intellectually disabled. When he was 17, another misdiagnosis saw him labelled schizophrenic. He spent years on antipsychotic drugs, passing in and out of mental institutions. It wasn’t until he was 42 that it was realised that he was actually autistic. “I have some learning difficulties, dyslexia, dyspraxia, and so on — but it’s very different to being mentally ill,” he said. “Today, you’d hope that a psychiatrist would know the difference.” Lawson, who is now 72, is also transgender and he says that it makes sense to him that gender dysphoria is more prevalent in the autistic population. People with autism feel less compulsion to conform to societal norms, he says — an idea also mentioned by Baron- Cohen in his study. “This frees us up to connect more readily with our true gender,” Lawson said. But he also warns that if they feel they have gender dysphoria and are not taken seriously, they are vulnerable to falling into confusion, depression and severe mental illness. “The suicide rate in autism, especially around gender dysphoria, is much, much higher than in the broader population,” he said. “That doesn’t mean that you just listen to an eightyear-old and take their word for it,” he added. “You’ve got to walk with a person for quite some time. Because there are other things that could be swaying them. So you need to sift those things out. Absolutely.” Craig doesn’t dismiss Lawson’s idea about societal norms, but thinks that other explanations for the overlap could be possible. “Some people would say that gender incongruence, or dysphoria, in itself may be a neurodevelopmental condition — and therefore, it’s not surprising that you find an overlap with other neurodevelopmental conditions such as autism,” he said. “I think that there are also probably significant aspects about the autism condition itself that lend people, particularly when they’re going through more fluid areas of their life, to be a bit more rigid in how they lock into a way of thinking. “It becomes more entrenched than it would do in people whose brains don’t quite work that way. “And I think the third thing is that there is a group of people who are very open and accepting of other people who are different in the area of gender incongruence, or gender dysphoria — and for people who are in the autism spectrum camp, I think there is a sort of sense of inclusion there that perhaps is important.” Autism spectrum disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) traits or diagnoses were mentioned in the majority of cases seen at the Tavistock’s Gids centre, the Cass review says. “But it is not clear how fully or appropriately these had been explored.” So are people with autism at risk of being misdiagnosed with gender dysphoria? “There may be cases where gender clinics do not pick up on where the origin of their unhappiness lies,” Craig said. “People who are on the autism spectrum feel ‘othered’, feel different, feel marginalised. And I think they can sometimes get channelled into a gender clinic, where there’s a system in place that will work with them on that level.” He added: “My experience at Tavistock was that very complicated people were coming through, and any one clinic is going to only be able to deal with things in a relatively specific way. “And I think unpacking all of this stuff is very difficult. And I also think there is a difficulty, politically, in trying to unpack those things without appearing to be transphobic or without challenging somebody’s perception that they are [in the wrong gender body] in a way that is perceived to be unhelpful.” There is, he added, a chance that if better autism support had been available, some people who ended up in dysphoria clinics may not have done so. “This is speculative, but it is certainly possible. But the problem with making a bold statement like that is how it’s then reinterpreted, isn’t it? This is an area where people hold very, very strong views. And I think lots of people have found themselves on the wrong side of those strong views. “I think there are going to be some people who are on the autism spectrum who may be vulnerable as a result of how they interpret various things — and that they perhaps arrive at clinics where maybe that isn’t being picked up. “If one understood that somebody may be on the autism spectrum, and that that was heavily influencing the way that they were approaching [the question of whether they were experiencing gender dysphoria], then that could be something that was explored further if the resources were there.”
Daily Mail [1, positive 0, negative 1, written by trans person 0]
ABSOLUTE MADNESS Its waiting list for operations is the fourth worst in the country, yet this Stoke hospital found time to hang a banner celebrating 21 genders and sexualities. No wonder patients and nurses are calling it... Daily Mail20 Apr 2024By Paul Bracchi ▪ Additional reporting: NIC NORTH and TIM STEWART INSIDE Royal Stoke University Hospital, overlooking the cavernous foyer, is a banner featuring 21 flags. The first bears the familiar rainbow colours of Gay Pride. The others, local health officials inform us, represent different genders and sexualities ‘which symbolises our commitment to achieving a more inclusive organisation where both colleagues and the people we care for are encouraged to be themselves’. So, there is a transgender flag — light blue, pink and white (for those whose gender identity differs to their birth sex); a nonbinary flag — yellow, white, purple and black (for those who do not identify as solely male or female); a pansexual flag — pink, yellow and cyan (for those attracted to all genders); and an intersex flag — yellow with a purple circle (for those who do not fit typical notions of male or female bodies), to mention just four of the classifications. Above the banner, measuring some 45f t , is the message: ‘ EVERYONE IS WELCOME HERE.’ How will this help reduce waiting lists at the Royal Stoke, which is run by the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM), among the worst performing in the country, where patients are treated on trolleys in the corridor? It’s a question many in Stoke will surely be asking themselves. Apart from anything else, the former Potteries capital, one of the most deprived cities in Britain, is about as far removed from fashionable ‘equality, diversity and inclusion’ policies as it is possible to be. Nearly 90 per cent of the population are heterosexual, according to the 2021 census. Most of the categories featured on the banner are too statistically insignificant to be recorded. Polysexual? Polyamorous? Neutrois? Aromantic? Agenda? Admittedly, the Trust only paid a printing company £239 (£199 plus vAT) to make the banner. Behind it, though, are NHS managers on sixfigure salaries and what almost everyone believes — apart from the managers themselves — are a skewed set of priorities at a time when the NHS, metaphorically speaking, is on the critical list. ‘It’s absolute madness,’ said a nurse, shaking her head, after she emerged, looking exhausted, from the hospital following a ten-hour shift earlier this week. ‘No one even consulted us about the flags. Me and the rest of my team are up there on our knees because we’re so tired and understaffed but rather than put vital investment into frontline care, the Trust would rather spend valuable money on a ridiculous banner.’ The nurse, in her 30s, with her scrubs clearly visible under her fleece, asked not to be named, which is perhaps telling, in itself. Her views — nothing more than the truth and old-fashioned common sense — are at odds with the ‘equality, diversity and inclusion’ (EDI) regime inside the hospital. SEvEN people, it transpires, work for the EDI team at UHNM, including three part- time staff, at a total cost of £333,707. But that’s not the only story. UHNM declined to disclose individual salaries. However, the role of chief people officer Jane Haire, who has 30 years’ experience in the NHS, typically attracts a salary of £120,000 to £140,000 per annum. In 2022, the Trust also advertised for a deputy chief people officer offering between £95,125 and £109,475 a year and in 2023 an assistant director was being sought to ‘lead on organisational development, culture and inclusion’, working under the chief people officer (Ms Haire) and her deputy, on an annual pay package of £58,972 to £68,525. A recent advertisement for a nurse, on the other hand, was offering the successful applicant a salary of £28,407-£34,581. Hasn’t something gone badly wrong here? Across the NHS as a whole, according to a freedom of information response, at least 882 staff are employed in diversity-related roles at 241 NHS organisations. Total EDI bill: £40 million. The NHS Confederation, the leading healthcare membership body, blithely dismisses the figure as a ‘small proportion of the annual NHS budget’. Maybe it is. But £40 million would still pay for the salaries of 1,150 nurses. Nowhere are they more badly needed than at Royal Stoke. The cultural transformation of the NHS, where being demisexual (someone whose sexual feelings depend on an emotional bond) or demiromantic (someone who needs an emotional bond to feel romantic) results in a flag being printed on a banner and put on display in one of the biggest hospitals in the country, is almost Kafkaesque. It is a transformation, moreover, which has occurred in plain sight. The strategy which is supposed to promote inclusion is having precisely the opposite effect, much like directives from the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel 1984. ‘The role of the NHS is to deliver care to all who need it, not to promote fashionable political ideologies,’ said Bev Jackson of the LGB Alliance, founded five years ago in opposition to the policies of the Stonewall campaign group on transgender issues. ‘These silly flags only serve to alienate those of us who are samesex attracted. If the NHS wants to be more welcoming to LGB, it should stop associating us with made-up genders and meaningless neosexualities, and spend the money on improving care.’ Today most staff in this brave new world are too scared to even voice disagreement. Take the booklet, issued by the South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, containing instructions to managers not to make ‘supportive comments such as “I understand your concerns” to staff who, for example, complain about trans or non-binary colleagues having access to gendered spaces’. That could include female staff, say, worried about having to share the toilets with transgender women — biological men, in other words. So much for inclusion. The truth the NHS doesn’t want to hear is that the vast majority of staff and patients believe sex is determined by biology and also believe in treating members of the LGBTQ+ community with dignity and respect. It is perfectly possible to be both things at the same time. BUT not, it seems, in the NHS. Instead, anyone who honestly speaks their mind is in danger of being disciplined and portrayed as a bigot by the militant trans lobby, an ideology the NHS has tacitly embraced. So much for everyone is welcome at Royal Stoke. How did we get here? The journey which ended with that banner being unfurled began with the 2010 Equality Act. One of the main aims of Section 149 was to ‘advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not’. Among those ‘ protected characteristics’ were ‘gender reassignment’ and ‘sexual orientation’. But the legislation has been interpreted and expanded beyond all recognition down the years in a way that few people could have predicted. Successive health secretaries Sajid Javid and Steve Barclay tried to crackdown on ‘ woke and wokery’ and victoria Atkins, the current incumbent, has been crystal clear that biological sex matters. Nevertheless, the diversity juggernaut keeps rolling on where the NHS ‘ blob’, not elected politicians, are effectively in charge. It’s a narrative which seems, for all intents and purposes, to have been borne out by recent developments. Doctors have been asked to fill in forms that involved ticking a box on which genitalia patients had, 18 gender options were listed on another form, smear tests are being offered to ‘people with a cervix’ and, according to the latest guidance, ‘not everyone who experiences menopause is a woman’. ‘Gender inclusive policies’, it seems, are writing women out of the NHS in a way that men aren’t. The increasingly dogmatic blueprint coincides with the growing influence of LGBT lobby group Stonewall. Stoke is a prime example. The banner in the Royal Stoke was part of an EDI programme devised in the light of a Stonewall ‘LGBT in Britain Health Report’ in 2018. The survey of more than 5,000 LGBT people reportedly found almost one in four LGBT people (23 per cent) witnessed discriminatory or negative remarks by healthcare staff and one in seven (14 per cent) have avoided treatment for fear of discrimination. The statistics are quoted in an ‘equality and diversity’ section of UHNM’s website which highlights its participation in the NHS Rainbow Badge Scheme. The scheme is intended to show that the Trust is an ‘ open and non-judgmental and inclusive place for people that identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, with the + meaning inclusivity of all identities.’ This now includes Pansexual, Polysexual, Demisexual and Asexual... and 17 other genders and sexual orientations, of course. How much credence the Trust should have given to the findings in the Stonewall report which underpins its gender policies is questionable. In 2022, the Government’s Legal Department ( GLD) dropped Stonewall’s Diversity Champions scheme, under which employers pay a fee for advice on the implementation of equality laws, after its former chief executive likened ‘ gender- critical’ beliefs to anti-Semitism. Stonewall has been accused of ‘ playing a significant role’ in ‘trans- extremism’ and using its rankings, a ‘protection racket’, to quote one leading feminist, to ‘coerce’ public bodies into lobbying for changes to sex and gender laws. But UHNM still signed up to the Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index — which benchmarks progress in LBGT+ inclusion in the workplace — in 2018 and 2020 and again in 2022. UHNM says it has no plans to participate further, having scored badly, in fact, three years running, which gives you some indication, given what has happened in Stoke, of just how entrenched in woke culture higher- placed Trusts must be. At times, it is easy to forget that the Royal Stoke is actually a hospital with an 18-month waiting list for operations last year, the fourth worst in the country. ‘ Extreme pressure’ on A& E resulted in a ‘critical incident’ being declared, earlier this month, for the third time this year. Between April and December last year, there was a spike in superbug infections. So the flags have not gone down well with the people who matter most — patients and their families, at least those who spoke to us this week. DAvID HUGHES, a retired IT project manager, was waiting for his wife who has a heart condition and was undergoing an ECG. ‘Absolutely crazy’ is how he described the banner hanging just above his head in the huge foyer. He added: ‘I think the NHS should be spending its money on those that need care, not this ridiculous woke agenda.’ Another patient, Lynda Harnett, 66, a retired business manager, was equally irritated. ‘I agree that everyone should be included in our society but it should not be falling to the NHS to do this sort of thing,’ she said. ‘It strikes me as a waste of money that really ought to be going into patient care. ‘This is where taxpayers’ money should be spent, not on an inclusiveness campaign, no matter how well intended it is. The NHS needs every penny it can get.’ There has also been a backlash online. One post in particular, in the form a spoof letter from the hospital, encapsulated the nonsense. ‘Dear Patient, we can’t do your hip replacement today, we’ve spent the cash on a new flag. Please advise your pronoun, as we are now prioritising operations based on this.’ It is signed ‘ regards, Woke Administration Dept’... which doesn’t seem a million miles from the truth, does it? Article Name:ABSOLUTE MADNESS Publication:Daily Mail Author:By Paul Bracchi ▪ Additional reporting: NIC NORTH and TIM STEWART Start Page:42 End Page:42
Telegraph [?, positive ?, negative ?, written by trans person ?]
  • For the fourth week in a row, the Saturday Telegraph was not available on

Sunday 21 April 2024 [Total: 8. Publications 4, positive 0, negative 8, written by trans people 0]

The Observer [1, positive 0, negative 1, written by trans person 0]
Our shameful role in gender care The Observer21 Apr 2024 We write as clinical psychologists with longstanding concerns about the scandal unfolding at Gender Identity Development Service clinics. Some of us are former Gids clinicians. While welcoming your editorial stance, we would like to point out that it is not just the medical profession that has “much to reflect on” (“Children were catastrophically failed by this unevidenced gender care”, last week). These were psychology-led services. Whether intentionally or not, and many were doing their best in an impossible situation, it was clinical psychologists who promoted an ideology that was almost impossible to challenge; who, as the Cass report found, largely failed to carry out proper assessments of troubled young people, and thus put many on an “irreversible medical pathway” that in most cases was inappropriate; and who failed in their most basic duty to keep proper records. It is also our professional body, the British Psychological Society, that has failed (despite years of pressure) to produce guidelines for clinicians working with young people in this complex area; and that, forced into making an official response for the first time, now minimises its own role in events and calls for “more psychology” as the answer. We are ashamed of the role psychology has played. What happened at Gids was a multi-factorial systemic failure, but when the Observer rightly calls for “accountability for the managers and clinicians who pursued such unethical practice and caused avoidable harm to young people”, we believe the role of our own profession should be fully examined. Sixteen senior clinical psychologists Names supplied Article Name:Our shameful role in gender care Publication:The Observer Start Page:48 End Page:48

The letter in full reads, “Our shameful role in gender care

“We write as clinical psychologists with longstanding concerns about the scandal unfolding at Gender Identity Development Service clinics. Some of us are former Gids clinicians. While welcoming your editorial stance, we would like to point out that it is not just the medical profession that has “much to reflect on” (“Children were catastrophically failed by this unevidenced gender care”, last week).

“These were psychology-led services. Whether intentionally or not, and many were doing their best in an impossible situation, it was clinical psychologists who promoted an ideology that was almost impossible to challenge; who, as the Cass report found, largely failed to carry out proper assessments of troubled young people, and thus put many on an “irreversible medical pathway” that in most cases was inappropriate; and who failed in their most basic duty to keep proper records.

“It is also our professional body, the British Psychological Society, that has failed (despite years of pressure) to produce guidelines for clinicians working with young people in this complex area; and that, forced into making an official response for the first time, now minimises its own role in events and calls for “more psychology” as the answer. We are ashamed of the role psychology has played.

“What happened at Gids was a multi-factorial systemic failure, but when the Observer rightly calls for “accountability for the managers and clinicians who pursued such unethical practice and caused avoidable harm to young people”, we believe the role of our own profession should be fully examined. Sixteen senior clinical psychologists Names supplied”

Sunday Times [2, positive 0, negative 2, written by trans person 0]
Whether you’re pansexual, agender or polyamorous, you can wave hello to a flag After a picture of NHS staff holding a banner for 21 identities resurfaced on the internet, Katie Gatens examines how the original Pride flag from 1978 snowballed into so many symbols Next image › They were once the preserve of protests and marches, but today a flurry of rainbow flags espousing solidarity with gay, bi and trans people are emblazoned everywhere from financial institutions to fitness brands. Last week, hot on the heels of the Cass report on gender services in England and Wales, a photo went viral of NHS staff at Royal Stoke University Hospital unveiling a banner with 21 flags representing a mix of sexuality and genders from “demiromantic” to “pansexual”. The photograph was almost a year old — taken when the banner was put up to celebrate Pride month. Still, the NHS is in the spotlight for its handling of gender-affirming care and this was low-hanging fruit. The Pride rainbow flag is a familiar sight, but where do all these other flags, from “genderqueer” to “agender” to “neutrois” come from? The first was created in 1978 when Harvey Milk, one of America’s first openly gay elected officials, asked a designer friend Gilbert Baker to create a symbol for the gay community in San Francisco. The eight-colour rainbow flag debuted at a gay march in the city that year, and was gradually adopted by marches each June to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall riots in 1969 in New York. Over time, this flag did not appeal to everyone within the LGBT community. The rainbow flag was altered to include queer people (2015) and people of colour (the Philadelphia Pride Flag in 2017). Then there was the Progress Pride flag (2018) which incorporated the trans flag and had replaced the original rainbow flag at many Pride marches around the world by 2020. Most recently, the Intersex-inclusive Progress Pride flag (2021) was created to avoid leaving out up to 1.7 per cent of the global population who are defined as intersex. Other communities have also created their own symbols. The bisexual flag was created in 1998 as well as the lesbian flag in 1999, the gender-fluid flag in 2013 and non-binary flag in 2014. In almost all cases, new flags emerge from the grassroots. In 1999 Monica Helms made the transgender flag after meeting the activist Michael Page (creator of the bisexual flag) who persuaded her that the trans community needed a symbol to rally behind. She sketched out a design, made it out of nylon and brought it to parades in the 2000s. "One of the flags was designed on Microsoft Paint The purpose of flags used by marginalised communities is twofold, according to Tim Marshall, a historian and author of Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of Flags. They allow group members to recognise each other, and outsiders to identify the group. Marshall points to the Red Cross, the Jolly Roger and the Confederate flag as powerful, instantly recognisable symbols. But with smaller groups — such as niche sexualities and gender identities — flags can have the opposite effect. “I understand this plethora of flags but I think they will struggle as symbols for others to recognise simply because there’s so many of them,” Marshall says. But these flags can still serve a purpose, he adds. “If the intent of the flag is that it’s only for the tribe to recognise each other, then they can succeed in that,” he says. “I’m from Yorkshire and I immediately recognise the Yorkshire flag with the white rose. As a member of that tribe, I get it in a second, whereas lots of people around the country wouldn’t.” Some flags were designed to act as a wink to those in the know. In 1995 Jim Evans, who is polyamorous, decided to create a flag for the likeminded. He produced it on Microsoft Paint. “I am not a graphic artist,” he admits. He sent out the flag to his polyamory mailing list and it was adopted organically over the years. For many, the image from Royal Stoke University Hospital epitomises the lack of critical thought that went into the NHS’s acceptance of gender ideology, proving that as well as uniting communities, flags can also divide — even when there are 21 of them.
The trans row that’s dragged pool into a legal minefield Sport was on an upward trajectory after fresh investment but the dominance of trans player Harriet Haynes has led to rows and court battles TOM KERSHAW Pinches, forfeited a final in a protest that has shaken Ultimate Pool, co-founded by Quirk Next image › The crisis consuming the once minor sport of pool was laid bare inside a Pontins Holiday Park in northeastern Wales in November. Lynne Pinches, 50, a popular veteran of the eightball circuit, had reached arguably the most prestigious national final of her career when she forfeited the match without hitting a shot in protest against her opponent. While Pinches departed to cheers, Harriet Haynes, 33, a transgender woman, watched on confused before collecting the Champion of Champions trophy. The flashpoint had been months in the making as the threat of legal action left Ultimate Pool, the sport’s transformative new promoter, and its sanctioning body, the World Eightball Pool Federation (Wepf ), in a bind of scientific and cultural barbed wire. Amid Haynes’s continued success, in August it was announced that only competitors who were born women would be allowed to play in women’s events. “They went back on that in October because of the threat of legal action from Harriet,” claims Frankie Rogers, 49, another experienced competitor, who subsequently gathered 30 players now threatening their own lawsuit against Ultimate Pool and Wepf over the U-turn. As the possibility of a six-figure court battle looms, Ultimate Pool could reluctantly dissolve its women’s tours and have one open category. “We’ve worked tirelessly to try to progress the women’s game and I think we’ve provided the biggest showcase for women’s cue sports,” Mark Quirk, who co-founded Ultimate Pool with the England pool captain Lee Kendall, says. “We’ve tried to do the right thing. What we haven’t been able to do is come to a clear-cut decision because it’s not clearly defined. That’s not our fault.” In sports such as athletics, rugby and swimming, where a sex-based advantage is inarguable, restricting entry to women’s categories has been more straightforward. However, the uncertainty of whether an exception to the Equality Act 2010 — which protects certain groups in the UK from discrimination unless there is an inherent competitive imbalance or danger — can be applied to pool has become a legal minefield. Ultimate Pool and Wepf, the latter of which is run almost entirely by volunteers, are stuck in the middle of the row. “We’ve got individuals [at the Wepf] who are non-commercial being threatened and having potential liability,” Quirk says. “I’d be resentful about financing a court case that could cost £100,000 to defend something ambiguous. Nor should I have to. We’ve invested time, money and effort into a sport that was failing, and we’re being persecuted for it.” British eightball pool was in disarray before Quirk, an Essex-based entrepreneur, and Kendall combined forces in 2020 to try to replicate Barry Hearn’s revolution of darts and snooker. Before Ultimate Pool, prominent televised events were played for prize pots that often only crept into four figures. Now the Ultimate Pool Champions League is broadcast on TNT Sports in the UK, while the Pro Series, which comprises ten knockout tournaments, has a total prize fund of £260,000. Like most traditional pub sports, elite pool is dominated by men but the formation of a Women’s Pro Series and Challenger Series guaranteed 128 players a platform to compete for substantially more prize money (£75,000 collectively). “What they have done for women’s pool has been absolutely fantastic,” Rogers, ranked 16th in the secondtier Challenger Series, says. The earliest indication that a wellintentioned plan could result in legal quagmire arose almost immediately. Haynes, who transitioned at 23 years old and has enjoyed success in both pool and snooker as a female competitor, won the inaugural women’s event in March 2022. In a press release titled “Hooray, Harriet”, Ultimate Pool wrote that Haynes “can lay claim to being the best women’s player on the planet right now”. She continued in that same vein, winning another event and ending the year top of the women’s rankings, but complaints about a perceived uneven playing field began to gather momentum. “Nobody wants to be labelled transphobic, but I think the majority of players know it is genderaffected,” Rogers says. “Even if it’s only one woman displaced by a trans woman, it’s wrong.” “ There is no scientific evidence that being trans is an advantage in cue sports There are areas that could give a man an advantage in pool, such as height allowing greater reach, but most of the points are more nuanced. For instance, the break is the most important shot, with a successful one affording a player the chance to clear the table in one visit. The claimants say that because men are stronger they can generate greater speed and break more effectively. However, the optimal velocity at which to hit the ball while breaking is easily reached by women. Similar debates apply to grip strength and hand size when forming the bridge that supports the cue for a shot. Then there are societal factors — pubs and pool halls are male-dominated, so fewer women pick up the sport from a young age. Rogers was “quite emotional” after Ultimate Pool and Wepf announced that from the start of 2024 its women’s tournaments would be restricted to people who were born female. “I don’t think I realised quite how impacted I would be,” she says. But the climbdown occurred less than two months later after Haynes instructed a lawyer to fight the ruling. “While it is true that legal proceedings were threatened, that is too simplistic and requires a deeper consideration,” a statement endorsed by Haynes in November read, stressing “there is no scientific evidence to prove that being trans is an advantage in cue sports”. “It is easy to say that Harriet Haynes’s success is down to her being transgender,” the statement continued. “It is more difficult to accept that Harriet Haynes’s success is down to her having a table installed in her house, playing constantly throughout Covid, playing every night and over 20 hours a week, playing competitive snooker, travelling the country to play against better people, having professional coaching and dedicating herself to her hobby. This is not about gender, it is about devotion to one’s craft.” The reversal prompted outcry among players, with more than 60 women joining a WhatsApp group to plan how to fight their corner. “Have I got sympathy [for Ultimate Pool and Wept]? I’d say no,” Rogers says. “They should have done more research rather than going, ‘Gosh, we’ve got a threat of legal action.’ That’s caving.” Pinches forfeited her match against Haynes a few weeks later. “Walking out was the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do in the game,” she said at the time. “I’ve never conceded so much as a frame, never mind a match. This was only my fourth final, but the trophy or money meant nothing without fairness.” The protest was picked up in the media and resulted in Haynes receiving what she described as “a cesspool of awfulness” and “vile abuse [on social media]”. In December 30 players, including Pinches, launched a crowdfunding campaign to cover their legal fees and have raised more than £20,000. They have continued forfeiting matches in protest, with seven players having conceded against Haynes, including the five-times Irish champion Kim O’Brien in the European Championship final last month. Quirk stresses that he is impartial. However, he is concerned by the human cost on Haynes. “Harriet is not participating because she is trying to cause harm,” he says. “It’s not her fault the law is the way it is and that she stood up for herself. And it’s not the ladies’ fault they feel the way they do either. But I’m worried it feels like bullying. Some of the things I’ve seen on social media have made my skin crawl.” Pinches has endured a backlash from the transgender community and has largely withdrawn from competition, while Rogers admits she was “an emotional wreck” amid fears of public reprisal. The impasse could be a prelude to a bigger crisis if the women act upon their threat to sue. Quirk is desperate not to scrap the women’s tours, but fears he may have little alternative. “Going to court would leave us having to examine all possibilities,” he says. Rogers and her fellow claimants are acutely aware of the “enormous risk” of a shutdown, but feel a duty to “protect the integrity of all of our categories for future generations”. Perhaps the only resolution is if the parties commission experts to determine with greater clarity if there is a sex-based advantage and both sides agree to follow its guidance. Until then, it remains an unexpected battleground. “We’re trying to take the sport on a journey,” Quirk says. “But it’s becoming a very hard road.”
Mail on Sunday [1, positive 0, negative 1, written by trans person 0]
Starmer’s equality chief: You can identify as a llama if you want The Mail on Sunday21 Apr 2024By Brendan Carlin POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT MOCKED: Ashley Dalton after her 2023 by-election win LABOUR faced mockery over its stance on trans issues last night after it emerged that the party’s equalities spokesperson said people could self-identify as a llama. Ashley Dalton was ridiculed for saying that anyone who decides they’re a South American cousin of the camel should be treated with ‘dignity and respect’. She also came under fire for having insisted that if you identify ‘as a female, then you are’. The revelations come after Labour health spokesman Wes Streeting switched his stance on the trans issue earlier this month, admitting it was a mistake to say all trans women are women. West Lancashire MP Ms Dalton, who entered the Commons in a 2023 by-election, was promoted by Sir Keir Starmer in November to Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities. But yesterday she was derided for her Twitter postings on trans issues and self-identification. In 2016, she was asked by somebody in one Twitter exchange if a person decided they were a llama, should other people take them seriously. Ms Dalton replied: ‘Yes. And treat you with dignity and respect.’ Labour sources hit back last night, stressing that her comments dated from before she was an MP and that the party had no plans to introduce self-identification of gender. But Tory insiders pointed out that Sir Keir had previously supported that idea only to row back later. Tory MP and ex-minister Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg said: ‘If anything demonstrates the absurdity of self-identification, it is the idea that anyone can suddenly decide they are a llama and expect people to treat them as such. ‘But this is what the MP picked by Sir Keir Starmer as his equalities spokesperson was on record as saying.’ Sir Jacob added: ‘Labour may now say this is no longer their official policy but who’s to say these self-identified “push-me-pullyou’s” won’t change their minds in the unfortunate event of Sir Keir ever making it to No10?’ Speaking on behalf of Ms Dalton last night, a Labour spokesperson said the party’s policy was clear: ‘We have no plans to introduce self-ID into the gender recognition process.’ Article Name:Starmer’s equality chief: You can identify as a llama if you want Publication:The Mail on Sunday Author:By Brendan Carlin POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT Start Page:9 End Page:9
Sunday Telegraph [4, positive 0, negative 3, written by trans person 0]
Call to investigate schools over trans policy Education and health experts urge public inquiry into ‘pervasive influence’ of gender ideology in class The Sunday Telegraph21 Apr 2024By Camilla Turner SUNDAY POLITICAL EDITOR A PUBLIC inquiry must be set up to examine the “pervasive influence” of transgender ideology in schools and the NHS, the Prime Minister has been told. The treatment of “confused and vulnerable” children by medical professionals has been a “major scandal”, according to more than 130 MPs, peers, doctors, psychiatrists and academics. Kemi Badenoch, the women and equalities minister, is understood to back the calls for a public inquiry. “In the wake of the Cass review, she feels that people need to be held to account,” a source close to Mrs Badenoch said. “She is particularly appalled by the fact that a lot of NHS clinicians refused to share data and refused to cooperate.” The calls for a public inquiry come after a report by Dr Hillary Cass, a leading paediatrician, which found that the evidence for allowing children and young people to change gender is built on “shaky foundations”. The landmark review said that social transitioning should be approached with “extreme caution” as “we simply do not know the long-term impacts”. Dr Cass revealed her research was hampered by adult gender clinics refusing to disclose whether transgender people who started their treatment as children later changed their minds about transitioning, or went on to suffer serious mental health problems. Following its publication, Victoria Atkins, the Health Secretary, met Amanda Pritchard, the chief executive of NHS England to tell her “nothing less than full co-operation by those clinics in the research is acceptable”. Public inquiries can be given special powers to compel testimony and the release of other forms of evidence. This means that if such an inquiry was set up, adult gender clinics could be forced to hand over the data on their patients In a letter to Rishi Sunak, the signatories said they are “gravely concerned” about the physical and emotional harm that has been caused to children “in the name of gender identity ideology”. They note that some schools “teach gender identity ideology to pupils as if it were fact, often to the exclusion or denial of biological reality” and that medical interventions on transgender children “have been revealed as a major medical scandal”. Signatories include former Liz Truss, the former Prime Minister, and Miriam Cates and Danny Kruger, the leaders of the New Conservatives group of MPs, along with 14 other MPs and peers from across the political spectrum. Another signatory is Marcus Evans, a consultant psychotherapist and former governor turned whistleblower of the Tavistock centre, the country’s flagship NHS gender identity service for children until it was shut down when it was deemed “not safe” for youngsters. Dozens of consultant psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, psychotherapists, GPs, lawyers and academics are also among the signatories. The letter explains: “Encouraging confused and vulnerable children to transition, socially or medically, including with puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, has caused irreversible developmental issues, physiological damage (such as loss of bone density, infertility and sexual dysfunction) and significant social and relational harms. “This has already had a direct and lifelong impact on child development, the true extent of which is not yet known. “We believe this is a major scandal that requires a public inquiry. This should consider the extent to which state and non-state institutions have failed in their duty of care by supporting, encouraging or facilitating a model of ‘gender-affirming transition’ towards children who believe they are transgender.” The letter, co-ordinated by social campaigner James Esses, goes on to suggest that a public inquiry should examine “all institutions complicit in this harm”, including government departments, the NHS, private gender clinics, mental health bodies, schools and transgender campaign groups. Writing in The Telegraph, Mr Esses said: “Society is, slowly but surely, beginning to wake up to the horrors caused in the name of gender ideology. “Children and young people have been left scarred, emotionally and physically, in the name of gender ideology. Some have been left infertile. Others have lost parts of their bodies that they can never get back. “As a society, we have failed in our duty of care towards children. We must secure justice for those who have been harmed. Crucially, we must ensure that no child again suffers the same fate.” Article Name:Call to investigate schools over trans policy Publication:The Sunday Telegraph Author:By Camilla Turner SUNDAY POLITICAL EDITOR Start Page:8 End Page:8
Taxpayer helps fund trans artist’s sperm donor show The Sunday Telegraph21 Apr 2024By Charlotte Gill Campaigners said Krishna Istha was ‘trying to turn pregnancy and childbirth into a vanity project’ with his show A TRANSGENDER artist’s show about searching worldwide for a sperm donor has been funded with £64,000 of public money, The Telegraph can reveal. Krishna Istha’s show First Trimester took place in November last year at London venue Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) as well as Roundhouse and Marlborough Productions. An Arts Council England (ACE) document shows it provided £64,000 of funding through its National Lottery Project Grant. ACE also separately funds BAC, Roundhouse and Marlborough Productions. A teaser for First Trimester, now finished at BAC, reads: “This groundbreaking performance offers a rare opportunity to contribute to and witness queer family-making. Embark on a journey with performance artist Krishna Istha as they search for the ‘perfect’ sperm donor.” Audiences were invited to “to witness live interviews between Krishna and 100s of participants over two weeks, in a quest to find them and their partner a sperm donor”. Istha, a filmmaker and writer for the show Sex Education, also received £30,000 from Netflix to make a documentary about First Trimester. As of March, Istha appeared not to have found a sperm donor, having gone to New Zealand and Denmark, and spoken to 166 potential donors across 48 hours, with 42 men offering to donate sperm to Istha and the trangender artist’s partner. Denise Fahmy, co-director of Freedom in the Arts who won an employment tribunal claim of harassment over her gender critical beliefs, said: “The Arts Council is now under review by government appointee, Dame Mary Archer. When you see projects like this, paid for by National Lottery players with our hard-earned cash, you’ve got to ask yourself, does this really constitute a good cause?” Lucy Marsh, of the Family Education Trust, said: “It’s horrifying that taxpayers’ money has been spent on a narcissistic individual who is trying to turn pregnancy and childbirth into a vanity project.” An Arts Council England spokesman said: “First Trimester is an entertaining show that explores questions about what it means to create a family and was originally supported through our National Lottery Project Grants programme.” Istha was approached for comment. Article Name:Taxpayer helps fund trans artist’s sperm donor show Publication:The Sunday Telegraph Author:By Charlotte Gill Start Page:8 End Page:8
Labour councils criticised over LGBT events funding The Sunday Telegraph21 Apr 2024By Charlotte Gill TWO Labour-run councils have been criticised by campaigners for spending thousands of pounds on activities including “Cooking with Pride” lessons and LGBTQ+ Paddlesport events. Since 2019, the charity forum+ has received £627,710 in government grants, with Camden and Islington councils alone giving £250,000 in total for 2022 and 2023. Forum+ states its aim as promoting “equality for LGBTQ people in Camden and Islington” through “hosting social groups and events which celebrate LGBTQ life in the boroughs” and “supporting victims of homophobic and transphobic hate crime”. The charity also held a LGBT History Month Art Workshop in February, and offers trips to the cinema and a monthly spoken word event, as well as the “Cooking with Pride” sessions. Kate Barker, the chief executive of LGB Alliance, told The Telegraph: “Councils should have a clear idea of who they’re funding and what they’re up to. Lesbians, gay men and bisexuals would be as keen as every other ratepayer to understand what the T, the Q and especially the ‘+’ actually stand for. “The forced teaming of disparate groups serves none of the individuals within them well.” Neil Garratt, the leader of City Hall Conservatives, said: “When we look at the budget pressures on councils, paying for a fun day on the water can’t be the priority. Assuming gay Londoners are all impoverished and oppressed and unable to fund their own watersports is a patronising negative stereotype.” Elliot Keck, head of campaigns at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Council bosses moan that there’s no fat to trim, yet it’s clear to residents that they’ve barely even begun to crack down on the huge waste that goes on in town halls.” An Islington council spokesperson said: “We work with forum+ and other groups as part of our commitment to ‘Councils should have a clear idea of who they’re funding and what they’re up to’ standing alongside our LGBTQ+ community. This is a key part of our work to make Islington a more equal place.” Camden council said: “We are proud to support all our residents and we work closely with Forum+ to stand up to discrimination and hate our LGBTQ+ residents experience.” forum+ said: ““Our annual events programme and outreach connects with up to 6,000 people each year from young people up to those in their 70s. It promotes understanding and social cohesion and it breaks down social isolation within the LGBT+ community.” Article Name:Labour councils criticised over LGBT events funding Publication:The Sunday Telegraph Author:By Charlotte Gill Start Page:8 End Page:8
Biden ‘undoing decades of women’s rights’ New rules aiming to stop gender discrimination in schools under Title IX anger US Republicans The Sunday Telegraph21 Apr 2024By Tony Diver US EDITOR JOE BIDEN has been accused by conservatives of undermining decades of “advancement and protection for women and girls” with new rules that aim to stop gender discrimination in schools and colleges. The US government issued rules on Friday that update Title IX, a 1972 law that prohibits sex discrimination in schools that receive federal funding. Mr Biden’s revisions mean that discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation are also banned under federal law – in a move that critics say will undermine protection for women in school bathrooms and on sports fields. The rules have become a key battleground in the culture war between progressives and conservatives on gender identity. Mr Biden had promised to provide federal protections for transgender athletes to participate in sports according to their chosen gender. The update does not explicitly deal with that issue, but does widen the scope of the rules to include discrimination against LGBTQ students. It makes it illegal to treat students differently based on their gender identity, which could be used to enshrine the right of transgender students to use their preferred bathroom. At least 11 states currently restrict which bathrooms and locker rooms transgender students can use, banning them from using facilities that align with their gender identity. Many Republicans say Congress never intended such protections under Title IX, and accuse Mr Biden of replacing sex-based protections with “radical gender theory”. Virginia Foxx, a Republican congresswoman and chairman of the House education and the workforce committee, said: “The Department of Education has placed Title IX, and the decades of advancement and protections for women and girls that it has yielded, squarely on the chopping block. This final rule dumps kerosene on the already raging fire that is Democrats’ contemptuous culture war that aims to radically redefine sex and gender.” Other conservatives suggested the rules could be used by transgender students to participate in school and college sports. “Today, the Biden administration redefined the definition of a ‘woman’,” said Tommy Tuberville, a Republican senator from Alabama. Betsy DeVos, who served as education secretary under Donald Trump’s administration, said: “The Biden Administration’s radical rewrite of Title IX guts the half century of protections and opportunities for women and callously replaces them with radical gender theory, as Biden’s far-Left political base demanded.” Mr Biden’s officials said the rules will strengthen protections for LGBTQ rights in schools and point to an updated process for dealing with sexual misconduct. Miguel Cardona, the US education secretary, said the rules make “crystal clear that everyone can access schools that are safe, welcoming and that respect their rights”. Article Name:Biden ‘undoing decades of women’s rights’ Publication:The Sunday Telegraph Author:By Tony Diver US EDITOR Start Page:15 End Page:15

Monday 22 April 2024 [Total: 5. Publications 4, positive 0, negative 5, written by trans people 0]

The Guardian [0]
  • There were no articles about trans people in Monday’s Guardian.
The Times [0]
  • There were no articles about trans people in Monday’s Times.
Daily Mail [2, positive 0, negative 2, written by trans person 0]
Jail says sorry after a female warden called trans rapist ‘son’ Daily Mail22 Apr 2024By Kate Foster Complaints: Rapist Isla Bryson TRANSGENDER rapist Isla Bryson has won an apology from prison bosses after claiming to be the victim of hate crime by staff. Bryson complained after being called ‘son’ by a female officer. The 32-year- old was jailed in February last year after being convicted of raping two women, crimes which were committed while Bryson was living as a man, Adam Graham. After being convicted at the High Court in Glasgow, Bryson was sent to women’s prison Cornton Vale, causing a political storm for the SNP, before later being moved to HMP Edinburgh. The former DJ started to identify as a woman while on bail and appeared in court under the name Isla Bryson. Bryson detailed a series of complaints in a handwritten letter to Scottish newspaper the Sunday Mail. It said: ‘I’m just dealing with transphobia from staff. I was told from a staff member in Edinburgh that the SNP has been telling governors to treat trans women that come into the SPS (Scottish Prison Service) like men. It’s disgusting and a hate crime.’ The letter added: ‘They refuse to put any female toiletries or makeup out. I am on blockers just now. I have boobs. I don’t sound like a man any more.’ Bryson was convicted of raping a woman in Clydebank in 2016 and another in nearby Drumchapel in 2019, but insisted: ‘I’m only into men.’ The sex offender admitted having a five-month relationship with a fellow prisoner who was jailed for six years in 2019 for paedophilia and drugs, as well as a three-week relationship with an inmate called Colin. The letter added: ‘I want to make this clear, I don’t like women, I’m only into men.’ HMP Glenochil governor Natalie Beal, who investigated the incident after it was referred to her by HMP Edinburgh, wrote to the rapist last month. In the letter, she stated that following the incident in which a member of staff called Bryson ‘ son’, the officer immediately ‘ apologised after realising their mistake’. Bryson also complained about a second incident, the circumstances of which are unclear, but they involved a metal detector. Ms Beal said: ‘We do apologise if you felt disrespected but we do not believe that would have been the intention of the officer concerned.’ The letter states that during the probe, Bryson was unable to state the date, time or name of officers involved in either incident. Neither involved any witnesses. The SPS has previously said it is committed to a culture of equality of opportunity and diversity and it was reported that it has a variety of clothing, including unisex, to fit individual prisoners. Rhona Hotchkiss, a former governor of Cornton Vale, said: ‘Misgendering is not a hate crime and that has become clear since the silly hate crime law came into force. ‘ People have been doing it left, right and centre and have not been prosecuted. ‘Also last year [Scotland First Minister] Humza Yousaf himself said “he is at it” of Adam Graham/ Isla Bryson, so I would suggest if the SPS think that’s any kind of a crime they should take it up with Mr Yousaf and see what he thinks.’ A Scottish Prison Service spokesman said: ‘ We do not comment on individuals.’ ‘It’s disgusting and a hate crime’ Article Name:Jail says sorry after a female warden called trans rapist ‘son’ Publication:Daily Mail Author:By Kate Foster Start Page:25 End Page:25
Telegraph [3, positive 0, negative 3, written by trans person 0]
SNP policy: ‘Not just women’ get menopause symptoms The Daily Telegraph22 Apr 2024By Simon Johnson scottish Political editor SNP ministers have been accused of “engaging with fantasy” after issuing guidance to Scotland’s NHS that states “it’s not just women” who experience menopause symptoms. The Interim National Menopause and Menstrual Health Policy was sent to all the country’s health boards by the Scottish Government. Although it said most people affected by the policy would be women, it warned boards that “transgender, non-binary and intersex employees may also experience menopause and menstrual health related symptoms”. The document also defined a period as “part of the menstrual cycle when women, girls, and people who menstruate bleed from their vagina”. A similar claim has previously been mocked by JK Rowling, who wrote a social media post in 2020 stating: “People who menstruate. I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?” The guidance emerged after Humza Yousaf said last week that transgender women would be protected by planned legislation outlawing misogyny. Susan Smith, director of For Women Scotland, told the Scottish Mail on Sunday: “Once again, the truth is being twisted and contorted and the Scottish Government is trying to impose an anti-science ideology on the NHS. “Clinicians must surely be aware that menopause is uniquely an experience belonging to the female sex. It is insulting and demeaning to women to pretend otherwise.” The policy told boards: “Effective management of colleagues with menopausal and menstrual health symptoms can help to improve team morale, retain valuable skills and talent, address inequalities and reduce sickness absence.” However, it then went on to say that not only women were affected. Tess White, Scottish Tory deputy health spokesman, said: “The menopause has a huge impact on many women’s lives, and they will find it insulting that their experiences are being diminished.” A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The Interim National Menopause and Menstrual Health Policy for NHS Scotland aims to support employees with their experience of menstrual health and menopause in the workplace.” He then repeated the claim that “transgender, non-binary and intersex employees may also experience menopause and menstrual health related symptoms”. Article Name:SNP policy: ‘Not just women’ get menopause symptoms Publication:The Daily Telegraph Author:By Simon Johnson scottish Political editor Start Page:5 End Page:5
Henry Bodkin Whistleblower quits NSPCC over claims of trans grooming Volunteer claims that the children’s charity has been ‘captured’ by controversial Stonewall organisation The Daily Telegraph22 Apr 2024SENIOR NEWS REPORTER Julia Marshall alleges she was told to ask primary school children for their pronouns when she delivered assemblies and workshops AN NSPCC whistleblower has quit the charity after claiming it risked “grooming” children with aggressive trans ideology. Julia Marshall, who had volunteered with the organisation for more than 30 years, warned that it had been “completely captured” by the hardline Stonewall campaign group. The 62-year-old claimed that she and other school volunteers were told to ask primary school-age children their pronouns when they delivered assemblies and workshops. She says they were also put under pressure to affirm children’s choices of gender, even where it had nothing to do with protecting them against physical and sexual abuse, which is the NSPCC’S founding purpose. A former police officer and mother of three, Ms Marshall got in touch with The Telegraph’s Planet Normal podcast to make her story public. She claims she was ostracised for speaking out against the apparent shift in direction. “It was a major red flag,” she said. “I thought how can you not see that this is a safeguarding risk?” It comes amid a gathering backlash against gender ideology, including the publication of the Cass Review this month, which found that the evidence for allowing children to change gender was built on “shaky foundations”. Last week, the NHS in Scotland also followed England in suspending the routine subscription of pubertyblocking drugs to children. Stonewall has vociferously campaigned for children to be allowed to change gender. The Government, the BBC and numerous other organisations with which it previously had formal collaborations have now distanced themselves from the group. Ms Marshall had been fundraising for the NSPCC since the early 1990s, but in 2012 she became a regular school visitor helping to deliver the “Speak Out, Stay Safe”, message, aimed at empowering children to recognise and report instances of abuse. “I really felt like we were doing a good job, giving children the courage to look out for themselves and each other. “On quite a few occasions we got told that children had come forward to report abuse after our workshops. That gave me great satisfaction.” Her concerns were first raised in 2019 when she noticed that her supervisor in Hertfordshire had begun including her pronouns, “she/her”, in emails. “I had a long conversation with her about it,” Ms Marshall said. “She said we’ve been told that it’s important to show inclusivity.” Workshops were suspended during the pandemic. In the summer of 2022 volunteers were asked to undertake refresher training before going back into schools. Ms Marshall and around 15 others attended a classroom on a university campus in Welwyn Garden City, where she found “a very different NSPCC to the one I’d known”. “They had a whole session on pronouns and transgender children,” she said. “I was astounded because we were talking about primary school children under 11. “I said ‘What on earth is going on?’. I really did feel like I was an alien. “Everyone was like ‘No this is a thing, this is happening, it’s normal’. “I said ‘How can you not see as a charity that this is a safeguarding risk?’. “The reaction was, ‘Well you’re weird’.” Ms Marshall’s account follows a number of scandals at the charity around the transgender issue and related concerns. Last year, Childline, which comes under the NSPCC umbrella, was accused of allowing the trans lobby to “hijack” its advice website in order to promote potentially dangerous treatments behind parents’ back. Messages posted by third parties in chatrooms hosted by the charity advised girls as young as 14 to bind their breasts and take hormone blockers. The Charity Commission confirmed to The Telegraph last week that it opened a compliance case against the NSPCC following allegations. NSPCC staff were also wrongly told during training sessions that “most people” do not regard themselves as completely straight or completely gay. Following the 2022 training session, Ms Marshall said she tried to debate the issue with her regional and local supervisors but was “blanked”. “At that stage I hadn’t seen what [trans advice] was on their website, but then I looked and thought they’d really lost the plot. I thought I can’t work for this charity any more. It’s been completely captured by Stonewall.” Ms Marshall sent a lengthy email to senior NSPCC figures highlighting what she saw as dangerous advice to children on the charity’s website, but says she never received a reply. Speaking of the recent Cass Review, she said: “There it is in black and white. “Everything I said when I resigned is backed up in the report. “It should be a major wake-up call.” This month, Sir Peter Wanless, chief executive of the NSPCC, announced he was stepping down from the role. An NSPCC spokesman said that the organisation had no formal partnership with Stonewall, but does engage with the campaign with the campaign group, “to hear from communities that are often underrepresented”. “At the NSPCC, we pride ourselves on being a safe space for children and young people – whether that’s supporting them when disclosing abuse or providing a listening ear for any concerns,” he said. “In order to fully support children, we must create a non-judgmental space that allows them to feel comfortable and protected – something which is covered within our training. Something simple, like using a child’s preferred pronouns, is one way in which a young person can feel listened to and respected. “We would like to thank Julia for the years she spent volunteering with the charity, inevitably changing the lives of the young people she supported.” A Charity Commission spokesman said: “In May 2023 we opened a compliance case into the NSPCC to explore its management of the Childline message boards. “After engaging with the charity, which commissioned an independent safeguarding team to review the message boards, we were satisfied the NSPCC had implemented the recommendations from this report. “The case was closed in September 2023.” ‘I really did feel like I was an alien. Everyone was like “No this is a thing, this is happening, it’s normal”’ Article Name:Henry Bodkin Whistleblower quits NSPCC over claims of trans grooming Publication:The Daily Telegraph Author:SENIOR NEWS REPORTER Start Page:9 End Page:9
Trans rapist complains of being a ‘hate crime’ victim The Daily Telegraph22 Apr 2024By Daily Telegraph Reporter A TRANSGENDER rapist has claimed to be the victim of hate crime from prison staff. Isla Bryson, 32, was jailed in February 2023 after being convicted of raping two women, crimes which were committed while living as a man known as Adam Graham. After being convicted at the High Court in Glasgow in January 2023, Bryson was sent to Cornton Vale, a women’s prison, causing a political scandal for the SNP, before later moving to the male prison estate. Bryson was sentenced to eight years at the High Court in Edinburgh, with a further three years on licence. The sex offender claimed to have received an apology after complaining about being “misgendered” and being called “son” by a female member of staff, in a hand-written letter to the Sunday Mail. The former DJ had first appeared as Adam Graham but started to identify as a woman while on bail and appeared for trial under the name Isla Bryson. Bryson wrote: “I was told from a staff member in Edinburgh that the MSP has been telling governors to treat trans women that come into the SPS [Scottish Prison Service] like men. “It’s disgusting and a hate crime.” The letter added: “They refuse to put any female toiletries or makeup out. I am on blockers just now. I have boobs. I don’t sound like a man anymore.” Bryson was convicted of raping one woman in Clydebank in 2016 and another in nearby Drumchapel in 2019, but insisted: “I’m only into men.” Natalie Beal, the governor of male prison HMP Glenochil, wrote to Bryson last month following the incident in which a member of staff called Bryson “son” and said the SPS officer immediately “apologised after realising their mistake”, the newspaper reported. The letter stated that during the probe, Bryson was unable to state the date, time or name of officers involved in either incident, with no witnesses found, the Sunday Mail reported. It was reported that Ms Beal added: “We do apologise if you felt disrespected but we do not believe that would have been the intention of the officer concerned.” A spokesman for the Scottish Prison Service said: “We do not comment on individuals.” ‘I was told that the MSP has been telling governors to treat trans women like men. It’s a hate crime’ Article Name:Trans rapist complains of being a ‘hate crime’ victim Publication:The Daily Telegraph Author:By Daily Telegraph Reporter Start Page:9 End Page:9

THIS WEEK IN PARLIAMENT Monday 22 April – Wednesday 24 April

House of Commons

  • Tuesday 23 April 2024
  • Wednesday 24 April 2024
    • 12pm – Deputy PMQs

Westminster Hall

  • No business that fits the focus of this newsletter

House of Lords

  • No business that fits the focus of this newsletter


  • Wednesday 24 April 2024
    • [Private] Home Affairs Committee – Oral evidence, non-contact sexual offences [more details here]
    • Women and Equalities Committee – Misogyny in music – Oral evidence [more details here]
    • Human Rights (Joint Committee) – Ministerial Scrutiny: the UK’s engagement with its international human rights obligations – Oral evidence [more details here]


Trans woman attacked on NYC subway [Advocate]

  • A trans woman has lost her lower legs after she was violently attacked on a New York City subway, by a man she was reportedly in a relationship with, who allegedly threw her in front of a train. A crowdfunder has been set up to help with medical bills that you can donate to here.

Trans woman murdered in Puerto Rico [Advocate]

  • África Parrilla García, a trans woman, was tragically killed in Puerto Rico. This incident adds to the rising number of violent crimes against trans people on the island, highlighting the urgent need for protective measures.

Black trans man killed in Florida [Advocate]

  • Tee Arnold, a Black trans man has died of the gunshot wounds he sustained at the start of April.

Iraq postpones death penalty for LGBTQ+ people [Advocate]

  • Iraq has temporarily postponed enforcing the death penalty for LGBTQ+ individuals. This decision comes amidst international pressure and human rights concerns, providing temporary relief for the LGBTQ+ community in a country with stringent anti-LGBTQ+ laws.

Russia bans trans people from poetry contest [Advocate]

  • Russia has officially banned trans people from participating in a national poetry contest, citing the need to preserve “traditional values.”

New Title IX rule supports trans students [Advocate]

  • The US government has introduced a new Title IX rule aimed at protecting trans students’ rights in educational settings. This landmark regulation ensures equal opportunities and safe environments for transgender students across the nation.

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Monday 22 April

  • Lesbian Visibility week begins and runs until 28 April
  • MS Awareness week begins and runs until 28 April
  • World Immunisation week begins and runs until 28 April
  • The case of Lucy Letby will be heard at the Court of Appeal from today. Letby maintains her innocence after being found guilty of murdering seven babies when she was working as a nurse at the Countess of Chester Hospital. She is seeking a retrial
  • Liz Truss to addresses Heritage Foundation in Washington DC
  • Opening statements are expected in Donald Trump’s ‘hush money’ trial
  • Copernicus European State of the Climate report released

Tuesday 23 April

  • 40 years ago: discovery of the cause of AIDS
  • High Court hears challenge to UK government over arms sales to Israel
  • UN Security Council debate on sexual violence in conflict
  • A hearing is scheduled to determine if Donald Trump has broken his gag order

Wednesday 24 April

  • Angela Rayner will stand in for Keir Starmer at Deputy PMQs with Oliver Dowden taking Rishi Sunak’s place
  • Former DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson is scheduled to appear for a first hearing at Newry Magistrates’ Court. He is charged with one count of rape, one count of gross indecency, and nine counts of indecent assault. His wife, Eleanor will also appear, charged with aiding and abetting
  • Amnesty State of the World’s Human Rights report
  • Annual stats on Freedom of Information Act requests
  • US Supreme Court hears Idaho abortion law challenge
  • North Macedonia presidential election


  • A serving Met officer has been dismissed without notice after he was found to have behaved inappropriately with an officer to influence a sexual relationship with her [Met Police]



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