The Trans Agenda #31

[20 May 2024]

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The Trans Agenda

Welcome to this week’s Trans Agenda after a week dominated by the Tories issuing new guidance for schools akin to a new Section 28 but for trans people. I don’t talk a lot about that in this issue as, by now, I assume you’ve seen all the nonsense. What is important to point out, however, is that this is guidance and not law and the Tories will be out of power before they can get it on the statute books.

Labour remains noncommittal on the new guidance, which is something, I guess. Usually, they throw their full weight behind whatever bullshit the Tories produce. According to The Times, however, Labour are planning to make major changes to the Gender ID process which seems like good news on its face but we will have to see how it plays out.

In other news, Whitehall staff may or may not be threatening strikes over “transphobic” policies. A new report from Northern Ireland confirms the harm of conversion therapy, despite government inaction. Meanwhile, Labour’s Annelise Dodds faces backlash for meeting with the controversial LGB Alliance. WPATH finally criticises the Cass Review’s stance on gender-affirming care for trans youth, as studies reveal the negative mental health impact of gender-critical policies and high turnover rates among LGBTQ+ NHS staff.

In international news, Peru classifies trans people as “mentally ill,” sparking outrage among activists.

Closer to home, the UK sees a new play explores the rift between JK Rowling and Harry Potter stars while The Sunday Times produced a very small article in defence of Lucy Clark after Rowling targeted her online just for existing. True story.

There is also an impending backlash against E45. Yes, the cream.


Toddlers of trans man attacked by gang of youths [Irish Sun]

  • The twins, aged 3, were physically assaulted and verbally abused in a park in north Belfast by a gang of around 10 youths aged 10-12. They were with their father, who is trans, and the assaults were also accompanied by vile transphobic abuse. One child was pushed into a wall, hitting their head.

Labour plan for gender ID change to be made easier [Times]

  • According to Monday’s edition of The Times, Labour plans to simplify the process of obtaining a gender-recognition certificate by allowing a single doctor to approve the decision, potentially a GP, instead of a panel of doctors and lawyers. The party aims to make the process less medicalised while retaining necessary safeguards. The proposal would also remove the ability of a spouse to object to the change. Concerns have been raised about whether GPs have the capacity to handle this responsibility, and the proposal will likely go to consultation if Labour wins the next election.

    Hilariously, Kemi Badenoch has accused Labour of ‘weaponing’ the issue. She said: “There is no reason whatsoever to relax the safeguards that are in place. [Labour] should stop trying to weaponise this issue and allow professionals to do their job properly.”

    If only she was able to listen to her own advice….

Labour declines to commit to new sex education guidance [Telegraph]

  • Labour has declined to commit to retaining the new sex education guidance recently unveiled by the Education Secretary. Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson stressed the need for age-appropriate teaching and emphasised that discussions about trans issues should not be politicised, stating, “It saddens me that so much of this discussion about how we teach our young people about trans issues more widely has become political knockabout and has become about would-be Tory leadership contenders seeking to get headlines on that basis. This is about our children’s wellbeing.”

Whitehall staff in strike threat over ‘transphobic guidance’ [Daily Mail]

  • Civil servants are considering strike action against government policies deemed transphobic, so says the Daily Mail. The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, representing Whitehall staff, will reportedly evaluate calls for industrial and legal action against new anti-trans guidance at their upcoming conference (21 May – 23 May, Brighton). Motions have been proposed by two union branches in response to draft guidance from the Department for Education, which advises putting trans kids at risk by stopping students identifying as the opposite sex without parental consent.

    Further grievances include the government’s block on Scotland‘s gender self-ID law for 16-year-olds and Cabinet Office ‘guidance’ requiring trans women to hold a Gender Recognition Certificate to use female toilets, claiming these policies could lead to harassment. The latter certainly breaks the Equality Act. The PCS hopes to counteract the political exploitation of trans issues in the upcoming General Election, striving to protect trans and LGBT+ communities.

Annelise Dodds meets with LGB Alliance [LGB Alliance’]

  • Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, and Chair of the Labour Party Annelise Dodds held a ‘productive meeting’ with the LGB Alliance, a group that has been designated a hate group in some countries. They tweeted, “Our thanks to the Chair of The Labour Party, Anneliese Dodds MP, for meeting with us for a productive discussion about our work.”

    The next day, Dodds tweeted, “Labour stands firmly against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. No-one should face abuse because of who they love or who they are. We will ban all forms of so-called conversion therapy outright, and tackle soaring levels of anti-LGBT+ hate crime.”


WPATH have finally released a statement on the Cass Review [WPATH]

  • WPATH and USPATH have finally criticised the recently published Cass Review, which ‘investigated’ transgender youth care in the UK. They express concerns over the review’s methodology, exclusion of experienced voices, and the recommendation against puberty blockers and hormone therapy for young trans people. They rightly argue this contradicts established medical guidelines and harms trans youth. The organisations also highlighted that many countries support these treatments and stress the need for evidence-based, inclusive care to improve the mental health and quality of life for transgender people.

Northern Ireland conversion therapy report out [report here]

  • This research report, commissioned by LGBTQ+ organisations in Northern Ireland and funded by the Department for Communities, investigates the practice of conversion therapy in Northern Ireland. Conversion practices, also known as conversion therapy, refer to any attempt to change or suppress an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The study involved interviews with 10 LGBTQI+ individuals who had experienced or been offered conversion practices while living in Northern Ireland.

    The report found that conversion practices have been offered and practiced in Northern Ireland over the past 10 years, primarily by religious organisations but also within healthcare and educational settings. Participants reported various forms of conversion practices, including counselling, prayer, and even exorcism-like rituals. These practices were often initiated due to internal conflicts between religious beliefs and LGBTQI+ identities, as well as external pressures from family and community members.

    The study highlights the harmful effects of conversion practices on participants’ mental and emotional well-being. These practices often led to depression, anxiety, self-harm, and feelings of shame and guilt. Participants also reported long-term consequences such as difficulties in forming relationships and trusting therapeutic spaces.

    Based on the findings, the report, like the many that have come before it, concludes that conversion practices are harmful and unethical despite the UK government trying to impose them as standard and refusing to ban the practice outright because they want to keep it for trans people. It recommends a legal ban on conversion practices in Northern Ireland, along with public awareness campaigns to educate individuals and communities about the dangers of these practices. Additionally, the report emphasises the need for accessible and affirming counselling services for LGBTQI+ people who have experienced conversion practices.

LGBTQ+ NHS workers more likely to leave [Pink News]

  • LGBTQ+ NHS workers are significantly more likely to leave their jobs compared to their heterosexual colleagues, with one in five gay, lesbian, and bisexual staff, and one in four trans staff members considering departure. This is linked to increased workplace bullying, harassment, and discrimination. Recent UK government policies, including proposed bans on trans women in single-sex wards and limiting gender-affirming care for trans youth, exacerbate the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ NHS staff.

Gender-critical policy harms trans youth [TransAdvocate]

  • A study on TransAdvocate reveals that gender-critical policies, which oppose gender-affirmative care, are linked to significant mental health risks for trans youth, including increased rates of depression and anxiety. The research contrasts these harmful impacts with the benefits of gender-affirmative interventions, which are shown to improve mental health outcomes and overall well-being for trans people. The study underscores the importance of supportive, affirming care in mitigating risks and promoting healthy development for trans youth.

Rowling actor rift turns into a drama [Sunday Times]

  • A new play titled Terf, written by Hollywood scriptwriter Joshua Kaplan, will dramatise the rift between JK Rowling and the stars of the Harry Potter film series, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint. The play, which explores the impact of social media on debate and kindness, faced significant backlash and was initially turned down by major Edinburgh Fringe promoters. It was also initially called “Terf C***”. It will now be staged at the Ian McKellen Theatre in Edinburgh from August 2-25 and the cult are unlikely to be happy about it.

The Sunday Times stick up for Lucy Clark after JK Rowling attack [Sunday Times]

  • No, seriously, they did…

Keep an eye out for –

  • The backlash to E45 cream. Yes, that’s right, they are about to spend a large portion of their time abusing a cream used to treat dry skin. Why, you might ask? Well, it’s because E45 have released this excellent trans-supportive and inclusive ad and we all know trans people aren’t allowed to be in any ads at all:

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.

READ The Trans Agenda: The week ahead 20 May – 26 May

  • This week in Parliament is a quiet one before they then head off for another recess…..For the full view of what is on the agenda for Parliament and further afield, including upcoming events, check out The Trans Agenda: The week ahead.

READ The Trans Agenda: The papers: 13 May – 19 May

  • This week there were 26 articles about trans people across the papers I monitor, including the one defending a trans woman after JK Rowling’s ‘gratuitous’ attack. However, I’m still waiting for an article to be written by a trans person. Since 16 April 2024, when I started counting, there have been 158 articles about trans people, and not one has been written by a trans person… For the full paper review, check out The Trans Agenda: The papers.


Teen claims he killed trans friend by accident, police suspect intentional act [LGBTQ Nation]

  • In Las Vegas, 17-year-old Cesar Sandoval claims he accidentally shot his 18-year-old trans friend, Jazlynn Johnson. However, police believe the murder was intentional. Sandoval was charged with murder and destroying evidence after confessing to his parents, who called the police despite his pleas not to. GLAAD and Silver State Equality have condemned the incident, emphasising the persistent violence against trans people and urging further investigation into potential hate crime charges.

18 GOP-led states sue for the right to mistreat transgender employees at work [LGBTQ Nation]

  • Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti is leading a lawsuit involving 18 Republican-led states against the EEOC’s new guidelines prohibiting discrimination against transgender employees. The guidelines, which prevent transphobic harassment and ensure access to gender-appropriate facilities, are being challenged as “federal overreach.” Skrmetti argues that these protections should be legislated by Congress, not enforced by the EEOC.

Peru officially classifies trans community as ‘mentally ill’ as President is mired in corruption scandal [Telegraph]

  • The Peruvian government has officially categorised trans and intersex people as “mentally ill.” The health ministry claims this ensures comprehensive mental health coverage. The decree has sparked outrage due to ongoing gender and LGBT rights issues. Health Minister César Vásquez has not addressed the controversy, focusing instead on defending President Dina Boluarte amidst corruption investigations. Activists argue the decree opens the door to conversion therapy and fails to address the true causes of mental health issues within the LGBT community, such as discrimination and abuse.

Over a third of LGBTQ+ young athletes in Australia are discriminated in sport, according to study [Pink News]

Trans-inclusive roller derby team helps strike down trans sports ban [Pink News]

  • A trans-inclusive roller derby team, the Long Island Roller Rebels, has successfully challenged and overturned a trans sports ban in New York. Nassau County Supreme Court judge Francis Ricigliano ruled against the executive order issued by Republican lawmaker Bruce Blakeman, which banned trans women from competitive sports. The New York Civil Liberties Union represented the team, highlighting the discriminatory nature of the ban. The ruling has been celebrated as a victory for trans rights, emphasising that “transphobic discrimination cannot stand.”

Black trans official’s arrest leads to officer’s firing [LGBTQ Nation]

  • A Black trans official, Phoenix City Council member Yassamin Ansari, was wrongfully arrested during a traffic stop. The arresting officer has been fired following an internal investigation that found his conduct violated department policies and was discriminatory. Ansari praised the firing as a step towards accountability and justice for marginalised communities.

Moms for Liberty targets Title IX [Advocate]

  • The group Moms for Liberty is campaigning to change Title IX protections, aiming to exclude trans students from gender-based protections in schools. Their efforts focus on restricting trans students’ participation in sports and access to facilities that align with their gender identity.


US warns of possible Pride Month attacks worldwide [BBC]

  • US officials have warned that foreign terrorist organisations may target LGBTQ+ events during Pride Month in June. The State Department urged US citizens abroad to exercise increased caution, particularly at Pride celebrations. This advisory follows a similar alert from the FBI and DHS, which highlighted potential threats from groups like Islamic State. Weirdly, there is little reference to all the white people who have been phoning in bomb threats and terrorising the LGBTQ+ community for the past number of years.

Anti-trans MPs turn attention to abortion [Parliament]

  • A group of anti-trans MPs, including George Galloway, Miriam Cates, Iain Duncan Smith, Jacob Rees-Mogg, and Lee Anderson, have proposed an amendment to reverse telemedicine for abortions. This amendment aims to impose mandatory in-person consultations for women seeking an abortion.

Stonewall to review list of top LGBTQ+ employers after backlash [Telegraph]

  • Stonewall is set to review its Workplace Equality Index, which ranks top LGBTQ+ employers. The review, a routine procedure every three years, is being framed by The Telegraph as a result of the backlash to Stonewall’s ‘trans lobbying’. They then lie to say that companies in the index have been advised to adopt inclusive language, like replacing “mother” with “parent who has given birth.” As we know, this doesn’t happen. Companies are advise to use more inclusive terms when relevant. Nobody wants to replace the word ‘mother’.

    The 2024 index release is apparently delayed until summer to align with Pride celebrations.

Kosovo flirts with same-sex marriage [Times]

  • Kosovo is on the verge of legalising same-sex civil unions, potentially becoming the first Muslim-majority country to do so. Prime Minister Albin Kurti supports the change. Despite this, strong opposition and deep-seated homophobia persist, particularly within rural areas and parts of his own party. The country’s ongoing efforts for EU membership and human rights improvements contrast with resistance from conservative factions. Kurti argues for equality as a fundamental human right, amidst a backdrop of cultural conservatism and political challenges.

Girl turned away from Florida public school prom because she wore a suit [GayToday]

  • Sophie Savidge, a 16-year-old student at Mason Classical Academy in Naples, Florida, was denied entry to her school’s prom for wearing a suit instead of a dress. Vice Principal Nissa Mitchell enforced the school’s formal dress code, which requires girls to wear dresses. Despite her mother explaining that Sophie does not wear dresses, the rule was upheld.


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