Parents must resist Stonewall’s gospel

16 July 2022

9:00 AM

16 July 2022

9:00 AM

I think by now it’s becoming horribly apparent to parents of every political persuasion that we can’t sit out the culture wars. You might call yourself progressive, loathe the Tories, but still… the ideological tide is rising, and when it laps at your own child’s feet, everything changes. It becomes impossible to ignore the fact that gender activism these days isn’t about gay rights or even trans rights, it’s not about being inclusive, it’s about presenting utter nonsense as plain fact.

A generation of children are being fed a distorted version of reality. In particular they’re told that there’s no such thing as biological sex, that there are no born males and females and that they must somehow, on their own, discern their inner immutable sex identity. They’re told that they can, even should, change not just their pronouns but their bodies to suit this identity and that it’s really no big deal to take drugs that make you infertile, to have your breasts cut off, or to be castrated.

This isn’t just a fringe belief touted about by wackos in schools that somehow slipped under Ofsted’s radar. This is the gospel according to Stonewall, and Stonewall runs workplace training schemes across the country. It advises hundreds of schools and universities and provides handy ready-made educational packs for primary school teachers. No wonder more and more children every year are referred to gender clinics.

For my own awakening to all this, I have to thank a 24-year-old called Kirrin Medcalf, head of trans inclusion at Stonewall. I wrote about Kirrin in May and the emotional support dog he brought to the Allison Bailey trial. This week I read the transcript of his evidence in full, and began to fear for my own small son, and for every young, pliable mind that tries to grapple with the madness; and for Kirrin and his friends.

‘Bodies are not inherently male or female. They are just their bodies,’ Kirrinsaid during the trial. ‘Biological sex is made up of a multitude of characteristics that change over a person’s life-cycle.’ For Kirrin,it’s self-evident that any person with a penis who says he’s a girl should automatically be allowed access to any women-only spaces, even a refuge for female rape victims. As a born woman, wrongly assigned male because of his penis, the penis person has always had the right to enter, you see. ‘I take issue with the words “allowing access”,’ said Kirrin. ‘It’s about removing access, removing a certain section of women from services because they are trans.’

Kirrin is in many ways a hero – and I mean that sincerely. Many gender activists are sneaky, putting into the public domain only things they think palatable to normies. This is the way of the cult. In being candid about his core beliefs, Kirrin has done a service to me and to other parents who might otherwise assume that LGBTQ+ activism in the 21st century is a simple bid for equal rights.

So it’s time for 21st-century parents to organise – if only we had the bottle. In the 1990s, overanxious middle-class mothers and fathers were known as helicopter parents, hovering constantly over their offspring. I think of the 2020s version as egg-and-spoon parents. We place our little eggs in their silver spoons and creep carefully towards some ever-receding finish line, clutching them tight as if even the slightest jolt will crack them. We’re forever offering our children treats. Anything to keep the peace. We’re not on the face of it equipped to do anything but instantly affirm any gender our progeny fancy adopting. ‘I’ll order new name-tapes, darling, just tell me how you spell it.’

But it could be that it’s in the sensitive act of affirming that we egg-and-spooners are most likely to damage our kids. Some 80 per cent of children who think that they’ve been born in the wrong body (gender dysphoria) later change their minds. ‘Desisting’ is what this is called in the trade, as opposed to persisting through to the chemicals and the cutting – as if desisters have suffered some failure of nerve. But if you instantly affirm your trans-curious child, change their name and their clothes, affect a ‘social transition’, don’t you make it harder for them to quietly reverse ferret?

Activists trumpet the fact that almost all youngsters prescribed puberty blockers go on to take hormones which help them pass as the opposite sex. This proves, they say, that gender therapists are discerning, able to identify the real trans kids who would otherwise be at risk of suicide. Whether or not that suicide risk is as significant as Stonewall says is a matter for another day. And why, if there’s no such thing as biological sex, any child needs to transition at all is the grand mystery at the heart of it all. Every religion needs one.

The question I’d really like to ask is how anyone knows that puberty blockers themselves don’t push a child into further dysphoria and transitioning. The best-known blockers, GnRH agonists such as Lupron, Prostap and Zoladex, all have nasty known side-effects: depression, anxiety and confusion. There are forums full of grown-ups, medicated for endometriosis or prostate cancer, who insist that GnRH agonists have ruined their lives.

How would a confused kid know if they’re anxious because they were born in the wrong body, or because they’re stuffed full of Zoladex? Puberty blockers simply buy you time to think, says the NHS’s gender clinic at the Tavistock and Portman Foundation Trust. But puberty itself often helps gender dysphoria resolve. If you block puberty, don’t you sometimes block recovery too?

Maybe that’s all to the good for those hard nuts who think the heteronormative world needs queering. Who cares about any individual children when there’s a culture war to be won? Parents do, I hope. Even craven ones. In the end, it’s up to us.

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