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Kemi is right: trans ideology is a threat to gay kids

So called gender-affirming care is merely a new form of gay conversion therapy.

Dennis Kavanagh

Topics Identity Politics Politics UK

Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday, the UK secretary of state for women and equalities, Kemi Badenoch, warned of the risks of ‘Transing away the gay’. ‘We are seeing… almost an epidemic of young gay children being told they are trans and being put on a medical pathway’, she said.

It is difficult to overstate what a seismic shift in public discourse her statement represents. These words would certainly have led to her being cancelled from the Labour Party, or even banned from Twitter / X in the pre-Elon Musk era. Here was Badenoch saying what was, until recently, utterly unsayable – and in parliament, no less.

The public now well understands that the extreme trans agenda is in conflict with women’s rights. This can be illustrated easily with just a few photographs of men winning trophies in women’s sports. But its conflict with gay rights is less understood. Not least as all of the mainstream former gay-rights charities like Stonewall insist; there isn’t any conflict at all.

When trans-activist zealots chant ‘No LGB without the T’, any outsider could be forgiven for thinking the so-called LGBT community is all one big happy family. But there has been a huge schism in the gay community ever since Stonewall decided in 2015 to embrace gender-identity ideology – and to insist there can be ‘no debate’ on that decision and its implications.

New gay-rights campaign groups such as LGB Alliance and Gay Men’s Network, of which I am a director, have long been voicing concerns about the threat the trans movement poses to young gay people. The evidence for this is legion. Some 80 to 90 per cent of children who present at gender clinics say they are same-sex attracted. According to a 2018 report by Dr David Bell on the Tavistock gender-identity service, homophobic parents would often seek to transition their same-sex attracted children. One Tavistock clinician once made the dark joke that thanks to gender transitioning, ‘Soon there will be no gay people left’. Another once said that transitioning ‘feels like a new form of gay conversion therapy’. Many young patients were fast-tracked for medical interventions, such as puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, while the underlying causes of their distress (including same-sex attraction) went ignored. According to Sonia Appleby, the Tavistock’s former safeguarding lead, these clinical practices were adopted largely at the behest of trans-activist groups like Mermaids.

At the Gay Men’s Network, we have long been urging politicians to take these concerns seriously. Yesterday, Kemi Badenoch did just that. ‘I believe this is a new form of conversion therapy’, she told the Commons.

It was something of a bravura performance. As well as raising the threat posed to gay rights, Badenoch managed to take down almost every facet of trans-activist dogma. She humiliated SNP MPs by reminding them of Nicola Sturgeon’s disastrous plans for gender self-identification, which would have allowed a male rapist who called himself ‘Isla Bryson’ to remain in a women’s prison. Badenoch reminded Labour’s Anneliese Dodds, the shadow equalities minister, of the continued harassment of the gender-critical Labour MP, Rosie Duffield. And she spoke with authority on the Cass review into gender-identity clinics and the divergent meanings of ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ in law.

While Badenoch demonstrated both political bravery and an iron grip on her brief, the same could not be said of her detractors across the chamber. Labour MP Sir Chris Bryant solemnly declared that her words had made him – a fully grown man – feel ‘less safe’. She hit back with force, challenging him to identify which words precisely were so problematic. She later criticised the attempts of trans activists to use emotional blackmail to try to shut down debate.

Bryant’s colleague, Sir Ben Bradshaw, also failed to get the better of Badenoch. He complained the UK had recently fallen in a set of international rankings on LGBT rights. She calmly pointed out that those rankings reward states that adopt the Stonewall-supported policy of self-ID and punish those who do not. To cheers from the Tory benches, she declared ‘Stonewall does not decide the law in this country’.

A lot changed yesterday. An area of politics that is too often dismissed as ‘toxic’, where many fear to tread, was dragged into the sunlight of open debate – something that trans activists have always feared. Gender ideology now stands exposed for what it is – as a threat to the rights of women and of gay people.

‘No debate’ was born in 2015. It died in December 2023. Its last rites were administered by Kemi Badenoch.

Dennis Kavanagh is a director of Gay Men’s Network.

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Topics Identity Politics Politics UK

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