The Cass Review shames the gay-rights establishment

The Cass Review shames the gay-rights establishment

‘Gender-affirming care’ has always been gay conversion therapy by another name.

Andrew Doyle

Andrew Doyle

Topics Identity Politics UK

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Get ready for the excuses. For years now, those who have sounded the alarm over the dangers of ‘gender-affirming’ paediatric treatment have been monstered as ‘bigots’, ‘hateful’, ‘transphobic’ and even ‘fascist’. Now their concerns have been entirely vindicated by the Cass Review, and those most responsible for the monstering are already attempting to wriggle their way out of accepting responsibility. We can expect much more of this as further revelations come to light.

Take Stonewall, the charity most culpable for spreading this toxic ideology. In a statement posted on X yesterday, it appeared to endorse the review’s findings, even quoting approvingly Dr Hilary Cass’s plea ‘to remember the children and young people trying to live their lives and the families / carers and clinicians doing their best to support them’. What can one say about such serpentine sleight-of-tongue? Perhaps the actor James Dreyfus – one who has felt the full wrath of gender ideologues – put it best: ‘The absolute fucking nerve of these people.’

Mermaids CEO Lauren Stoner is another in the running for the Brass Neck Award, appearing on Sky News to claim that ‘we’re not medical experts, we don’t advocate for any pathway’. Mermaids made the same claim last year in the tribunal it initiated in a failed attempt to strip the LGB Alliance of its charitable status. Yet in leaked emails it was discovered to have given advice to the now disgraced Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) at the Tavistock Clinic. Most notably, Mermaids had offered support in the drafting of an NHS service specification, including details on how ‘[puberty] blockers will now be considered for any children under 12′.

Mermaids’ website currently claims that ‘puberty blockers are an internationally recognised safe, reversible healthcare option’, even though there is mounting evidence of the dangers of these drugs. One of the findings of the Cass Review is that there is no evidence for the efficacy of puberty blockers. Rather than being a ‘pause’ in which young people can take time to figure out their ‘gender identity’, in almost all cases they lead on to cross-sex hormones and, in some cases, irreversible surgery.

During Stoner’s interview for Sky News, she was also quick to remind us that Mermaids has ‘been supporting trans young people and their families for nearly 30 years’. What she neglected to mention is that until the arrival of former CEO Susie Green – a woman who took her son to Thailand on his 16th birthday to have him castrated – Mermaids actually offered sensible advice to parents of children who were struggling with their gender. A leaflet produced by the charity in 2000 is more in line with the ‘watchful waiting’ approach favoured by many paediatric therapists. ‘Gender-identity disorders in infancy, childhood and adolescence are complex and have varied causes’, it said, before stating that ‘the majority of cases the eventual outcome will be homosexuality or bisexuality but often there will be a heterosexual outcome as some gender issues can be caused by a bereavement, a dysfunctional family life, or (rarely) by abuse. Only a small proportion of cases will result in a transsexual outcome’. That even Mermaids once held this position shows the extent to which gender-identity ideology drives well-intentioned people away from the truth. It’s also a reminder that this belief-system has taken hold remarkably quickly.

Both Mermaids and Stonewall were mentioned by Tavistock whistleblower Dr David Bell as being chiefly to blame for the current climate of making ‘people afraid even of listening to another view’. To this we might add groups such as Gendered Intelligence, the LGBT Foundation and the online Pink News, which has published defamatory pieces about those who have objected to the rise of this ideology. These groups, while claiming to advocate for LGBT rights, have tried to intimidate into silence anyone raising questions about the irreversible surgical malpractice that has left many young people sterile and eliminated their sexual function.

And what of the private practices, those who evaded the NHS’s recent ban on puberty blockers? We shouldn’t be surprised that Dr Aidan Kelly from private clinic Gender Plus appeared on Novara Media to argue that the evidence demanded by Cass is neither deliverable nor desirable. Host Michael Walker seemed to think that the figure of approximately 1,000 patients in 10 years prescribed puberty blockers was too low to merit concern and that ‘some of these issues have been politicised to a degree that they don’t need to be’. One wonders how many instances of testicular atrophy, increased risk of cancer, osteoporosis or impaired brain development in healthy children should be considered acceptable? Why are we even countenancing ruining young people’s lives through the unevidenced, experimental and ideological medicalisation of problems that almost certainly require a psychotherapeutic approach?

Novara Media might want to start preparing its own excuses too, given that it published an article in December 2021 offering advice on how to deceive medical professionals in order to be prescribed opposite sex hormones. ‘I’m not suggesting you tell any especially big fibs’, the article says, ‘but maybe finesse your story into one that’s likely to be received with the least amount of confusion (and bear that in mind with the psychiatrists too)… You’re not here to make friends, you’re here to get hormones. Don’t feel bad about it.’

This kind of duplicity has been widespread. Dr Hilary Cass has revealed to the British Medical Journal that children have been ‘coached on what to say and what not to say’ in order to be prescribed puberty blockers. ‘They’re told not to say they’re unsure about their sexuality, not to say they’ve been abused, because it’s so high stakes at that point’, she said. We have known for a long time that the overwhelming majority of children referred to the Tavistock were same-sex attracted, and that gender nonconformity in youth is a reliable predictor of homosexuality in later life. This has been confirmed in the final report by Dr Cass, which found that 89 per cent of girls and 81 per cent of boys referred to GIDS (Gender Identity Development Service) were either homosexual or bisexual. The NHS has been practising gay conversion therapy in plain sight.

We also know that those who have suffered abuse are disproportionately represented among these patients. One study cited in the final Cass report shows that at least one in five children referred to gender services have suffered sexual or physical abuse. In other words, rather than experiencing some kind of esoteric mismatch between body and gendered soul, most of these kids are simply gay or troubled. And yet they are being coached to lie about their actual problems to satisfy the expectations of ideologues. These people have an agenda, and if a few children have to suffer then so be it.

Throughout the Cass Review, the lack of evidence for all of these treatments is continually emphasised. The very notion of ‘gender medicine’ is underpinned by the belief that we each have a ‘gender identity’, what Helen Joyce has described as ‘something like a sexed soul’. In this, she is supported by trans campaigners like Julia Serano who calls it a ‘subconscious sex’, or the barrister Robin Moira White who on my show, Free Speech Nation, said it was an ‘essence of male or female’. This amounts to a faith in the supernatural, and is a key doctrine of the new state religion of gender. It goes without saying that people are entitled to their beliefs, but the idea that a metaphysical hypothesis should form the basis of NHS practice is, on reflection, extremely bizarre.

One of the reasons why this has been allowed to happen is that so many have been duped into accepting that this quasi-religion has some basis in science. This is largely down to the influence of WPATH (World Professional Association of Transgender Health), a body established in 1979. It’s recognised as the leading global authority in ‘transgender health’, and has pushed for the normalisation of the ‘gender-affirming’ approach. Its ‘Standards of Care’ have formed the basis of policies throughout the Western world, including in the NHS, and it is explicitly critiqued in the Cass Review for its ‘lack of developmental rigour’.

In early March, the credibility of WPATH was shattered when internal messages and videos, which had been leaked to journalist Michael Shellenberger, were made public. A full report was written by journalist Mia Hughes for the Environmental Progress think tank, entitled: ‘The WPATH Files: Pseudoscientific Surgical and Hormonal Experiments on Children, Adolescents, and Vulnerable Adults’. The files revealed WPATH’s general lack of ethical and professional standards. There are messages proving that surgeons and therapists are aware that a significant proportion of young people referred to gender clinicians suffer from mental-health problems. Some specialists associated with WPATH are proceeding with treatment in the knowledge that no consent has been secured from either the children or those directly responsible for their wellbeing. They have also withheld from patients details of potential lifelong complications, or continued down this path knowing that the children do not understand the implications. But then, how could a pre-pubescent or even adolescent child fully grasp the concepts of lifelong sterility or loss of sexual function?

The revelations of the WPATH files should have been the end of ‘gender-affirming’ care, but so deeply-rooted is the ideology in all our major institutions that it was always going to take a lot more. The BBC has yet to report on the WPATH files, which is perhaps to be expected from an organisation that has actively contributed to the promotion of gender-identity ideology. In one BBC film, a woman is seen telling a group of children that there are over a hundred genders. I have sent five requests to the BBC press office over a period of more than a month to find out why the WPATH Files have been ignored. I have yet to receive a response. But for those who are interested, I presented a two-hour special on the subject, which can be seen here.

The problems do not end with the BBC. Politicians on both sides of the house have been complicit in the spread of gender-identity ideology and its destructive consequences. When Liz Truss tabled a debate on her Health and Equality Acts (Amendment) Bill in March, a motion which raised concerns about the social transitioning of children in schools and how private companies are evading the NHS ban on puberty blockers, Labour and Conservative MPs spent four hours filibustering about ferrets in order to prevent the discussion. Their ignorance of this ideology has made them its cheerleaders.

We should not expect many of these people to admit that they were mistaken. The psychological consequences of accepting that one has been complicit in gay conversion therapy and the medicalisation of healthy children is perhaps too much for many to bear. Since the Cass Review was published, Scottish Green MSP Maggie Chapman – a woman who has criticised biology textbooks in schools for stating that sex is binary and who has suggested that children as young as eight should be able to transition – has already decried its contents. ‘Trans Healthcare is vital to protecting and supporting the rights and lives of trans people’, she posted on X, adding that her party ‘will oppose any moves to increase the age of accessing gender-affirming care to 25’.

Of course, the Cass Review makes no such recommendations. Rather, it says that ‘NHS England should establish follow-through services for 17- to 25-year-olds at each of the regional centres, either by extending the range of the regional children and young people’s service or through linked services, to ensure continuity of care and support at a potentially vulnerable stage in their journey’. This kind of moderate caution is certainly commendable given that the adult brain is not fully developed until the age of twenty-five. Of course, it’s too late for some. One detransitioner posted the following on X: ‘Had the recommendations from the Cass Review been implemented when I transitioned, in particular the recommendation of waiting until the age of 25, I would never have transitioned. I grew out of gender dysphoria by the age of 22, but had my genitals amputated by then.’

Although MPs sought to prevent a debate on the problem of private gender clinics, perhaps the Cass Review’s criticism of these clinics for pressurising GPs into prescribing the drugs will change all that. Not surprisingly, the practitioners are defiant. A statement from GenderGP has vowed to ignore the recommendations of the Cass Review and continue with its unevidenced ‘gender-affirming’ approach according to the WPATH Standards of Care. The revelations from the WPATH Files mean nothing to the high priests of this cult. And let’s not forget that the current version of the WPATH Standards of Care includes a chapter on ‘eunuchs’ which urges medical practitioners to perform castrations on patients who so identify.

Undoing the influence of such pseudoscience is going to be a long and arduous process. The ideas are too entrenched, which explains why even the Cass Review has adopted some of the language of the ideology (eg, ‘cisgender’, or references to sex as ‘assigned at birth’). Besides, too much is at stake for individuals who have promoted these beliefs. Already commentators like James O’Brien are blaming the ‘toxicity’ of those who have tried to warn people of the dangers over the last decade. We can expect similar revisionist attempts from others who have failed to speak out, and no doubt ‘the culture war’ will be blamed by those most responsible for waging it.

Ultimately, those responsible must be held accountable. Starting with Stonewall. Whereas the charity once fought for gay people, it now works against them. There should be an investigation into how it was allowed to maintain its influence in major institutions even after its shift away from gay rights and towards an unwittingly anti-gay agenda. Any government departments and quangos still associated with Stonewall should sever all ties immediately.

Both the Conservatives and Labour ought to ditch their commitment to a ban on ‘trans conversion therapy’ and recognise that this will effectively stymie the therapeutic efforts of medical practitioners to support gender nonconforming children. Moreover, there should be a ban on private clinics who intend to persist with WPATH guidelines in spite of Dr Cass’s recommendations. Above all, we need to ensure that the wellbeing of children is never again sacrificed on the altar of ideology.

Andrew Doyle is author of The New Puritans: How the Religion of Social Justice Captured the Western World, published by Constable.

Picture by: by Kyle on Unsplash.

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Topics Identity Politics UK


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