How Ruth Hunt turned trans into a religious crusade

Stonewall’s ex-CEO is trying to dodge responsibility for her role in the ‘trans kids’ scandal.

Malcolm Clark

Topics Identity Politics UK

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Last week, the Cass Review fired a missile into HMS Gender Ideology. As an army of LGBT activists fled the sinking ship, one tweed-suited and particularly sanctimonious character didn’t seem to care who she pushed under the water to save her own skin.

Ruth Hunt, CEO of the LGBT charity Stonewall from 2014 to 2019, played a pivotal role in promoting the unnecessary medicalisation and even sterilisation of children in gender clinics. Yet, in an interview in The Times on Saturday, she sought to blame the scandal on anyone but herself. ‘I trusted the experts’, she said. ‘And I think we all did that. And that is something we regret.’

But Hunt’s claim to have had nothing to do with gender medicine being pushed on confused kids is easily disproved. Prominent feminists like Kathleen Stock and the co-founder of the LGB Alliance, Bev Jackson, have excoriated her and her claims.

The truth is, few in the UK are more responsible for the gaslighting of thousands of troubled youngsters, who were all told they may have been born in the wrong body, than the foolish and arrogant Hunt.

To say that Hunt and Stonewall only ‘listened to the experts’ about puberty blockers – which are now all but banned by NHS England after Cass found no evidence they relieved children’s ‘gender distress’, all while inflicting some awful side effects – is the biggest and fattest of porkies.

Stonewall has long maintained that puberty blockers are ‘reversible’. In her Times interview, Hunt blames the clinical director of the Tavistock’s now-shuttered gender clinic, Polly Carmichael, for misleading her. Yet Carmichael, for all her many faults, admitted ‘it would be disingenuous to say [prescribing puberty blockers] is fully reversible’ back in 2015. NHS England banned puberty blockers, except in clinical trials, earlier this year. If Stonewall had listened to the experts it would have also noticed that the NHS changed its official advice on puberty blockers four years ago, removing references to them being reversible.

Indeed, how could they be reversible? Puberty blockers, or GnRH analogues, were invented in the early 1970s to treat prostate cancer. Like most chemotherapies, they have terrible side effects. When they were offered to sex offenders, desperate for some form of chemical castration, the offenders stopped taking them. They couldn’t cope with them.

A study published last month by the Mayo Clinic reported that the testicles of boys given blockers atrophied by as much as 90 per cent. Saying blockers are reversible in light of such severe damage is ludicrous. Yet Stonewall made this claim for over a decade. It still appears on its website.

Another thing Cass has now proved beyond doubt is that the overwhelming majority of young people turning up at gender clinics are same-sex attracted, suggesting many of them are mistaking confusion about their sexuality for a ‘mismatched’ gender. That Stonewall was, in effect, cheering on the medical ‘correction’ of these gay kids is shameful.

Hunt has tried to reframe herself as the hero of this story, claiming she was always concerned about young butch girls being gaslit into believing they were boys. If that were true, why did she refuse to discuss the issue publicly until now?

In truth, Hunt was central to Stonewall’s transformation from a respected gay-rights charity to an intolerant, trans-activist outfit. She became CEO in 2014. It was a pivotal moment. That year, same-sex marriage became legal and this created a tricky problem. Stonewall had effectively achieved everything it had set out to achieve. In a speech Hunt delivered in 2015, she explained that, up until her appointment as CEO, Stonewall had relied on donations from ordinary lesbians and gay men, who gave an average of a tenner or two a month. With the job done, many had promptly stopped donating.

Stonewall needed new sources of funding if it was going to keep its legions of staff in employment. It needed a new cause, and Hunt had one up her tweed sleeve. In 2015, Stonewall announced it was extending its remit to trans rights. It officially became an ‘LGBT’ charity. Stonewall describes this move as one of Hunt’s ‘first steps’ as CEO.

This was a more radical shift than many then realised. As Hunt explained in that 2015 speech, Stonewall’s success had until then been based on ‘assimilation’; convincing the public, business and parliament that gays were, as she described it, ‘normal, normal, normal’. She proposed doing something more daring. By prioritising trans rights, the charity would, in effect, shift to advocating social engineering. No longer would it try to convince the public that gays were normal. Perish the thought. Instead, it would now question what ‘normality’ itself meant. From single-sex spaces to the reality of biological sex, Stonewall under Hunt’s leadership set out to challenge some of our most deeply held social norms. What could possibly go wrong?

Stonewall was able to roll out its madcap gender advocacy more effectively and immediately than any other LGBT group could, because it had already created a phenomenal infrastructure. It was well connected with schools, institutions, police forces and NHS trusts through its diversity-training initiatives. This elaborate network, built painstakingly by volunteers over years, was then put to work by Hunt to promote gender ideology.

Many prominent lesbians and gay men warned Hunt against doing this. It would backfire, they said. Women would hate it, due to the threat gender ideology obviously poses to sex-based rights. Kids would be harmed, as Cass has now demonstrated beyond doubt. She ignored them all. For she was fired up by an almost messianic confidence.

Indeed, the story of how Ruth Hunt came to have such a malign influence on British life has an unexpected twist. Unlike many LGBT activists, she is a practising Christian who, bizarre as it may seem, believes she has communicated directly with God. She told this story in a 2020 book that she edited, The Book of Queer Prophets.

In her own essay in the book, Hunt describes Jesus appearing to her in a nightclub. She says she felt him ‘by my side, looking out, asking me to come back to him’. ‘I have never left you’, Jesus said, allegedly. Hunt wept. In her essay, she refers to Moses as her inspiration in life: ‘As chief executive of Stonewall… I was open about my faith. Like Moses, God helped me find the words to say.’

In her Times interview there is no talk of Moses. Or Jesus. Or God. Instead, Hunt attempts to present herself as a moderate. You’d never know she led an organisation that ruthlessly demonised those who opposed its trans-obsessed agenda.

If Hunt thinks anyone will take her claims seriously now she is even more arrogant and out of touch than I realised. (Perhaps her elevation to the House of Lords in 2019 has made ‘Baroness Hunt of Bethnal Green’ even more haughty.)

If Ruth Hunt thinks she can now rewrite and downplay her role in one of the worst medical scandals of modern times, she is mistaken. She can enlist Moses, Jesus and God if she wants, but in the name of the young, innocent people whose lives have been ruined, she needs to be held to account.

Malcolm Clark is a TV producer. Visit his substack, The Secret Gender Files, here.

Picture by: UK Parliament.

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Topics Identity Politics UK


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