Will the trans activists who cancelled me ever apologise?

Children’s author Gillian Philip was fired by her publisher for standing up to gender pseudoscience.

Gillian Philip

Topics Identity Politics UK

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News of the Cass Review’s damning indictment of NHS England’s treatment of children with gender issues has finally reached Scotland. On Thursday, the Sandyford clinic – aka the Tartan Tavistock – announced that it has paused all prescribing of puberty blockers to vulnerable children.

This prompted a fierce backlash from those committed to trans ideology. On Friday morning, on BBC Radio Scotland, a father of a 10-year-old girl who has been ‘socially transitioning to a boy’ since before she could talk, had a public tantrum. He called the Cass Review ‘disappointing’ and stated that he didn’t trust it. Blind to the red flags billowing briskly in the Scottish wind, the presenter thanked him warmly for ‘sharing [his] family’s experience’.

This wasn’t even the most disturbing aspect of that interview. The girl had been socially transitioned as a toddler and was treated by teachers as a boy throughout her early-years education. No mention was made of the deception and gaslighting inflicted on every one of her classmates over that time.

As writer Victoria Smith pointed out last week, this kind of reaction to a well-evidenced and thoroughly researched review is dangerous territory. Some parents are clearly telling their children horror stories about growing up in the ‘wrong’ body. As Smith says: ‘If the adults around you have spent most of your life affirming your own sense of wrongness, then how could the Sandyford decision seem anything but barbaric?’

Yet it’s not just parents who have told children they were ‘born in the wrong body’, and that harmful medical intervention will be necessary for the rest of their lives to make them right. As that father on BBC Radio Scotland indicated, schools and clinicians have also helped to instil that terror in children not old enough to get a tattoo. And unlike puberty blockers, tattoos do not lead to lifelong sterility, bone fragility, brain underdevelopment and an absence of adult sexual function.

One of the guiltiest parties in the entire sordid affair of the mythical ‘trans child’ has been the children’s publishing industry. Supposedly reputable publishing houses have for years been churning out propaganda for trans ideology, from the grotesque Welcome to St Hell, featuring a woman-hating diagram of one of those ‘wrong bodies’, to jolly picture books like Grandad’s Pride and Grandad’s Camper, with their not-so-child-friendly illustrations of mutilated, breastless women and old blokes in bondage gear. Then there’s the prizewinning Jamie by LD Lapinski, a hearty endorsement of ‘harmless and reversible’ puberty blockers for middle-grade readers.

It’s not good enough. It wasn’t good enough when it all began, and it’s beyond irresponsible in the wake of the Cass Review. That’s undoubtedly why some of the biggest trans cheerleaders in children’s writing, like Clara Vulliamy, author of the Dotty Detective books, are frantically trying to rubbish Cass’s findings. It’s easier, I guess, than facing up to your indifference to what is probably the greatest medical scandal of modern times. When the waste hits the fan, it’s hard to quantify the cognitive dissonance that will be required to retain self-justification and sanity.

Before June 2020, I was a successful children’s writer, one of a team employed by the book packager, Working Partners, to write for manufactured series like the Erin Hunter animal fantasies and the Beast Quest brand. That June, I tweeted ‘#ISTANDWITHROWLING’, when JK Rowling first intervened in the gender debate by questioning the renaming of women as ‘people who menstruate’. The subsequent Twitter mobbing that took place over 24 hours resulted in my summary sacking (with no attempt to get my side of the story). I was then fired by client HarperCollins, who thereafter pretended not to know me, despite hosting me on media tours in the US on multiple occasions and professing themselves over the moon with my work. My agent, Julia Churchill, dropped me too, ensuring I would never write for a major publisher again.

That was the power of the trans lobby in the children’s book industry, even when that lobby consisted of nothing more than anonymous trolls who objected to my backing of JK Rowling, and who expressed that objection with explicit and brutal threats of death and rape. For children’s publishers – with some courageous exceptions – to be so cowardly and gullible is a betrayal of the principles that any good writer wants to convey to young readers. It is also a disgrace that will linger.

Now that the Cass Review and the WPATH files have revealed the atrocities of ‘gender-affirming care’, it’s long past time for the adults to break back into the room and start publishing the truth about this insidious ideology that destroys children’s futures.

And for the love of all that’s holy, start apologising. Mostly to children.

Gillian Philip is a writer and a driver in the haulage industry.

Picture by: Getty.

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Topics Identity Politics UK


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