LET me introduce you to Alex.
Alex is 14 years old and until quite recently was called Poppy. Alex is now the responsibility of Children’s Services following her request to be taken into care. Alex explains to Jane, his foster carer, that her parents don’t believe him when she says he’s non-binary at the moment and refuse to call her by his preferred name. So, she kept running away from home and school until he was eventually assigned a social worker who supported her request to be taken into care.
When Jane asks why she chose her new name, Alex explains that it is more gender fluid and feels that this is important because he is currently identifying as both male and female. She says he had begun to think about his identity during a PSHE lesson where she learned that gender is assigned at birth, and it is possible that he could have actually been born into the wrong body. Jane, after having read the latest resource – A Starting Guide for supporting LBGTQ+ Young People in Care kindly sent to her by the local authority, nods understandingly because after reading page 01, Jane has learnt that she should ‘use the name a young person asks you to use, even if it isn’t their registered or official name, when they are around or when they are not’, and that ‘if a child is in care and wants to change their first name, the local authority can make an application to change the child’s first name by deed poll without the consent of the child’s parents/other persons with parental responsibility so long as the local authority is satisfied that it’s necessary to do so in order to safeguard or promote the child’s welfare’.
After reading page 03, Jane has also learnt about Gender Affirming Treatment – Puberty Blockers and Cross-Sex Hormones and that ‘a child of any age who is deemed to be “Gillick competent” by their treating clinician can consent on their own behalf to the administration of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones (if a child is 16 or over)’ and that ‘a child who is “Gillick competent” does not need parental consent or the consent of the local authority.’
Finally, Alex is happy because Jane understands her and Jane is happy because she understands him. Poppy’s parents are deeply unhappy: they love and miss their daughter and just want her home.
Now, whilst the Alex and Jane scenario is a hypothetical one, it is not improbable given that:
1. Teachers and other adults from outside agencies are seen as figures of authority and as such, opinions stated as facts are rarely challenged, influencing a child to explore ideas they might not have otherwise considered which perhaps could go some way in explaining the rising number of children with gender issues.
2. Not all children are taken into care because of poor parenting. Children who feel that their relationship with their parents has irrevocably broken down can follow Alex’s example, leaving parents in the most difficult of situations trying to appease both their child and the appointed social worker in the hope of keeping the child under their roof and retaining full parental responsibility.
3. Once a child is in care, and depending on the type of care order in place, parental responsibility is weakened, and as it states in the Starting Guide, can be bypassed by local authorities and/or treating clinicians.
In a recent article for the Telegraph discussing gender ideology and the sinister turn of events in the American state of Minnesota, Julie Bindel lays bare her concerns for both children and their parents: ‘Where exactly will this end up? If the state decrees that that allowing children access to surgery and irreversible hormones is “life-saving healthcare”, what will happen to those parents that oppose their child’s demands to medically transition? The logical next step would be removal of the child from their parents. These zealots must be stopped in their tracks before more children’s lives are ruined.’
Who are these ‘zealots’ and why are they so determined to promote a potentially harmful agenda? And then, the same ‘zealots’, after exerting such influence over susceptible young minds, are usually nowhere to be seen when things go wrong or adulthood dawns and the magic money tree loses its leaves. For anyone who wishes to understand more fully the reasoning and motivations behind the individuals and organisations involved in the LBGTQ+ movement, the podcast Let’s talk Social Work – therapy in name only is an excellent resource to help draw your own conclusions.
Whatever you decide, one thing is clear: for those heavily involved in promoting gender and identity politics, the financial stakes are high. The availability of funding is significant and comes in from all directions as Janice Davis pointed out in her article on this site. The TaxPayers’ Alliance has since revealed that the LGBT+ rights charity Stonewall continues to receive an annual £1,221,222 from public bodies. Indeed, the glossary in the Starting Guide is provided by Stonewall. The charity BBC Children in Need is currently funding 37 projects to the value of more than £2.6millionspecifically focused on young people affected by issues of sexual identity and gender identity.
This seemingly unstoppable movement is a money-generating bullet train gathering pace. But as responsible adults, we must apply the brakes and some much-needed common sense. This is not about denying gender dysphoria or transphobia, it’s about ensuring the necessary checks and balances are put in place when managing a complex, multi-faceted issue. Remember, children under the age of 18, no matter whose care they are under, are deemed not to be the equivalent of ‘Gillick competent’ to vote, buy alcohol or get married.
Schools, Children’s Services and other organisations often use the term ‘vulnerable’ to describe a certain cohort of children. When defining a vulnerable child, the list is not exhaustive, but they are usually considered to be those at most risk or harm due to complex family or health issues. However, with the omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent LBGTQ+ movement penetrating every aspect of children’s lives, this term might need to be redefined to include all children.
Tomorrow morning when Poppy’s parents wave her off to school, can they be confident the same child will return?