THE LGBT charity Stonewall has produced home learning materials for children to use during lockdown. Its contents are further evidence of Stonewall’s ideological shift towards promoting a narrative of ‘inner gender identity’ which has no backing in science, undermines our language, harms women, and carries serious risks for children.
For example, Reception children (four or five years old) are encouraged to watch a video of the trans racing driver, Roberta Cowell. Stonewall informs the children that ‘Roberta was trans, this means that when she was born people thought she was a boy, but when she got older she told them “I’m a woman, please call me Roberta”.’ Imagine being four, five, or six, and being told by adults that you can change your sex just like that.
Stonewall tells primary school children: ‘Roberta was treated as if she was a boy when she was growing up and was treated as if she was a man during the early part of her adult life’. [My italics.] That ‘as if‘ is telling children that she wasn’t really a boy or a man at that time. Which is surprising because Roberta married and had two children. Stonewall tells the kids ‘people saw Roberta as a man, and they saw Roberta and Diana [his wife] as husband and wife’.
Again, imagine being a child and being told all this by adults. It is not just that, seemingly, you can change your sex. You can also change your history – or perhaps you can blithely change someone else’s history. Would Roberta have said she was treated ‘as if she was a boy’ when she was growing up – or would she have said ‘she was a boy’ when she was growing up? After all, if she wasn’t a boy when she was growing up, why did she go through a painful process of sex change later on? If you are feeling baffled or bored by all this, I’m writing about material Stonewall regards as appropriate for young children.
Here is some other stuff that Stonewall left out of the story. Cowell walked out on two young daughters, aged six and four. They waved him off one morning and would never hear from him again. One of them read about Cowell’s sex change in the newspaper. ‘It was the biggest shock of my life. I must have been 12 or 13.’ After Cowell died, one daughter said: ‘I didn’t realise that pain was still there. What our father did has always had a great bearing on my life. The way I used to cope was by flying into fantasy.’ The other said ‘I felt that if someone hurt me in life, I didn’t want to have anything to do with them . . . It was easier to shut them out.’
For three years, Cowell underwent psychoanalysis, medical examinations, and eventually surgery. She says in her autobiography ‘the transformation was a long and difficult period’. According to the Independent, in her last interview, ‘she condemned other trans people, and criticised the “permissive society”, warning others not to follow in her footsteps’. What a lot Stonewall has left out in order to promote a sunny story about sex change to small children.
Is this just a small aspect of Stonewall’s beliefs that I present unfairly? No. Stonewall’s website states: ‘First and foremost, we need to recognise that trans women are women, and trans men are men.’ Think about what this means. It means biological sex is an irrelevance. It means the words ‘women’ and ‘men’ have no real anchored meanings. It means that men can self-identify into women’s changing rooms, toilets, refuges, prisons, sports. Stonewall knows it means all this.
Recently the Minister for Women and Equalities, Liz Truss, has begun to push back by indicating that she will protect single-sex spaces. In response, Stonewall has said it is worried. It said: ‘For many years, trans people have been using services that match their gender without issue and this should not change.’ That ‘without issue‘ is revealing. In two little words, Stonewall erases the efforts of thousands of women who have been battling to protect single-sex services. It pretends whole organisations don’t exist, such as Fair Play for Women, WomensPlaceUK, SafeSchoolsAlliance and others.
All this might be a storm in a teacup but for the fact that Stonewall is deeply embedded across our public sector. Our public institutions don’t just allow Stonewall in, but pay Stonewall to spread this ideology, unanchored in science or public acceptance. Stonewall is active in almost every public sector institution in the UK. It operates a ‘Diversity Champions programme’ which ‘is the leading employers’ programme for ensuring all LGBT staff are accepted without exception in the workplace’. When the Department for Education’s permanent secretary, Jonathan Slater, was interviewed last year about being the civil service ‘LGBTI champion’, he said: ‘We’ll be looking to demonstrate to Stonewall that our HR-wide policies help to foster diversity and inclusion’. Hang on – why is the most senior civil servant in the DfE assuming that he is answerable to non-elected Stonewall? Since when – and does the electorate agree?
Slater went on to say: ‘We were pleased at the DfE to have moved up the [Stonewall] index this year.’ Why does the Government need brownie points from Stonewall? And how exactly do you ‘move up’ the Stonewall index? By jumping through many hoops and ticking many boxes on Stonewall’s checklist. Here is one question amongst many, from one of them:
In the past 18 months, has the organisation profiled visible role models from the following communities? Tick all that apply.
GUIDANCE: Within the profiling opportunity, the person’s identity must be clear. It should not be left up to the reader or viewer to make assumptions.
A. Gay people or lesbians
B. Bi people
C. Binary trans people (e.g. trans men and trans women)
D. Non-binary people (e.g. genderfluid and genderqueer people)
E. Older LGBT people (aged 50 or over)
F. Young LGBT people (aged 25 or under)
G. Disabled LGBT people (excluding disability related to mental health)
H. BAME LGBT people
I. LGBT people of faith
J. LGBT people being open about their mental health (including disability related to mental health) or wellbeing challenges
K. LGBT parents
L. None of the above
By any standards this is obsessive and patronising. Yet it is just an example of a small part of a long list of requirements that our public institutions kow-tow to, to please Stonewall, as they compete to ‘move up the index’. And they pay Stonewall for the privilege.
They also pay Stonewall to help them write reports. For example, Stonewall partnered with the Crown Prosecution Service to write a document aimed at our schools, which promoted the concept of ‘gender identity’ to school children, and implied it is discriminatory to protect single-sex spaces in schools. The CPS has withdrawn the document, worried that it won’t stand up in court. How much did the CPS pay Stonewall for its help in producing a document that needed to be withdrawn? Now the team who successfully pushed for the withdrawal of this document has further argued that the CPS needs to withdraw from Stonewall’s diversity champion’s programme because it means they cannot be impartial on transgender issues.
It is the same for the rest of the entire public sector.
This all has to stop. If Stonewall is committed to the ideology that trans women are women at their say-so; that men can self-ID into women’s private spaces; that our children should be taught at school that their ‘gender’ was ‘assigned’ at birth; that changing gender is easy, Liz Truss and other Conservative MPs need to make it stop. They need to end the contracts with Stonewall and end the payments to Stonewall. They need to end the gaslighting of women and children and end the corruption of science, language and logic. Make it all stop.