The only government-funded clinic in the United Kingdom for children with transgender issues has become embroiled in a censorship debate.

Managers at the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust are reported to have removed from its library a recently-published book which questions the conventional trans narrative.

Inventing Transgender Children and Young People, an anthology of sceptical essays published last year by Cambridge Scholars, highlights the long-term consequences for children’s physical, psychological and emotional health.

The book’s foreword has been written by a consultant psychiatrist at the Tavistock Centre, Dr David Bell. He warns that children who undergo medical or surgical treatments to change their sex risk “serious and irreversible damage”. One of the book’s editors, Dr Heather Brunskell-Evans, believes the book was removed “because its ideas are unpalatable to some people”, according to London’s Sunday Telegraph. She says that Tavistock’s management “appears to have adopted a bunker mentality”.

Michael Biggs, a sociology professor from Oxford University, argues in one chapter that “negative evidence about the long-term effects of using puberty blockers on children was suppressed in a research project”. He said that he is “saddened though not surprised” that the book has been withdrawn. “This action demonstrates yet again the [GIDS] will not listen to scientific evidence and will not accept clinical scrutiny”.

A GIDS spokesman responded: “Analysing and extrapolating from different data sets out of context can be misleading and does not do justice to the complexity of the issues. GIDS is actively contributing to the evidence base to inform the best way to support gender-diverse young people.”

Trans activists themselves have been guilty of using data “out of context” and of downplaying the “complexity of the issues” to further their own campaign. The spokesman’s robotic expression “gender-diverse young people”, sounds as if it has been swallowed whole from the Trans Activist’s Handbook.

The spokesman continued: “We support and value free speech and are committed to promoting opportunities for open and respectful debate”.

But … and there is always “but” when trans activists mention free speech. “This must be balanced with the necessity to safeguard the safety, health and welfare of our students, patients, and staff.”

Horror of horrors! A “serious complaint” had been received about the book. “Pending an investigation of the issues raised, the book has been withdrawn.”

Given their now-notorious tendency to spend their waking hours being offended, it is not too far-fetched to imagine that trans activists made the complaint, and are only too happy that the book has been withdrawn.

It has proved easy enough to silence ordinary people raising concerns about the sudden surge in children believing they were born into the wrong body when until fairly recently, few had heard of this amazingly widespread condition.

But scientific evidence disputing the claims of activists is proving more difficult to silence. Fear of being exposed to unwelcome ideas is the real explanation for the pressure being placed upon The Tavistock Centre to remove a book to which one of its own psychiatrists contributed.

Last year government ministers instigated a review to inquire into the surge in the number of female children seeking help from the service. Individuals formerly known as girls “now form almost three quarters of the young people seeking advice”.

Given the attention this issue has received in the mainstream media and especially on the internet, where young people spend a great deal of their time, this surge is hardly surprising. And yet the previous Government also indicated its wish to allow individuals to self-identify in the sex of their choice, while lavishing taxpayers’ money on the children’s trans charity, Mermaids, and funding treatment of “trans children”.    

Politics, in the shape of cultural Marxism, is the key driver of this issue, rather than the scientific quest for knowledge, and it is clear that the Tavistock Centre’s management only values free speech that does not upset those who disagree with the ideas expressed in this valuable book.

Those who disagree are all too often trans activists determined to silence any speech that undermines their own campaign. The losers in all this are children, whose misery and regrets after suffering irreversible “treatments” — the butchery of perfectly healthy bodily parts and a lifetime of artificial sex hormones — must be swept under the carpet in the higher cause of proving that male and female are not fixed realities but whatever activists say they are. 

If, along the way, free speech and the family, the bedrock of Western society, are irreversibly broken, so much the better for the cultural Marxists. They may regard the “evolution” of male and female into interchangeable biological units of production (not reproduction, since they will be sterile) as inevitable.

This is not evolution but revolution — and not the kind of revolution of which even Karl Marx would have ever approved.

Ann Farmer lives in the UK. She is the author of By Their Fruits: Eugenics, Population Control, and the Abortion Campaign (CUAP, 2008); The Language of Life: Christians Facing the Abortion Challenge (St Pauls, 1995), and Prophets & Priests: the Hidden Face of the Birth Control Movement (St Austin Press, 2002).

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Michael Cook

Michael Cook

Michael Cook is the editor of MercatorNet