WPATH Files and the Cass Report show how young LGB people have been badly failed by a system that was supposed to provide support

The publication of the Cass Report on the 10th April was a sobering event and put beyond question the harm that has been inflicted on many vulnerable children and young people because ideology was allowed to triumph over scientific rigour and clinical evidence at Gender Identity Development Services (GIDS) like the Tavistock and closer to home in Scotland’s Sandyford clinic.

For those of us who have been challenging the insinuation of this ideology into our public bodies, including policing, education, health, onto the floor of the House of Commons, and into the Welsh and Scottish government’s policy base, the vindication Cass provides is important, but there is little yet to celebrate.

For proponents of Queer Theory, and the gender identity crusade they have been pursuing, the response has been a bit of a mixed bag. Some, like Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, Wes Streeting, have reversed their previously espoused position, apologising for getting it so very wrong and saying the report needs to be taken seriously and implemented in full. Others, like Baroness Hunt, the former CEO of Stonewall have attempted to rewrite history with claims they were always “trying to build consensus”. However, her words were swiftly shot down in flames by those who experienced the worst of the ‘no debate’ tactics so favoured and fostered by Stonewall. And then there are the Cass-deniers, who believe their obsession with a now-discredited ideology outweighs the academic ability, clinical judgement, and professional standing of a former president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Their shrill, but manifestly wrong claims that the Cass report is flawed is but an echo of the way in which the march of Queer Theory extremism has been allowed to progress, largely unimpeded, into public bodies, the private sector, journalism, and broadcasting.

The notion that there is fault on both sides of the debate is far from the reality of many and doesn’t stand up to the tiniest bit of scrutiny. Those of us who did raise concerns often did so from a position of decades of professional experience in child protection and safeguarding, but even the merest hint of concern was met with a deliberate, coordinated, and febrile attempt at reputational destruction. Such are the tactics of the #BeKind brigade. When they said there could be ‘no debate’, they meant it, and this was precisely because they had no credible answers to the questions being posed on the many risks adherence to Queer Theory ideology introduces to society.

No more starkly is this demonstrated by the Cass Report in the risk posed to the health of LGB and other gender non-conforming children and young people. As highlighted by gay rights charity LGB Alliance, Dr Cass found that 89% of girls and 81% of boys referred to GIDS were ultimately not trans but were homosexual or bisexual. This indicates an alarming pattern of misdiagnosis and inappropriate, unnecessary, and irreversible medical and surgical interventions. It confirms what many have feared that the NHS GIDS adoption of gender affirmation as a model of care has led them, whether inadvertent or not, to practicing medical and surgical gay conversion therapy.

The Cass Report builds on the concerns set out in Michael Shellenberger’s WPATH Files report by Mia Hughes published in March of this year. The WPATH Files Report was first to lift the lid on the culture inside the World Professional Association of Transgender Healthcare (WPATH). Indeed, the Cass Report also criticises WPATH guidelines as lacking in evidence, developmental rigor and emphasises the vital need for fully informed consent, especially for young people with mental health conditions or other diagnosable co-morbidities.

Together the WPATH Files Report and the Cass Report make clear that the WPATH Standards of Care documents are ideologically driven documents masquerading as clinical standards.

Tragically for children in the UK, WPATH’s Standards of Care have repeatedly been lauded by governments as “international best practice” and have been extremely influential in shaping NHS protocols since 2011. Young LGB people and many others have been so badly failed .

Cass serves as a starting point for putting things right, but there is much still to do in addressing wider concerns, particularly on women’s rights and in education. This is a battle none of us wanted, but it was one we always knew could simply not be avoided.

Neale Hanvey MP

Neale Hanvey is the Alba Party MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, and was elected in 2019.