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Photography by Chris Boland
From the PITT Substack:

I’m writing this as a parent of two young adults in the UK. My two have fortunately grown up without the impact of gender ideology, so my observations are based on working part-time in a selective, mixed-sex, fee-paying school.

Before I get into that I would add that my daughter, now 25 years old, struggled mightily with her mental health from age 14 and was under mental health services on and off for eight years. What finally helped her was a diagnosis of ADHD at 22 and her maturing brain. She is very clear that she is grateful that when she was younger no therapist suggested her ills were due to being ‘born in the wrong body’.

In the UK from both a personal and professional standpoint, I am outraged that neurodiversity (especially in girls who internalize struggles) is not assessed when a 13 or 14-year-old seems to suddenly collapse with mental health issues. We so nearly lost my daughter.

Now I work part-time in schools, mostly with 11-12-year-olds. There is an LGBTQ club that I often sit in on.

This year I noticed that the children, who were all asked their ‘preferred pronouns’ were boys and girls between 11 and 13. I have worked with all of them and was not surprised to see the members of the group. It’s not my role to diagnose but privately I would have put each child into one of four categories:

  1. Obviously autistic/ADHD or ADD
  2. Clearly experiencing some mental health issues
  3. Suffering difficulties at home
  4. Simply quirky and looking for a tribe

They find their meaning in this group and are encouraged by the group leaders to pursue membership in this group.

My fear is at a very young age they identify as something that feels real but is simply a group and place where their difficulties are accepted and validated.

The teachers are now aware of government guidance on supporting social transition in schools but when I mentioned this I was told ‘the government thinks gender ideology is nonsense’.

A statement from the government isn’t enough, we need this making policy. However, an election is looming here and the likely winner, the Labour Party, has a leader who believes a woman can have a penis. In fact, at least two senior Labour politicians have trans-identified children. There may even be more but our privacy laws, and perhaps a super injunction, prevent this from being made public. It’s right to protect children under 16 from the media but it becomes an issue when a parent of a trans child makes public policy.

We are winning many battles here in TERF island. We’ve had the Forstater ruling and recent Employment Tribunal wins for women such as Prof Jo Phoenix. And there is the Cass Review of The Tavistock gender clinic (so far only an interim report has been published and as a result the Tavistock is closing this spring). I fear that will push parents towards private providers and the discredited Mermaids charity. But these small wins are not enough.

I hope the tide is turning, but we need to keep fighting.

There is a saying here ‘When America sneezes, the UK catches a cold’. What happens on your side of the pond quickly makes its way here and the virus of gender ideology is highly contagious.

Parents, professionals, educators and feminists need to keep fighting.
Good luck to all parents, carers and professionals engaged in this battle.


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