2021 has been a thrilling ride; those of us on the gender critical roller-coaster have both squealed with delight and gasped in horror as court cases and news stories have come thick and fast. 2022 looks to be the sequel that defies ‘the not as good as the first one’ rule; from the prescription of puberty blockers to discrimination against gender critical people, this year will see transgender ideology in the dock.
The pine needles and mince pie crumbs will have barely been swept away before the first case makes its way to court for a preliminary hearing on 4th January.
James Esses was a trainee therapist nearing the end of his studies when he was expelled from his university course for launching a petition entitled ‘Safeguard evidence-based therapy for children struggling with gender dysphoria.’ The petition, which garnered over 10,000 signatures and a government response, was started because Esses was concerned that the proposed ban on conversion therapy “might ironically deny vulnerable children the help they need”.
On investigation, Esses discovered that the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) had liaised with his university (Metanoia Institute) to remove him from the course. He explains he “had no right of appeal, no explanation of what I had done wrong, and no opportunity to set out why my actions were justified.”
Esses has a stellar legal team: Akua Reindorf, who wrote the Reindorf review into the treatment by Essex University of gender critical staff, and Peter Daly, who acted for Maya Forstater in the appeal that established gender critical beliefs as being protected from discrimination.
It will be one to watch through 2022, as if he wins it could signal an end to discrimination against those with gender critical views by organisations that award qualifications.
The Cass Review
Whether detransitioner Keira Bell’s case will proceed to the Supreme Court has yet to be decided. But what is certain is that the findings of the Cass Review will be published. Commissioned in 2020, the investigation will consider how care can be improved across “different aspects of gender identity services, from primary care through to specialist services”.
Dr Hilary Cass, chair of the review, was initially asked to focus on the use of puberty blockers to treat children with gender dysphoria. But on beginning an investigation she said it “rapidly became apparent there were much broader problems” which demanded attention.
Dr Hilary Cass
The review could revolutionise treatments for youngsters with gender dysphoria, potentially halting what is to critics a grisly experiment on children, many of whom otherwise would grow-up to be same sex attracted. Cass has repeatedly stressed that the review will be evidence-based and with expertise drawn from a wide range of individuals and organisations. But blogs written by the leading paediatrician use phrases rooted in activism rather than medicine, such as “assigned birth gender”.
Cass’ job is not an enviable one; she can stick to the facts and incur the wrath of those who have been told that reality will kill them, or she can live with the knowledge that she’s given the green light to the sterilisation of children. Here’s hoping that Cass, and the ‘Assurance Group’ she’s wrapped around her to share the burden, have a bunker lined-up; no matter on what side she drops the bomb, there will be no escaping the shock waves.
“So-called” LGB Alliance charity registration challenge
In April 2021 there was outrage when the LGB Alliance were granted charitable status; Mermaids gasped for breath, Pink News went purple and Owen Jones predictably and impotently frothed on Twitter.
A challenge to the decision by the Charity Commission was swiftly concocted by the Good Law Project (GLP) to be fronted by Mermaids and supported by a host of trans advocacy groups (initially including Stonewall, though their name was later removed).
LGB Alliance Conference 2021 programme
Mermaids allege that the purpose of the LGB Alliance is “denigration of trans people and the destruction of organisations that support them”. Bizarrely, throughout public statements LGB Alliance is referred to with inverted commas or with the descriptor “so-called”, it seems their detractors are affronted by the very name of the registered charity.
The so-called case against LGB Alliance is scheduled to be heard in May 2022.
When in 2019, Allison Bailey attended a meeting of lesbian, gay and bisexual people with questions about transgenderism she couldn’t have known that it would lead to what is set to be a landmark legal case which is due to run from 25th April to 23rd May 2022.
Barrister Allison Bailey
Bailey, a lesbian barrister, was investigated by her employers, Garden Court Chambers, for tweeting in support of the LGB Alliance from her personal Twitter account. But paperwork requested by Bailey revealed that Garden Court Chambers, who are members of the Stonewall Diversity Champions Scheme, colluded with the charity to build a case against her. Bailey is set to argue that she has been subject to direct discrimination on the grounds of her gender critical beliefs.
She said in a case update:
“We cannot achieve a just outcome for everyone while Stonewall are free to threaten women like me with the loss of our livelihoods and reputations. Stonewall must be held to account. I intend to do just that.”
LGBT ‘Safe To Be Me’ conference
The government’s LGBT ‘Safe To Be Me’ conference in June appears to be an exclusively inclusive event. The bastard love child of the Foreign Office and the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on LGBT+ Rights, Lord Herbert, few concrete details have been released though the scope seems to be global.
Speaking in October, Lord Herbert said:
“I am excited by the potential of the Safe to Be Me Conference which will bring together governments, civil society organisations, businesses and parliamentarians to agree how we can work together to drive forward LGBT rights, especially in the countries where the need is greatest.
“This will be a major international event which will also coincide with the 50th anniversary of London Pride. I believe we are stronger when we stand together, and that the UK has a powerful opportunity to act as a global force for good and help to improve the lives of LGBT people worldwide.”
Lord Herbert is Conference Chair for ‘Safe To Be Me’
At present organisers are on the scrounge, looking for three or four principal partners to pay around £100,000 to put their names to the event, and a range of associated partners (around £50,000) and supporting partners (around £25,000).
Detailed information about the stakeholders to be invited or what the event hopes to achieve has yet to be divulged. But still, at least the sponsorship seems to have been sorted.
Buckle up, 2022 is here!
2021 saw the holes in transgender ideology tugged at, as journalists and politicians gained the courage to pull at strands loosened by activists. The coming year of court cases and battles could see a further unravelling of knotted threads that have reached across the world. Readers, buckle-up and get ready for a ride that promises to make 2021 look like the gently turning teacups at a seaside fair.
Jo Bartosch writes for The Critic, Spiked, The Telegraph, The New Statesman, The Article, The Times, Unherd, The Spectator, The Mail on Sunday and is reporter for Lesbian and Gay News.
Top photo: Denise Hasse/iStock