Is the tide turning on transgender madness at last?

(Photo: Getty/iStock)

'You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all the time.' So allegedly said Abraham Lincoln, though exactly when and where has never been verified, but whether correctly attributed or not, the opinion is undoubtedly true. And nowhere has this been more strikingly illustrated than in the row over gender identity.

For the last few years, we have had the message hammered home that trans women are women, and must be treated as such. Irrespective of how they look – and there have been some supposedly 'trans women' still sporting beards – they have an absolute right, the argument runs, to be treated as women. From which it follows that they can use female-only spaces, compete as females in sports events, and receive health care appropriate to their 'self-identified' sex.

Predictably, there have been problems. There have been reports, for example, of transgender prisoners transferred to female prisons raping fellow inmates and prison officers. While the NHS had provoked ire by instructing medical staff to stop using terms such as breastfeeding and vaginal birth for mothers-to-be, in favour of 'chestfeeding' and frontal birth. But despite the many and vociferous objections, battle-hardened campaigners for gender ideology have fought on regardless, not just laying claim for trans-women to use female-only spaces, but encouraging everyone, and especially children, to consider whether they too may not have been born in the wrong body. 'Gender is choice, not biology' has become the chosen mantra of the day. You can be whatever you want!

But into this seething maelstrom of delusion, at last, a ray of light has come. As protest from women's groups at this invasion of their space has become more vocal, and increasing evidence of the damage being inflicted on vulnerable children has emerged, we have at last begun to see resistance, and the emergence of a change in policy.

It began with concern over the malign influence being exerted over Whitehall by LGBT+ campaigning group Stonewall and, in particular, its attempts to shape public policy. This was seen as so bad that the Minister for Women and Equalities, Kemi Badenoch, instructed Government departments to stop employing the charity and to withdraw from its diversity scheme.

This was followed by the recent delivery of the Cass Report into gender identity services for children and young people, heralded as the largest review into children's care in the world. With over 8,000 children now awaiting treatment in the UK, paediatrician Dr Hilary Cass unequivocally stated that gender medicine in the UK had been applied without proper medical investigation, causing severe harm to children and young people reportedly experiencing gender dysphoria.

In particular, she highlighted the fact that there had been little or no investigation into the benefit of such treatments, and little regard paid to their well-documented side effects, including such things as impaired brain development (possibly permanent), headaches, hot flushes, negative impact on mineral bone density, increased risk of depression, mood disorders, seizures, heart attack and strokes.

Following the review, the prescription of drugs to halt production of sex hormones causing physical changes at puberty (so-called puberty blockers) was banned for all children under 18, except where registered as part of a clinical trial. In tandem with this, the proposed government guidance into gender questioning children has now advised that a child's legal sex must always be registered as their biological sex, while any degree of social transitioning within the school environment is to be discouraged.

At the same time, reversing previous policy, it calls for parents to be kept fully informed and consulted as to how their child might best be supported at school. In other words, the proposed guidance now officially recognises that the ideologically driven campaign to promote gender choice has no basis in science and poses an extreme risk of harm to vulnerable children, who may already be suffering from related mental health issues.

In light of past events, and taken together, this is encouraging! But there's more. On 30 April this year, in line with government-proposed changes to its written constitution, the NHS announced that sex is a biological fact. One would have thought doctors should have known this already, but, be that as it may, under proposed revision of its constitution, NHS policy will ban trans women from female only wards, while biological women will have the right to request that treatment for intimate care be provided by medical staff of the same biological sex .

In a health service that up to now has been dominated by ideological activists promoting choice and inclusivity, it is hard to over-estimate the seismic effect of such a change, and on any assessment, this marks a radical shift in direction. But does this mean that the tide has changed?

No. It is a sign that people are waking up, certainly, but we must guard against complacency. There is a battle ahead. Gender activists are already reportedly getting ready to challenge the proposed schools guidance and are refusing to follow it, claiming that it will harm trans and non-binary children. Similarly, we can expect protest from gender choice and trans groups in relation to health policy, with hospital bosses already accusing the government of inappropriately dragging them into 'a pre-election culture wars debate'.

It is good that common sense seems at last to be prevailing, but we should not delude ourselves. We are faced by an ideological battle for total control, and LGBTQ+ activists will not give up without a fight. For the protection of the nation's young, for women, and for the wellbeing of society as a whole, this is a battle we must win.

Rev Lynda Rose is founder of Voice for Justice UK, a group which works to uphold the moral values of the Bible in society.