News from Grassroots conservatives
16 Oct 2017
An open letter to MPs
As business resumes post-Conference, we would like to make you aware that the transgender debate is not what it seems. We have recently had a brush with this disturbing ideology and would like to share with you our experience and what we have learned from it.
One of our committee members was interviewed in July on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, about the government’s proposals to make it easier to change legal gender, on which it plans to consult this autumn.
She made two points: (1) that changing one’s gender is a massive step and should not be presented as merely an administrative matter; (2) that, if there is a mismatch between body and mind, then it is appropriate to ask which needs to change. When invited to attribute motives to Justine Greening, the Education Secretary, she declined, explaining that she did not know Greening’s motives and was keen to focus on the policy not the person presenting it.
It is a sad reflection on public debate that these points were considered controversial and that part of the response was condemnation. In the public consultation this autumn, these are some of the issues to which the government will need to give careful consideration. Many people have expressed their gratitude that, since our presentation of a truly conservative viewpoint, their concerns are now being openly discussed.
Further interviews followed, we received a succession of comments both negative and positive, and were invited to meet two local transgender people in person. Both of them, separately, told their personal story of pain, confusion and heartache. This merits a response of care and compassion, according them respect and dignity. Both also asserted that there is no connection between gender and sexuality. This assertion goes against the understanding of gender and sexuality which has underpinned society for centuries. It affects us all and we should consider very carefully the consequences of such a view.
A father emailed us to tell of his daughter who had decided that she was a man and demanded that the family collude with this. He was heartbroken. A wife told of a husband, increasingly abusive, who had decided that he was a woman and left her and their children. Others told of their experience of living as transgender, undergoing hormone treatment and surgery only to discover that they had made a terrible mistake. A consultant psychiatrist admitted that there is no understanding about the cause of gender identity disorder, and psychiatrists have no methods of psychological treatment. Hormones and surgery have become gradually accepted for the most severe cases, simply for want of better alternatives.
Should gender be redefined, the suffering of the most vulnerable members of our society will be unfathomable. Little children will be exposed to adult questions about gender too disturbing for their young minds to comprehend: the innocence of childhood, once lost, can never be regained. Young teenagers, buffeted by the hormonal swings of adolescence, perhaps exploring their sexuality for the first time, will be trammelled down a path which involves profound pain, confusion, and an entire lifetime of powerful and potentially damaging medication. Many will undergo gender reassignment and then find that their mental anguish remains. The power of the LGBT lobby will have imposed a ‘solution’ before properly diagnosing the problem and they will be in a worse state than before.
On several occasions, we were accused of ‘ignorance’. When we examined the accompanying arguments, we came to realise that the real accusation was not that we did not know or understand, but that we did not agree with, the radical gender ideology being presented.
We also perceived that the transgender individuals we met were themselves victims. In their pain, they had somehow been co-opted into a wider movement to change the whole structure of society. Yet, it is neither justified nor necessary to redefine gender for us all in order to relieve their pain. They need empathy and personal support as precious human beings, not a new ideology.
We hope these reflections are helpful to you in the decision to come before you. We ask that you ensure that the consultation is not dominated by highly vocal activists campaigning for unwarranted and damaging change but takes full account of all views. If you have any questions, do please contact us.
Chairman, Grassroots Conservatives