Why is the UK’s only youth gender identity clinic closing, and what does this mean for New Zealand?

Written By: - Date published: 1:13 pm, July 29th, 2022 - 76 comments
Categories: gender critical feminism - Tags: , , ,

This post is about an evolving political situation in the UK around gender identity ideology, the capture of institutions and the harm being done to children and teens. If you want to why know this matters to New Zealand, it’s because we don’t know to what extent this is also happening in NZ.

We don’t know because of No Debate, a long term strategy that calls anyone trying to talk about these issues a bigot, seeks to deplatform them, and causes people that speak up strongly to risk their jobs and careers.

This has meant that progressive media in the UK for a long time wouldn’t cover the stories. It’s also meant that not enough research has been done (internationally) because researchers feared for their funding as well as being branded a transphobe and socially shamed.

In the UK No Debate still holds a repressive sway, but there have been key tipping points that have blown the debate open. Multiple court cases and people, usually women, risking their jobs and careers to speak out (as well as being subjected to some of the worst misogynistic targeting online) mean that MSM media coverage has improved, and legislative and policy institutions are examining the issues.

In New Zealand this hasn’t happened yet, we are still in the No Debate stage.

The Times in the UK reported yesterday,

Tavistock gender clinic forced to shut over safety fears

The NHS is shutting down its gender identity clinic for children after a damning review found that it failed vulnerable under-18s.

Tavistock’s Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) clinic has been accused of rushing children into life-altering treatment on puberty blockers.

The paediatrician Dr Hilary Cass, who is leading a review of the service, has today issued a series of recommendations for a radical overhaul of how the NHS treats young people who are questioning their gender identity.

She found that the Tavistock clinic was “not a safe or viable long-term option” and that other mental health issues were “overshadowed” when gender was raised by children referred to the clinic.

(non-paywalled version)

The Tavistock is to be replaced with a number of regional services and an “appropriate multi-professional workforce to enable them to provide an integrated model of care that manages the holistic needs of this population”. This demonstrates that this closure of GIDS isn’t driven by transphobia, but instead seeks to replace a dysfunctional service with one that will serve the needs of distressed gender non conforming children including but not limited to trans kids.

One of the most damning aspects of the GIDS case has been the discovery that they weren’t keeping adequate records.

Cass said these [new] clinics must have “established academic and education functions” to monitor evidence on children who are put on hormone therapy. The Tavistock clinic failed to collect sufficient data on the impact of puberty blockers in under-16s.

She said there was currently “insufficient evidence” for her to make any firm recommendations around their routine use.

Cass told the NHS to “enrol young people being considered for hormone treatment into a formal research protocol with adequate follow up into adulthood, with a more immediate focus on the questions regarding puberty blockers”.

The closure is the result of a decade long process of whistleblowing by staff and activism by detrans people and gender critical feminists. The decision follows the establishment by the NHS of the Cass Review, an ongoing independent investigation into the Tavistock and gender identity services for children and teens in the UK.

Some background.

In 2009–10, 97 patients were referred to GIDS.

By 2015–16, this had increased fourteen-fold to 1419 and in 2017–18 to 2,519.

In that time there was a major shift in demographics, from referred children being predominantly boys to overwhelmingly girls. Girls with gender dysphoria account for much of the fourteen fold increase in patients. Many of these girls are lesbian, who end up being transitioned into trans men, including with hormones and surgery. Many children also autistic, autism often goes hand in hand with gender non-conformity.

GII (gender identity ideology) posits this is a result of better treatment and access to services. The affirmation-only approach with children is that if girl says they are a boy then you should accept that and treat them as if they are. Girls coming into the Tavistock are met with the medical and affirmation only models that fast track them to puberty blockers and open the pathway to cross sex hormones and surgery (which most going on to do).

Gender critical feminists say that the increase is due to,

  • the increasingly misogynistic and sexist nature of UK society making becoming a woman too challenging for many girls, in particular  sexual harassment and sexual abuse.
  • the rise of unsupervised  and uncontrolled pre-teen and teen social media where a culture of transition as solution to hating one’s sex has arisen.
  • girls are socialised into the idea that being gender non conforming means you are a trans boy/man rather than just being GNC. This is supported by many adults.
  • affirmation-only positions within therapy and medicine.

Gender critical positions also say that affirmation-only is a form of conversion therapy whereby lebsians are transitioned into trans men. If you want to know why there has been opposition from progressives to conversion therapy bans, this is why.

Affirmation-only has meant that other issues the child may be dealing with have been ignored or inadequately addressed eg sexual or physical abuse, eating disorders, depression, mental illness, the physical and emotional distress of puberty, and the increasing societal pressures to be gender conforming .

Instead of looking at the whole child and their environment, affirmation only narrows treatment options to the single path of transition: social transition, hormonal treatments (puberty blockers, and later cross sex hormones), and eventual surgery.

In the past few years detrans people have organised and been speaking out. GII says they’re rare, or that they’re only detransitioning because they didn’t haven’t had good support to be trans, or that they weren’t really trans to begin with. All marginalising arguments that have combined with No Debate to suppress detrans voices.

If conservatives had been pushing GII, the left would be in an outrage. Overmedicalisation of children, forcing them into opposite but fixed gender roles, suppressing the voices of marginalised children and youth. These are all things we should have been challenging, and we’ve failed hugely.

Think this is all bigoted overstating? Gender identity ideology, including where adopted into medical institutions like the NZ MoH, has been claiming that puberty blockers are “safe and fully reversible”. Hilary Cass in her letter to the NHS last week (PDF),

A further concern is that adolescent sex hormone surges may trigger the opening of a critical period for experience-dependent rewiring of neural circuits underlying executive function (i.e. maturation of the part of the brain concerned with planning, decision making and judgement).

If this is the case, brain maturation may be temporarily or permanently disrupted by puberty blockers, which could have significant impact on the ability to make complex risk-laden decisions, as well as possible longer-term neuropsychological consequences. To date, there has been very limited research on the short-, medium- or longer-term impact of puberty- blockers on neurocognitive development.

Meanwhile in the US, this is happening. Below is a video of 17 year old destransitioner Chloe Cole describing her transition in clear terms to the California State Assembly.

She was medically transitioned from ages 13 to 16, the doctor affirming her gender identity as male and brushing off her parents’ concerns about medical and surgical treatment. They were told that she would kill herself without transition (a common narrative).

Cole was put on puberty blockers after a few appointments. At 15 she wanted to remove her breasts and took part in a breast removal group for girls.

Around twelve girls that thought they were men. Most my age or younger. None of us were going to be men, we were fleeing from the uncomfortable feeling of becoming women. I was unknowingly cutting off my true self from my body, irreversibly and painfully.

Our trans identities were not questioned. I went through with the surgery.

Cole later detransitioned. She talks about not being capable of making what should have been informed consent decisions. She has no breasts, blood clots in her urine, an inability to fully empty her bladder. She doesn’t know if she can bear children, the doctors who put her on puberty blockers and testosterone don’t know either.

I remain unconvinced that children distressed about their sex and struggling with mental health issues, can consent to this medicalisation or know what the long term social and emotional consequences are. They are being lied to about the physical consequences are, including ongoing dysfunction and pain.

Anyone with a political opinion about the sex/gender wars, or gender identity, should be listening to detrans people.


I could go on. My twitter timeline is flooded with stories in the past day, it’s not possible to keep up. I’m hoping that people will add more detail in the comments below.


Mod note: please be thoughtful in how you express your opinions here. Slurs or comments derogatory of any side in this debate aren’t acceptable. If you make claims of fact, please back them up with explanation, quotes and links as you go. Read the Policy if you are new to The Standard.

76 comments on “Why is the UK’s only youth gender identity clinic closing, and what does this mean for New Zealand? ”

  1. Anker 1

    thanks so much for your comprehensive and well written post Weka.

    If nothing else i would encourage everyone to listen to the de-trans stories. Appalling that this happened to vulnerable young people.

    So pleased Tavistock GIDs has been shut down. It was heavily influenced by activists who had a agenda which wasn't the well being of these vulnerable young people. Exactly what is being encouraged in NZ right now. No debate happens and is legislated to happen in the therapy room/dr's consulting room. I believe the Conversion Practices Bill will deter practioners from taking a watchful waiting approach.

    • weka 1.1

      Several posts in the NZ situation. Much harder to write because of No Debate, researching is way more time consuming and the state of play more difficult to parse.

  2. RoseyK 2

    Thank you for a very clear and well-written article. If only the era of No Debate could be over in New Zealand too and that the media would allow proper discussion of the issue without hyperbole and name-calling. Our science writers should step up and report on this with proper objectivity and detachment from politics.

    • weka 2.1

      thanks Rosey. Hard to know how it's going to play out here, but the research side at least should be making more people pay attention.

  3. Ad 3

    DIA public consultation closed on Monday this week on three key details of the self-identification process:

    • the sex and gender markers, other than male and female, to be available when amending birth certificates;
    • who can be a third party to support applications for youth and children; and
    • if any additional requirements should apply when a person applies to change their name and sex more than once.

    bdmreview – recognising gender on birth certificates – dia.govt.nz

    There were a series of engagement meetings through June and July on this issue with relevant groups:

    Engagement-strategy-on-self-identification-details-and-registering-a-gender-for-people-born-overseas.pdf (dia.govt.nz)

    Out of this feedback will emerge the full regulatory framework required from the BDMRR Act that went through in December 2021.

    • Anker 3.1

      Thanks Ad. But our victory over the closure of the Tavistock Gender Clinic goes deeper than the self ID issue. (Automatic self Id is problematic in part because it allows access to women's spaces by any male who identifies as a female).

      The GID clinic in the UK was a psychotherapy clinic set up to help vulnerable youngsters with gender dyphoria. They enabled swift medical transition of children (PB, Cross sex hormones and surgery) of these kids who were unable to give informed consent e.g. Kara Bell. This Govt and Rainbow Youth have called for the instant affirmation/confirmation of young people's gender dysphoria. I would encourge you to listen to the links on this post (one from NZ and one from UK). Listening to these kids throws light on the foolishness and negligence of health professionals and politicians (I am looking at Andrew Little who has increased gender surgery and also as Minister of Justice set out to bring us the Conversion Practices Bill).

      I am sorry Ad, but many of the left have been taken in by Gender Ideoloy and have been mis lead that it is progressive. It is anything but.

  4. Chris Pook 4

    Well written, Weka. Great journalism. Detrans people in Aotearoa NZ absolutely need to be heard. Here's a good example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmEao1QHiPI

    Thank you so much to this lady for speaking out, and to Keira Bell, Sinead Watson, Grace (@hormonehangover), Ritchie (@TullipR) and all the other detransitioners raising their voices.

    Sex matters.

    • Anker 4.1

      Thanks Chris Pook for posting Sacha's u tube post. Surely anybody watching this would pause and realize that something is terribly wrong

    • weka 4.2

      Rewoman is great, thanks! I hadn't seen that video before.

  5. Psycho Milt 5

    Thanks weka, this is a great summary of what's happening.

    I'm seeing a fair bit of triumphalism from GC Twitter accounts today, and fair enough I suppose, it's a huge victory for reason and hopefully means adults back in the room. It doesn't mean, though, that the battle's won in the UK. These new regional centres will be set up along the lines Cass describes, but if the people who step forward to staff them are all 'no-debate' gender identity believers the UK will be back to square one. A lot will depend on the willingness of authorities to enforce the recommendations of the report.

    • weka 5.1

      There's going to be intense scrutiny of hiring and ongoing practice though. Can't imagine GC people will back off now.

      • Anker 5.1.1

        We certainly won't back off! Unfortunately I understand that some of our professional bodies (mental health ) in NZ have been captured. We have a big fight on our hands.

      • Psycho Milt 5.1.2

        I hope so. It's going to need continued vigilance to prevent this creeping back in again.

        Still – I wish we had that problem here, rather than the one we do have!

  6. roy cartland 7

    I've been wondering about the issue of self-IDing lately, particularly why the issue is all over the internet, dominating 'progressive' sites.

    Qui bono?

    If, say, there was someone(s) in control of information flows, what would they stand to gain? Who benefits from creating a culture where I can self-define as anything I feel like? From a shift away from broad norms into ever factionalised categories? Perhaps eventually into categories of one, for everyone?
    And if the real world just won't get on board with it, who would benefit from offering a release from the real world into, I dunno, a virtual one, where you can be whatever and whoever the hell you want? A metaverse, you might say?
    For the mere price of your dead identity (i.e., all your data) come and be who you always knew you were.

    Am I conspiracy theorising? Maybe; but if the Masters of the Universe haven't thought of it yet, you can bet they damn-well will soon.

    • Anker 7.1

      Roy, I wouldn't pretend to have a definite answer on this.

      But in broad terms, I believe Queer theory is supportive of a sexual libertarian agenda. While I am not providing specific references here some key people to look at are Michael Foucault, Gabrielle Ruebin, our very own John Money (case studies about the twins) and also the work of Ray Blanchford a psychologist on the condition "Autogynophilia.

      The other side of it is that Stonewall and the likes of Inside out in NZ get a great deal of funding to provide Diversity and Inclusion" trainings. These are jobe for the middle class arts graduates (Redline recently had an interview with a Swedish Marxist who postulated this.). There are a lot of people whose livlihoods depend ont this stuff.

      And lastly the drug companies benefit. Of course they do. They have patients for life on cross sex hormones. Too easy.

    • Jan Rivers 7.2

      I think you have hit the nail on the head. I think gender identities and self-id are societal disrupters that help to break up social solidarity..

      In schools teachers are allowing kids to transition and their parents are not told about it even though there are frequent mental health co-morbidities. This is done on the basis that some parents will be unsupportive.

      Bigger picture how can we trust if we literally do not know who we are speaking to and whether they believe they are someone other than who they are; if we cannot speak about someone's past if they have 'reidentified' as some other 'gender'; if increasingly large numbers of people have not gone through the development of emotional regulation and reasoning skills that are thought be driven by endogenous hormones at puberty. Arguing you have a gender identity (and increasingly this is being adopted as a 'lifestyle' choice – young men and women magically discover that they are listened to intently if they are trans or non-binary) supports those people in making quite major and non-reciprocal demand of others to be believed in specific and unusual ways? I think it is a sure dissolver of societal bonds.

      I believe no-one has looked at the long term impacts of these changes for society as a whole and if we had we would not be doing this. I think we are creating a two speed society – 'normies / basics / cis-gendered people' to use the insulting terminology and 'self-identified' people. The individuals from the former group (some of whose suffering and struggling are real) but the societal impacts of the claims that need some attention.

      • roy cartland 7.2.1

        Thanks Jan.

        It's really interesting that this has coincided with a rise in 'walkouts/shutdowns' on ideas that people don't agree with or just don't like; or worse throw screaming ad-hominem tantrums. World leaders that do this strengthen that behaviour. To that logic, I could insist that I identify as a king, and you all should supplicate to me: if you don't, I'm entitled to have a screaming meltdown calling you a bigot and shutting down anything you say. That can't help anyone's cause.

        People said after Bush 2 illegally invaded Iraq, 'why they hell should I obey the law? He doesn't'. Now it's similar with Boris, Tr^mp, Orban, Bolso and the rest of the powerfully ignorant; they legitimise destructive behaviour.

        Once again those with genuine issues are at risk of being drowned out by those that just take the piss.

  7. Anker 8

    Thanks Chris Pook for posting Sacha's u tube post. Surely anybody watching this would pause and realize that something is terribly wrong

  8. Fern Hickson wrote an important response to Stuff's one-sided coverage of the upcoming CATT conference, that rebuts most of Stuff's falsehoods & scaremongering


  9. Anker 10

    Stuff are completely compromised. I would be very surprized if they print anything about Tavistock.

    I hope people are held to account when this whole thing starts to unravel and the damage is finally acknoweledged.

  10. Blazer 11

    Matt Walsh has asked what one would think is a simple question and so many academics struggle to answer it.

    'What is a woman'?


  11. Jan Rivers 12

    I have a little background on specifically what happens with NZ's media. A few months ago I was pretty angry that concerns about puberty blocker medicine were presented by TVNZ as one of a number of stories about conspiracy theories and misinformation and the way that disengagement, cycnicism, faulty thinking and disadvantage led specific kinds of people to be vulnerable to such coverage.

    I made a complaint. The Media Council found three serious issues with story but did not uphold my complaint. TVNZ maintained that the story was not about conspiracy stories but about complex issues. So Kristin Hall's lazy coverage of the issue remains intact together together with the rest of TVNZ's entirely inadequate coverage of this issue. Question is – how can we break the 'no debate' approach to this?


    • weka 12.1

      is there any media that is doing better coverage?

      • Sabine 12.1.1

        The only media that would touch this subject – without the required and approved level of affirmation – would be what the left calls the right wing media.

  12. Sabine 13

    While it is good that the Tavis is being closed is great it is not going to stop the medicalization of children and teens.

    this tweet here sums it up perfectly


    What this means is that an offending beam in the eyes of many is being removed it also means that in the future that will be two offending beams. Just smaller, and hopefully with more oversight and care. Time will tell.

    A bit like the public dropping of stonewall from Government Agencies. The damage is done, the rules/policies are implemented and Stonewall done its job. It is now also a liablity, so drop Stonewall and greet the next charity that will fill the empty space.

    I guess we need to come to grips that we have a certain adult population with power who have no issues sterilizing children. And we need to come to grips that in the near future in NZ we will have more and more stories about young adults without reproductive function, missing body parts, and other assorted health issues. Until there are so many that one can't unsee the damage anymore. By then we have either become desensitized and accustomed to it or the movement promoting genital mutilation for children in the name of mental healthcare has been stopped.

  13. Anker 14
    • Valid point Sabine. The fight is not over.
  14. Anker 15


    a very good article from The Times about the closure. Very significant to close a clinical service cause it is unsafe. Very unusual. Speaks volumes

    • Sabine 15.1

      yes, that they just shut the service shows to me that what ever they found in the second report that is yet to come was bad enough to close it immediatly.

      this currently from the US https://www.dailysignal.com/2022/07/28/fda-slaps-warning-on-puberty-blockers/

      But for now this Butchery will be closed and two smaller ones will be openend. Out of sight, out of mind. I will also point out that in the UK, both Labour and the Tories and SNP Lib Dems etc are all equally responsible for the butchering of children and teens/young adults who rather then suffer from gender dysphoria might just be traumatized, neuro diverse and / or actually suffering from body dysphoria rather then gender dysphoria or gasp may be same sex orientated. But there is money to be made, and that money will be made. So sayeth a capitalist and investor somewhere/everywhere.

      • Molly 15.1.1

        I am hoping that the indicated mental health approach will predominate.

        But I by reading and investigating this issue, I have lost all expectations that improvements will be the result. So, I'll hope without celebration until celebration is warranted.

          • Sabine

            this too is a good read


            This is a child welfare issue

            • Molly

              Thanks also for this.

              James Kirkup has been consistently reporting on these unaddressed concerns for a while now. I hadn't read this latest.

              Simply put, organisations that are supposed to make decisions on the basis of facts have sometimes chosen to proceed on the basis of feelings and claims. Wishful thinking has come before harsh reality. Individuals who have questioned such things have sometimes been discouraged and even punished by organisations that priortise adherence to the campaigners’ agenda above the public interest.

              Nowhere is this more painful than in the area of clinical treatment for children who may be experiencing trouble relating to their gender identity.

          • Molly


            I've posted a long comment (with links, so in moderation) including David Bell, who I find to be meticulously scrupulous in both writing and speech.

            The interview here is worthwhile to watch to see this, and gain a basic understanding of why there are concerns.

            • weka

              You can also break up comments into sections to avoid premod. Just make sure you use the reply button to put them in sequence if they need to be read together.

  15. Molly 16

    For those not up on the play with the GIDS clinic, Tavistock Portman in the UK here is an article with a background, of the concerns raised over the years by whistleblowers, and the reviews that resulted in significant concerns and further reviews.


    Transgender Trend provides a really good breakdown of the adoption of the puberty blocker treatment in 4 articles. It is worth reading to see the persistent refusal of clinic to reverse decisions made in response to advocacy, not medical evidence.

    Part 1: Scrutinizing the Evidence (March 2019)

    Part 2: An Update (July 2019)

    Part 3: The astonishing admission in the Health Research Authority report (October 2019)

    Part 4: The Tavistock’s Experimentation with Puberty Blockers, part 4: The Judicial Review (December 2020)

    When concerns were raised, those raising them were threatened with disciplinary procedures.

    David Bell, after being approached by 10 clinicians wrote a report in 2018 critiquing the treatment of minors in the GIDS clinic:


    A senior psychiatrist who warned that a national gender identity clinic was failing vulnerable children faces disciplinary action by an NHS trust.

    David Bell, 70, a former staff governor at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, sent an internal report to its leaders in 2018, urging them to suspend all experimental hormone treatment for children who wished to change gender until there was better evidence of the outcomes.

    It included testimonies from ten clinicians, who warned that children with complex histories were being referred for puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones after a few sessions and without proper investigation of their cases. Children were being prescribed the experimental drugs under pressure from transgender rights groups, the report claimed.

    The staff had approached Dr Bell, whose role as staff governor on the council of governors was to pass such concerns up the chain of command. His report concluded that the clinic in north London, known as GIDS, was “not fit for purpose” and called for a suspension of referrals “as a matter of urgency”.

    “The GIDS service as it now functions is not fit for purpose and children’s needs are being met in a woefully inadequate manner and some will live on with the damaging consequences,” the senior consultant psychiatrist wrote.

    Marcus Evans, a governor with a 35 year relationship with the clinic, quit his role.


    Marcus Evans, one of the governors of The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust has resigned, after accusing its management of having an “overvalued belief in” the expertise of its Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) “which is used to dismiss challenge and examination”.

    Evans’s decision to part company with the London-based trust, after a 35-year association, will intensify scrutiny of the service which has found itself in the eye of a storm as thousands of young people considering transitioning to another gender seek its help.

    He wrote an article after his left that was published by the British Journal Psych Bulletin in 2021:

    Freedom to think: the need for thorough assessment and treatment of gender dysphoric children

    The Memorandum of Understanding on Conversion, which many healthcare professionals have signed, purports to protect the patient from conversion therapy. The Royal College of Psychiatrists signed the first version of the Memorandum (in 2015)9 as it referred to homosexuality but declined to sign the second Memorandum (2017)10 as the definition had been expanded to include transgender individuals. The Memorandum is very often interpreted as obstructing the clinician's freedom to examine and explore the various pathways that have led to gender dysphoria, but, somewhat surprisingly, when one reads the document one discovers an acknowledgment that the therapist or healthcare professionals’ job is to help the patient discover and come to terms with who they really are:

    ‘For people who are unhappy about their sexual orientation or their transgender status [my italics], there may be grounds for exploring therapeutic options to help them live more comfortably with it, reduce their distress and reach a greater degree of self-acceptance’.11

    Sonia Appleby, who held a position of child-safeguarding at GIDS was the recipient of discriminatory treatment at the Clinic.

    She successfully won an employment case against the Trust.


    The tribunal heard evidence that after she raised the concerns, instead of addressing them, the trust management ostracised her and attempted to prevent her from carrying out her safeguarding role, by sidelining her. Appleby said the management’s action amounted to a “full-blown organisational assault”.

    She alleged staff were told she had an “agenda”.

    Appleby claimed that since then she has been unable to fulfil her role as a named professional for safeguarding children at Tavistock and Portman NHS centre, England’s only gender identity clinic for children.

    She had also questioned whether record-keeping was adequate and recommended the trust introduce a manual or policy to assist “clear thinking” about cases and assess whether there was a history of abuse or safeguarding concerns before initiating treatment. She raised further concerns that staff were too overworked to properly consider safeguarding issues.

    For those who prefer watching videos, this BBC report from 2019 outlines the basic issues regarding the medical evidence (lack of) for the medical treatment of minors attending the Tavistock.

    Now, this needs to be clear, NZ at present provides this same un-evidenced treatment to minors under the approach of "affirming health care".


    Just to see how Hannah Phillips (who was featured as a YouTube influencer) was getting on after going on puberty blockers at 16 (which would have given them some maturation from puberty in terms of physical and brain development), here is the latest Youtube offering. I'm assuming from age given in BBC clip that Hannah is around 22-23 yrs old now:


    For those who are new to the topic.

    The basic facts are:

    1. Despite clinical evidence to the contrary, medical transition for minors is given the trite and misleading name of "affirming health care", and has been found to cause net harms rather than benefits.

    2. References to medical associations or bodies that have adopted this approach, is a daisy chain of authority references, that ultimately lead back to advocacy pressure rather than medical evidence.

    3. Clinical evidence exists that shows exploratory therapy is the most successful intervention. (Whether this is appealing to NZ therapists to attempt, is going to be unlikely, given the passing of the conversion therapy bill, and the current furore and attempts to cancel the CATA conference planned for Nelson next week.)

    4. Clinical evidence exists that shows that medical interventions in minors, results in increased mental health issues negating the assumed positive benefits. Whether this is due to unaddressed co-morbidities, or brain development and maturity has been arrested leading to such outcomes needs to be addressed.

    5. Clinical data regarding significant health issues for both puberty blockers and lifelong extragenous hormone supplements already exists. Whether this information is fully understood or communicated is not clear. Whether someone is able to consent when they have other mental health or self-harm co-morbidities is also not clear.

    • Sabine 16.1

      And NZ like England will double down on this 'affirmation only' approach until like with any cases of State sanctioned abuse aimed at children, mentally diverse people, or non conforming people the damage is so huge that it can't be hidden anymore. And like always the people that pushed this cruelty onto families nad children will be no where to be found, hidden with a good wage in a think tank, declaring innocence, constantly washing heir hands of the blood pretending it was not them. No one from the Green Party will take responsibility for the damage done. No one from the Labour Party will, no one from the National, ACT or TPM will do. None of them will ever ever admit that they were responsible for the damages that will and has been done in the name of 'inclusivity' and 'affirmation.

      And fwiw, we are standing at the bottom of this mountain of misery here in NZ.

      • Molly 16.1.1

        "And fwiw, we are starring at the beginning of this mountain of misery here in NZ."

        Disturbingly true, and even more inexcusably – doing so with much fanfare and self-congratulatory back patting.

  16. Visubversa 17

    It has been a long time coming – and is by no means over yet. There is a well funded organisation behind this – America has a "for profit" health system after all, and the whole kit and caboodle is wrapped up in a rainbow flag in order to parasite on the hard work of those who have worked for the rights of same sex attracted people for decades. In Britain, Stonewall is well funded to turn its back on the people who founded and supported it for years and now promotes and supports only those who embrace Gender Ideology.

    Abigail Shrier's book "Irreversible Damage" describes the social contagion which has led to the massive increase in "gender confusion" among teenage girls. There are hardworking parents organisations trying to fight back, but for every one of those there are dozens of parents who are emotionally invested in the decisions they made around the "transing" of their child. Many of them are in positions of power and influence, including in the New Zealand Labour Party.


  17. Sabine 19

    oh well, this could not happen then to nicer people?


  18. Molly 20

    The Times has posted another article on this issue ( in stark contrast to the Guardian's perspective: Tavistock gender identity clinic is closing: what happens next?)

    The Times view on the discredited gender identity service for young people: Clinical Damage

    The Tavistock Centre’s closure follows a damning report on ideological malpractice

    The damage done is immeasurable. No one knows how years of ideological dogma, inappropriate treatment and a culpable failure to consider the overall mental welfare of the children treated by the Tavistock Clinic will affect the thousands referred to its Gender Identity Development Service. Yesterday NHS England thankfully brought the scandal to a swift halt. In the wake of a devastating report in March on the clinic’s reckless prescription of puberty blockers, health chiefs have shut it down altogether. Treatment of children questioning their gender identity will now be handled by established and respected regional children’s hospitals.

    Disbanding the Tavistock is not before time. The once pioneering north London centre focusing on the psychiatric care of children has become an institute captured by a pernicious clique of “queer theory” trans activists, unwilling to question the reliance on puberty blockers, analyse the long-term effects of this untested treatment, or tolerate any dissenting opinion among staff. The Tavistock failed to collect data on puberty blockers for those under 16, refused to follow up the effects of its treatments and paid virtually no attention to other common factors such as autism, eating disorders or histories of trauma and abuse. It naively confused sexual orientation with gender identity, accepted at face value all declarations by children that they were born in the wrong body and treated all complex problems through the prism of gender…

    Full editorial(?) worth reading.

    Archived here: https://archive.ph/C8oxs

    • Molly 20.1

      The Times is cranking the articles out now. Another from Janice Turner:


      Writing on this topic, I’ve often encountered facts so dangerous and beliefs so bizarre, so beyond science or reason, it’s been hard to convey their existence.

      Listen, you say, British doctors are prescribing a drug used to chemically castrate rapists to halt puberty in children as young as 11. The drug isn’t even approved for child gender dysphoria. It reduces growth and bone density, sterilises and kills future libido. And, get this, we don’t know what it does to teenagers’ developing brains, or even if it works and they become happy, fulfilled trans adults. Because there’s no data, no long-term research.

      Now, thanks to Cass, such institutional incuriosity and medical negligence will end. Every child put on puberty blockers will now be tracked into adulthood, while 9,000 patients lost in the system — after transition they receive new NHS numbers — will be contacted. The findings have potential to end a grotesque craze for paediatric medical transition across the world.

      Archived here: https://archive.ph/P2rmT

  19. Anker 21


    Australia following the UK after the Tavistock report

  20. Sabine 22

    Kemi Badenoch – conservative MP and someone who seemingly knows what and who women are. She was in the running for conservative PM to replace Johnson, and if i would have to vote for a conservative it would probably been her out of the whole lot.


    But it was clear that many women in today’s workplace were paying a much bigger price for telling the truth while doing their job. Journalist Lucy Bannerman exposed the Tavistock’s ideology and practices only to have a mob picket her workplace with placards labelling her work “transphobic”. Online trolls routinely sent her death threats. Professor Kathleen Stock was hounded out of Sussex University by students. Maya Forstater and Allison Bailey are two heroic women who have been vindicated through our legal system. But their struggle for justice came with unimaginable hardship simply for asserting that biological sex was real.


    The reason it took this long for the Tavistock to be shut down is that activists succeeded in creating an environment in which critics and journalists felt unable to interrogate the dogma that youngsters should be able to medically transition in the way overseen by Tavistock. The treatment of these women showed the heavy price to pay and many people including MPs on all sides of the house simply didn’t want to get involved.


    There is still much to do. Many find the question “What is a woman?” baffling and silly. It is really a proxy for working out what side of the debate a politician is on as we make policy.

    Some proposals I saw on our conversion therapy plans would have inadvertently criminalised the very clinicians who blew the whistle at the Tavistock. Earlier this year, the decision to pause these legislative proposals was portrayed as being anti-transgender people at a time when government was doing everything it could to ensure they received the most appropriate care.

    Even now, the SNP-led Scottish government is pushing forward controversial legislation that will reopen the issue of self-identification and create confusion between different jurisdictions in the UK on how we define who is and who isn’t a man or a woman.

    Maybe we need to think about the idea that a government, any government wants the rights to define who is and is not a man or a woman, and if the government gets to decide who is what, what else can the government – any government btw – redefine for us, even against our wills, telling us that our own eyes are lying to us.

    I don't think that the Tavistock Saga is over. I think it is a case of killing a large beast to cover up the fact that the large beast has split into multiple small ones which are harder to control cause multiples. But maybe Cassandra is my middle name.

    • weka 22.1

      Yeah, I don’t think it’s over, and there is still a big fight ahead, but this is a huge change of the battle ground.

      GCFs are going after Mermaids now, and being very clear that a big source of the problem is schools. Going to be bloody interesting if Badenoch becomes PM.

      I haven't watched her a lot, but in this video at least she comes across as competent and not afraid to talk about the issues. The stuff about how Tavistock staff told her not to talk to people is shocking.

      I also think she is genuinely concerned about the issues. Whereas I think some other Tories recognise that the issues are a way to undermine Labour and are working the angles. Labour should be worried now, but I suspect that they're too far down the rabbit hole.


    • weka 22.2

      Meanwhile, Scotland making England look good.


  21. Isabella Stevenson 23

    Just to note that the Tavistock gender identify development service is NOT the only such clinic in the UK. It is the only one for children that is funded by the National Health Service. Big difference unfortunately. Cheers,

  22. Sabine 24

    Came across my first mixed sex loos. Mercer reststop in akl. 4 stalls in the ladies, open on the bottom and top. Any tall

    male has a great view. Took pics and will try to send letter to the businesses there that I will now have to take my money elsewhere. The .ens are single sex of corse. This war has bRely started, buckle in, the ride is gonna be bumpy.

  23. CactusCat 25

    Thanks for this well-written commentary and all the useful links etc contributed by others in the comments.

    Can anyone explain to me why the NZ Ministry of Health webpage for the public on 'Transgender New Zealanders – Children and Young People' continues to state, without qualification, that puberty blockers are totally safe and reversible for children and young people?

    Blockers are a safe and fully reversible medicine that may be used from early puberty through to later adolescence to help ease distress and allow time to fully explore gender health options

    Transgender New Zealanders: Children and young people | Ministry of Health NZ

    The Ministry will surely have known for some time that the international evidence does not support this confident assertion; now the Cass Review findings make it entirely clear. I understand that for several YEARS individuals and groups in NZ have approached the MOH to point out that this is not an evidence-based claim.

    This is actually misleading the NZ public and needs addressing right away.

    • Incognito 25.1

      Page last updated: 11 September 2020

      • weka 25.1.1

        Someone OIAed them. This from 23/3/21

        "This is an Official Information Act (1982) request for the research and professional advice used to back up the Ministry of Health's claim that "Blockers are a safe and fully reversible medicine"

        The information on the Ministry of Health's (the Ministry) website is supported by the Guidelines for Gender Affirming Healthcare for Gender Diverse and Transgender Children, Young People and Adults in Aotearoa New Zealand published in 2018. These guidelines are available on the University of Waikato's Research Commons' website: http://www.researchcommons.waikato.ac.nz, by searching the title.

        It is also supported by the Standards of Care developed by the World
        Professional Association for Transgender Health, which can be found on its website: http://www.wpath.org/publications/soc.

        It is important to note that the Ministry's website is intended to provide general health advice. For the treatment of young transgender New Zealanders, it is the responsibility of the treating clinician to consider the appropriateness of a treatment for a patient, and to ensure that the
        patient is informed of the risks and benefits associated with that treatment. Informed consent should be obtained by the clinician from the patient before the choice is made to prescribe the medicine.


        • Incognito


          Interesting that they apparently haven’t updated the webpage for almost 2 years – it doesn’t tell us when it was last reviewed. The term “safe” is a relative term but “fully reversible” is not. I’d say that the wording could be better and could be considered as misleading by some when taken in isolation. The OIA response is as much a common sense reply as anything I’d have thought.

          • weka

            I tried working back through the Waikato reference, but got bogged down (it led to a general advice on treating GD rather than specifics about PB research).

            My understanding is that GC people and various medical/science people have been pointing out for quite some time that the science on PB isn't enough to warrant its widespread use as a treatment for GD. Maybe this usage is off label too, or was.

            A number of countries (including non-English speaking ones) have reversed previous positions on medical treatment of GD, largely because of the lack of research. This includes research into to what extent full medical transition works as a GD treatment, or suicide prevention.

            No Debate and the incredible social and political pressures on researchers and public health officials has made it hard to get the issues addressed. Bit of a minefield for the MoH, who I expect along with the pandemic have found it easier to not address. Will be very interesting to see what they do in response to the Cass Report and future research that should now be done.

            There was some media attention on the fully reversible not being fully reversible thing sometime in the last year? It's all a big red flag for scientists and health authorities, because right now someone should be pointing to the range of research that supports fully reversible, and that's just not happening.

            • Incognito

              Yes, I can see that and even scratching the surface using Google throws up quite a few interesting links to NZ media sites and OIAs from just over a year ago. However, as usual, I assume they’ll say pretty much the same things. It is not my area but I’m happy to help if I can. I also had a very quick look at the University of Waikato link and nothing much stood out for me there, i.e., I was underwhelmed. My uneducated guess is that most if not all relevant research on PBs will be done overseas.

              • weka

                Oh right, I'd been assuming all of it was. And that the Waikato reference would be linking to it. Think this was the reference from MoH (pulling it from my History)


                And then one of the references in that is meant to be about PBs and impact on height, but that took me to this,


                Which is a clinical practice guideline and is where I got bogged down.

                Was just following the MoH prompt to see where it led. MoH says this reference 'supports' what is on their website. I wanted to see the science underpinning that.

                Haven't looked at WPATH yet.

                One of the people doing the OIA has probably done this. The people at the conference probably know. If No Debate didn't exist we'd be able to find this easily.

                • Incognito

                  What exactly are you after? Maybe I can help …

                  • weka

                    Wanted to see if the MoH's page on PBs was based on scientific evidence. And if it was, what the quality of that evidence is, and then how we might understand/interpret it.

                    With an emphasis on 'fully reversable', although not restricted to that.

                    • weka

                      for context, working back from the other end, in June 2020, the NHS changed its website.

                      GONE is the claim that puberty blockers are considered to be fully reversible:

                      “The effects of treatment with GnRH analogues are considered to be fully reversible, so treatment can usually be stopped at any time after a discussion between you, your child and your MDT”.

                      NEW is the admission that long-term effects are unknown:

                      “Little is known about the long-term side effects of hormone or puberty blockers in children with gender dysphoria.

                      Although the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) advises this is a physically reversible treatment if stopped, it is not known what the psychological effects may be.

                      It’s also not known whether hormone blockers affect the development of the teenage brain or children’s bones. Side effects may also include hot flushes, fatigue and mood alterations.”


                      NYT May 2021,

                      Among the significant benefits of puberty blockers are a reduction in suicidal tendencies, which are often high in transgender adolescents, and a reduced need for expensive gender-affirming operations as adults. But while puberty blockers are commonly referred to as “fully reversible,” more research is needed to fully understand the impact they may have on certain patients’ fertility. There is also little known about the drugs’ lasting effects on brain development and bone mineral density.


                      (which brings us to the other issue, what is the evidence for a reduction in suicidal tendencies and in suicide attempts? NYT links to research, I haven’t followed it yet, general idea in GC circles is that the evidence is weak or doesn’t exist).

                    • Incognito []

                      @ weka,

                      This link may give access (hopefully, full access) to some useful studies; try both Similar articles and Cited by in the Page Navigation on the RH side.

                      Puberty Blockers and Suicidality in Adolescents Suffering from Gender Dysphoria (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32495241/).

                      Let me know if you’d want more or anything else 😊

                    • weka

                      Ah, thanks, I know how to look for the research, but don't have enough paper reading skills for reading to be enjoyable and productive.

                      Thus far it looks like the MoH is relying on industry advice pages rather than primary research.

                    • Incognito []

                      What do you mean by “industry advice pages”?

                    • weka

                      sector advice pages would be another way to understand it. I linked above to the trail I followed. MoH appear to be relying on documents created to give advice on trans care, but haven't done due diligence on the issue of PBs and primary research.

                    • Incognito []

                      I wouldn’t reach that conclusion myself. Without doing a deep(er) dive into this, the Guidelines on the University of Waikato website do refer to primary research (e.g., refs. 5, 16 and 17).

                      The WPATH Guidelines are (out)dated (Version 7 is from 2012), but under the header Fully Reversible Interventions there are several primary sources cited.

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