On Thursday 31st March – International Day of Trans Visibility, of all days – the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom announced that the government’s plans for the long-awaited ban on “conversion therapies” for LGBT+ people were to be scrapped. After an outcry from MPs and members of the public, there was a partial U-turn that left trans people unprotected. Conversion therapies are any interventions that that try to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity through, for example, pseudo-scientific counselling sessions, prayers and exorcisms. Whatever the practitioners and supporters of these activities call it, it is abuse! It should have been made illegal in this and every country many years ago.
We know that some anti-trans groups have been spreading fear and misinformation for years. They express false concern that if these hideous practices were to be made illegal the medical profession would be prevented from working with their trans clients. According to The Guardian (02.04.22, p7) “Nikki da Costa, a former director of legislative affairs at No 10, told the BBC that a ban would have ‘profound consequences for children struggling with gender dysphoria. It would create a situation where doctors, therapists, even parents would be deterred from exploring with a child any feelings of what else may be going on for fear of being told they’re trying to change a child’s identity. And that is deeply concerning.'”
This is total nonsense. What the law would have banned is any practice that only has one outcome, for example telling someone that they must be cis-gendered. Why are trans people being left unprotected? We need parliament to act to ban the odious and cruel practices that leave too many trans people scarred for life. It is hard being trans. No-one chooses to be trans. It is how we are born. It is who we are. When will those in power understand and respect that?