UK Trans Population Finally Protected from Conversion Therapy

After two years of waiting, trans people have finally been added to the memorandum of understanding on conversion therapy, an issue which Karen Pollock has been following.

Almost a year ago, The Queerness featured an open letter to the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, calling for trans people to be added to the memorandum of understanding on conversion therapy. There was considerable confusion as to why they had not be included in the first place, and a belief that this protection was vital to prevent the proven harms of conversion therapy.

Yesterday (Monday 16 January), gender was finally added to the Memorandum of Understanding on Conversion Therapy, which has been signed by the following bodies:

  • The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
  • The British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies
  • The British Psychoanalytic Council
  • The British Psychological Society
  • The College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists
  • GLADD – The Association of LGBT Doctors and Dentists
  • The National Counselling Society
  • National Health Service Scotland
  • Pink Therapy
  • The Royal College of General Practitioners
  • The Scottish Government
  • Stonewall
  • The UK Council for Psychotherapy
    A clear and unequivocal statement has been released by some of the signatories.

    We the undersigned UK organisations wish to state that the practice of conversion therapy has no place in the modern world. It is unethical and harmful and not supported by evidence.
    Conversion Therapy is the term for therapy that assumes certain sexual orientations or gender identities are inferior to others, and seeks to change or suppress them on that basis.
    Sexual orientations and gender identities are not mental health disorders, although exclusion, stigma and prejudice may precipitate mental health issues for any person subjected to these abuses.
    Anyone accessing therapeutic help should be able to do so without fear of judgement or the threat of being pressured to change a fundamental aspect of who they are.

    The MoA means that any member of the signatory organisations cannot attempt to ‘fix’ someone who is trans, or treat being trans as a mental health condition which needs curing.

    Read more here:

    Brit Awards: Anohni nominated for Best British Female eleven years after Best British Male nomination

    Trans singer Anohni has been nominated for a Brit Award as Best British Female Solo Artist, eleven years after her Best British Male nomination at the Brit Awards. Anohni, previously known as Antony Hegarty was nominated for Best British Male Artist in 2006 as part of the band Antony and the Johnsons, after the release of their album, I Am a Bird Now.

    This year’s nomination comes after the 2016 release of Anohni’s critically acclaimed solo album, Hopelessness.

    Read more here:

    Kai: A Transgender Child

    The YouTube channel, My Genderation, released this series on a transgender child late 2016. I figured with what has happened, posting a well made documentary on a transgender child is appropriate.


    It’s one year later and trans boy Kai is further on the path of social transition. In this video Kai and his mum talk about the onset the wrong puberty, hormone blockers and life as a young trans person. Will he be prescribed hormone blockers, just in time?

    Fox has been filming Kai since he was 9 years old. Kai is now 12 years old and talks about his hormone blockers. He also shares his views on coming out, his transition, school and the future. This film was created as part of Trans Youth Week on My Genderation: 5th – 12th November.

    Thoughts on ‘Transgender Kids: Who Knows Best’

    This article from @sexdrugsmh sums up BBC’s harmful irresponsible show from BBC2 last night:

    I don’t really want to get into discussing Zucker and the reasons why he’s controversial, nor about the best therapy for trans children. There are other people who know more about this than me, who can discuss it better than me.

    Instead I want to focus on the documentary itself – what messages did it give, and how did it do that? In my view, part of the reason this was such a poor documentary is that in fact it wasn’t entirely clear what this was a documentary about, and it ended up mixing together several rather poorly-explained issues. I can see several possible strands to the documentary’s narrative, but only the fourth was done effectively. And if the fourth was what the BBC was intending – well, I don’t really know where we go from here. Other than to say complain.

    Strand 1 – Closure of Dr Zucker’s clinic

    If this was a documentary investigation of the circumstances that led to Dr Kenneth Zucker’s clinic being closed, and giving a voice to Dr Zucker’s views on that, then I would have expected some detail on the circumstances of that closure. Who decided to close the clinic? How were decisions taken? When? What meetings took place? Who was at those meetings? What criticisms are there of the process followed, and are there rebuttals to those criticisms? Absolutely fundamentally: what were the officially stated reasons for closing this service and rendering Dr Zucker unemployed?

    Contrary to what was implied, “transgender activists” did not fire Kenneth Zucker for not being gender affirming enough. How could they? They weren’t his employers, and I suspect that even in Canada, trans people are not powerful enough to merely point at a medical service and say “Close that” and it happens. (If they were, I get the impression that this clinic would probably have been closed rather earlier than it was). Campaigners and service-users make plenty of calls for public figures they don’t like to be sacked every day of the week, but that doesn’t usually happen.

    Read More here:

    Tavistock and Portman awarded Charing Cross Adult Gender Clinic contract

    The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust will act as interim providers for the Charing Cross Adult Gender Identity Clinic in 2017/18. This is an exciting development for the Trust which has taken up the opportunity to bring its expertise in this area to bear and develop a close partnership between children & young adult and adult services.

    Earlier this year the current provider, West London Mental Health Trust, served notice on their contract to NHS England on the basis that patients requiring gender identity services would be better served in the long term by another provider.

    We have the expertise, relationships, commitment and enthusiasm to deliver on the requirements of the NHS England commissioning team over the interim period.

    Read more here:

    Jordan Gray on getting signed, trans rights, and brand new single Platinum

    After impressing judges and viewers on BBC’s The Voice UK, Jordan Gray is finally ready to release new music as a signed artist.

    Following a year of travelling around the country performing at various Pride events and establishing a name for herself, the talented artist signed with The Record Label and is preparing to release her brand new single, Platinum.

    We caught up with her and talked about her move from an independent to a signed artist and new music, her love for Paloma Faith, and on being the first trans artist to possibly hit the charts.

    Firstly, congrats on getting signed! How does it feel to move from being an independent artist to a signed one? Thank you! It’s been a long time coming but I feel good – it’s what I had always wanted. I think though, that said, anytime you see anybody out celebrating with champagne because they’ve just signed a contract means they didn’t read it properly while their downing their sorrows, because basically it’s just a really long administrative process. The real work is already happening, you know, but I’m excited.

    Let’s talk about your new single Platinum – the sound is quite different from your time on The Voice, isn’t it? It’s something you didn’t hear from me on The Voice for sure, it’s starts like a ballad, then it goes to what I guess is essentially like modern disco. It’s not vintage sounding – it does draw from Florence and the Machine actually, in fairness, there’s a bit of Florence in there.

    Read more here:

    Transgender rights: France scraps sterilisation in status law

    Transgender rights activists have welcomed a new French law that lets transgender people change their legal status without having to be sterilized.

    The activist group ILGA-Europe called it “clear progress” that “another European country has dispensed with the shameful practice of sterilization”.

    But it regretted that trans people in France will still have to get a court to recognize their gender change.

    Laws in Denmark, Malta, Ireland and Norway have gone further, it said.

    In those countries, legal gender recognition relies on the principle of “self-determination” – dispensing with medical or judicial requirements.

    That principle was also advocated by the Council of Europe – the top European human rights watchdog – in an anti-discrimination resolution last year

    Read more here: