All BBC programming and content directed towards children and young people on the subject of transgender pushes an extreme adult, political trans activist agenda.
The Mail has reported on the notorious BBC Teach episode that teaches children there are over 100 ‘gender identities’ including ‘male’ and ‘female.’ Despite all the complaints, the episode is still up and children are still viewing it.
We have been writing to the BBC and we thought this would be a good time to openly share our latest letter.
We have been in email correspondence with Patricia Hidalgo, the Director of BBC Children’s & Education. We have also copied in Tim Davie, the Director General, taken steps to ensure that he sees our emails and recieved confirmation that he has. We are asking for a meeting, just as the BBC has met with trans activist lobby group All About Trans.
Here is our letter.
Dear Ms Hidalgo
I would like to lay out clearly some more detailed concerns about the problematic issues around the BBC children’s content concerning transgender issues, looking at specific examples, because I don’t feel my concerns have been properly understood as yet. In light of the Keira Bell court judgment and the new DfE guidance, it is clear that there are growing concerns about the harmful impact on children of the normalisation of childhood transition. I think if the BBC polled the public on this issue the result would be clear.
You may be aware of the highly irresponsible response to the Keira Bell court judgment from transgender and LGBT organisations who continue to claim that puberty blockers are reversible and life-saving. Stonewall on Twitter direct people towards disgraced GP Helen Webberley who has vowed to continue supplying puberty blockers privately to children despite the court finding that children cannot consent. Stonewall’s tweet is archived here: https://archive.is/eE4rh. This puts children at risk. The campaign aims of these lobbying groups do not concern the welfare and safeguarding of children, but rather the promotion of trans activist demands through political channels.
‘I am Leo’ was the promotion of child medical transition as normal. It included a section on pink brains and blue brains and how sometimes a blue brain ends up in a pink body. ‘Leo’ explains she has a male brain in a female body. The reason Leo is really a boy is based on regressive gender stereotypes (liking football and skateboarding). This was sexist, stereotyped pseudoscience presented to children as fact.
The message to young girls was extremely damaging. The contempt expressed for the female body (‘this awful female body’ says Leo), regressive ideas like girls have to wear dresses (Leo says), and the idea that girls should have a prescribed set of suitably feminine interests are messages that would not be acceptable in any other programming for children. Leo and a trans friend are pictured playing football in a park together, wearing tracksuits. This should be a normal scene of two teenage girls kicking a ball around together in a park. In this programme the girls are presented as boys, doing something that presumably only boys are allowed to do. This is the message received by child viewers.
Above all, for girls who don’t fit feminine stereotypes or who feel uncomfortable or distressed about growing into women (as many girls do around puberty), a way of understanding themselves (‘I’m really a boy’) and a solution (‘I can medically become a real boy’) is presented to them as a completely normal option. Of course it is not true, no amount of medication or surgery can change a girl into a boy. BBC content for children must be factual, scientifically accurate and should not promote regressive gender stereotypes. This programme failed on all counts and its message was particularly harmful for girls.
Both the fictional dramas Just a Girl and First Day promoted one side of a highly controversial political issue. The message to children is that if a boy says he is a girl, he really is a girl and must be treated in all ways as a member of the female sex, including using girls’ facilities. Sex-based lawful rights and protections of girls are completely ignored.
Both dramas teach children that not to agree that a biological male is a girl would be bullying or bigotry. This impacts on freedoms of belief and speech and manipulates children into believing that one belief is the only correct one, unless you are a nasty person. The way that the dramas mask a controversial activist dictate (“trans women ARE women”) through universal relatable themes for children such as starting a new school, finding friends and fitting in, mirrors techniques of propaganda.
The main character of First Day is a puberty-blocked male child who is still able to ‘pass’ as a girl because puberty blockers have stunted his growth. The story does not continue to the stage where the girls are developing sexually while he remains a child, it is caught in a moment in time before the reality of male and female adolescent development hits. This is deceptive for child viewers, it presents only the snapshot in time where things appear to be normal and easy, it does not represent the reality.
Transitioning at the start of secondary school is a common suggestion in transgender schools guidance, as a way of leaving behind your ‘trans history’ and being able to transition ‘in stealth’ in a new school. This is only possible if the child is taking puberty blockers. The BBC has taken an activist strategy and demonstrated to children how normal and easy it is through these two dramas. Both could have been written by Mermaids or Stonewall to promote their own political and ideological message direct to children. Once again, the group most harmed by the message is girls who are denied any information about their sex-based rights and protections in law.
In English grammar, pronouns relate to nouns. ‘He’ refers to the male and ‘she’ refers to the female in all species. These are simply the rules of grammar which children must learn (correct use of ‘he’ and ‘she’ pronouns is an integral part of language comprehension testing in speech and language therapy for children). Pronouns do not ‘belong’ to individuals to use subjectively according to their own beliefs. Pronouns do not refer to personality, feelings or internal identities. The use of ‘preferred pronouns’ is an activist campaign promoted by Stonewall and transgender lobby groups, who lobby to get people to write ‘their’ pronouns in their emails at work and to begin meetings by asking everyone for ‘their’ pronouns. The more people who obey this dictate, the more ‘he’ and ‘she’ lose all meaning and become incomprehensible words.
Some children (autistic, learning difficulties etc) will not be capable of understanding and following the new rules and may be caused distress and confusion as they struggle to get it ‘right’. For all children, it is another way of confusing them about sex: who is male and who is female. Language is important, it is how we communicate with each other and we can only communicate if we have a shared understanding of the meaning of words. Special interest lobby groups should not have the power to change English grammar and adult activist campaigns should not be promoted to children.
The reality is that Stonewall states that ‘misgendering’ is transphobic language and therefore may be reported as a ‘hate incident’. This is coercion and compelled speech presented to children as ‘kindness, understanding and empathy’. I am concerned that children are asked to be an ‘ally’ to any group and I am also concerned about the message to the child with the pronouns, that he or she has the right to expect others to use the language he or she dictates, and that those who don’t obey are not ‘kind.’ This is not a good message to give to any child.
The BBC Teach item where children are told there are at least 100 gender identities is nonsense. The harmful and confusing message is that ‘man’, ‘woman’, ‘male’ and ‘female’ are included in the list of subjective ‘identities’ as if these categories are not biological realities. This is an example from transgender campaign group Gendered Intelligence:
“Words to describe gender identity could be words such as woman, agender, genderqueer or genderfluid”.
A woman is not a meaningless subjective feeling, a woman is an adult human female. The BBC should not be misleading and confusing children about facts and reality.
The BBC has been promoting a trans activist agenda to children through these programmes. The fact that Stonewall and Mermaids were refused permission to intervene in the Keira Bell case on the grounds that their evidence was irrelevant to the issue of whether children are able to give informed consent shows that these organisations have no understanding of children or the safeguarding and protection of children.
There needs to be more objective analysis of what these programmes communicate to impressionable and vulnerable children, taking into account stages of child development, comprehension and understanding and analysing impact on different groups.
I hope this explains the issues clearly and I look forward to your response.