NHS is directing vulnerable teens who are confused about their gender to ‘transing factories’ that ‘affirm’ their belief that they are ‘in the wrong body’
- EXCLUSIVE: Four regional NHS clinics direct teens to Gendered Intelligence
- Former Tavistock Trust doctor Az Hakeem called them ‘transing factories’
The NHS is directing vulnerable teenagers confused about their gender to ‘transing factories’ that believe in controversial ‘affirmation’ techniques, according to a former Tavistock Trust doctor.
There are more than 7,500 children and young people on NHS waiting lists who are confused about their gender – with some set to wait more than five years to be seen.
Four regional gender clinics are directing teenagers aged 17 and over to support from Gendered Intelligence, a trans charity that rejected elements of the Cass report that was commissioned to investigate the scandal-ridden Tavistock children’s gender clinic.
Dr Az Hakeem worked at the Tavistock and Portman Foundation Trust for 12 years and is now a Consultant Psychiatrist on Harley Street.
He told MailOnline it was shocking the NHS was directing teenagers to Gendered Intelligence and other similar support groups, branding them ‘transing factories’.
Dr Az Hakeem worked at the Tavistock and Portman Foundation Trust for 12 years and is now a Consultant Psychiatrist on Harley Street. He called regional gender clinics and support groups ‘transing factories’
Four regional gender clinics are directing teenagers aged 17 and over to support from Gendered Intelligence, a trans charity that rejected elements of the Cass report that was commissioned to investigate the scandal-ridden Tavistock children’s gender clinic (pictured)
Four NHS regional gender clinics – Nottingham Centre for Transgender Health, East of England Gender Service, The Laurels Exeter and Sheffield Porter Brook Gender Identity Clinic (pictured) – suggest patients on their waiting lists go to Gendered Intelligence for support
Pictured: Regional NHS gender clinic The Laurels, in Exeter
Pictured: Nottingham Centre for Transgender Health, which points patients to Gendered Intelligence
He said: ‘[Staff at Gendered Intelligence] are not clinicians. They are people who are very politically active.
‘There won’t be any critical scrutiny. I’m not sure that’s meeting the Cass requirements.
‘Clinics are transing factories. These support groups are transing factories.
‘There’s no other option on the menu.’
The scandal-ridden Tavistock gender clinic was told to close after a review from senior paediatrician Dr Hilary Cass branded the Tavistock as ‘not safe’.
The clinic was accused of rushing children onto puberty-blocking drugs by former patients who feel they weren’t challenged enough. It treated at least 9,000 children for gender dysphoria since it opened in 1989.
The clinic was supposed to close its doors this year but the closure was postponed until March 2024.
Four NHS regional gender clinics – Nottingham Centre for Transgender Health, East of England Gender Service, The Laurels Exeter and Sheffield Porter Brook Gender Identity Clinic – all suggest patients on their waiting lists go to Gendered Intelligence for extra support.
Dr Hakeem said one of the problems with groups like Gendered Intelligence was that they believe in affirmation – allegedly supporting confused people by telling them they are trans rather than exploring reasons for their thoughts.
He said: ‘Affirmation is never questioning, only everyone saying ”yes you’re right, you are [in the wrong body]”, which is unhelpful.
‘The support will be by a lot of people who are buying into this ideological solution.
‘Rather than do no harm, it’s not forming a proper assessment of the problem.
‘You are merely colluding with grooming, with the fantasy and often false allusion that a child has come up with.
A service update on Sheffield Porter Brook Gender Identity Clinic’s website directed patients to Gendered Intelligence
Although Gendered Intelligence works with trans children as young as seven years old, it says its support groups for people on NHS gender waiting lists are for over-18s only
Gendered Intelligence was founded in 2008 by Jay Stewart (pictured)
‘[Gender questioning children] have only got children’s brains, which is not the same as adults.
‘What’s helpful is to work out what the problems are.
‘I have been doing this for 23 years. My role was to help them think about it.
‘[Gender dysphoria is] a symptom, not a diagnosis. You need to work out how they came to that conclusion but with affirmation you don’t do that.’
At the Portman Clinic, Dr Hakeem set up and ran the UK’s only dedicated Gender Dysphoria Psychotherapy Service from 2000 to 2012.
He was also attached to controversial children’s gender clinic the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) part time as a special registrar.
More than a quarter of his patients were trans people who regretted transitioning.
He said: ‘Everyone was affirming them. What they wanted was someone to think about their thinking with them.
‘If you are just all there supporting, it might not be very helpful.’
Regional NHS clinics are set to replace the disgraced children’s gender clinic at the Tavistock after it was marked for closure following a series of scandals.
However, Dr Hakeem said many people are worried the NHS will re-employ the same ‘affirmation only’ staff who still don’t think the Tavistock did anything wrong.
He said: ‘Our main concern is whether they are going to re-employ the same people or whether they are going to listen to the Cass recommendations.’
Gendered Intelligence said its aim is to create ‘a world where diverse gender expressions are visible and valued, and where trans, non-binary, gender diverse and gender questioning people live healthy, safe and fulfilled lives’.
Although Gendered Intelligence works with trans children as young as seven years old, it says its support groups for people on NHS gender waiting lists are for over-18s only.
READ MORE: I was an awkward tomboy when I was young. What I needed was someone to say it was okay to be a girl… but the trans community insisted I was a MAN: A heartbreaking story of detransition
It hopes the workshops will enable gender-questioning people to ‘share space with other people who are also waiting, so that we can support each other’.
Gendered Intelligence said: ‘Each month, we will focus on a different topic, including: What to do when dysphoria takes over, The clothes we wear and our identity, Accessible exercise and How to change your name via deed poll.’
The meetings are for over-18s and last two hours each month. People taking part are encouraged to keep their cameras on.
Gendered Intelligence was founded in 2008 by Jay Stewart. During a Ted Talk he said: ‘Gender is complex but we need to complicate the picture of gender because by oversimplifying gender it restricts everybody.
‘I am a trans person. I was assigned female at birth and now live as a man.
‘People who identify as trans have got a lot to say about gender and a huge amount to contributing to complicating the picture of gender.
‘We have to rethink the structure of gender identity and sexual orientation.
‘We are living on the cusp of a gender revolution.’
The Family Education Trust’s Lucy Marsh told MailOnline: ‘Gendered Intelligence is an ideological lobby group with an affirmation-only approach which confuses children by pretending that biological sex is a social construct. Its training sessions in schools tell young children that sex is ‘assigned at birth’.
‘The group also has an alarming lack of safeguarding protocols since its regular youth sessions mix young children with adults. All of its advisors must identify as either trans or ‘genderqueer’.
‘It runs a dedicated ‘medical transition’ group for children and advises on ‘top’ and ‘bottom’ surgery, as well as giving tips on breast binding and signposting to suppliers where children can purchase one online.
‘Its trans youth document advises children on accessing puberty blockers and hormones.
Dr Hakeem said: ‘Affirmation is never questioning, only everyone saying ”yes you’re right, you are [in the wrong body]”, which is unhelpful. You are merely colluding with grooming, with the fantasy and often false allusion that a child has come up with’
Pictured: The Tavistock Centre NHS clinic in London. NHS England has ordered the trust to close down its gender identity clinic for children
‘The NHS should not be referring any child with mental health issues to Gendered Intelligence because the child will simply be affirmed as being transgender without any proper psychological assessment, and set on a pathway where they will be irreversibly harmed by medical interventions.
‘The Cass Review found that puberty blockers are harmful for children, so it’s unfathomable that doctors are referring children to a transgender activist group who will arguably cause more harm than the Tavistock.
‘Vulnerable children who are confused about their gender need mental health support and talking therapies.
‘They should not be pushed into the willing arms of a transgender activist group who are actively working to indoctrinate children and separate them from their families.’
Gendered Intelligence said: ‘We’re not a healthcare provider and don’t treat anyone.
‘We provide youth groups, education, and outreach in support of the trans community in the UK.’
It denied it was a lobby group and added: ‘We are a registered charity specialising in youth work, education, and advocacy for the trans community in the UK.
‘We have over fifteen years of safeguarding experience and are leaders in working with vulnerable young people.
‘We believe that the health, welfare and safety of children and adults at risk is paramount and that all people have a human right to be protected from abuse of any kind regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality, gender identity, lifestyle or family make-up, or beliefs.
‘The NHS does not ”refer” anyone to us for assessment or any other kind of treatment.
‘Families want to support their young people, and young people deserve to be supported.
‘It’s a sad fact that there’s so much hostility towards trans people right now but we’ll keep standing up for our young people, parents and carers, and families so that everyone can have the safety and care they deserve.
‘We are endorsed by UK Youth, London Youth, and work in partnership with the Youth and Community Department at London Metropolitan University, a nationally recognised provider of youth work qualifications.
‘We’re proud to have recently been awarded a Bronze Quality Mark Award for Youth Work by London Youth. We’re confident these endorsements speak for themselves.
An NHS Spokesperson said: ‘It is inaccurate to suggest that the NHS outsources any healthcare to Gendered Intelligence.
‘Some NHS adult gender clinics have chosen to include a link to the organisation on their website as a possible source of additional support alongside other options, should patients wish to access any further support.’
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