The Prohibition of Conversion Therapies Bill 2018

Miriam Cotton writes:

Sexual orientation and biological sex identity are different things. They are, however, persistently and disastrously conflated by way of an elision now popularly known as ‘gender’. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the draft Prohibition of Conversion Therapies Bill 2018 – (CTB) – deceptively brief and cleverly ambiguous as it stands.

The horrible practice of gay conversion had thankfully become a thing of the past in Ireland. No organisation or professional condones or practices it. Given our popular constitutional and legal support for equality, many are wondering what can have brought conversion therapy into such urgent focus that a dedicated bill is being ushered through the Dáil.

The background to this development is ‘gender ideology’, a theory of human existence that alienates and even denies our essential biological male and femaleness in favour of a subjective definition of ‘gender identity’. This is perhaps typified most controversially in the claims that ‘transwomen are women’ or ‘I am what I say I am”.

Under the new Bill’s draft provisions, what gender ideologists call the ‘affirmative model’ seems set to become a gateway to legally-sanctioned, gay conversion therapy, the very thing it purports to want to prevent. The model treats a child’s claim to a male or female sex identity as instantaneously immutable regardless of their actual biological sex.

We know that Gender Dysphoria, a conviction that one belongs to the opposite of one’s biological sex, which can set in from a very young age, reverses in 80% of children.  Most emerge as same-sex attracted or bisexual. Premature, inadequately explored ‘affirmation’ of gender dysphoria can therefore be a form of conversion therapy itself.

We also know from many professionals and from the personal accounts of detransitioners (people who revert to their biological sex identity) – that for many, their conflict about same-sex attraction, or their failure to conform to regressive sex stereotypes (girls who like soccer, boys who like knitting) – can seem more ‘socially acceptable’ to themselves if they think of themselves instead as being in ‘the wrong body’.

This ‘wrong body’ idea has been proactively and widely encouraged by affirmative model advocates, despite that it entails a potentially dangerous and often intractable psychological rejection of self which bedevils sufferers of all forms of body dysmorphia such as anorexia, bulimia, and body integrity identity disorder.  We do not distort reality to accommodate those conditions. A lot of effort has gone into ‘proving’ that gender dysphoria is different – and that reality must instead be distorted to accommodate it.

The latent homosexuality of the gender dysphoric child may thus be buried, with catastrophic consequences for them by the time they realise their mistake. The case of Kiera Bell in the UK is a high profile example. Bell is a now 23 year-old woman who has challenged the NHS Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS)  for facilitating the removal of healthy breasts at age 20, by which time she had been on a path to transition from the age of just 16, when she was prescribed puberty blockers.

Bell is seeking to establish that no child below the age of 18 is competent to make such life-altering decisions.  “I felt male, thought I was trans, but realised I was gay…I couldn’t sit by while so many others made the same mistake” she says.

To add to this confusion children are increasingly encouraged from early years at school to accept the existence of a veritable sweetie shop of rainbow-coloured, frequently sexualised ‘gender identities’ divorced from the binary sex reality of human existence (By the way, who sanctioned this? The vast majority of parents certainly were never consulted – and yet schools are being pressured to make ‘pledges’ to adopt gender ideology.) Unsurprisingly Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD) is a new and exploding phenomenon, particularly among teenage girls – a lucrative, global niche market for ‘medical transition’.

Under the affirmative model, the change process begins preferably without consultation with the child’s parents where the latter are perceived as being likely to raise any concern or objection.  A name change, or the use of alternative pronouns in the first instance may seem relatively safe but they are far from that.  The first steps on the path to hormones, puberty blockers, breast binding, testicle tucking and surgery, they are a public declaration to peers and others from which it is emotionally and socially difficult to turn back, particularly if adults and gender therapists regard the dysphoric identity as confirmed and unquestionable.

Detransitioners say they are frequently shunned by their former friends in the ‘trans’ community.  There is ample evidence of children who have been put on blockers and hormones within just weeks or months of referral to gender clinics in some countries. Some report being prescribed hormones after a single consultation.

Puberty blockers are thought to affect multiple body systems, not just sexual and reproductive function and feeling. They are not fully reversible, as is frequently claimed. They do not ‘buy children time’. You cannot go back to being developmentally eleven years old if you change your mind at seventeen or twenty five. Your body moves on, adapting as best it can to the derailment of normal, inter-connected, developmental processes.

The NHS in the UK has removed the claim on its website that blockers are reversible but the HSE and other medical and therapeutic bodies in Ireland appear alarmingly reluctant to revise their approach, despite international awareness that research about their effects on immature bodies is seriously inadequate. We have failed children before in Ireland. Are we seriously about to let it happen again?

Many concerned professionals, such as Stella O’Malley of Genspect (a voice for people with gender questioning kids) – are concerned that therapists and parents should not be prevented from ensuring – before, during and after puberty –  that both adequate time and sensitive, impartial exploration of a gender dysphoric person’s state of mind, any possible trauma and their true sexual orientation have been explored.

The minority whose gender dysphoria persists into adulthood must be supported if they decide to try to better align their bodies with their dysphoric feelings. This caring approach is, paradoxically, what this writer believes is the real target of the CTB. Why? Because it gets in the way of applying gender ideology from cradle to grave, no questions asked or allowed.

Supporters of sex identity change on demand have form here, as the introduction of ‘self identification’ in the Gender Recognition Act 2015 attests. Ireland has been explicitly cited by its proponents (in the now infamous Dentons Document – full analysis here ) – as a successful example of where the introduction of gender theory and practice, under cover of unrelated issues such as same sex marriage, diversity training and now conversion therapy, has exceeded expectations.

Most people have no idea that Irish law now permits any man, regardless of motive or past record, to declare himself a woman with all the licence and access that entails – into womens’ and girls’ sports, changing rooms and quotas.

The mention of these facts is invariably howled down by the gender theory apologists as ‘transphobia’ – a tactic that is wearing thin – and which itself must be firmly faced down before further harm is done. It is emphatically not ‘transphobic’ to question any of what is happening, nor to deem it wrong when the evidence clearly demonstrates that it is.

Gender ideology and ideologists are in full denial about all this, providing bad faith actors with all the impunity and encouragement they need – even in the face of abusive and criminal behaviour. Lesbians are now being told they are ‘transphobic’ if they do not wish to sleep with male-sexed people who claim to be lesbian, as a disturbing BBC report has shown. Violent sex offenders are held in women’s prisons. Children are being told they ought not to look or complain if a man exposes himself in women’s changing spaces, as the writer Laurie Penny asserted recently on Twitter.

Vulnerable people are being confused in the name of ‘inclusion’. Perhaps the pervasive Transgender Equality Network (Ireland’s Stonewall) could explain to them why, If their biological sex isn’t real or relevant, how their sexual orientation is real, whether homosexual, bisexual or heterosexual? How can they claim to be champions of LGB rights if they don’t believe in the biologically-sexed basis for those orientations?

The refusal to acknowledge the glaring contradictions of gender ideology should be a red flag about the CTB and our thus far extraordinarily naive response to the gender theory movement. Legislators (and many others who should know much better) have seemingly been swept along on the hubristic tide of well-meaning if woefully misguided clamour for inclusion, tolerance and diversity.

Those qualities are absolutely to be desired and pursued, so let’s be sure that they are in fact what we will get.

Alas, those who would redefine biological reality for everyone else in the name of ‘inclusion’ demand we do so on exclusively gender ideological terms – or be shunned. No other movement has so successfully captured so much of the body politic with so little public debate or information.

Amnesty Ireland and The National Women’s Council of Ireland have embraced gender ideology with such reckless vehemence that they have openly called for those who express concern to be denied democratic representation, no less. Intoning meaningless mantras such as “trans rights are human rights” or “our existence is not up for debate” offers nothing to an understanding of the many and complex issues at stake for gender dysphoric people, for gay and bisexual people – nor for any child, woman or man who dares to believe in the material reality and full significance of their own biological sex.

Miriam Cotton is a Cork-based freelance journalist.


117 thoughts on “Gender Questioning

    1. scottser

      in fairness, it’s been a while since we had a nigel/clampers showdown. should be more entertaining than the usual ratlicker/covidiot fare we get.

        1. NobleLocks

          Nigel is running scard because he knows now that Stonewall have said that being gay is no longer based on same sex attraction. It’s based on same Gender attraction. So basically Nigel refusing to have sex with a trans identified female makes him a transphobe. I did tell him that the T were after him, but he was too ideoligically captured to believe me. The fool.

          Oh and btw, according to the Nolan Investigates podcast, the BBC also spew this disgusting lie about gay being same gender attraction because they were told to by Stonewall. And the BBC news were part of the team that ok’d the lie.

          Good to know that the BBC have since left that societal grooming organizations £diversity champions” scam.

    2. Dara Clyne

      A good sensible and balanced piece by Miriam Cotton. We are indebted to Broadsheet also for publishing it – for years there’s been more heat than light alas.

  1. Mr.T

    The whole movement is bizarre – populated largely by autogynephilic perverts who have distorted ideas of what life as the other sex actually *is*.

    The fact that they so dogmatically push it on children and try to separate the child from the parents asd being transphobes is particularly heinous.
    Protect your kids

  2. Junkface

    At last it seems there are proper investigations of this bizarre, dangerous, unscientific movement and children will get protection from ideologues in the education and healthcare industries.

    1. Micko

      The Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) in the UK used to see 2 kids a week in 2012.

      They now see over 50 a week – and those figures are from 2018

      Correlates pretty well with the rise of social media and smartphones.

      IMO don’t give em a smart phone or if you do, at least severely restrict what they can look up with apps like OurPact.

      There’s a reason tech billionaires don’t let their kids have smartphones and tablets.

        1. Oro

          I see the congregation of middle aged men to the comment section is in full swing. Can’t wait to be schooled all about the reality of LGBT lives and what’s really going on. Should be fascinating!

          1. SOQ

            You are the one making the credit of union accusations darlin. I never use that entity myself.

            Absolute dodgy parish pump all the way.

          2. V aka Frilly Keane

            Still at it Sameoh

            I sincerely hope you never get doxxed
            You will never be able to live down the truth about yourself being available to the public

            Btw Oro
            He’s attempting to defame you by suggesting you are me btw
            Which – although by accident
            If one was to bundle all his false claims about me
            Is also saying there are barely a half a dozen individual/ independent commenters logins here
            And that’s not a good look for any of ye

          3. Oro

            Ahhh ok that makes sense (while concurrently not making any sense at all lol). I’m not sure how anyone would put us together, or why, not that I’d be bothered by the connection mind ;)

            Never understand the motive behind accusations of shared usernames, is it mainly paranoia?

          4. Micko

            “ middle aged men”?

            Person who wants everyone to be treated equally, proceeds to dismiss other people’s opinions based on their age.


          5. Oro

            Just highlighting a correlation between a feature of the group of commenters and a shared or common opinion. It’s nothing to do dismissing opinions rather than giving some context on a predisposition within a certain group of people to think a certain way and to express their opinions in a certain way. Nobody forced you to comment on it. Think of it as statistics rather than discrimination. My god you’re an awful whinge when there’s even a suggestion of any criticism towards you. Another shared feature probably? I’d bet good money on it ;)

          6. Micko

            Nah. I just think you’re pretty funny. How you act totally different to how you claim to be.

            Yer a big old feminazi cliche.

          7. Micko

            A hahaha

            You two would make a great couple.

            “I don’t like what you say therefore you are a) middle aged and b) have a small mickey.”

            Christ lads, try a bit harder will ya.

          8. Oro

            Nothing of the sort, stop with your naval gazing sob story. Not everything is to do with you specifically M, I made my comment in relation to a trend in a group of ye that were making all different versions of the same comment. And I just drew attention to a commonality you all share. You are middle aged non? If it’s not true go ahead and correct me. Nobody is trying to shut down your opinion, so no need to get so wound up about something that’s not even happening.

          9. D. Ments. Yea?

            Did someone say ‘harder’ Micko?
            Your wife for instance?
            She’s out of luck on this occasion.

        1. Steph Pinker

          Similarly, I used to know a girl whose family owned a meat production plant which supplied meat [I use the word loosely] to a very well known American burger franchise and she wasn’t allowed near any of the *restaurants* because it would mean a fate worse than death if her father found out she’d eaten there – ice-cream included, and eggs etc…

          1. Steph Pinker

            I’d beg to differ tbh, Chris; many people are impressionable and have never been encouraged to question or think for themselves.

            Philosophy should be taught in our schools at primary level.

  3. Chris

    Slow clap for all the ‘Fierce Feministas’ that paved the way for this. “OMG! men & women are exactly the same! Their brains and everything!”

    The old guard wouldn’t give up the ground, objective reality – they wouldn’t repeat the mantra. Easy to see why they were ‘cancelled’ without an iota of solidarity from their ‘sisters’.

  4. Darren

    Can that which is functional also be aesthetic? Yeah. Is that aesthetic always capable of transcending what it is as function? Not so much. That’s the drama of the body in the world. As the journalist suggests, when there is time taken to educate and live with the shared hypocrisy that drives gender assertions many recognise that they have nothing to be ashamed of.. at which point presumably it is a person’s decision and not a societal pressure if someone opts to seek surgery or otherwise enter into the market of medicines etc. The piece is welcome if only to bring the subject out from hiding where so much damage goes unnoticed so thanks BS for sharing.

  5. Madam X

    I’d love to know where this journalist gets her facts. ” gender dysphoria which sets in at a young age reverses in 80% of children ” Affirming ones gender apparently is something that is wrong? There is a movement afoot to make transhobia dressed up as a discussion around proposed Dail legislation acceptable and sadly BS has fallen for it.

    1. Oro

      Agreed. The article is also full of illogical conclusions, conflation of terms (whether accidental or intentional) and huge contradictions at almost every turn.

      I would also add that journalism that focuses on generating negative commentary about a minority group of people is often discriminatory towards them, and I think in this instance that broadsheet’s style of posting about trans people is transphobic in that it’s intentionally creating a space that encourages the publishing of misleading information or outright lies about trans people and trans politics which is designed to hurt trans people.

      1. Darren

        In response to one of your comments below Oro.. there is a huge difference between lifestyle choices which are defined by an individual’s actions or practices and the trend of children seeking solutions through life changing surgery. Experimentation is a natural part of growing up. Presuming that such experiments need to be so life changing as to lead to altered body states for those concerned is perhaps the innevitible result of forgetting those times when sexuality was still something to be discovered. As adults it is easy to do, especially as sexuality is often used as a divisive marker in casual society. But children’s right to explore who they are should not become any more than that. It is too important a part of a child’s growing up to allow this instinct to have the power to shape a person’s life beyond simply the child’s own exploration of themselves. Neither the church nor the medical industry who each would seek to benefit from providing so called solutions or justifications are worth the support imo.

        1. Oro

          Thank you Darren for providing a perfect example of misinformation and untruths about the situation that are printed in places such as this, not fact checked, and then allowed to exist in internet print for people to assume as truth. Children do not ‘seek solutions through life-changing surgery’.

          1. Darren

            What do they do Oro? It seems that if a product is out there then there is presumably a call for it, at least as far as the marketing aspect is concerned. Obviously I’m talking about the process of undergoing surgery and how it begins with marketable drugs and leads then to more clinical practices by design. I believe the reference which i made to exploration, discovery and experimentation might be better understood and would have hoped that this would be the thing which you chose to respond to if you were going to. It at least humanises the topic and takes it away from this or that being right or wrong, or attempts to anyway.

          2. Oro

            No you weren’t obviously talking about the journey you very plainly mentioned ‘children seeking solutions through life changing surgery’. Either you were being dishonest or incorrect. It’s what a lot of your types opinions on trans people are based on, dishonesty and ignorance.

      2. NobleLocks

        Sometimes I have shake my head in wonder…. every single position you have taken when discussing this here is the opposite to reality and based upon cool-aid lies.

        Here’s reality:

        Sex and Gender are not the same. Sex is a real, actual thing based upon our sexual dimorphism as a species. Gender is made-up bullshit created by the pedophile John Money so that he could rape and abuse two boys, both of whom committed suicide. Gender is a grooming pedophiles lie.

        There is no such thing as “trans”.
        1 Trans is a mixture of mostly (and I’m talking 80%+) autogynephile males.
        2 Complex mental health sufferers who need help not affirmation
        3 Vulnerable autistic individuals who need help not affirmation
        4 and finally, a tiny, tiny minority or individuals who actually do suffer from Dysphoria who need a different kind of help.

        Trans is not an identity, trans is an action. There is no such thing as “trans people”. Trans is something people do to get over their issues be they real or perverse. There is no third gamete. You need to get over this lie and stop repeating it, the argument has moved WAY beyond your rhetoric.

        Trans is NOT gay. Everything after the B in LGB is straight. The LGB alliance is the only real gay charity now. All of the others have been groomed into the world of the T and should be completely defunded/disbanded

        There is no trans genocide. The 40% sucide figure is a lie. It comes from a single self-selected study of 27 individuals who were asked if they would commit suicide. It also comes from poor favela boys who are forcefully transitioned to be used as prostitutes in Brazil where macho culture means being gay is frowned upon. These boys are used up and spat out, no wonder they commit suicide. Trans murders in Ireland to date? Zero. Same for Scotland, same for Wales… the list goes on.

        There are literally hundreds of trans identified males who are violent, abusive, child raping, murderers though, you must be so proud of supporting them!

        And lastly for now. The biggest problem you have supporting the lies these autogynephile men spread is that what they want is based upon Covetous Envy. When you think you’re on “the right side of history” having those words planted firmly behind you and your opinions says all we need to know about your world vision and how delusional your position is.

    2. Ian-oG

      I’m glad BS has platformed the laughable Miriam Cotton Ceiling.

      NOBODY will take her seriously being platformed by the website that asked us if vaccines made us magnetic.


    3. Micko

      “’d love to know where this journalist gets her facts.”

      From the US National Library of Medicine

      “Evidence from the 10 available prospective follow-up studies from childhood to adolescence (reviewed in the study by Ristori and Steensma28) indicates that for ~80% of children who meet the criteria for GDC, the GD recedes with puberty. Instead, many of these adolescents will identify as non-heterosexual.”

      Not saying she’s correct or the studies are, but her article seems to be grounded in some science.

        1. Micko

          Ah, I don’t think so Ian

          Clearly there has been a massive increase in children seeking out these services in the past decade. That is a fact.

          Now why is it happening is the question. Is it societal, environmental or is it just something that we haven’t thought of yet.

          It is not “recycled homophobia” to try to understand something.

          1. Oro

            Mmmmm the exact same phenomenon happened in the past with gay people, coming out in greater numbers and at younger ages leading to the “they’re turning our children gay!!!” moral panic with lots of ‘concerned’ people commenting from the sidelines. Almost exactly what is happening here. More of the same cynical “they’re transing our children” waffle with the exact same set of prejudices behind it.

          2. Micko


            So “before” our society was as open and understanding as it is now, a lot of gay people hid their true sexuality and would pretend to be straight and unfortunately sometimes lead terrible lives, but there was always a significant number in our community- either hidden or out in public.

            Are you saying that the same is true for Trans people? That up until the past few years, that there have been lots of trans people hiding their identity and living lives undercover as it were?

            Are grown adults transitioning at the same rate as teens?

            BTW, I’m not saying I’m right. You could be. But you seem to know a lot about it – so I’m interested.

          3. Oro

            People still hide their sexuality and live hidden lives, whether they’re gay or trans. It’s not flipping a switch (regarding feeling comfortable coming out), it’s on a scale. It’s also not entirely at the permission of society, there is a personal journey to go through also. And while the changes have been dramatic they have not been complete. Homophobia still exists in western society, i had an incident myself just this weekend. Nothing severe but still it does happen.

            Yes the same is true for trans people. And it is (typically but not necessarily) not as easy for trans people. It’s also often a more complex issue of identity. Medical services are not easily accessible, and undergoing all of this with this type (referring to this article and comments) of media being constantly thrown around it doesn’t make it any easier.

          4. Micko

            Ok. We’ll sorry to hear that happened to you.

            We’ll just as an aside, apparently there are 5 times as many adults in the UK transitioning as teens according to the Guardian.


            So perhaps there is a hidden society that never got to transition. And those folks have always been with us. I would be interested to see actual numbers though – just for balance.

            I would say though Oro, when you label people as transphobic straight away, that those people don’t usually FEEL transphobic and the use of that phrase just shuts people down and they don’t want to have any dialogue anymore about it. Once they are labelled as that – there’s not really anywhere to go.

            Even if people are writing pieces like the one above, which people might see as transphobic, i believe it does come from a place of concern and fear about their children’s futures. It’s not always malevolent and bigoted – at least not intentionally.

            I know when I see someone calling people transphobic right off the bat, my initial response is to just go to “well screw you, are you xx or xy – end of story “ and clamp down. Just to be belligerent ;)

            In the same way that you might argue the opposite and clamp down when an article like this does the rounds.

            The transphobic label is pretty powerful and should be used on those who really deserve it IMO.

            More tolerance and acceptance from everyone I think.

          5. Oro

            I would reply to that that I speak quite plainly. And if I see something I describe it as such. I’m not sure how people can be so freely homophobic or transphobic yet so upset when referred to as such. I wish people were honest about their speech and convictions. I also think people can change, and speaking plainly and honestly about these things is more likely to bring that change about rather than being vague about the whole thing. I also think someone can say something homophobic or transphobic and not necessarily be lifelong homophobes or transphobes. We were born into a world that is self evidently racist and anti-LGBT. Its not shocking that growing up in a world like this that some of those traits would take hold in people. It’s about what we do going forward to change it. I don’t really care about your getting upset, ppl need to grow up and address these issues directly.

            Now to this piece, it is transphobia wrapped up in faux concern. Objectively.

          6. Micko

            “ I don’t really care about your getting upset,”

            I’m not upset. You keep saying I am. I don’t know why.

            You can’t change people’s minds by labelling them as what they don’t feel they are Oro.

            You have to work with them. Or those thoughts get pushed down and you’ll actually make them into what you think they are.

            More dialogue without labels is what’s needed.

            The very clever Anthony Mackey talks about a similar thing with racism here.


          7. Oro

            Sigh. Again, I was using a non specific third person ‘you’ I don’t know why you always presume its in reference to you specifically.

            You’re dealing in feelings rather than reality, interesting for one of the ‘telling it like it is’ crowd. Minority groups shouldn’t have to hold their oppressors hands through the process of removing discriminatory practices from everyday life, and you can’t tell people in these groups that they are not allowed to use language that identifies how they are discriminated.

            You want these processes to become a learning journey for you, rather than a process of liberation for minority groups. The entitlement is off the charts.

          8. Micko

            “ Sigh. Again, I was using a non specific third person ‘you’ I don’t know why you always presume its in reference to you specifically.”

            Because you’re talking to me. That’s how English works Oro.

            “ hold their oppressors hands”

            Yeah. Sorry. I’m done. I was trying to understand your point of view, but you’ve just reached clown levels that can’t be dealt with.

            “Oppressors”. Jesus H Fuppin Christ…

          9. Micko


            Please don’t refer to yourself like that Brian.

            You were my greatest creation.

            Over 80 courics my boy!

        2. Chris

          Oro, you don’t care if women get raped in prisons. You don’t care if women and children are subjected to indecent exposure. Behind the veil of your virtue signaling, you don’t care about anyone other than your self.

          1. Oro

            Let me ask you this Chris. Did you ever rail online about the abuse and rape women in prison suffered from prison guards before this? Or is it just now? Women in prisons suffer rape and sexual assault at the hands of prison guards at a much higher rate than women outside prisons suffer rape or sexual assault from the general population. Did you care then? Or do you only care now, when it’s convenient for your transphobia for you to care?

            Just in advance, the answer is pretty self evident so you don’t have to reply x.

          2. Chris

            I’ll reply, the charge was against you, as is evident from the obvious lack of compassion you show to the same. And your answer shows that you care not one jot – vindicating my point. Objectively.

          3. benblack

            Just get your sex reassignment surgery already, Oro.

            Mind your business and leave our kids out of it.


        3. Darren

          But is it Ian oG? The experience of homophobia which shaped the lives of countless people alive today is principly about the way a society is organised and the percieved threat that same sex union or practices represent to that order. In some cases, comments etc.. it might be homophobia of course and many of those same people are also still alive in our society it’s true. But so are homosexuals a part of this society now and so contribute to what are the social pressures which influence individual behaviours. Recognising that gay culture has a place in society means acknowledging it’s power. With any luck that will lead to a more considered reflection on what ways that power is being manipulated.. in this instance as refered to by the journalist.. for benefit of religious ideology and medical industry.. and at the cost not least of children who haven’t yet had the opportunity to learn their way in this society we all create.

  6. SOQ

    Sorry folks- but what do you see with TONY & THE KIKI? I just see talent- everything else is irrelevant.

    Please- lets not get bogged down in stupid politics and labels- it’s just people living their best lives, and the rest of us are all the better for it.

    1. Poor oul divil too

      I thought it was great but what’s your point?
      Are they supposed to be gender fluid or sommat

  7. RestroRose

    This is a very welcome piece of work. It’s good to see a. Irish media outlet publishing a well argued position like this. I see no reasoned arguments in the comments against anything in the article. Thank you to Miriam Cotton for writing it and Broadsheet for publishing it. It’s a sad fact that in the current authoritarian climate, it’s actually an act of bravery for a woman to state the plain and compassionate truth about women’s and children’s rights and safety.

    1. Poor oul divil too

      Lol always gas when someone no ones ever heard of before crawls out of woodwork to comment

    2. Dara Clyne

      Well said. There is lot of hidden sexism and homophobia out their. Pushing kids into pink and blue boxes seems very reactionary to me. Leave them alone to work out their own sexuality

  8. LordTallnut

    Thanks for this. A lot of people assume that this is a “progressive” movement and support it accordingly, but there’s nothing progressive about treating psychological distress with radical surgery and/or dangerous medication. History will not judge the era of gender-woo kindly anymore than it does the era of lobotomies.

  9. OutWoman

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I and many of my women friends, mostly mothers, have been discussing this for a long time now. We can’t believe what is happening in our schools and in some of the Irish youth LGBT organisations. The pressure on kids and teenagers who are non-conforming, to conform to regressive sex stereotypes is enormous. If a teenage girl eschews pornified clothing, prefers baggy clothes, likes football, wants to have short hair or simply doesn’t want to conform to the highly sexualised image of women that she’s being bombarded with everyday, she’s likely to be told by adults and influenced peers that there’s something wrong with her. She’s in the wrong body. She won’t get told that it’s absolutely fine to have the interests she wants and to wear what she wants. She won’t get told that teenage years are fun and to relax and enjoy herself. She’ll get told that teenage years are a misery. If she’s exploring her sexuality – as we all normally are during our teenage years – and feels she may be lesbian or bisexual, she won’t get any cheers. Not unless she comes to her senses and realises that she’s in the wrong body and is, in fact, a straight man. If she is actually a young lesbian, she will be called transphobic if she makes the perfectly natural statement for a lesbian to make, I am not and will never be sexually attracted to trans-identified men, she will be called transphobic. So much for treating lesbians as equal citizens.
    One of our youth LGBT organisations now defines lesbian as a person who is ‘mainly’ sexually attracted to women. This so-called definition is being shared in schools. How on earth does that make young lesbians feel? Lesbians are exclusively sexually and romantically attracted to people of their own sex – that’s women and girls, females, not men or boys, no matter how they dress or what they call themselves.
    Trans identified people, both male and female deserve the exact same respect as everyone else in society. Everyone should be able to call themselves what they like and present themselves, in terms of clothing and hairstyles, exactly as they wish, without fear of discrimination on that basis. This is where we were moving to as far back as the eighties. Now we see strict delineation of what a girl or boy should be and it’s not pretty.
    The eighties was not a progressive time in Ireland, on the surface, but look back at your old photos, if you’re of an age. Look at what teenagers were wearing. Look at girls and boys with similar hairstyles, similar clothes. None of those girls in baggy jeans and big jackets, DMs and short spiked hair, were told they were in the wrong body or that they were boys. Now, those girls would be told that they should be angst ridden, that puberty is a disease that should be medicated and that they’ve probably got a boy’s brain. We would have thought this was laughable 25 years ago. Now this flat-earth type nonsense is being taught in our schools.
    Thank you to Broadsheet and Ms Cotton for this article. We women are afraid to speak out. We all know what women in Ireland get when they go against any church. Our old overlords have just been replaced by the new high priests of gender ideology. I hope articles like this one will help more of us to be braver.

    1. Darren

      But is it Ian oG? The experience of homophobia which shaped the lives of countless people alive today is principly about the way a society is organised and the percieved threat that same sex union or practices represent to that order. In some cases, comments etc.. it might be homophobia of course and many of those same people are also still alive in our society it’s true. But so are homosexuals a part of this society now and so contribute to what are the social pressures which influence individual behaviours. Recognising that gay culture has a place in society means acknowledging it’s power. With any luck that will lead to a more considered reflection on what ways that power is being manipulated.. in this instance as refered to by the journalist.. for benefit of religious ideology and medical industry.. and at the cost not least of children who haven’t yet had the opportunity to learn their way in this society we all create.

  10. Adelie

    Gender Ideology harms women, children and the same-sex attracted. It benefits pharmaceutical companies, immoral medical professionals, questionable charities and anyone who wishes for the removal of safeguarding. Most people realise this with even a minimal amount of critical thought, but politicians, journalists and industry leaders have made the calculation that they will lose votes/audience/customers if they say anything. It is welcome and impressive that Miriam Cotton has written such a clear-thinking and well-researched article.

  11. D. Ments. Yea?

    Who are all these ‘wimmin’ suddenly appearing and randomly posting in support of this absolute tripe?

    1. ian-oG

      Sock accounts.

      There’s probably about 50 of them online operating about 200 accounts each I’d imagine. A friend of mine showed me a tool he uses on Twitter and almost every single Terf account he came across had multiple accounts operating from the same geo location.

      It’s both Repeal and SSM referendum thrown together.

      They do not care about lesbians, most of them are homophobes but are no longer comfortable saying so.

      I’d ignore them if they weren’t so cack handedly hilarious. But as BS has become a home for the deranged they will fit right in here now with the Alex Jones devotees.

  12. Sasha J

    Just ask who is benefiting from this push towards gender ideology?
    Is it the walking wounded young people? No.
    Is it the parents desperate to ensure that their children’s healthy bodies aren’t altered and mutilated for no reason? No.

    The massive irony is that so many ‘left-wing’, ‘socialist’ gobdaws support what is a massive industry driven by and benefiting big Pharma. It’s creating a market on the confusion and pain of young people. It’s maintaining a cycle of ‘make them feel bad, tell them what they need to feel better and then sell it to them’ and never mind the consequences. And complicit are the NGOs who are the propagandists – we all know who they are. This is not a grassroots movement, this is not an organic ideology responding to real need. This is a top-down, marketing exercise. Wake up.

    And Roderick O’Gorman keeps giving them money and our political class, education system and media play along. We need the adults back in the room and Miriam is undoubtedly one of them.

  13. Real Woman

    I’m a lesbian. A same sex attracted adult human female. I do not find men attractive, even if they mince about in bras and knickers with false bosoms calling themselves silly names all day. Even if they’ve had their gonads altered which is extremely rare, they still are male and smell male.
    Homosexuals are not homogenderals and to call me silly names or transphobic because I won’t accept that males can think themselves into being female is ridiculous.
    As for all the young lesbians now pretending they’re the opposite sex, or non binary rather than admitting they’re simply
    lesbians is homophobia in action – they’d rather pay men to cut their breasts off, chop lumps out of their forearms and make pretend and useless penises,and be infertile and at high risk of osteoporosis and brain tumours than admit they’re lesbians. All encouraged from an early age by tax funded lobby groups and pushed profits for medical industries. The most gullible suckered in and groomed as if they’re fighting for rights to be themselves, when they’re being anything but.
    What has this to do with ordinary gay people? Nothing. It’s high time that lgb stopped being associated with the homophobic trans agenda. All gay people wanted was equal rights – not forced speech with silly pronouns and the erasure of real womens rights, single sex spaces, meetings, hospital wards, sports, changing rooms etc.
    Not in my name!

  14. Mim Cotton

    Detransitioner Sinead Watson on her experience at 33mins 16secs into this video on Youtube.

    In the same discussion – just how irreversible those puberty blockers are. For boys taking them at age 12 e.g., penis size stays that size for life. If you are ‘orgasmically naive’ when you start taking them, you will never experience orgasm. The absolute destruction of sexual function and feeling. This is not ‘pausing puberty’ or ‘buying time’.

    1. Dara Clyne

      Sinead is an amazing young woman. I hope she recovers in so far as that is possible , from this trauma. She just needed a lot of understanding as a teenager not ‘conversion therapy ‘ to become someone she isn’t.

  15. TríonaD

    Excellent article! Thank you Miriam Cotton for clearly outlining the pitfalls of this proposed legislation. If/when this Bill passes, therapists will be hobbled in their practice – unable to explore the broader and deeper reasons why a child may suffer gender dysphoria or body dysphoria. The implications of the Bill are clear – if a therapist encourages a child (or adult) to contemplate any option or action other than transition, they will risk being accused of attempting conversion therapy. Meanwhle, the affirmative model of treatment relentlessly ushers children onto the drugs-and-surgery-strewn path of transgenderism. I’ve watched or read accounts of transition regret by many detransitioners and their suffering is palpable. I also appreciate Cotton’s eloquent summary of the impact of the strange, illogical and anti-scientific ideology of gender on our wider society.

  16. Freanga

    What an excellent article! It’s fantastic to see a genuine materialist and scientific outlook on this question. Too much monologue fake discussion on this issue out there. More dialogue between opposing sides needed. It’d do us all a bit of good.

  17. Grainne

    Thank you so much for this brilliant article, Miriam. I am grateful there are people speaking out about this. It is so important to push back against this ideology which like you write has captured so much of the political body. I am stunned that people cannot see the harm this is doing to our young people. More people need to step up and protect children from the whole gender ideology agenda/ industry. Personally I think it is incredibly destructive. Do we really want to live in a world that has no safeguards in place for our children’s emotional/ psychological/ physical health? Just because one child is confused does the whole classroom need to be confused too? Really?? And do we really want to encourage and enable confusion not to mention the archaic practice of conversion therapy? Self ID has got to be one of the craziest ideas ever for humans. It is a recipe for disaster and will take us backwards not forwards (women’s rights, gay rights). Have the adults left the building?

  18. Free Lunch

    This article was published during Transgender Awareness Week.

    It has nothing to do with human rights and free speech, but the opposite. It’s more of the same imported trans bigotry from a group of privileged women (a lof of whom are in cushy academia jobs) who are frightened that their narrative of equality has been shown up for what it is – in their own self-interest. Suck it up, sisters. Freedom and equality knows no bounds. The imported Brit TERF machine might have free run in the Irish Times, ut tough. Voluntary gender identification is here to stay. Try reversing that law while waving your women’s lib knickers in the air.

  19. Sailor Gerry

    Why are traditional Catholic / Christian family values under such a constant assault.
    Could it it be that that a depraved and fragmented society, is more easy to control and more subservient?
    Those that worship God, cannot worship money, though we tend to have a fair crack at it these days.
    The rampant availability of free porn, rampant degeneracy, poor role models on TV and in the music industry create this fertile breeding ground for perversion in all its forms.
    The confusion of children in their sexuality is the symptom.
    The disease is created by the media, academia, Soros funded think tanks, and useful idiots that promote the poison communist world view.
    It is a deliberate assault, specifically designed to undermine all that is good in society, to “build back better” for them, not us.
    Resistance to their plan is an obligation for those which hold family values and religious beliefs dear.

  20. Mim Cotton

    People of all political persuasions and none, of all religious beliefs and none are opposed to the gender theory/queer theory movement.

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