In the landmark High Court case J (A Minor), Re  EWHC 2430 (Fam), Mr Justice Hayden placed a child with his father after his mother was revealed to be a drug user, worse who forced the child to live as a girl and even present as transgender despite the fact that when left to his own choices he presented as a boy. Chillingly social services failed to intervene swiftly due to an, “emerging orthodoxy”. Only material released by the judge in his public judgement appears in this article.
F and M, the anonymous parents of little J, separated before he turned one years of age. Contact continued on an informal basis until he was 6, when the father (F) sought a court order when arrangements broke down. In response, M accused him of being a violent alcoholic who could not accept little J’s ‘gender identity’. The mother said that little J presented as a girl.
Investigations in an initial fact finding hearing found in fact there was only ever one incident and an earlier Judge, Penna held, “[…] It is my view that the father behaved badly. It is my view that the mother also behaved badly […]”. The judgement states (paragraph 5), “that the evidence failed to establish that the father presented a risk of violence to the mother, J or indeed any other person. The findings were not appealed”.
Many professionals, including J’s school, raised concerns about the mother’s pre-occupation with J’s alleged ‘trans’ state. When asked to produce a section 37 report (written by a ‘Lisa Jenkins’) social services dismissed the concerns about the mother and were condemned by the judge for doing (paragraph 23) – “Concerns were dismissed on the basis that it was the other agencies who ‘did not have a full understanding of gender non-conforming children’. In fact it was Ms Jenkins and her senior managers whose understanding was lacking […]”.
The issues were not simply around J’s gender presentation. There were concerns that the mother was using a powerful variant of marijuana (paragraph 11), “The referrer advised that they were aware that [M] uses “skunk” in front of [J] and [J] may be able to access the drug”. This did not feature in future welfare assessments however.
Due to this sinister political correctness, help for the young boy was delayed. The judge later stated that has social services acted correctly, “[…] it is difficult to resist the conclusion that J could have been spared a great deal of emotional harm”.
A psychologist’s report suggested the mother had behaved in a sexually inappropriate way –
“However I do feel that [J]’s inappropriate touching of others is of considerable concern. When considered alongside his comments and his behaviour towards his mother in contact (eg. April 22/4) then it would seem that [J] is very used to touching [M]’s breasts and that she has afforded him considerable knowledge or discussion of genital anatomy. Whilst this may reflect [M]’s view of [J]’s gender issues it is not in my view appropriate knowledge nor would a child of [J]’s age, transgendered or not, generally have such discussions. At most they are likely to have a rudimentary awareness of male/female differences especially if brought up with a different sex sibling.”
The mother even went so far to speak to her 7-year-old son about surgical gender re-assignment.
Fortunately this story has had a happy ending. The child was removed from the care of his mother by the court and placed in the full-time care of his father. There will only be supervised contact with the mother once a month, which can be ended at any time if care workers consider there is anything untoward.
Given the choice, the child clearly identifies as male –
“[J] has been offered a choice since he has been with his father and would appear in the main to choose boyish things and very clearly identifies himself as a boy. He makes this clear whether or not his father is around and would not seem to be influenced by him. [J] chooses to present as a boy within school and in terms of his dress […]”
The father is said to be a less forceful character who is open to non-binary gender presentation but not seeking to define his child’s identity. When given a free choice the child naturally presents as a boy.
The case illustrates the concerning way in which professionals can be afraid to challenge even the most malevolent of actions if they are defended on the bases of identity politics and equalities. In the tragic, ‘Victoria Climbié’ case a little girl of only 8 was horribly murdered because professionals were influenced by political correctness.
Having wrapped herself in a cloak of identity politics the woman was able to bend a whole social services department to her way of thinking over concerns raised by the child’s school.
Another issue that arises is the way that some aspects of contemporary ‘trans’ ideology oppose the rights of a number of other groups, including women and children. I recently read of a Title IX case in America about an alleged sexual assault on a university campus. An important feature was the issue of, ‘manipulation’.
It is an un-contentious proposal that coercion (including deception and manipulation) has no place in sexual activity, yet many trans activists believe that they should be allowed to lie to prospective sexual partners about their ‘trans’ status. In 2015 Gayle Newland was sentenced to 8 years in prison for pretending to be a man and deceiving another woman into sex. Recently she had her conviction quashed due to a deficiency in the judge’s directions.
Horrifically, trans ‘activists’ have spent considerable time defending the perpetrator in that case. Similar controversies have arisen with feminist work, ‘the Vagina Monologues’ being branded exclusionary because, it excluded “transgender women who don’t have a vagina”.
Earlier this year in a Parliamentary hearing, the British Association of Gender Identity Specialists, basically the professional association for doctors who treat gender dysphoria sufferers in the United Kingdom gave evidence (archive here, pdf here) about the way trans ideology has been exploited by some groups. They complained of –
“[…] the ever-increasing tide of referrals of patients in prison serving long or indeterminate sentences for serious sexual offences. These vastly outnumber the number of prisoners incarcerated for more ordinary, non-sexual, offences. It has been rather naïvely suggested that nobody would seek to pretend transsexual status in prison if this were not actually the case. There are, to those of us who actually interview the prisoners, in fact very many reasons why people might pretend this.”
A spokesman goes on to explain one of the more chilling motives –
“[…] a plethora of prison intelligence information suggesting that the driving force was a desire to make subsequent sexual offending very much easier, females being generally perceived as low risk in this regard. I am sure that the Governor concerned would be happy to talk about this.”
In a free and tolerant society no decent person would want to oppress an individual or group simply because they are different. However human life is not simple and professed ‘transgender’ individuals are a tiny minority of the population. Gender is an inescapable and entrenched aspect of our society.
As this case shows, any change to the status quo can potentially impact adversely on the rights of completely innocent people – it is not a simple matter and not a battle of ‘good’ liberators versus ‘evil’ oppressors. Instead it may be necessary to accept that some things cannot be changed by any amount of good (or politically correct) intention.
As King Canute once pointed out to humble his courtiers, he could not command the tide to prevent it coming in. Likewise bullying the world to accept a particular gender identity does not make the assertion true – it only brings suffering.