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20 Oct, 2021 12:04

How on earth did Britain allow the gender gestapo at Stonewall to set the agenda on trans issues?

How on earth did Britain allow the gender gestapo at Stonewall to set the agenda on trans issues?

Once seen as a force for good, the LGBT+ lobby group is rightly facing a backlash, as more details are uncovered about how it has influenced key organisations in Britain to follow its stance on trans issues with no dissent.

Britain has been asleep at the wheel as one of Europe’s largest LGBT+ organisations, Stonewall, has extended its influence massively – and, some might say, to a dangerous extent.

Formed in 1989, it initially led initiatives raising awareness about homosexuality and provided gay people with a platform. However, times change and, as Stonewall has increased its profile, it has ended up drunk on its own power.

In the early days, it was a dominant force, becoming a byword for equality and righteousness. But that perception has ultimately damaged Britain as governments, local authorities and private companies have naïvely chosen to do what the charity tells them.

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When it comes to transgenderism, for example, in the eyes of many, Stonewall has become toxic. Thanks to its self-identity mantra, Stonewall effectively encourages the concept of an individual being defined as trans as a simplistic process. “We won’t stop until every trans person, everywhere, is free to be themselves,” it proclaims, and advocates for the opening of gender-identity clinics in the UK. In addition, it wants to see England and Wales follow Ireland, which has “had a de-medicalised, self-determination system for gender recognition since 2015 without any problematic repercussions.”

But it’s rapidly become apparent that large sections of the population are vehemently opposed to Stonewall’s ideology. There’s a growing number of vocal female groups, for example, who feel their own rights are being eroded as their ‘safe spaces’ are opened up to anyone who decides they’re a trans woman.

Back in 2018, these worries were magnified in alarming fashion when a trans woman was jailed for life, after being found guilty of sexually assaulting female prisoners in a women’s jail. But it’s not just prisons where females feel threatened – toilets, changing rooms, dormitories, domestic-abuse shelters and more are all areas of concern.

Then there’s the issue of de-trans people – those who’ve been mistakenly encouraged to transition and now regret having done so. Some have said they wanted doctors and therapists to have challenged them and used their professional skills to properly diagnose the cause of their gender dysphoria. Instead, they got giddy cheerleaders, excited to tick off another confused youngster as trans. Yet the surgery many underwent is irreversible, with lifelong implications.

However, it seems Stonewall’s position in the trans debate hasn’t been fully understood by a number of major institutions across Britain. They seem glued to the rigid mindset that ‘Stonewall means good’, and have got themselves into a bit of a mess as a result.

The organisation produces an annual top-100 Workplace Equality Index and refers to it as “the UK’s leading benchmarking tool for LGBT+ inclusion in the workplace”.

Large companies and local authorities alike clamour to be on it to try to appear progressive. But the criteria for inclusion is defined by Stonewall, and the voices of other groups don’t figure. And that’s where the questions start.

In the most recent ranking, for 2020 – the 2021 index having been cancelled due to Covid-19 – Newcastle City Council came top. The list is littered with other government-funded employers: the Ministry of Justice, National Assembly of Wales, Department for International Trade, Welsh Government, MI6, and British Army, for example. Among the other big-hitters are law firms Baker McKenzie and Clifford Chance, telecommunications giant Vodafone, public broadcaster Channel 4 and pharmaceutical conglomerate GSK.

To be considered for the Index, an organisation has to enter, and entry is free, so all of those ranked are actively currying favour with Stonewall and adhere to its ideology. So, how do they do that? Well, that’s the insidious bit. Stonewall has a Diversity Champions programme that is hailed as a way to “provide in-depth feedback and support with employers’ work.” Those who take part are given the “tools they need to take a strategic and structured approach to LGBT equality initiatives globally”. Employers can also use the Diversity Champion logo on their promotional materials, and become part of professional networks.

But, to access this programme, organisations have to pay. It’s reported that Stonewall made £3.1 million ($4.2 million) in fees from public bodies over the past three years, on top of which it received government grant income of £2.6 million ($3.5 million) between 2015 and 2019. The Diversity Champions programme alone made £2.5 million ($3.4 million), and it’s easy to see why – organisations are eager to get Stonewall’s stamp of approval.

They pay to go on courses that Stonewall runs, so they’ll inevitably rank higher on the Workplace Equality Index, which they can then show off to public acclaim. In a nutshell, Stonewall is setting the questions, marking the exams and, at the same time, offering expensive cheat sheets. Take, for example, that 2020 Index winner, Newcastle City Council, which paid £2,500 ($3,400) in 18/19, 19/20 and 20/21. In 2019, it was fifth overall; in 2018 it was ninth.

Stonewall also runs conferences that help workplaces earn brownie points and, again, these are moneymakers. For example, a ticket to its 2019 event in Edinburgh was £252 ($345) for members and £312 ($430) for non-members. And, of course, those organisations that are part of the Diversity Champions programme are classed as ‘members’.

The whole thing doesn’t create the most positive picture of a group fighting for LGBT+ rights, and the public are blissfully unaware of how deep it goes. For example, the Diversity Champions programme has included the BBC and Royal Air Force, along with bodies at the very heart of British democracy: the House of Commons and House of Lords.

What people do see, though, is the end product. It was via Stonewall’s pressure campaign about using non-gendered words that the Scottish Government removed ‘mother’ from its maternity-leave policy. A BBC podcast has also uncovered that the corporation used material from Stonewall on an internal course that featured a so-called ‘genderbread person’. This was a highly controversial graphic illustrating how, in Stonewall’s view, gender identity, expression and sexual orientation exist on a sliding scale.

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It’s all part of the silent Stonewall takeover, which our leaders and captains of industry have blindly accepted. But Britain now has a massive issue, because, while Stonewall has been allowed to push governments and organisations to follow its guidelines, there is a grassroots awakening against some of its ideology – and we’re left with a cultural quagmire that should never have occurred.

Yes, equality and respect for all LGBT+ people must be paramount. But Stonewall shouldn’t have been able to author a de facto British constitution on LGBT+ rights, while the taxpayers and general public picked up the tab.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.