Story by Camilla Tominey
Demonstrators hold placards as they take part in a protest march for trans rights and to show their support for the Scottish gender reform bill, in central London, on January 21, 2022© Provided by The Telegraph
I’m not sure what’s more offensive about Costa Coffee’s cartoon, featuring a young trans person who has had a double mastectomy. How many oak-milk matcha lattes must the snowflakes at Costa have drunk to come up with this orgy of wokery?
You’d have to be freebasing frappuccinos to think the best way to prop up post-pandemic Americano sales is with a big old van featuring large lips, blue hair and breast removal scars. “I’ll have one mastectomy-infused mocha, please!”
Naturally, the bizarre image went viral on social media, leading to calls for a boycott of the coffee franchise. Following hot off the heels of Nike being criticised for getting transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney to model one of its sports bras, it seems customers have had it up to here with transgender promotion being used to flog products.
Like all companies which unthinkingly ram this nonsense down our throats in some misguided bid to be down with the Gids (that’s the recently closed Gender Identity Development Service at London’s Tavistock Clinic), Costa claims it is “celebrating diversity” and creating an “inclusive environment” to “encourage people to feel welcomed, free and unashamedly proud to be themselves”. But that only seems to apply to people who think it’s a good idea to be showing off the scars of what, to women suffering from breast cancer, is often an extremely traumatic experience.
There is more at stake here, however, than mere gender identity wars. Maya Forstater, the fearless campaigner who is on the board of Sex Matters, a human rights organisation calling for clarity on sex in law and policy, hit the nail on the head when she said in response to the Costa image: “Young women are being sold a lie that if they have their breasts removed and take hormones they can become men, or at least avoid being women.”
For what Costa is doing here is glorifying major surgery that women may later come to regret deeply. In doing so, it is trivialising the underlying mental distress and body dissociation suffered by teenage girls who think they’ve been born into the wrong body. Sex Matters calls it “a social contagion and medical scandal masquerading as a social-justice movement”.
Ultimately, this attempted normalising of transitioning turned a largely psychological issue into an ideological one, to the detriment of the troubled young people going through it. And the scars – social, psychological and physical – remain long after people have taken puberty blockers or undergone gender reassignment surgery.
As Dr Hilary Cass’s interim report into Gids concluded in April, “there appears to be predominantly an affirmative, non-exploratory approach” that has been applied to young people who identify as trans, which means there has not been adequate exploration of the other issues that may affect them.
As a consequence, some young people who were encouraged to change gender are now experiencing awful consequences. Far from solving their problems, transitioning has only made them unhappier.
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Brave Chloe Cole in the US described recently how awful transitioning turned out to be for her. The 19-year-old called on Congress to review gender-reassignment therapies and surgeries for minors, arguing that her “childhood was ruined” by the medical interventions.
“I used to believe that I was born in the wrong body,” she told members of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Limited Government. “And the adults in my life, whom I trusted, affirmed my belief, and this caused me life-long, irreversible harm.”
Describing herself as “a victim of one of the biggest medical scandals in the history of the United States of America”, Cole implored: “We need to stop telling 12-year-olds that they were born wrong, that they are right to reject their own bodies and feel uncomfortable with their own skin.
“We need to stop telling children that puberty is an option. That they can choose what kind of puberty they will go through just [like] they can choose what clothes to wear or music to listen to.”
The Biden administration is unlikely to listen, however, because its assistant secretary of health, Rachel Levine, is a transgender woman who believes young people can “go through the wrong puberty”.
In Britain, the closure of the Tavistock clinic vindicated the concerns raised by campaigners like Keira Bell, who transitioned to male but came to regret it.
By her own admission, she presented at the clinic “adamant” she wanted to transition. But as she now points out: “It was the kind of brash assertion that’s typical of teenagers. What was really going on was that I was a girl insecure in my body who had experienced parental abandonment, felt alienated from my peers, suffered from anxiety and depression and struggled with my sexual orientation.”
Like other teenagers claiming to have been “born into the wrong body”, what Keira really needed was therapy, not a double mastectomy. The examples don’t stop there. This week, Sinead Watson revealed how transgender propaganda convinced her to have a double mastectomy that she wishes had never happened.
Pointing out that there is nothing normal about young women like her having “our healthy breasts surgically removed”, she described her transitioning to male six years ago as “a catastrophic mistake” that she regrets “every single day of my life”.
She also highlighted the pain and discomfort she suffered after the surgery – not to mention the fact that she will never be able to breastfeed. “I visualised myself shirtless on the beach – just like the Costa cartoon,” she said. “Instead I woke up in excruciating pain and, when the bandages came off, I saw a chest riddled with scars that looked nothing like a man’s ever would. I looked like what I was – a woman who’d taken testosterone and had a double mastectomy.”
The harsh reality is that for Keira, Sinead, and other young people like them, it is impossible to detransition completely. They are stuck with the mental anguish as a result of the rash decisions they were encouraged to make as teenagers, fuelled by transitioning evangelists who turned a blind eye to the real issues at the heart of their gender dysphoria to push an extreme ideological agenda.
The errors made upon the minds of unready people cannot ever be entirely healed, and yet still we have companies such as Costa pandering to flawed practices which risk doing more harm than good. When will we finally wake up to the insanity of this pernicious ideology?