Time to Talk – a Sisters Salon event with Hannah Barnes & Helen Lewis

Plus- who is Katy Jon Went, and why did Lewis invite him to speak?

“Helen Lewis and Hannah Barnes will discuss the importance of evidence-based reporting on contentious subjects, their experiences as journalists in this difficult terrain, and – in the spirit of the original event – scepticism” read the event page, where you can read more about the event and a brief biography of the two speakers (also archived here.)

Helen Lewis is a staff writer at the Atlantic and the author of Difficult Women: A History of Feminism in 11 Fights.

Hannah Barnes is an investigative journalist and author of the Sunday Times Bestseller’ Time to Think: The Inside Story of the Collapse of the Tavistock’s Gender Service for Children’

The audience was told that, as part of this event, Sisters Salon had sent out a copy of ‘Time to Think’ to every Brighton and Hove council member “to try and encourage an informed and necessary discussion about the best way to support our city’s children”.

Sarah tolld us that the current council trans inclusion toolkit was no longer in step with evidence-based practice. Following the Cass Review and subsequent closure of the Tavistock, she hoped that Brighton would lead the way forward in “support(ing) children in a more trauma-informed, evidence-based way.”

We were told we could live-tweet about this event, using the hashtag #TimeToTalk, reminded to put our phones on silent and told that “in keeping with the ethos of Sisters Salon we respectfully request that you use the toilet that aligns with your sex” or the mixed-sex disabled toilet.

 Hannah and Helen would speak for about 45 minutes after which the floor would be opened for questions via roving mics.

“What was your first encounter with the material in the book?” Helen asked Hannah.

 Hannah replied that in 2017, while on maternity leave, she saw a documentary on the BBC about young ‘gender questioning’ kids in Canada and became aware of the controversy surrounding Ken Zucker and accusations of conversion therapy. Later that year she read Janice Turner’s piece in the Times, which included two Tavistock GIDS clinicians speaking anonymously. Perhaps, she says, because she has a daughter, she particularly noticed how the vast majority of referrals to GIDS were now troubled teenage girls.

Lewis agreed that it had become clear that referrals involved high numbers of kids with mental health problems whose parents were ‘desperate to help them’.

“There are two types of medical scandals,” observed Lewis, “There’s ‘playing God’ arrogance, you see that for example in the Ian Patterson scandal, and then there’s saviourism ‘we have the answer’ and that is the story of lobotomies for epilepsy, or whatever it might be.”

Helen remembers asking GIDS if they were not concerned that this was ‘the new anorexia’ and they seemed disinterested. Hannah remembers GIDS being quite open about not following ‘evidence based’ practices, extending the protocols used for a specific group of dysphoric kids to treat young people with a variety of disorders.

“They were applying an evidence base which I would argue was weak to start with, to a completely different cohort of children. And they were open about it, and even more extraordinary was that the response from most of that cross-party committee of MPs was ‘why are you so cautious?’

Lewis added that for any other type of treatment, for example chemotherapy, the pros and cons would be weighed up carefully, and wondered why that had not happened at GIDS. Barnes replied that no attempt had been made to even measure or record what the benefits or costs might be. GIDS initially had reservations about the Dutch Protocol, and decided to do their own study. It became clear that the blockers weren’t helping many of the children, that they weren’t providing ‘time to think’, but there was no change in direction.

“There was no attempt to follow evidence-based medicine at all. When you get findings back that aren’t consistent with what you thought before, you change direction. But that just didn’t happen,” reflected Hannah.

Lewis suggested this may have in part been due to ‘sunk cost fallacy’ and compared the situation to the Post Office scandal. Perhaps GIDS, wanting to be ‘the good guys’ couldn’t allow themselves to grasp that some of these interventions may not have been as useful as they thought?

Hannah agreed. “As a human being, it’s kind of intolerable to think ‘what if I got it wrong’ for so many people.”

“Not all, “ she added, “absolutely not all. But it’s quite intolerable to think you might have harmed… particularly… children.”


“Was there an inappropriate relationship with activists, with organisations like Mermaids?” asked Helen, suggesting that such organisations had been ‘allowed to mark the homework’ at GIDS.

Stakeholders should be involved, said Hannah, but these lobby groups were in the back of clinicians minds all the time and were discussed a lot.

As paper trails and a data dump reveal, observed Hannah, Susie Green had been involved with the drafting of the service specification of 2016. GIRES also wielded influence at that time, and a Lib Dem peer was ‘acting as a go between’ for GIRES and Mermaids & the Chair of the Tavistock. Gendered Intelligence had come to wield more influence in recent years.

“Susie Green was allowed to directly refer to the Tavistock… but so were Allsorts here in Brighton and they still do, because they’re allowed to.”

Helen said she believed Mermaids got so much outside attention because of Susie Green’s ‘compelling story’, referring to Jackie Green as Susie’s ‘trans daughter’ who is ‘happy and successful’ and calling it a ‘fairy tale version of gender reassignment’ where ‘everything is really perfect’.

A quick aside from me – Whose version of events is this, I wonder, so blithely accepted and thrown out as truth by so many? Susie Green’s infamous TEDX talk (now removed from youTube) claims this denouement, but Jackie Green doesn’t speak of a fairytale ending. Indeed, Jackie recently posted (and later removed) public videos on social media, talking about an ongoing battle with loneliness, depression and sexual identity.

“… what a parent wants to hear is ‘it’s all going to be ok,’ and Susie Green’s story suggests that,” concluded Helen.

“What Susie Green is not is a clinician,”observed Hannah.“Obviously she’s entitled to her opinion but it’s not a medical opinion. Many people in this room, including myself, have children but I don’t claim to be an expert on raising children. Just because something has happened to you it doesn’t mean you’re an expert.”

Both Barnes and Lewis agreed that people who want to transition must be given “all the information available, both the potential benefits and the potential risks”, otherwise informed consent is not possible.

Helen mentioned surgeon James Bellringer, and Hannah told how he had approached GIDS with the information that 80% of the ‘young trans women who had started as male’ and had been puberty blocked did not have ‘enough tissue to make vaginas’. In such cases a more dangerous and less successful surgery had to be performed, using part of the bowel.

GIDS staff thought it important that families should be given this information, in order to ensure informed consent. A leaflet was drawn up but service director Polly Carmichael would not give approval for distribution. The talk with Bellringer took place in 2016, but it was not until 2019 that the information was spoken about openly.

“You say Marcie Bowers has been quite open about it.”

She was and then she wasn’t.”

“There’s a zoom meeting where she talks about it. She says if you are puberty blocked before Tanner stage two you will likely never achieve an orgasm as an adult.”

Another aside from me – Oh my goodness, she she her she she… again, both Lewis’ and Barnes’ willingness to use ‘she’ when referring to a man- any man- makes me dizzy. But about Marcie Bowers, in case you didn’t know, he is a transexual surgeon who flirted with celebrity when 17 year olld celebrity patient Jazz Jennings’ new neo-vagina split apart. Bowers has ‘built or repaired over 2,000 vaginas’.

Bowers’ idea of watchful waiting, according to his website, includes this observation: “early post-pubertal kids in their early teens still transition extremely well”.

I will never use female pronouns to refer to men, whether they support transitioning ‘early post-pubertal kids’ or not. It is a double-edged courtesy, one that allows for a world where a man might know more of womanhood than a woman, or a woman maight know less of womanhood than a man.

Using male pronouns to refer to women allows that somehow those of us left behind in the ‘cis’ camp are either enamoured with or oblivious to our sex’s oppression. We must stay in the box so others can leap out into the realm of authenticity. After all, surely we would change our own pronouns if we weren’t happy?

How can we protect single sex spaces- whether it be prisons, sports, refuges or aqua aerobics classes- while calling a man ‘she’?  A man is either a woman or he isn’t. And he isn’t. Some say it’s about respect. What about respect? Respect has to be earned, and it wouldn’t matter how much I respected you, you still couldn’t change sex.

Lewis talked about desistance and how information around this had only recently become available, with the Cass report reflecting that puberty can resolve or partly resolve dysphoria. Perhaps, she suggested, that information wasn’t available in back in 2000-early 2010s?

It was available, replied Hannah. There was a fairly consistent pattern, if you took a group of ‘gender distressed’ children, some would transition as adults and some wouldn’t, and most wouldn’t. Out of the group that didn’t transition the majority would grow up to be gay or lesbian.

“It was as if all knowledge of the past was forgotten,” mused Hannah. “I don’t think it was wilful, but they didn’t have time to think.”

Barnes suggested that GIDS was in part a story about “chronic underfunding of youth mental health services”. One of the problems GIDS faced with that CAMHS would offload children with a variety of mental health issues on to gender identity services, despite the fact that GIDS was not in a position to deal with other mental health issues.

“It is a story of incredibly weak leadership on every single level, of a complete lack of oversight from NHS England, of cover up, of denial, cultural malaise, scapegoating whistleblowers and a complete lack of evidence-based medicine,” declared Hannah.

The early Dutch studies were mostly among boys who had been gender dysphoric since they were very young, but the cohort had now become females, often with complicated histories of eating disorders, autism and trauma. Why had this changed? If this was a latent population that had never been identified before, then why was the presentation suddenly so different?

Helen said the conversation on social contagion- or lack of it-  had diminished her respect for many people, who say that they will look into it and then don’t.

Hannah referred to the often misquoted suicide statistics and Lewis mentioned the case of a young trans-identifed person whose suicide note was published in the press- contrary to Samaritans guidelines which advise not to publish notes, nor to attribute suicide to a single cause. The young person was turned into a ‘martyred saint’ in a ‘mawkish’ manner that reminded her of the death of Diana.

 Both Polly Carmichael and Bernadette Wren have made it clear that ‘suicide is thankfully rare’ said Hannah, and Helen reflected that you don’t hear the ‘would you rather have a live son than a dead daughter’ narrative as often nowadays.

Hannah spoke of the exceptionism surrounding gender. “it’s like gender creates this cloak of mystery and no one asks the questions.”

Helen asked Hannah how she had gone about reporting on the stories of those who were happy with their transition. Hannah said she just let them all tell their stories in their own words.

“It didn’t surprise me that people were happy with it. If everybody was unhappy then this wouldn’t have ever happened… It isn’t necessarily ones that still identify as trans that are the happy ones and the ones that don’t that aren’t.”

Lewis says she remembers the Kiera Bell case and reading through the judgement and thinking it had done two incredible things.

Judges were now on record saying, ‘we think this is an experimental treatment’ – that data needed to be gathered and that the treatment (puberty blockers/hormones) needed to be proven effective. Secondly, the Tavistock finally provided data showing that all the children they put on puberty blockers went on to transition. This debunked the myth. Both these things helped shatter the ‘it’s just a pause button, it’s completely reversible’ myth.

That case was a game changer, agreed Hannah, who had witnessed the hearing. “It didn’t really matter that it lost on appeal, what it did was it absolutely smashed it into the open… the whole of the world’s media was there.”

The judges, said Barnes, had expressed surprise that the Tavistock had not collected any meaningful data in 30 years: they didn’t know how many kids they put forward, what sex they were, how old they were, who got hormones or where they were now. Keira being brave enough to put herself in the public domain, and talk about her experience, showed that caution should be exercised and not every young person is happy in their transition. People had different experiences because they had different clinicians as well. The young people who had good clnicians had good care. Some children might have three sessions, others thirty. There was no continuity.

Question Time

A woman stood up and said she saw making changes to a child’s body as child abuse.

Helen talked about the complicated decisions that can need to be made involving children’s bodies, for example, cochlear implants for deaf children. At what age do you put them in? Do you put them in at all? Do you wait to put them in and maybe miss a window? She mentioned Andrew Solomon’s book Far from the Tree and emphasised the importance of informed consent.

“I don’t want to make any prescriptive rules about this. I don’t want to say that I’m completely against physical interventions,” said Helen. “I do think that what happened is that people were having physical interventions without the proper information..”

“Thank god, in this country we’re not seeing what we’re seeing in the States,” said Hannah, “with double mastectomies at 12. That’s just horrendous. We’re not seeing that, surgery here at an absolute minimum- I think 17 actually which I’m not saying is OK- but we’re not changing bodies.”

“I would be incredibly cautious, but,” she added, “I think that bans are counterproductive because they set children and their parents and clinicians against each other… bans not only remove a certain degree of flexibility from individual clinicians but they have a whole suite of unintended side effects.”

Hannah reminded us that the doctor’s creed is meant to be ‘first do no harm’ so it’s vitally important to ensure you start from that position.

A second woman stood up and said that what really struck her, as a charity trustee, about Hannah’s book, was that it was “a story of a catastrophic failure of governance at the Tavistock” and that was why Sisters Salon had fundraised to send a copy to every council member. Thery also planned to send some books to head teachers at local secondary schools.

Hannah observed that the Tavistock would now be in a terrible financial situation as GIDS made up 14% of their income in the last financial year. Hannah said she believed Paul Jenkins (who was CEO at the time) really did feel compassionate towards the GIDS children and saw them as needing help, but failed to address the safeguarding concerns of so many staff. She pointed out that the whistle blowing had started as long ago as 2005, with Sue Evans.

A woman pointed out that when we tell small children that there’s a thing called gender identity and that sometimes if you’re a girl but you don’t like pink you’re actually a boy, you can’t then tell them a few years later that there’s nothing that can be done about it.  “We can’t just look at the treatments, we have to look at what children are being taught at a very early age.”

Hannah said she agreed, you can’t present a problem and then say there’s no solution.

Because people can’t explain gender dysphoria or body dysmorphia to children they give a sanitised version to children that’s incredibly reductive and simplistic. Helen says she understands that some people might choose to change their bodies but the idea that there is ‘an essence of a male or female soul’ is where she draws the line.


Stephanie Davis-Arai of Transgender Trend said it was important that we acknowledge that there is an ideology behind this.

“There are medical ethics that, to me, say you don’t prevent a child’s growth at a critical stage of growth that turns them into adults, unless there is a life-saving reason for doing it. We have lost our ethics on this issue because there is a faith that underpins it.”

When this particular faith penetrates upwards into government and downwards into schools and throughout society should people who are believers in this new faith be involved with the new gender clinic hubs that Hilary Cass is setting up?”

“Should they be running them and in charge of them? No,” said Hannah, adding that  stopping anyone who’d ever worked in GIDS from working there would also not be a great idea, as the whistle blowers would also be ruled out. She said she found it staggering, when she reported for Newsnight, that it was considered that Polly Carmichael might be on the interview panel.

“She wasn’t, but to even consider that she might be beggars belief.”

A woman said that she wondered why the issue had become a left/right divide: she feels centre left but finds herself agreeing more with the right on this issue.

Hannah said it shouldn’t be a left/right issue. It can be true that people can transition as adults and leave happy lives, she said, but at the same time it can also be true that by not giving the right care to children we can do them harm. She said she wished we could separate child safeguarding from self-ID, which was an adult issue. These issues needed to be separate for there to be any concensus.

A man stood up and said he had bought Hannah’s book at Christmas and shortly afterwards one of his children had come to him and said they thought they were trans.

“What do you think that parents in a position like me with.. er.. gender questioning children should do? Because I’m terrified and I don’t know what to do.”

For some reason this was met with huge barrage of applause.

“Thank you for coming here to share your story,” said Helen, “and I understand you want to support your kid, the one thing I would say is that Katy Jon Went who is here tonight does run some services for parents of gender questioning youth and speaks to them about the idea about slowing down. I would say the best practise that we know of is talking therapy, just talk talk talk talk and get real support.”

 She also advised him to check out any other issues that might be affecting his child, adding “I’m not in any way qualified to give clinical advice.”

“I’m not a doctor, I’m not a clinician”, said Hannah. “Thank you for standing up. There are probably some parents in the room, I would say if you can  just keep the lines of communication open with your child and ask them what they’re feeling, but don’t rush into anything.”

After this exchange a woman stood up and warned the father to be very, very careful who he trusted and suggested he got in touch with the Bayswater Support Group who are “parents of children who are gender questioning.”

Hannah said ‘parents get lost in this a lot’ and there seemed to be a commonly held belief that parents were either pushing their kids to transition or terrible transphobes. She felt that view was inaccurate.

“The vast majority are loving parents who want what’s best for their children and they don’t know what that is and there’s nothing worse than seeing your children in pain.”

Helen agreed he should research the groups and “find one that you think you feel is the most in tune”.

“Might this be this an opportunity for Katy to say a few words, if you’re comfortable doing that Katy? Do you want to lift your hand up..”

“Let me give you a bit of background on Katy,” said Helen, enthusiastically.

There was a lot of she-ing and her-ing, and Linda Bellos and Julie Bindel were mentioned and Katy has evidently “been involved in a lot of dialogue between transgender activists and feminists” and she… and her…  and she and… I really appreciate her for bringing a different perspective that I don’t share so that’s the spirit in which I want her to speak to you tonight about the work she does.”

“I wouldn’t say I was the other side,” said Katy,with a light laugh,” in the sense that I’m open to new information… and continue to listen to both sides.”

“Full disclosure I was married to a psychiatrist…  

my own psychiatrist called me the most reluctant transsexual he’d ever met…

James Bellringer was my surgeon as an adult…”

At this point I was just imagining how that poor bloody father felt, having come here looking for some sort of guidance on how to help his child and now being obliged to listen to Wait telling a room full of people about his ‘gender reassignment’ surgery.

It all felt very surreal:  ironic that we were at an event where one of the main points of discussion had been unqualified people wielding undue influence, yet not only had Wait’s ‘parents’ group’ been recommended, but here he was talking to us all as if he was giving a presentation.

In fact, Katy Jon does give presentations and they seem to start pretty much the same way he addressed us. I have to say for a moment I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do, so I thought I’d better quietly leave the room. So I got up, and just stood there for a moment looking at him, and then left. As I was quite near the back,I doubt he even saw me.

Then I stood in the lounge, thinking to myself, ‘what the very fuck just happened?’

I didn’t go back until he had finished.

More on Katy later. 321, back in the room.


As I returned, a woman who had detransitioned was telling the audience how she had taken the private route for her transition and received no follow up from her surgeon, or clinicians, asking how she felt about her mastectomy or her experience of being on testosterone. She predicted that in the next ten or fifteen years there was going to be a surge of people coming forward, those who had gone down the private route like her, and received little or no follow up support.

Hannah thanked her for speaking up. Helen mentioned Helen Webberley and GenderGP and the problems that arose when people could set up an online pharmacy. Hannah said that even if the new services were staffed with good clinicians and given decent funding for mental health services, that would still only solve issues within the NHS. She suggested people read up on the judgement against the Webberleys and their ostensible exhoneration.

It was acknowledged that some people will need ongoing support- the 70% problem rate for phalloplasty was mentioned- and that the private sector has escaped with very little scrutiny, especially in America.

The government and the regulators in this country really need to step in, said Hannah.

A woman raised the issue of the numerous fundraisers for ‘top surgery’ and concerns raised around how easy it can be to bypass proper care. She felt there should be safeguarding around these fundraising sites. Mention was made of the fact that some detransitioners are understandably not keen on the phrase ‘mutilation’.

It was decided that it was time to stop there. The event ended to much applause, and people made their way out to the warm bar to continue the discussion, or out into the cold night and up the hill to the station to catch a train home.

It was an interesting and enjoyable evening, and I certainly went home with a lot of unexpected things to consider.

So, back to the sudden appearance of Katy.

There was some kickback about Went’s unannounced appearance at the event even before people knew he had been invited to speak. Sarah of Sisters Salon tweeted this picture of Julie Bindel, Kathleen Stock and Katy Jon Went just before the event, calling them ‘esteemed guests’.

Some wrongly believed that it had been billed as a single-sex event, as most Sisters Salon events are. Many wondered what it was that Went had done to be considered ‘esteemed’.

Others, for example, @eve_entually, tweeted concerns that “many women who appear to be speaking for us are actively promoting men who have a fetish for pretending they’re women.

Accusations of guilt by association flew, countered by essays on totalitarian thought-policing, causing Kathleen to tweet this disclaimer at one of her detractors:

Sisters Salon have made it clear that it was not their decision to invite Katy to speak.

I am going to add my 2p worth about Katy Jon Went. Katy has a great deal to say for himself, and it seems reasonable that somebody who puts themself in the public eye, as he does, should be willing to have their position scrutinised.

Firstly, it was billed as a mixed-sex event. So he had every right to be there. Secondly, it was called ‘Time to Talk’ so there was no reason why he shouldn’t be allowed to speak.

However, there was more to his presence than that. To paint him as just another member of the audience would be disingenuous. And the event had certainly not been billed as ‘The Katy Show’, which is sadly- and predictably- how it may be remembered.

“It was a mixed-sex event and I specifically asked Katy to come and share her experience of trying to build bridges between different viewpointstweeted Helen Lewis.

Some supported her position, but others were not so keen.

Went rejected claims that he had been ‘centred’ at the event, asking “How on earth was I centred at a 95% female but open to all event?”

If I really, really have to, I will explain why.

Special treatment

No-one else present, other than the two speakers, received an introduction, or a request to speak. Some audience members were able to ask questions of the panel, and were asked to keep them short – why was there a different rule for Katy?

Went was introduced twice, once by Helen, and then again in his own introduction.

All the other audience members who spoke faced the panel, but Went addressed the audience from the front.

If it was planned in advance that Katy would speak, or if Katy was to be a special guest- as he clearly was- why was this not mentioned on the tickets? Or at least on the door. This appears to be because Katy was not invited by Sisters Salon, but by Helen. The audience was given no reason to believe we would be addressed by a trans-identified man. Given the option, some may have chosen not to attend.

Was Katy’s appearance planned to surprise the audience? Went suggests that the idea of him speaking may have been an idea sprung on Barnes just before the event started.

Why the she/her pronouns?

Grating as it was to hear Barnes and Lewis use ‘she/her’ pronouns to describe Marcie Bowers, Katy Jon doesn’t even care to use them. Why was Lewis so quick to use ‘she’ to address him? It seems somewhat over zealous, to say the least.

According to his website, Went used to use she/her pronouns but now prefers they/them pronouns. His ‘indefinable gender’ evidently leaves him feeling ‘technically more aligned with non-binary ‘they’, although he’s fine with ‘she’ and tolerates ‘he’. He explains further here:

Went uses a lot of words to describe himself. He is non-binary, bipolar, an ex-evangelical Christian, ex-missionary, sucide survivor, “a bibliophile, logophile, xenoglossophile, cibophile, oenophile, porphyrophile, and more philes!” A link from his website leads to a page which speculates cheerfully as to whether Hebephilia and Zoophillia should be included under the LGBT banner.

A late-transitioning male who was outed (and divorced) after his psychiatrist wife found cross-dressing photos of him on their computer, Went now describes himself as asexual.

“Some Christians… tried to deliver me of being trans, and to repent of any bisexuality – well I’m now post-gender and asexual.”

In the ‘Fifty Shades of Gender’ podcast, he tells listeners:

“When people say, ‘how do you identify?’, I say, ‘well I am, or have been, every letter of L-G-B-T-I-Q-A and P, and some of those letters even have double meanings.… I think there are seven billion shades (of gender)… there is one for everybody on the planet. You know, and if people ask me how many sexes there are I will go, ‘at least two’.’”

On the removal of his penis and creation of a neo-vagina he says, “I wish I’d had it 30 years ago… it was like having a lobotomy on my brain but the lobotomy was between my legs instead.”


So why Katy?

 Went was chosen to address the audience, and was recommended as a point of contact for the father of a newly gender-questioning child. Nobody else present was afforded that privilege. So what exactly is it that Went bring to the table? Let’s have a look.

Went believes children as young as five should be actively taught about gender identity in school and on TV.

Went appears in this clip from ‘The Mustard Show’ discussing the controversial CBBC program ‘I am Leo’, which follows the transition of an eleven year old girl. Went believes young children should be shown such things in order to help them ‘explore identity dilemmas’. Age five, he says ‘you begin to know what you’re not’ and that’s it’s ‘absolutely amazing’ that schools and kids TV are discussing gender identity with children as young as five.

Went supports teachers socially transitioning children behind parents’ backs.

In a December 2023 Times Radio interview, Went said he believed the new government schools’ guidance gave ‘enough wriggle room for everyone’ adding “ if social transitioning helps then great, I mean I do know, I’ve worked with trans teenagers and I run a support group for parents, as you mentioned, and in that situation you do get these difficult ones…”

Went is very vocal in his support for a ban on conversion therapy.

Certain aspects of the talking therapy that both Helen and Hannah quite rightly value so highly, would be eradicated by a ban on conversion therapy that included ‘gender identity’. Under a conversion therapy ban, it’s important to understand that it would be unacceptable for a therapist to, for example, ask a girl a question like “What makes you think you are a boy?”

Transgender Trend explains:

“Therapy for gender dysphoria is not ‘conversion therapy’. The government should not include ‘gender identity’ in any legislation on conversion therapy without specifically clarifying this point, nor conflate this term with sexual orientation. The addition of ‘gender identity’ to any policy on ‘gay conversion therapy’ leaves therapists with no option but to agree with a patient that they are really the opposite sex, foreclosing any possibility of exploration of feelings and meanings, or underlying issues/mental health problems that may have led to a cross-sex identity, for fear of being accused of ‘conversion therapy.’

Went perpetuates the suicide myth.

If you click on ‘training on gender’ on Went’s website, you’re taken to a page that features the very ‘48% of trans people under 26 attempt suicide’ myth that Barnes and Lewis were discussing. The same page makes the claim that ‘57% of trans youth in non-supportive homes attempt suicide, dropping to just 4% if supported’.

How is this man in a position to give advice to parents or work with ‘trans kids’? These are statistics from dubious sources, guaranteed to terrify most parents into immediate submission to the gender agenda. Which- I kid you not- is the name of the website. Founded and co-run by Went.

Went uses women’s toilets even though he realises he may be perceived as a threat.

In the 2023 Channel 4 documentary, Gender Wars, Went says, “it’s OK to recognise that you can be perceived as dangerous, it doesn’t mean that you are.” He then tells an anecdote beginning, “I remember being in a woman’s toilet very recently…” about realising that his male voice could be perceived as threatening while chatting to a female friend through the cubicles walls of a public toilet.

Went also uses other women’s spaces. He thinks this is ok, as he told GB News ‘I don’t choose to access a woman’s space unless I’ve been invited in or welcomed.”

So, let’s recap:










Setting the fact that he is clearly as mad as a box of frogs aside for one moment, what possible light could this man bring to a debate concerned with child safeguarding and medical professionalism?


About Lily Maynard

Shamelessly gender critical. There's no such thing as a pink brain, a lesbian with a penis or a gender fairy. Transitioning kids is child abuse.
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One Response to Time to Talk – a Sisters Salon event with Hannah Barnes & Helen Lewis

  1. JJ Henderson says:

    Good work, Ms. Maynard. To describe this event for us so thoughtfully and in such detail must have been really hard work. I could tell early on in your description of events that it was going to be Helen who was responsible for Went being given time to speak. My blood is boiling about this, not only because it was a dastardly thing to do to that audience, but also because I’m afraid that father in the audience will have gotten connected to Went now, without knowing enough about him. I wish your article here could be sent to him, or at least the portion on Went. In any case, thank you very much.

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