Press Release

Transgender affirmation damages lives, synod to be told

12 February 2020         Issued by: Christian Concern

Date: Thursday 13 February
Time: 13:00-14:00
Venue: Room 3, Church House, Deans Yard, Westminster, London SW1P 3NZ

General Synod, the Church of England’s decision making body, is to hear testimonies of how the ideological demand to affirm and give medical treatment to people with gender dysphoria is leading to regret and harm in many people’s lives.

The fringe event, hosted by Andrea Minichiello Williams (Chief Executive, Christian Concern) will feature testimonies from an academic who studies transgender regret and a Christian man who regrets his previous decision to receive cross-sex hormones and surgery to live as a woman.

James Caspian is an experienced psychotherapist who worked in a clinical setting with patients considering gender reassignment. But when a surgeon told Mr Caspian that he had recently performed several reverse gender reassignments, he wanted to study the phenomenon of detransitioning. He began an MA at Bath Spa University but his research proposal was denied by the university’s ethics committee for fear that it was ‘politically incorrect’ and could lead to criticism of the university. His legal battle to reverse the decision is being taken to the Court of Appeal. He will speak from his considerable experience about the extent and nature of transgender regret.

He said: “To be well informed about this issue is important for everyone who has an interest in the well being of human beings, but particularly for a national institution which has considerable influence and an ethical duty to seek the truth, even in the face of criticism, and in order to retain its integrity.”

Pete Benjamin, 61, was suffering from serious mental health issues in 2012 when doctors prescribed him drugs and hormones to live as a woman. Then in 2015 he underwent full gender reassignment surgery. But the drugs and surgery didn’t satisfy, leaving him depressed and drinking heavily. But in 2019, after finding a genuine Christian welcome at a local church – that neither rejected him nor affirmed his confusion – Mr Benjamin found freedom in Christ, threw his dresses away and ever since has lived as the man he really is.

He said: “Today when I see and hear of books being read to children in schools such as ‘10,000 Dresses’, I see the same influence that led me to this harmful addiction. More must be done to protect our children, not to encourage them to pursue the same destructive path that I have had. Children are impressionable, the government can’t see what harm they are doing, and neither can the Department for Education. The Church of England therefore must step up and halt this influence before it’s too late.

“Parents are now openly allowing their children to be exposed to the transgender agenda as they think if they don’t allow it, their children will be depressed or become mentally ill. It’s not true. When I was 5 or 6, I had no thought of becoming a girl. It wasn’t until I was exposed to men in dresses at cabaret shows that my mind went that way. My message from my experience is that the transgender life, even surgery itself, did not solve my problem and led me to misery, suicidal thoughts and depression. This needs to be the Church of England’s message too.”

Andrea Minichiello Williams, who is a lay member of the General Synod, commented:

“The elites within the Church of England have rushed to preach ‘radical inclusion’ when it comes to transgender matters. They have authorised the use of existing liturgy to celebrate a person’s gender transition and issued guidance to schools that encourages gender confusion. But the evidence is piling up that the rush to prescribe puberty blockers and perform cross-sex surgery is leading to a great deal of dissatisfaction, regret and harm.

“James and Pete have important stories that the Church of England needs to hear and learn from. The Church needs to remember that although we are all broken from the effects of sin, our true rest is only found through faith in Jesus and by following his good teaching. Blindly following ideologies that are contrary to God’s ways isn’t genuine love but a tragic imitation, causing much pain.”


Notes for Editors

Limited places at the event are available to journalists free of charge. To receive a complimentary ticket, contact as soon as possible.

For more information on James Caspian, read:

For more information on Pete Benjamin, read:

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