Childline sacks worker for caring about ‘trans’ children

6 August 2021

Communications Officer Rebekah Moffett comments on the case of James Esses.

When will this trans madness come to an end? That was my first reaction at reading the news of James Esses’ case. When will we realise that children really are just children, and they need protecting? When can we stop trying push this liberal transgender agenda on them and just allow them to have a childhood? Don’t we realise the damage we’re going to cause them years down the line?

Cancelled for raising legitimate concerns

In case you haven’t heard about it yet, James Esses is a former barrister at the tender age of 29. The Mail on Sunday reports that he left his job as a civil servant in the Home Office three years ago to retrain as a psychotherapist, and was a fair way into a five-year Masters degree in psychotherapy at Metanoia Institute, West London.

For five years, he’d worked as a volunteer counsellor with Childline, but over the years, he’d become more concerned by the amount of young people calling up confused about their gender.

This concern is well rooted. Rates of referral to gender identity services (GIDS) have increased nearly twentyfold in the last ten years. In 2010/11, some 138 children were referred to child gender identity services. This figure soared to 2,383 in 2020/21. GIDS is currently the subject of an independent review following the resignation of some 35 members of staff over just three years. Multiple whistleblowers have reported poor practice and, most recently, an ‘inadequate’ rating was given to the Tavistock clinic from the Care Quality Commission. Back in December, the High Court issued a landmark ruling, essentially saying that children under 16 cannot legally consent to puberty blocking drugs. So, one would have thought that the number of referrals ought to begin slowing down. Somewhat mercifully, the rate of referrals did in fact decline for the first time last year – albeit slightly – from 2,748 in 2019/20.

Yet, at Childline, there seemed to be no concern for any of this. James Esses commented to Spiked:

“At Childline, I was seeing an exponential increase in the number of young people presenting with gender dysphoria. I felt that the conversation about it was being shut down, particularly among professionals.

“I, like many colleagues, felt that what was happening was not necessarily in young people’s best interests. They might be encouraged down a path towards transitioning, which could cause potentially irreversible damage. I have spoken to many de-transitioners who deeply regret what happened to them and wish that their healthcare professionals had explored things with them in more detail.”

So James decided to try “to open a dialogue on the topic of therapy for children.” Taking to Twitter, he wrote the following:

“One fact that seems to constantly get missed or ignored is that in order to legally transition in this country, you must be diagnosed with gender dysphoria, which is a mental health condition. To not scrutinise treatment for children would be to renege our societal duty of care.”

“Increasing numbers of young people with gender dysphoria crowdfunding for surgery.
“For those of you who see this and want to alleviate some suffering – I know a number of excellent therapists who would see you for free. Expensive, irreversible surgery is not the only option.”

“Unlike irreversible medication or surgery, therapy for children with gender dysphoria does not try to remake the body to conform with feelings but instead helps them to find a healthy way to move towards accepting their reality of their bodily selves.

“Watching an interviewee describe themselves as non-binary, saying ‘that means I don’t really fit into female or male stereotypes’.
“Given that we all have a mix of masculine and feminine traits and nobody fits stereotypes exactly, by that definition, are we not all non-binary?”

Sadly, James should have known better, as the trans lobby and its allies came to hunt him down:

“Then, out of nowhere, I received an email from the deputy chief executive of the institute I was studying at, inviting me in for an informal meeting to discuss complaints that had been made against me. No detail was provided. We set a meeting date for two days’ time. Less than 24 hours later, I got an email with the subject line ‘Termination’ on it. I was told that I was expelled with immediate effect and that the meeting we had scheduled would not take place.”

As if that wasn’t enough, Childline also came after him. Just ten days later, they terminated his voluntary contract with him and told him that his services as a volunteer counsellor would no longer be needed.

‘Cancelled by the mob’

James spoke to Spiked about his experience and why he believes he was dropped from his course and from Childline:

“It’s all intertwined with free speech and cancel culture. People are absolutely terrified that they are going to be cancelled by the mob. That mob has a very loud voice and a lot of clout. So many organisations have signed up to Stonewall’s policies on this issue. There’s a degree of terror about being criticised for not being an ally. …

I encourage people, even if they’re scared, to speak out about their beliefs. Unfortunately, I have paid a price for this. But until more and more people do it, this will continue to happen.”

James is right. The ‘trans mob’, as he calls it, is out for blood, it would seem. James isn’t the only one to fall by their sword. But until we can form a more united front of people who are willing to speak the truth about caring for our children – and until we can stop fearing being cancelled – this will keep happening.

If you aren’t a trans ally – you deserve to be cancelled (apparently)

James is now pursuing a legal case against Metanoia Institute. It’s reminiscent of a fair few of our own cases.

Kristie Higgs also lost her job as a pastoral assistant at a secondary school for sharing her own concerns on social media about what children were being taught in schools about sex, sexuality and relationships. This too, is grounded in truth, for the new RSE guidelines allow children as young as four and five to be taught about homosexual relationships and ‘gender identity’. That said, there has since been a small victory since Kristie started pursuing legal action: guidance issued by the Department for Education in England is now backed up by the ruling in the case of Maya Forstater (which protects gender-critical beliefs). So teachers are free to tell children that that they are not ‘born in the wrong body’.

Felix Ngole was also expelled from his university course in social work for concerns that he posted on social media, defending a Christian view of marriage and sexuality. Felix won his case, upholding the rights of UK Christians to freely express their faith without fear for their professional careers. Felix’s win should help James in his legal battle: surely opening up a debate on ‘gender identity’ isn’t worthy of being dismissed either? In fact, the ruling in Maya Forstater’s case should help as well, given that gender-critical beliefs are protected. In other words, the belief that sex is immutable is, in fact, “worthy of respect in a democratic society.”

Not that Childline seem to care about that. Their response was:

“We respect people’s rights to hold different views, but volunteers can’t give the impression Childline endorses their personal campaigns. It’s vital that children know that Childline is a welcoming place for all young people.”

Roughly translated: “you can hold the belief that sex is binary and biological, but you can’t say that to anyone. And if you start debating it, we’ll sack you.”

Then again, perhaps that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Rev. Dr Bernard Randall found out the hard way that even daring to mention respect for different view points can lose you your job – and even (bizarrely) get you reported to the government’s terrorist watchdog. His sermon on ‘identity politics’ was also meant to open up debate on the topic.

James Caspian, a fellow psychotherapist worried about the growing referrals to gender clinics didn’t even want to debate the topic – he simply wanted research the phenomenon in more depth. But having enrolled in a part-time MA course at Bath Spa University, his study was then blocked from going forwards because it ‘might cause some people offence’.

The truth is clear for all to see: the trans lobby (read Stonewall and other similar organisations) has been allowed far too much power to dictate what is ‘acceptable’. Anyone not deemed an ‘ally’ is immediately shut down, cancelled and punished. Even James Esses commented on the tyranny of Stonewall at Childline:

“There is no doubt in my mind that many organisations who engage with children have been significantly influenced by partisan, activist organisations. I still remember seeing a Stonewall poster plastered all over the Childline counselling room; shutting down any chance of open, honest dialogue between counsellors as to best practise.”

This cannot be allowed to happen any longer.

We need to speak out to protect our children

Freedom is at stake, yes. Our freedom to defend truth (because of course, biologically speaking one cannot ‘change sex’ anyway) is in danger of being shut down, the more the brave few are told to keep quiet.

But the real victims in all of this are our children. The more this agenda is allowed to go through unchallenged, the more referrals we’ll keep seeing to GIDS. We can’t afford to be quiet – or be fearful – anymore. Now is the time to speak.

If you’re concerned about this issue, why not write to your MP about it? Encourage them that government organisations should not be part of the Stonewall Diversity Champions programme. Raise your concerns that the investigation into GIDS is not being taking seriously.

If you’re a parent, why not check what your child is being taught in school? Make sure your children aren’t being taught that they might be ‘born in the wrong body’.

You can also give – help us to support those fighting on the front lines; the Felix Ngole’s, Bernard Randall’s and Kristie Higgs’ of this world.

And finally, don’t be afraid to raise your voice. Truth matters, and it needs to be heard. Whether or not we lose our jobs, our livelihoods, our homes – we need to brave to protect our children.


Photo by James Esses
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