Graham Linehan, the co-creator of the popular comedy series Father Ted, has spoken out against the transgender lobby and now believes that his stand on gender identity has cost him work. Speaking to BBC’s Newsnight (starts 28.34), he revealed why he believes it necessary to make the sacrifice.
Speaking to BBC interviewer Sarah Smith, Linehan revealed his purpose for being so outspoken:
“Women can’t speak about this … I’ll admit, I’m not a great person to be in this conversation – I’m a comedy writer and I am very blunt. But there are a lot of women … academics who are very compassionate … Whenever they’re asked to speak, there are protests, they get shut down. … It’s insane the abuse and harassment they face. So I thought I’d step in. …
“All I’m asking for is that people like me and the women that I support are not attacked, their meetings aren’t protested, they aren’t abused on Twitter. I’ve been sued, I’ve been reported to the police, my wife’s address has been published online. All of these things have happened because I’m trying to make a conversation less toxic.”
Earlier this week, Linehan elaborated on his position, writing in the Daily Mail:
“Suddenly, everywhere you looked, women were being erased, insulted or endangered. Amnesty referring to pregnant women as ‘pregnant people’. Productions of The Vagina Monologues closing because they excluded ‘women who don’t have vaginas’. Women’s toilets disappearing from public life – even though they were introduced to ensure that women could have a public life…Worst of all, I saw the lack of compassion or empathy for the vulnerable women who are often at the sharp end of the new Gender Theocracy.”
BBC interviewer Smith contended that Linehan was not the right person to speak up on the topic, saying:
“Quite a lot of women think that they can speak for themselves, thank you. And they don’t necessarily need Graham Linehan coming to talk for us.”
She continued to allude to a previous comment from Linehan comparing giving children experimental drugs to block puberty to experiments on children in Nazi concentration camps. However, Linehan was clear in his answer, drawing the parallels: “children are basically being experimented on with puberty blockers.”
He mentioned the drug Lupron, in particular, which is usually used to treat the end stages of prostate cancer. “It has never been tested on girls or women,” said Linehan.
The evidence from Tavistock
Smith continued to contest Linehan, saying: “These are doctors who are doing this and you don’t have any medical training to know about this.”
However, Linehan was quick to mention the medical evidence from the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, where 35 psychologists have resigned in the last three years over worries that too many children were being given puberty blockers when they should never have been diagnosed as gender dysphoric. “Do you think that sounds like a healthy environment for children?” asked Linehan.
A rise in ‘hate crime’?
Smith then moved on to quote Stonewall figures which suggest that ‘hate crime’ has risen 37% in the last year. However, Linehan was swift to debunk that myth:
“The reason that hate crimes have increased is because everything is now ‘transphobic’, including saying statements like ‘men aren’t women’. These are considered transphobic statements. So the reason that these hate crime figures are going up is because the bar has been set so low for what is and isn’t transphobic.”
However, Linehan did suggest that there was potentially a rise in children being referred to gender identity clinics because “homophobic parents” were taking their children there to be ‘fixed’. The myth that ‘transgender children’ are really all gay or lesbian is just as dangerous an argument to make.
Carys Moseley has warned that the tactics of the transgender lobby mirror those previously used by the LGB lobby, and they are just as harmful to children:
“The truth is that the transgender activists are using very similar aggressive shaming and bullying tactics that LGB activists used to use. Will the public tolerate the existence of two separate camps both of whose members have spent their working lives behaving in this manner?”
While it is good that higher-profile public figures are willing to make sacrifices to speak out on these important issues, when will the Church stand up to protect those vulnerable children who are at the centre of the whole debate?