Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Silencing other views over trans children is ‘dangerous’ – BEM recipient

Stephanie Davies-Arai (Gareth Fuller/PA)
Stephanie Davies-Arai (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Labelling alternative views about transgender children bigoted is “very dangerous”, according to the head of a parents’ group who has been handed an honour.

Stephanie Davies-Arai, the founder and director of Transgender Trend, which calls for evidence-based healthcare for gender dysphoric children and young people, has been given a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

The organisation has raised concerns about diagnosing children as transgender and legislation over the safety of girls in changing rooms and toilets.

In 2018, in response to a resource pack for schools published by Transgender Trend, LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall said the organisation’s views were “dangerous” for young people and “factually inaccurate”.

Ms Davies-Arai said the language around gender in schools has confused children and “blurs the boundaries between different sexes”.

She said: “I’m really honoured and thrilled to be recognised for my work; it is a huge honour and I’m quite knocked out by it and very grateful to everyone who nominated me.

“I hope it indicates a change in opinion about the treatment of children with gender dysphoria and is a recognition of my work, which has been wrongly called transphobic or bigoted.

“What I saw was a one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with these children, which risks sending them towards a medical pathway.

“One of my concerns was the alternative wasn’t talked about. Everyone should be open to debate; it’s healthy.

“Silencing debate by calling evidence-based approaches ‘bigoted or transphobic’ is very dangerous.

“We need to make sure we investigate what’s going on before medical intervention and stop treating young people the same way as adults. These children deserve the same standard of care as in any other paediatric service and I could see they were not getting that.”

Stephanie Davies-Arai (Gareth Fuller/PA

Ms Davies-Arai also praised JK Rowling for speaking out in support of not just women and children but transgender people.

The Harry Potter author in June 2020 wrote an essay explaining how she was partly motivated to speak about transgender issues because of her experience of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

Critics have accused the writer of being transphobic, a label she strongly rejects.

Ms Davies-Arai said: “She’s been very measured in what she is saying but has been vilified – and publicly.

“It is a very dangerous environment for children if safeguarding attempts are silenced through accusations of bigotry.

“She spoke out in a very reasonable way.

“She showed great courage and shouldn’t have risked her reputation by discussing things openly and respectfully; we should be able to, especially when the matter concerns children.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in