top of page

David Tennant and the fear of truth

This is a blog written by our member Maggie Mellon

Watching David Tennant clutching his plastic LGBT+ Celebrity Ally Award at the award ceremony and wishing Kemi Badenoch out of existence, or at least just to “shut up” I thought what a frightened man he looked. Caught in the spotlights, stammering about how he owed it all to Georgie his lovely wife who had had to “educate” him in “love and empathy”. Looking like a hostage to a cult as I remarked on X the next morning as a response to outrage and anger against him.

It has been suggested that David Tennant has a personal family interest in believing that children can be trapped in the wrong body, and that they should be transitioned to live as if the opposite to their actual sex. I don’t know if that is the case, but it would certainly be an explanation for his wish that Kemi Badenoch just did not exist. No doubt he feels the same about Jo Rowling, and about Rosie Duffield but Kemi Badenoch the Tory is a more acceptable target. Plus Kemi Badenoch actually has had the power to change policy and to halt bad lawmaking in its tracks- and she has used it well.

We should have enormous sympathy for a parent whose child has become a victim of the cult of gender identity. This is especially so if the other parent agrees that transition is the solution and urges them to drop any opposition. There is comfort and strength to be found in each other when two parents share the same view and oppose transition and try instead to support and get other help for their child. They will face other problems, of which more later, but at least they are together on this.

But where the other parent has followed the child down the rabbit hole or, as in some cases, dragged the child down the rabbit hole themselves, the dissenting parent is faced with the break up of their marriage, their family, the loss of everything important in their lives. There may be hours of argument, there may be tearful pleas from the child or the other parent, perhaps the other children, threats of suicide, of running away. Threats of divorce or, if already divorced or separated, threats of ending contact with the child.

So, the dissenting parent doesn’t really understand, but he or she agreed to the child being transitioned, to name and pronoun changing, to “celebrating” the newly recognised daughter or son. They may also consent to puberty blockers. They agree they have been “educated in love and empathy”. And that is how a parent become a hostage of the gender cult.

Because to falter in the course of action, to try to turn back, to open the argument again, is to once again face the threat of the loss of everything they hold dear. But in a way they have already lost everything that is dear to them, and don’t realise it. Stockholm Syndrome occurs when a hostage begins to identify their own fate with the fate of their captors. In the case of capture by the gender identity cult, the thought of it all being exposed as a rotten lie and that they have harmed their child permanently is, as Helen Joyce has already remarked, too awful to contemplate. What would that contemplation mean but they have lost everything, including their self respect, their understanding of themselves as a good parent, a good person? So they become one of the most fervent members of the cult. The deal with their inner fear and doubt and terror by denying it and turn that denial and self doubt into anger. They say “Die Terfs!” “Shut UP! I don’t want to hear this” They say “Sack that bigot!”

I have huge sympathy for these parents. Because they are not the true villains in the gender wars. Neither really are the other cult members many of whom are victims and hostages too. The people I want to hold to account are those in positions of power, politically and professionally, who have jumped on the gender identity bandwagon, praised instead of exposed the cult’s claims, and who have themselves persecuted, or allowed to be persecuted, those parents or their fellow professionals who refuse to to along with it. As I have remarked in the best-selling “Women Won’t Wheesht” I could not believe the rapidity and totality of the collapse of our professional leadership, and the denial of every lesson that has been learned about the need for a sound evidence-base for practice. Social work has been captured before by ideological positions which have caused harm.

I have written and spoken about the harms that can be caused by social work that is following supposed “truths” rather than following the evidence – harms that include wrongful and unnecessary separation of children from their parents, the cruelties inflicted on children in care, and the “child protection” processes that are more interested in judging and punishing mothers than in the feelings and welfare of the mother and child. Social work has had to make too many apologies for harms that have been caused by ignoring basic human rights at the behest of government or other interests. Apologies too late and often meaningless in the face of the lives ruined.

So, faced with yet another brewing scandal, I and others set up the Evidence-Based Social Work Alliance (EBSWA) in order to challenge the madness that has swept through our profession. We took up the case of our colleague Rachel Meade who successfully challenged sanction by her employers and by Social Work England for merely privately expressing concerns about women’s rights and children’s safety. We wrote to Social Work England, to CAFCASS the social work agency in England which advises the family courts on children and family cases, we wrote to BASW the professional body for social workers, we wrote to the Care Inspectorate in Scotland, to the Children’s Commissioner in Scotland. All of these bodies and more have accepted and promoted claims about gender identity and the necessity and rightness of transitioning children, of the use of puberty blockers, breast binders, even surgery. All of them have condemned parents, other professionals not to mention the general public for not accepting the claims made by gender identity ideologues. We have been told that their evidence is the “lived experience” of children and adults who “know” who and what they are. That is not evidence. It is a sweaty and inadequate excuse.

Nearly all of our employed members have had to remain anonymous, Only the retired, or the financially independent if not wealthy, of us have been able to use our own names to back our challenge. Several members have been taken through ridiculous investigations by SWE, or their employer, for having the professional courage to state their concerns and ask for the evidence. The investigations which take months of answering ridiculous accusations and are the punishment in themselves.

Social Work's professional leadership has been missing in action while sackings, sanctions, suspensions, have gone on with their full authority. Worse than that are the children who have suffered harm in care or in the community by social work and other professions embracing the cult instead of challenging it.

I am proud to belong to the small but growing group of social workers and others who are standing up to be SEEN. Things are changing. But I am not proud of the role played by social workers in forcing parents to accept the transition of their children by threatening to remove the child because they accuse parents of presenting “a risk of emotional neglect or abuse” because they want to protect their child from lifelong harm. So, we need to look beyond parents who have agreed to trfor the real culprits. I don’t blame the parents. I blame the professional organisations, the politicians who took up this cause shamelessly in order to protect themselves and their organisations or their careers from the cult of gender identity.

Maggie Mellon


bottom of page