Exclusive:Cass Review: Mother of socially transitioned children 'shattered' at Scottish Government's gender policy amid legal action claim

The former SNP MP was speaking after the publication of the Cass review.

The mother of two socially transitioned children says she has been left “shattered” by the Scottish Government’s approach to gender policy as she urged those harmed to take legal action over an “ideology” she said had ruined her family.

The 50-year-old parent’s two eldest girls were socially transitioned at a Scottish school, with one now on the waiting list for Glasgow’s Sandyford gender clinic.

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The mother, who did not wish to be named, told The Scotsman she was “absolutely gutted the Scottish Government are not listening and not interested in our children”, in the wake of this week’s publication of the Cass Review.

The mother has spoken out about her two socially transitioned children. Picture: Getty ImagesThe mother has spoken out about her two socially transitioned children. Picture: Getty Images
The mother has spoken out about her two socially transitioned children. Picture: Getty Images

The review found transgender children in the UK had been let down by an exceptionally toxic debate on gender issues, and a lack of research and evidence on the use of puberty blockers and hormones.

The Scottish Government has pledged to “consider” the review’s findings. SNP MP Joanna Cherry has been among high-profile politicians to urge the Scottish Government to suspend the use of puberty blockers, which have already been banned in England.

The affected mother said: “This Cass report has highlighted the horrific medical scandal that is going on with children, and the horrific consequences for socially transitioning children.

“It starts with the social transition, then moves to the medical transition. Once children are on that pathway, once they go on puberty blockers, a higher percentage go onto cross sex hormones. It’s the next logical step for them.

The Cass Review called for gender services for young people to match the standards of other NHS care.The Cass Review called for gender services for young people to match the standards of other NHS care.
The Cass Review called for gender services for young people to match the standards of other NHS care.

"It all starts with your little child. When I hear of two-year-olds that they are socially transitioning, it’s really quite frightening.”

The mother, who said both of the children were autistic, claimed she initially allowed the girls to have the freedom of self-choice. But she said both children had started self-harming after transitioning, and were “getting very confused and depressed, and stopped talking to us”.

The parent said the Scottish Government’s desperation to follow an ideology that was “medically unresearched” had ruined her family and the lives of others.

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“Using puberty blockers on children over the age of eight, it’s horrific,” she said. “There’s no proper data on this, they are just experimenting on our children. You’re either biological male or female, there’s no changing that.

“We have been fighting and holding back this tsunami of gender identity for four or five years now, and it’s impossible. It’s consumed Scotland. The politics side is out there, everyone is talking about it, but what nobody is talking about is what’s happening to these children.

“It saddens me that people don’t know what’s happening to children in Scotland, all the stuff that’s been blocked and stopped in England. I feel completely shattered by the Scottish Government … it’s a complete disregard of safeguarding. Gender ideology has swept that away. In any other situation, people would be up in arms at children being told stuff like this.”

Former SNP MP Angus MacNeil called for an end to puberty blockers as he raised concerns children were making irreversible decisions.

The Western Isles MP, who is now an independent since leaving the party, suggested children were being medicated for going against gender stereotypes. His comments come after the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill was last year blocked by the UK government after being passed by Holyrood, over fears it could impact on existing equalities legislation.

“The [Cass] report was commissioned by the NHS in England, but speaks to a wider debate across Europe,” Mr MacNeil said. “I have genuine concerns about the lasting effects.

“The Scottish Government are all over the place on self-ID. As we saw, it didn’t survive … it was basically the first contact or first question around self-ID that did it for Nicola [Sturgeon].”

Mr MacNeil added: “This issue is, we’re talking about children being on drugs. We tell children to avoid recreational drugs, then there’s talk about giving drugs to children pre-puberty. They're given medication unnecessarily.

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“I don’t know what follow-up has happened to the people who were given drugs two years ago, three years ago. People were given drugs on nothing less than a hunch and it’s really impacted their lives. There’s no major research behind this.”

His comments echo those of Ms Cherry, the MP for Edinburgh South West, who has written to Scotland’s chief medical officer Dr Gregor Smith calling for the urgent re-design of services for gender questioning children in Scotland. The letter has been jointly signed by former Scottish Greens co-convener Robin Harper.

Following the Cass review, the Scottish Government said it recognised the “increasingly toxic, ideological and polarised debate” surrounding the trans discussion.

A puberty blockers ban in Scotland has been previously branded unlikely by trans charities due to the “exceptionally difficult” process patients must go through to acquire gender identity treatment through NHS Scotland.

Mr MacNeil suggested administrations would look back on how they approached trans issues in the years ahead and know they were wrong. He said: “I think many governments might think they made a mistake, it’s a lack of researching and ploughing on and doing rather than thinking."

Former SNP minister turned Alba MSP, Ash Regan, has written to First Minister Humza Yousaf urging him to enact the recommendations of the Cass Review in Scotland.

However, Dr Mhairi Crawford, chief executive of LGBT Youth Scotland, said transgender young people needed more “safeguards” to protect their wellbeing. A report published by LGBT Youth Scotland on Thursday had showed happiness among the young transgender community had halved from 2012 until 2022, from 59 per cent to 28 per cent.

Mermaids, a charity that supports transgender youth, said: “All children and young people deserve timely, supportive and holistic healthcare. However, across all of the UK, the NHS is failing trans youth, with appalling waiting lists of more than six years, virtually no first appointments offered for over a year, and increased politicisation of the support offered to children and young people.

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“Trans youth tell us they want services which are accepting and respectful, which offer supportive spaces to explore their gender, and provide access to medical transition if and when they need it.”

The Scottish Government has been contacted for comment.



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