Brussels, 10 March 2023
Dear Marc Angel, Målin Björk, Kim van Sparrentak, Silvia Modig
We appreciate your efforts to make Europe a safe space for all and to support and protect vulnerable minorities. This is part of the progressive, diverse and tolerant society to which we all aspire. However, when we take protection seriously, we must also be wary of some actors in our own ranks who are more concerned with promoting a certain belief system than with protecting the most vulnerable people in their own community.
It is worrying that a culture of 'no debate', unfortunately promoted for years by many LGBTQ+ organisations, has led to a very one-sided discourse and often reckless 'affirmation only' attitude towards the treatment of gender questioning children. A precautionary approach to children's health is not a leftwing versus rightwing issue, and it is dangerous to present it in these terms.
We would like to draw your attention to the following points:
A growing number of experts, in Europe and elsewhere, are warning us that the gender-affirmative 'Dutch protocol' should be considered an experimental treatment on children and minors, with very little evidence of its long-term benefits, its effectiveness against dysphoria or its ability to prevent suicidal thoughts. The negative effects of puberty blockers on the contrary are well documented. Furthermore, it is esteemed that without affirmative interventions more than 80% of dysphoric children will spontaneously come to terms with their sexed body in adolescence, whereas "affirmation" has proven to become a self-fulfilling prophecy, leading from social transition to puberty blockers and, from there, setting the child in almost all cases on the path to life-long medication with cross-sex hormones and eventually irreversible medical or surgical interventions.
An increasing number of gender clinics in Europe have become aware of the protection issues in the paediatric gender transition guidelines, promoted by WPATH, and, in the light of ongoing understanding and evidence-based studies, have adopted a much more cautious approach.
Following the damning review of the Tavistock Gender Clinic in England by Prof. Hillary Cass, the report of gender specialist Dr. Kaltiala in Finland and that of the The National Board of Health and Welfare in Sweden, the Norwegian Healthcare Investigation Board now also has concluded that the current 'gender-affirmative' guidelines do not constitute an evidence-based approach and need to be revised. This brings Norway into line with the growing number of European countries that have already adapted their health guidelines to stop giving puberty blockers to adolescents and to restrict hormone treatments to adults, raising the minimum age to start hormonal therapies even to 25 years.
We hope that a respectful and open debate on these worrying issues can take place within the EU Parliament, and especially within the groups that stand as defenders of the most vulnerable members of our society.