As conspiracy theories about the Tavistock Gender Identity Development Service spiral, including unevidenced beliefs that there are “thousands” of parents waiting to sue Tavistock and Portman Trust for gender dysphoria related care, several prominent anti-trans activists and therapists — many with connections to anti-trans campaigning organisation Genspect — have appeared in a film produced by David Icke’s streaming service. David Icke is notorious as conspiracy fantasist and antisemite.
Appearing in the film are:
- Stella O’Malley, who runs a large number of anti-trans campaign groups presenting themselves as neutral scientific or therapeutic organisations. Most notable of these is conversion therapy advocacy group Genspect.
- Michael Biggs of the gender critical campaigning group Sex Matters, and Genspect-affiliated organisation SEGM.
- Heather Brunskell-Evans, founder of Women’s Declaration International (formerly WHRC) which campaigns for a complete global repeal of all gender identity recognition in human rights law as well as reproductive health research for trans people.
- James Esses of Thoughtful Therapists which was cofounded with Genspect founder Stella O’Malley. Esses who is a therapy student who was sacked from Childline over his anti-trans activism and later admitted in the daily mail to attempting to get vulnerable young people calling childline to reconsider their trans identity. Esses is also a writer for Genspect.
- Marcus Evans who was accused recently by a national sexology body of promoting conversion therapy and who’s book published last year on treatment of gender dysphoria has been described as “transphobic” and “cruel” in peer reviewed academic coverage. Evans is a member of Genspect, and associated organisation SEGM.
- Evangelical and anti-abortion campaigning lawyer Paul Conrathe, who was the solicitor in the Bell v Tavistock case.
- Detransitioner Ritchie Herron, a former team member of Genspect.
- Stephanie Davies-Arai of anti-trans campaigning group Transgender Trend (and also an advisor to Genspect).
This is of course, not the first time that anti-trans campaigners on the issue of psychotherapy have been involved in extreme fringe conspiracy networks. In October 2020, Stephanie Davies-Arai appeared on conspiracy theory platform BrandNewTube for Sonia Poulton’s show “The Raw Report”. Title cards for the episode that Davies-Arai appeared on featured explicitly antisemitic imagery, with a burning star of David advertising fellow BNT presenter Albert Bishai’s show where he rails against supposed Jewish global control and “satanic” influences. Poulton’s other work ranges across “Satanic Ritual Abuse”, skepticism around vaccines and coronavirus, and other common narratives among the wider conspiracy sphere.
More widely, concern about antisemites exploiting growing acceptance of transphobic narratives as cover has been steadily growing, with criticism from concerned voices rising around the world. Antisemitic blood libel tropes have been implicated in terrorist threats targetted at childrens hospitals over trans healthcare provision recently in America.