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March 1, 2023

# 73 James Esses - Canceled Counselor

 Chatting with Candice
 James Esses
 Episode Run Time: 45:48

James Esses is a criminal barrister, trainee psychotherapist, co-founder of Thoughtful Therapists, and a consultant for Genspect. His advocacy revolves around the political, legal, health and cultural impacts of gender ideology. Previously a course provider for Metanoia Institute, he was expelled without warning because of his views on therapy and counseling for children with gender dysphoria. In this episode, we talk about how it came about as well as doing a deep dive on issues of gender dysphoria, conversion therapy, and protecting our children.

00:00:00 00:01:15 Cancel Culture and Towing the Line with Ideologies
 00:03:13 Conversion Therapy and Explorative Therapy
 00:05:53 Gender Manipulation Among Minors
 00:07:26 Affirmative Care for Children
 00:12:16 Inconsistencies with Consent
 00:14:23 Alternatives to Medical Intervention
 00:20:12 Gender and Gender Expression
 00:22:04 Proper Transitioning and Risks Involved
 00:29:09 Over-correction for Bullying
 00:32:42 Intolerance, Diversity of Thought, and James’ Path
 00:35:54 Placing Prejudice on Gender
 00:39:51 Advice for Parents
 00:42:47 Protecting and Putting Children First
 00:44:25 Where to find James

Conversion Therapy and Explorative Therapy

Conversion practices include illegal, horrific things such as corrective rape, electric shock therapy. The purpose of these conversion therapy bans is in effect to clamp down on talking therapies and is being used as a synonym for explorative therapy. The therapist’s job is never to just simply affirm what the client is saying, but their ethical duty to explore, question, and challenge to figure out what is in their best interest.

Gender and Gender Expression

From a therapeutic and philosophical point of view, none of us know what it’s like to live as another person. For James, it’s not simply possible to feel like you’re trapped in the wrong body. When it comes to kids, it could possibly send the wrong message instead of delicately trying to navigate it together by asking the question of “How can I make you feel at peace with your body and in general?”. 

How can we protect our children?

Parents need to be proactive around what their children are being taught in school, and it’s only once they start asking questions when parents find out. Striking the right balance is the best course of action for parents when it comes to the topic of gender. 


Links and Resources:



Crowd Justice


Barrister and psychotherapist James Esses discusses his ongoing career battle and the conversation on gender and gender dysphoria among children.

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0 (0s): We've never experienced such peace. Yeah. Like it might feel like that. And a lot of that is what you're consuming, like that your internal environment and then also your external environment that a lot of us are just choosing to put ourself in. Like you're throwing yourself into Twitter for four hours a day, then you think everything is on fire. Well no, like close your laptop, turn off your phone and go walk outside. And you'll realize that reality is much different than the actual one that's being experienced by most people. 1 (28s): I completely agree. I completely agree. I mean, 0 (33s): Hello everybody. You're listening to Chatting with Candace. I'm your host Candice Horbacz. Before we jump into the episode, if you could do a solid favor and just hit that subscribe button wherever you are listening or watching. And if you are listening on Apple, if you could take a second to leave a five star review, that helps a ton with the algorithm and just kind of showing up in searchability and in the charts. It would mean the world to me. If you wanna support the podcast, you can go to Chatting with Candice dot com. And there are a couple of ways that you can do it from there with whether it's buy me a coffee or the Patreon account, that just helps me get bigger and better guests. We're trying to do more in person, so that's really exciting. Thank you for being on this podcast journey with me. 0 (1m 16s): So without further ado, please help me welcome James Esses. James, thank you so much for joining the podcast today. I was really excited to have you on because this is still kind of a taboo topic, which I'm sure we'll kind of get into. But I guess to start the listeners off, do you wanna give them some of your background, who you are and a little bit of your story? 1 (1m 40s): Sure. Thanks for having me on. It's, it's nice to be chasing. So yeah, I've been campaigning, rising, commentating on gender ideology and what's happening in relation to children and women. For a few years now. I was, I was training to be a therapist. That was what I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing. And then I became aware of what was going on in the world in relation to gender ideology. I started to speak out about this and, and write a about this and ultimately that cost me my future career. And I was, I was expelled from my master's degree. I'm now having to bring legal action against my, my former Institute on the basis of discrimination against my beliefs in this space. 1 (2m 27s): And so since this time I've kind of thrown myself into this world really because I'm so scared about what's happening out there, particularly for children. 0 (2m 35s): So for a lot of people, this idea of Cancel culture is the boogeyman under the bed. They don't believe that it actually exists and there's not really ramifications for not Towing certain Ideologies or like not moving in lockstep with the accepted narrative in whatever category X, y, Z. Can you kind of explain what like, like get into that discovery? So you were working as a Counselor and you were also going to school for your master's for counseling, correct. Like in psychology. And there were certain things that were a little bit alarming to you or maybe you just were questioning and then I believe you said that you were petitioning the government. 0 (3m 19s): Can we get into that a little bit? 1 (3m 21s): Yeah, so I had, I'd been doing voluntary counseling at a, at a children's charity for about four or five years. I was speaking to a lot of young people who were saying that they were trans or trapped in the wrong body. That's what started getting me increasingly concerned about this. And then on the side I was doing this master's, I was about to set up a private practice and you know, it was quite a big step in my career, but I felt that I needed to speak out about it and particularly what was going on in the therapeutic profession because there's an increasing concern that there's doctors and Therapists out there basically encouraging these children to transition medically. I co-founded a group that I'm still a part of today called Thoughtful Therapists. 1 (4m 4s): We decided we needed to do something substantial. So I, I drafted this petition to the UK government cause at that time they just announced they were going to ban conversion therapy. and it was a real concern amongst myself and colleagues that this was going to criminalize, you know, normal Explorative therapy for children with gender dysphoria. So I, I launched a petition to the government, I did a bit of publicity about the petition and it was that petition and the publicity that got me expelled. 0 (4m 34s): So when we hear conversion therapy, obviously we're like, no, that is so wrong. Primarily because of the way that that was used to like, I guess continue the oppression of, you know, gay, gay people or lesbian people or people that didn't fit into like this sexual perfect sexual mold that we said was acceptable in our, in western culture. Obviously it's wrong and it doesn't work. It's been proven time and time again. Like if you're gay, you are gay, like you're not gonna go to therapy and get rid of that. What is the difference between conversion therapy and just regular Explorative therapy as, as far as like diagnosing someone? Cuz there is a protocol when you're diagnosing someone. So if I have bipolar and I come in, there's steps to figure out if I am or if I'm not or if I have body dysmorphia or whatever it might be. 0 (5m 24s): So I guess to the layperson, what's the difference between conversion therapy and then just trying to do a general assessment of somebody? 1 (5m 30s): Well look conversion, I'm gonna call them practices. I'm not going to necessarily use the word therapy, but they do exist. They have existed, they are abhorrent, they don't work anyway. You know, people often think of horrific things that have gone on such as, you know, corrective rape and electric shock therapy. You know, these things are awful and have and have happened, you know, and it's shameful that those ever happened. Those practices are already illegal. They're already called by legislation. The purpose of these conversion therapy bans is in effect to kind of clamp down on talking therapies. You know, the type that a therapist or might or a Counselor might engage in. But you know, conversion therapy unfortunately is now being used as a synonym for explorative therapy because what those on the other side are saying is that you must affirm that's the word that they like to use. 1 (6m 20s): And a therapist's job is never to simply affirm what a client is saying. You know, people come to Therapists for all manner of mental health conditions and it's a therapist's ethical duty to explore, to question even sometimes to challenge in order to figure out what is in the best interests of the client that they're sat in front of. It's not to simply kind of nod along with whatever the client says to you. You know, you mentioned bipolar equally, you know, some people have forms of condition where they've, you know, delusional, grandiose thinking, they convince themselves of things that aren't real. A therapist would be breaching their ethical duties if they simply just went along with that thinking. 1 (7m 0s): So this is the concern that we've got that it's gonna just criminalize normal therapy that we would do for any other condition. 0 (7m 6s): Yeah, and I believe that's already underway in Canada where you can't, it has to be just simply Affirmative care. Are there any repercussions? So I actually am scheduling this detransition for the podcast. I'm just working with her schedule right now. And she underwent ther like hormonal therapy and actual surgical surgical Manipulation while she was still a minor. And then when she turned 18 she was like, whoa, what, what did I just do? But there's nothing you can do like that. It's irreversible. So are there steps that you can take? Like is there, can you, is there litigation that can happen because you were a minor? 0 (7m 49s): Because I definitely wanna get into consent with you as well and the idea of that, like what are the steps for somebody in that situation? 1 (7m 56s): What, it depends on the, on the jurisdiction, but we are seeing an increase in potential litigation in this space. There's rumblings that there's going to be some group litigation in the United Kingdom against the Tavistock Center, which is kind of the clinic under the National Health Service that has been facilitating medical transition for young people. There's talk that there will be a group litigation suits brought against them and we're waiting to hear the details of that. So there may well be legal roots, but as you've just said yourself, the procedures themselves are irreversible. A and this is the issue because we're almost forcing children into making decisions that could end up affecting the rest of their lives. 1 (8m 42s): You know, these are decisions that I would argue that as adults we should not be allowing them to make in the first place. 0 (8m 48s): So the steps of Affirmative care, can you kind of walk me through that? So let's say I bring my child in and my child is pre-pubescent, we'll say like 10 years old and I'm like, you know, let's say that it's a daughter and you know, she knows that she's a boy. So at 10, like what are the steps for, for puberty blockers and then how does that kind of escalate? Well, 1 (9m 13s): Usually there's a form of social transition that's kind of offered up first and that's, that's described as a kind of softer option. But actually we know that it sets children down a slippery slope towards, towards further Transitioning. But that might be things like changing pronouns, changing, you know, name changing dress, things like that. But studies have shown that I, if a child starts to live as if they were the other sex, it actually changes the hard wiring in their brain. It makes it less likely they'll become comfortable in their own body. So that's an issue. So you've got the social Transitioning, then you've got, as you've mentioned, the puberty blockers. The issue here is that a loss of proponents of Transitioning say to parents and these young children, well you know, it's better that they start on the puberty blockers as early as possible, possibly even before they've actually started puberty, because then if they want to go even further with the transition, it would be a lot easier. 1 (10m 10s): So you've got this, you know, ridiculous scenario which children who have never even experienced puberty are being put on these puberty blockers. And if they progress straight from that onto cross-sex hormones later on, they can be left permanently in fertile. So yes, puberty blockers can be given at a very young age then come the cross-sex hormones. Again, the age that those can be administered depends on the jurisdiction. And then you've got the sex reassignment surgery as they would call it. You know, whether that's phalloplasties or double mastectomies, you know, in the UK at the moment, you can only get those when you are 18 or above. But you know, I've come across guidance recently from the World Professional Association for Transgender Health and they've said that they believe that children of any age should be allowed to receive these surgeries, which is truly shocking. 0 (10m 60s): Whoa, that's really hard to believe or get your head around because when it comes to understanding the ramifications of any of those decisions, your brain's not even close to being, being formed yet. Like to completion. Like you can't, I can't go smoke a cigarette if I'm not 18. Well I think even now it's 21 for those vapes. So you don't trust me to understand the health consequences of this vape, but you expect a child to understand the health consequences of these drugs that don't have any longitudinal studies. That's nuts to me. And I am curious in the process, I don't know if, if you are familiar with people that are actually like prescribing these two children, but like do they go over the side effects and the potential Risks with the parents or do they just kind of say, do this otherwise, you know, your kid might be so depressed that they become suicidal, which is what I had Buck Angel on the podcast years ago and he says that's like a common tactic, which is like to guilt the parents, like, would you, it's this horrible quote that you see. 0 (12m 6s): It's like, would you rather have, like, would you rather have a son or a dead daughter or something like that? and it's like, whoa, how dare you, how dare you use that with parents? That's, that's horrific And that's negligence by any stretch. 1 (12m 19s): Yeah, you're right. There's a, there's a loss of fear mongering, a loss of Manipulation, of statistics. You've got that on one side. On the other side you've got a kind of commercialization of this and almost a glorification of this. You know, I'm, I'm increasingly seeing pictures even even of gender clinics where they've got the surgeon after the operation posing next to this young person with their kind of double mastectomy scars. You know, I, I can't think of any other type of medical procedure for a serious condition that we would engage in that. And then you've got celebrities as well, you know, increasing numbers of celebrities coming out as trans and then again posing with their scars, et cetera. 1 (13m 1s): You know, very much sending a, a message to children and young people that, you know, if you do this, you know, it's all gonna be okay. You're gonna feel good about yourself. So I, I do worry that the ramifications are not being explained properties children, but, but you know, even if they are explained properly, we come back to this issue of age of consent. And as you just said, you know, we're allowing children here to make irreversible decisions even though we don't allow them to buy a lottery ticket or, you know, smoke a cigarette. So to, to my mind, it doesn't particularly matter whether the clinic explains these things. These children should not be allowed to consent to a 0 (13m 36s): Stool. Hey everyone, this is new. So we are taking a quick break for a couple of sponsors. How exciting is that, that we have a couple sponsors for the podcast? So this is new, please don't skip it, just listen, it's cool stuff I promise. So my first one is a small company called Radner Rocks and I'll make sure I have the link below. As you know, I love crystals and I get made fun of for it all of the time, but I'm, I'm not gonna change my ways and I'm gonna stand by it. I truly believe in them and I think that they're beautiful so excuse me, but he sent me, I mean how incredible is that? 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So you can try ProLon for $150 with the code. Candace, some of the claims for, and I mean I say claims but I'm going off of a script guys, 60% of people that completed the fast had better energy, mental clarity and focus. You'll definitely shed some lbs. I felt a ton lighter after doing it. It's cool to do difficult stuff and obviously fasting is not easy so it's kind of cool to see how you can kind of push it and get through something that you thought you might not be able to do. 0 (15m 42s): It's a lot easier than just doing a water cleanse. And again, like you, I think the average here, yeah people lose an average of 5.7 pounds and 1.6 inches off of their waistline. So soon as I'm done breastfeeding, I'm doing one of these and Eric's supposed to be starting anytime now, so we'll see when he decides to start. So I'll link that below Again, if you wanna try ProLon, you can try it for 150 bucks. Use code Candace and let's return the episode. So why do you think that our idea of consent is so inconsistent? Like why can I say you can consent to puberty blockers or you can consent to surgical Intervention, at least in some, in some states here, but you can't consent to a tattoo, you can't consent to a beer, you can't consent to having sex with someone with a, with an adult, right? 0 (16m 35s): Like if you wanna take it to that extremity. So why, why is there not more of an alignment with just that simple term? 1 (16m 41s): Well, I mean pure and simply the safeguarding has, has gone out the window. But I think the reason for that is because of this idea of identity and the way in which this has kind of infiltrated society because the way it's pushed, particularly by the media and a lot of politicians, is that this isn't a mental health condition, this is just somebody's identity. They almost equate it with things like your race or your religion, you know? And so we're not, you know, we're not, we're not medically mutilating people. We're simply allowing them to live in the body that they always should have been born into. and it's, it's a very different narrative really. 1 (17m 25s): and it kind of, as I say, it takes on the same stature as as somebody's race, it's almost that it's, it's simply allowing them to be who they always were. I think that's one of the core issues. And so as a result of that, the safeguarding kind of goes out the window cuz it's, it is completely inconsistent. I mean we've had debates in the UK over recent weeks around this cuz in Scotland they were looking to pass legislation, allowing 16 year olds to legally change their sex. And one of the Scottish politicians came out and said that in their mind, children of the age of eight should be allowed to legally change their sex. You know, and I was doing some research online of what things eight year olds aren't allowed to do. 1 (18m 7s): The the, they're not allowed in the UK to set up a bank account and, and they're not allowed to create a Facebook account and yet we're suggesting that they can legally change their sex. I mean it's, it's crazy. 0 (18m 18s): Yeah, I was watching a documentary and this woman was starting, I don't know what the, the child was very young like I would say less than five. And she was already going to doctor's visits I guess like to get ready for whatever the next step of Intervention was. And I watched this years ago, this is before I was a parent and initially I was so emotional and was like, what a good mom to accept her child no matter what. Like that's kind of where they wanna get you, right? Is with the heartstrings and you're like, she's just, cuz you hear all these horrible stories about, you know, there's a gay kid and his parents abuse him or don't accept him or kick him outta the house and you're like, what Terrible parents, what terrible parents. 0 (19m 3s): So then you see this other example and they're switching their kids gender and you're like, well you know what a great parent because they're just accepting your ch the child, they're just like taking the child for whatever it's saying and like, and just letting them be unique in their, in their own right. And they're, we are forgetting like there's, there's still needs to be, like you said, safeguards, right? So there's, I don't know, it's a fine line. This is, I feel like a lot of this is, is so nuanced you don't ever wanna shut a kid down. But I guess to give my own example, my kid's three and he, he still doesn't really understand the difference between boys and girls. Like he's like still kind of getting there, but he calls everyone he like that's just what the pronoun that he likes to call everyone. 0 (19m 47s): And I'm like, I'm just waiting for the day that he offends somebody by doing that. I'm like, he's three, you can't take offense. But he, he doesn't even understand that concept. So now I'm looking back at that documentary and I'm like whoa, a three-year-old has no idea what they're saying, right? And these parents are being a little bit negligent. So he was feeling around his body the other day and he was like really pushing at his, his chest, like his sternum right here. And he's like, why is that so hard? And I was like, oh there's bones under there. And then he starts playing with his fingers and he is like, why are these so hard? And I'm like, there's bones in there. And I was trying to explain the concept of what a bone does functionally and he's like, oh I don't like that. And then he had a tantrum and kept telling me to take them out. 0 (20m 30s): Like he was so uncomfortable with the idea of something being in his body that he at that time felt was foreign. And obviously this is a cra this is like an extreme example but it just showcased that he obviously in that moment had no idea what was good for him cuz like you will die if you don't have have bones in your body. And it showed that like as you become a little bit more online as a child, like you're just getting more body awareness. Like there's so nuance, so much nuance to that, to development. And a lot of it's gonna be strange especially around puberty and just because it's uncomfortable or you might not feel at ease like it's the parent's job to help kind of guide you into like a loving and appreciating your body. 0 (21m 14s): And it's not to say that trans people don't exist. I'm very well that they are. And I think adults should be able to do what they want to do with their body and live the life that they wanna live so long as they're not imposing on other people. We're talking about kids. So I think it's your job to make them lean into discomfort, appreciate their body. And then I do wonder like how much, like are there Alternatives to Medical Intervention when it comes to these kids whether they actually have dysphoria or whether it's something else? Because a lot of the information I've been reading was suggesting that there is kind of this relationship with autism and the numbers that we're seeing. 0 (21m 56s): So again, it's like how much of, are there other Alternatives are we like no, we just have to affirm and the only right answer is that the child knows best. 1 (22m 7s): Hmm. I mean, you know your story there about your son's throwing up some interesting observations and you know, we have to think about human nature in all of this. We, we know that human beings have a tendency to be very self-critical, particularly if they're outward appearance. You know, a lot of us, I'm sure there probably isn't a person alive who wouldn't if they had an opportunity, you know, change some aspect of their body that they feel self-conscious about. And then, you know, as your son was kind of intimating, we don't spend a lot of time thinking about what's going on inside our bodies. And I think if we think about it too much, any of us might squirm a little bit if we really think about what's happening at any given moment. And you know, particularly in puberty, I mean your body is literally changing before your very eyes. 1 (22m 48s): You don't quite understand the changes. Some of them might be uncomfortable. You, you, you never asked for the changes to take place. So this is a, you know, it can be a distressing time for any child. The problem is now the message we we're giving to children is, you know, well if you don't like it, you can change it or you can pause it. Whereas actually it should be working towards acceptance. I mean so much of therapy and counseling is around acceptance in terms of what can be offered as an alternative to medicalizing children. Well therapy is very effective because gender dysphoria, you know, is a mental health condition. 1 (23m 28s): I, I always come back to that point again. And so we should trees, you know, with, with open Explorative therapy as we would for anything else, but actually just time it, it's kind of fallen outta favor a bit. But the old phrase used to be watchful waiting, that's what they used to recommend to parents. Just kind of buy your time and see how it goes. Because the statistics show that the vast majority of children with gender dysphoria will settle into their bodies with time. So that's the decision we've got to make here. You know, you either allow children the time and you know, likely it is they'll settle into themselves or you start them down a slippery slope towards medicalization before they've even hit puberty. 0 (24m 7s): Yeah, it's interesting, I had Dr so on the podcast a while back and she has this like, she brings up the point of gender Expression being fluid, right? Like that's a spectrum. Like the way that we express our gender is, is a spectrum. Gender itself is not a spectrum. So it's almost like we're moving backwards from the nineties where we used to say, if you are a more masculine woman, then that's totally fine and if you're a more feminine man, that's totally fine. Like you are allowed to express yourself how you'd like. But like you are still a man and you are still a woman. and it almost seems to be like more, like more prejudiced to be like, well if you are a girl and you like to roll in the mud and play sports and wrestle, then you actually are a boy and you're in the wrong body. 0 (24m 56s): Like to me that's way more bigoted than just saying no, you couldn't be both. Like no one's, no one is telling you you have to be in a box. And we've kind of gone back to a place where society is trying to put you in a box. 1 (25m 8s): I, I completely agree, you know, and again, from a, from a therapeutic or even a philosophical point of view, none of us know what it s like to live as another person. We, we can only ever know what it's like to be inside our own head and our own body. So, so this idea that a young girl might know what it feels like to be a boy is, is ludicrous because they, they, they never have been a boy. What, what they know is what they see boys doing and what we tend to associate with boys, which you know, tends to be, as we say, kind of stereotypical ideas of what is masculine or feminine. But none, none of us know what it's like to be in any other body other than our own. 1 (25m 48s): So, you know, when people come out and say, I just knew from such a young age that I was trapped in the wrong body, it's not possible. 0 (25m 58s): No, it's, and then I always kind of like get to more of like a spiritual take, which is, and I mean you, you'd have to figure out like do you believe in God all of these other questions, which for the answer for me is yes. So I don't believe, I think that everything happens for a reason and I think that you're presented with challenges in life that you are meant to overcome and learn from. And I don't necessarily think that the answer to that problem of like vast discomfort in your body is to start chopping it up, right? Like that's an extreme. So I, again, if you're an adult, absolutely do what you want. Like I don't believe in people getting in the way of that. But I think When, it comes to kids like you're kind of sending the wrong mesh message. 0 (26m 41s): Like you're like okay we're gonna just like take a sledgehammer to this problem instead of delicately trying to navigate it together. Like How can I make you feel at peace with your body and can I make you feel at peace in general not let's do this, use this new technology. Cuz we don't really understand like when Buck was sharing his story, he was the first, I believe the first medical like full medical transition from female to male. And because it was so new they didn't understand really all of the potential Risks and dangers and consequences. So he actually almost died during the process. 0 (27m 21s): So that's why he's like, you can't lie about what you are. Cause if I had gone in with all of this stomach cramping and I was like, I'm a man, I'm a man, I'm a man, well they're not gonna know that there's a cervix up there that's quite literally atrophying and almost killed me. So again, like we are in this place where we are op, we're operating within reality and you can't completely deny that because it's going to at the end of the day, like probably be a disservice to yourself and others. But to sit there and I, it's like this is such like a delicate topic to navigate. It's like you don't wanna call people crazy but there are certain fundamental truths, right? 0 (28m 2s): Like there is male and female in biology that exists and you can have all of the surgeries and that's still not changing anything. And then it's like you pump yourself up with these hormones and I was, I mean I don't take testosterone or anything like that, but I've heard that taking testosterone, especially as a woman can make you feel more confident, can get rid of anxiety. So how do you know that it's just not like a hormone imbalance? Like are we doing an intake of a baseline hormone of the baseline of the hormones for these these young individuals coming in? Because what if their tea is super low and what if they just need a tiny bit to just get them back to like a regular homeostasis? Instead we're putting them, we're putting in an unnatural amount into a female body. 0 (28m 46s): We're like, well we hope this doesn't give you cancer later. 1 (28m 49s): Yeah, I mean the Risks are huge and, and there might be a social element as well that kind of, you know, fake it till you make it. Because if you've been, particularly as a child, if you've been saying for many, many years, you know, I need this, I want this, this is who I am, this is the only thing that'll make me feel better. And then you kind of come up the other end of having hormones and surgery and you real, you know, you wake up and I've spoken to Detransition about this, but you know, you wake up in the, in the hospital and you think, what the fuck have I just done For many, I think it would be quite difficult to row back from that cuz you, I mean you'd lose a huge amount of face and also these, you know, young people are having to contend with the fact that they made the decision to go ahead with this and the kind of shame that might be associated with that. 1 (29m 30s): So it's, it, it it's, it's so complicated. But I I mean I, I agree with you generally, I mean, not even just from a kind of spiritual point of view, but again in terms of looking at what is in people's best interests, you know, as a therapist you want to work towards what is going to be, you know, the least invasive, the least the least risky option for the client in front of you. You know, if I, if I had an adult client come in to see me and you know, they said that they didn't like their stomach, you know, they, they wanted liposuction. You know, my, my role as a therapist in that would be to work with them to understand what's causing that disease in their body and to look at kind of what their options are and to see if they can work towards a place, you know, of acceptance. 1 (30m 23s): It isn't to just say to them, well, you know, have you considered liposuction? 0 (30m 27s): Right? Cuz that's the surface level issue, right? You're not getting down to the actual root of the problem. So if you were to dig, and that would be your job as the Counselor therapist coach, whatever position that you have over this person is to get down to the first principles of that issue. The first principles aren't that you wish you had abs. Like what else does that mean for you? And I think with Affirmative care, again, it's, it's almost like gross negligence because you're not getting down to those first principles. It's just like, no, okay, you just want to, you know, be objectively beautiful or you just want to x, y, z, whatever it is. Like my nose is too big again, like I wanna be 20 pounds lighter. 0 (31m 8s): You gave an example, which I think is an interesting one, which is like, this arm isn't mine. Hmm. You know what I mean? Like so do you cut that person's arm because they're telling you it's not their arm? Of course not. That's not in their best interest. Of course not like that is not in alignment with reality. Whether or not they believe that is kind of irrelevant because you can't chop off someone's arm. 1 (31m 29s): Yeah. And then this brings up, you know, a conversation around how, how do we know if people are, well, you know, how do we know if people are healthy? Because some people might feel as, you know, subjective, you know, personal sense of satisfaction. You know, for example, the the person you just described who just doesn't feel that their arm belongs to them. You know, if you were to go and chop off their arm, maybe they'll feel better for that in, in themselves. But we as a society can look at us and say, objectively that person is not well off. You know, objectively that person is not living in reality and you know, as part of social care, et cetera, it is our duty as citizens to help one another if, if we believe that they're objectively not well off. 1 (32m 17s): So, but, but I think the, the fixation when it comes to gender identity is, you know, all that matters is somebody's lived experience. You know, all that matters is how somebody feels in themselves. And you shouldn't question or deny that at all. 0 (32m 32s): And it, I mean even as like a thought exercise, do it yourself. Like think of how many times you've felt something was utterly true or real and you were like, wait, no, in hindsight my thoughts or my feelings were misleading me, misguiding me. Cuz you can get wrapped up and consumed by that very easily, especially if you're not in a good place. So I mean the whole idea is to be able to teach your kids like you are not your thoughts or your feelings, right? You have to be able to separate yourself from those things. You're just kind of experiencing those things. Do you think that a lot of this, especially with the integration into schools is like an over correction for like Bullying and those long-term consequences? 1 (33m 18s): I, I, I think everything that's going on in the world today around identity politics is a kind of over correction in terms of wrongs that happened in the past that, you know, we shouldn't ignore and forget about because, you know, we as human beings have been pretty damn nasty to certain groups in our society over time. But we, we've swung far too far the other way now to the point that people are terrified of raising concerns, including safe concerns around child safeguarding. Cause they fear being labeled, you know, as a biggest or as hateful or something like that. So it's, there's been a real kind of, you know, shutting down of free and open thinking in the space because of that and it's, it's, it's not good. 1 (34m 3s): And, and where does it end? I find that a lot of these movements and I think, you know, we can draw comparisons between gender ideology and critical race theory for example. But, you know, where does it end? Because these individuals life mission is to campaign and bring more change to the point that I don't think they can allow themselves to get to a point where they actually look around and say, okay, things are good now as they are, you know, we've achieved our mission because then they'd have no purpose. They probably have no job either. So, you know, I I often hear from kind of trans activists and proponents of gender ideology and even critical race theorists. 1 (34m 45s): They say things have never been so bad. And actually if you look back over the history of, you know, humankind, things have never been so good. 0 (34m 52s): Yeah. It's all the perspective that you, that you're choosing to take. I think it was Steven Pinker that does that and he's like, actually we've never experienced such peace. Yeah. Like, it might feel like that. And a lot of that is what you're consuming, like that your internal environment and then also your external environment that a lot of us are just choosing to put ourself in. Like you're throwing yourself into Twitter for four hours a day, then you think everything is on fire. Well no, like close your laptop, turn off your phone and go walk outside and you'll realize that reality is much different than the actual one that's being experienced by most people. 1 (35m 27s): I completely agree. I completely agree. I mean, look, I I use Twitter more than I From that, but, you know, technology is not helping. I think children growing up these days Yeah. Are a lot less open to those kind of experiences. They're a lot more turned inwards. They're a lot more dependent on technology. I also think, I, I hate the word privilege and the way it's kind of been used these days, but I I actually think that privilege is relevant for this conversation because we live in a very privileged position indeed. If we're able to spend the amount of time we are ruminating and thinking and reflecting in our minds, you know, and analyzing everything about ourselves because you can be sure that, you know, people in war torn countries or struggling in, you know, the, the depths of poverty are not worried about their pronouns. 1 (36m 24s): So I think it tells us a lot about the society that we're living in today actually, that we have this kind of fixation. I mean we've, we've all basically become kind of like self obsessed and it's not good. 0 (36m 36s): No. So I guess moving forward, where are you at with, with your situation? Because we mentioned diversity and what I always find fascinating is this is a mantra that so many people say, but when it comes to Diversity of Thought, we have zero tolerance. We talk about tolerance, we talk about diversity, but it has to be within these very fine parameters of, of the people that are in charge. So you can't have Diversity of Thought again, you have to kind of move lockstep. Where, where, where was I going? Sorry, I just lost my train of thought. So when it comes to, oh, Intolerance and then when it comes to tolerating people that kind of descend, like there doesn't seem to be a lot of that either. So someone in your position that lost their job or, and lost, I mean you got kicked outta university, like that's where you're supposed to go to think and kind of like tackle big ideas. 0 (37m 28s): Like where do you go? What are, what can you do? 1 (37m 31s): I mean it's it's pretty terrifying, you know, of, of all places that should have free and open debate. It's, it's educational institutions and you know, I I I wasn't going around chasing abuse, you know, swearing, being aggressive, shutting people down. I was simply saying, I've got some concerns about children. You know, can we, can we talk about it? So the fact that I was expelled for that really is quite concerning. It's, it's gonna take litigation unfortunately to kind of teach these organizations that they can't get away with this, you know, and I've had a lot of students reach out to me who have said that they've put their training on hold pending the outcome of my case cuz they're, they're too scared that the exact same thing is going to happen to them as well. 1 (38m 19s): So it's unfortunate, but I, I think probably more people will need to be Canceled until this actually shifts. You know, we need to try and create a bit of a wave of people feeling confident enough to, to, to speak as, but even within the debate now, there's still people trying to Cancel each other and it, you know, it's something that I struggle with because I think I, I got into this to speak about children. There are significant issues around the impact on women's rights, you know, safe spaces for women, fairness and sports, et cetera. And I do spend a lot of time thinking and talking about those cause they're also important. But I, I find that there's quite a lot of women's rights activists who will basically say to me, you know, shut up and stay out of it because you are a man and this doesn't concern you. 1 (39m 9s): And I, I I don't get the benefits of that. You know, we're, we're kind of on the same side here and when it comes to children's wellbeing, that's everyone's concern, you know, men and women alike. So I I I don't see why this happens and I, I think it's a shame this is happens. I, you know, I I would like it if everyone was able to focus on the important issues at the time. But, you know, generally today, as we said earlier, you know, we live in a kind of world of identity politics where one's identity is kind of the, you know, the most important thing about them. But I, I don't go into these conversations particularly thinking, you know, I'm a man, I'm just, I'm a human who's got concerns and I wanna talk about it. 0 (39m 48s): Yeah. And I think shutting down an entire group of people who Placing pejorative on you, like all men are bad or, you know, whatever those talking points are, I think that's nonsense. And it's just like an, it's a lazy way to try to win an argument. I think everyone is allowed to have an opinion, especially if, if it's something that affects your, your space, right? Like you exist in this world, you're allowed to have an opinion. And historically, like it is a man's job, quote quote. And this is, you know, gonna flare some people up. and it is a man's job to protect children, to protect women to, you know, be a leader. So to be like, you're a man, you can't, you can't have a seat at the table. 0 (40m 29s): Imagine if someone said that to you because you're a woman, which you know has happened throughout history, you're a woman, you can't vote, you're a woman, you can't have an opinion that wasn't okay. So why is it okay to do it to men? I think everyone has the right to share their opinion, their reality. I don't know, I think 1 (40m 45s): I agree. I, but again, similar to what we were saying a few moments ago, I think it's kind of overcompensation because you know, women historically have been shut outta the conversation and I'm very glad to see that they are speaking up and thankfully there's a lot of strong women out there, a lot of strong women's rights groups who are, you know, really raising awareness of these issues. And I'm, I'm glad for that. But when it comes to representing children, you know, the more voices the better as far as I'm concerned. 0 (41m 14s): Yeah. And I think that you need that balance. I think that there's gonna be ways that we tend to show up to, to issues and problems. So for example, when I was watching that documentary, like all of these like social issues are kind of geared towards women because we tend to be more feelers. It's just whether you wanna get into biology or it's cultural or that's irrelevant. We just tend to be more feelers and men tend to be better at like, kind of like separating their emotions and then being able to kind of look at things. That's my, been my experience. So if I go into something highly emotional, I can usually trust that if my husband comes in and he's like, well let's pump the brakes on this a little bit and like look at it from this vantage point and be like, oh, I didn't see that. 0 (41m 59s): And then I can start trying to like wrestle with whatever thought experiment that it is. So I think you definitely need that balance. Like you need that yin and that yang and to like, again, shut off an entire sex and say you're not welcome at the table or allowed to show us what you see. I think we're doing ourself a disservice. 1 (42m 15s): Yeah, I mean, look, men and women are very similar in some ways, but we're very different in other ways. I mean that's actually kind of the whole point of the argument here is that there is a difference between sexes. So yeah, if we want as much kind of Diversity of Thought, then I think men and women need to be, you know, cooperating together on this. So it's, it's, you know, I I I find it's a kind of ongoing frustration, but, you know, I'm not going to stop speaking out about it because it's, it's, it's too important. But I just, I just wish we could focus on the issue at hand and not get bogged down in this. So yeah, I, I didn't, I didn't choose to be a man anyone anymore than anyone else, you know, chose to be a woman at the end of the day. 1 (42m 59s): I just, I'd like us to all treat each other with kind of, you know, we're striving for equality, aren't we? And actually a lot of the people, you know, who are high up in organizations who are kind of pushing this gender ideology and facilitating it are men, right? So I, you know, I, I wanna be able to speak to as many men as possible. I'm trying to encourage more men to speak out about these issues. And I think if men are, are afraid to speak out because they think they're going to be shut down and told to stay outta it. And I think that's a real issue for all of us. 0 (43m 31s): No, I couldn't agree more. And especially if you have kids, it's like if you have a void, is that how you want him to be treated in the future? Do you want him to not have a seat at the table? Do you want him to be dismissed simply because of, you know, who he came into this world as? I don't think that that's fair either. I guess any piece of Advice for Parents, like if you see some of these Ideologies being taught to your little one in school, like at what point is it worth setting up a meeting with the staff? At what point is it worth maybe getting vocal, trying to talk to other parents? Like when is it you making a mountain out of a mole hill or is it all something to be concerned about? 1 (44m 11s): Well, I, I, I think given the way things are at the moment, particularly in education, that parents need to be proactive around, you know, considering what their children are being taughts. Cuz I've had a lot of parents come to me and say that they had absolutely no idea that their child has been taught these materials until, you know, years later, sometimes even after the child has left school. And it's only once they began asking questions, you know, asking to see materials, et cetera, they discovered what was happening. And it's a shame that it's come to that because parents should be able to entrust their children to schools. But, you know, these are the times we're living in. So I'd, I'd encourage parents to kind of be proactive in that respect because so much of this has been drip-fed in schools. 1 (44m 54s): You know, if a child is coming home saying that the feeling that they're trapped in the wrong body, it, it puts parents in a very difficult position. And I, I don't have kids myself, so I, you know, I can only base this on conversations I've had with others and what I can imagine it feel like, but as best as possible to try and strike the right balance because again, I've, I've spoken to parents who said that they were so fearful of, you know, their child hurting or killing themselves, that they kind of went completely along with it and their child, you know, went down this medical pathway and now regrets it and the parent feels guilty for the rest of their lives. And I've spoken to other parents who came down really strongly and said, you know, none of this, they didn't even entertain a conversation with the child on, you know, under no circumstances are you doing this. 1 (45m 43s): And that child became alienated from the family, you know, went to university, stopped speaking to the parents and has transitioned anyway and now they've got no contact with with each other and that's not good. So for me it's about making sure the children feel empathized with that they feel listened to and understood, but that as a parent, as an adult, you have safeguarding at the front of your mind and, you know, reminding children that they still haven't got everything figured out even though they might think they do. You know, and that, you know, as an adult, you, you have more life experience to, to go on because I dunno, it's, it's, it's almost the impossible we're asking of parents in many way. 1 (46m 27s): It's such, it's such a fine line to balance, but I I would avoid extreme reactions one way or the other because we know the implications that can have. 0 (46m 36s): No, that's a really good, that's a really good piece of advice. Well, James, I hope, like we said before we start recording that this will be, this will not be relevant in years to come and we'll look back and be like, I can't believe that we, we were doing all of that and let's protect our kids a little bit more and a lot a bit more and that everyone, I don't know, asks questions. I think that that's the big, the big thing is ask your kid questions every day when my kid comes home. Like, what'd you guys talk about? What'd you learn today? So just it's extreme presence and love your kid. 1 (47m 19s): Yeah, I think, I think that's a lot of it. And I, I want to share your optimism. I'm, I'm not sure whether I do, cause I tend to be pessimistic anyway, but I, you know, there's, there have been some positive changes, particularly in the United Kingdom over recent times. So I, I hope that we as a community, as a society come together and actually think, you know, what, what have we done? And just start putting children first and all of this because, you know, it, it pains me the thoughts, you know, every day that goes by, there are more and more children suffering and potentially being placed down these pathways towards, you know, eternal regret. 1 (47m 60s): You know, and sometimes I, it it, that becomes quite overwhelming. Cause I think, you know, God, we, we need to sort this out today, but it's not gonna be sorted out today because this is an ideology that's kind of spread around the entire globe. So we just need to kind of chip away at it, you know, one step at a time and it, it, it could take a while, but I, I hope in the end we get that. 0 (48m 18s): Well, I do as well. Before we head out, James, do you wanna tell people where they can follow you? You can, you know, plug anything you're working on or any resources. Sure. 1 (48m 29s): Yeah. As I said earlier, I'm kind of addicted to Twitter, so you'll find me on there, which is, you could, it's just my name. I've got a, which I also link to on my Twitter where I write kinda weekly articles about this issue. And then I've got my, my funding page for my litigation, which is still ongoing and I'm, I'm going need to money to see it through to the end. That's on Craig Justice. So if you type James S'S Craig Justice into Google, you'll be able to donate if you'd like to. 0 (48m 57s): Well, thank you so much and I'll make sure I link all of that at the bottom for everybody. Again, I wish you the best of luck and thank you so much for, you know, sharing your story and making a difference. 1 (49m 8s): Thanks for having me. Cheers. 0 (49m 10s): That's all for this week's episode of Chatting with Candace. If you enjoyed the episode, please remember to hit that like, subscribe and if you have the time, leave a review. The best way that this podcast can grow it through the algorithms is hitting the subscribe button and also reviews. So that would mean a lot to me as we're still growing and on this journey together. I'll see you next time. That's all for this week's episode of Chatting with Candace. If you enjoyed the episode, please remember to hit that like, subscribe and if you have the time, leave a review. The best way that this podcast can grow it through the algorithms is hitting the subscribe button and also reviews. 0 (49m 53s): So that would mean a lot to me as we're still growing and on this journey together. I'll see you next time.