The Sunday Post (Newcastle)

A coffee chain of fools? Promoting transition­ing is notmycupof­Joe

- Joan McAlpine Joan McAlpine is a journalist, commentato­r and former MSP

Coffee is the world’s favourite drink, with two billion cups downed each day. For teens below legal alcohol consumptio­n age, the barista is a social life saver. Coffee is cool.

It’s in this context we must see the #boycottcos­ta campaign. Some consumers have turned on the chain because of a cheery cartoon painted on its Brighton vans to celebrate Pride.

It showed a surfer dude as he sipped coffee while riding a wave. His pecs displayed surgical scars, as the result of a double mastectomy. This beach boy was “assigned female at birth” to use today’s contorted lingo.

Costa claim the image is inclusive and celebrates their diverse customers. Boycotters say it promotes the growing and dangerous phenomenon of unhappy girls having healthy breast tissue removed after being convinced they are boys.

Feminist writer Joan Smith says that the campaign excludes those who don’t see breast removal as a thing of joy – such as the 15,000 women a year in the UK who have mastectomi­es because of cancer.

The scarred surfer promotes a transgende­r ideology that suggests, by removing her breasts, a woman becomes male.

Many Costa customers are young and impression­able, which is another concern of the boycotters. England’s leading centre for the treatment of “gender dysphoria” in children and young people, The Tavistock Gender Identity Developmen­t Service, closed after an investigat­ion by a top paediatric­ian, Hilary Cass. She found a disturbing rise in the numbers of referrals, from just under 250 per annum 10 years ago, to 5,000 in 21/22. Cass also found a dramatic change in the type of referrals “from predominan­tly birth-registered males to predominan­tly birthregis­tered females”.

Equally concerning was the “significan­t number of children presenting with neurodiver­sity and other mental health needs.

Others have suggested social contagion is at work, fired by trans activist groups such as Stonewall and Mermaids. Concerned clinicians have claimed children with mental health problems, autism or trauma, including as a result of sexual abuse, don’t get the treatment they need if they mention being uncomforta­ble with their male/female body. They are put on the pathway to medical transition, starting with puberty blockers under 16, which normally leads to cross-sex hormones and, increasing­ly, dangerous surgery after they turn 18.

The rise of girls rejecting girlhood is not in itself illogical. The unsolicite­d male attention which comes with a developing female body is horrible. Now girls who reject the porn-inspired, hyperfemin­ine presentati­on pushed on them are told they might be “non binary” or “trans masculine”.

Sometimes these girls are lesbian – which is why campaign groups for samesex-attracted people, such as the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Alliance fear this ideology means “trans-ing the gay away”.

There is also a heartbreak­ing increase in “detransiti­oners”, who have regrets. Their bodies are mutilated by surgery and hormone injections. Sinead Watson had a double mastectomy, became partly bald and has a lowered voice because she was encouraged to transition instead of getting the mental health support she needed.

Sinead has spoken of the harassment she suffered from men as a teenager, and how she believed at 21 that transition­ing was the solution. She was influenced by a myriad of groups promoting transition­ing as the solution. Her experience was almost 10 years ago – pressure on young people is worse today. This is no longer just an obscure social media trend. It’s the new orthodoxy, laced into a latte, and pushed down the throats of impression­able teenagers.

We need to wake up and smell the coffee.

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