Kemi Badenoch has told MPs she has strong evidence that gay young people are being convinced they are transgender instead.
The equalities minister quoted experts who said children likely to grow up to be same-sex attracted “might be subjected to conversion practices” which persuade them to change gender.
In a letter to the Commons women and equalities select committee, she revealed a former clinician at the NHS Tavistock child gender identity clinic had said that in agreeing to requests to help children change gender, they were in fact “making them straight”.
Another said that agreeing to help a homosexual child change gender was in effect “conversion therapy for gay kids”.
Mrs Badenoch agreed to write to the committee to provide the evidence following an appearance before them last month.
Her letter shows that the number of children in England going to the NHS Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) has soared from 250 in 2011-12 to more than 5,000 in 2021-22.
She wrote: “I committed to providing further details on the evidence that children likely to grow up to be gay (same-sex attracted) might be subjected to conversion practices on the basis of gender identity rather than their sexual orientation.
“Both prospective and retrospective studies have found a link between gender non-conformity in childhood and someone later coming out as gay.
“A young person and their family may notice that they are gender non-conforming earlier than they are aware of their developing sexual orientation. If gender non-conformity is misinterpreted as evidence of being transgender and a child is medically affirmed, the child may not have had a chance to identify, come to terms with or explore a same-sex orientation.”
She cited the Dutch founders of a medical gender transition service from 1999, who stated: “Not all children with GID (gender identity disorder) turn out to be transsexuals after puberty…
“Prospective studies of GID boys show that this phenomenon is more strongly related to later homosexuality than to later transsexualism.”
One of the same authors said in 2012: “Follow-up studies have demonstrated that only a small proportion of gender dysphoric children become transsexual at a later age, that a much larger proportion have a homosexual sexual orientation without any gender dysphoria.”
‘Reparative Therapy Against Gay People’
Mrs Badenoch also pointed to English data from GIDS, showing that older patients expressing a sexual orientation were overwhelmingly lesbian, gay or bisexual.
For example, 68 per cent of adolescent female patients were recorded as being attracted to other females only, 21 per cent were bisexual and just 9 per cent were heterosexual.
Among adolescent male patients, 42 per cent were attracted only to other males, 38 per cent were bisexual and 19 per cent were only attracted to females.
She said she was aware of “troubling accounts” that some clinicians are hesitant to work in gender identity services because they feel under pressure to adopt an unquestioning affirmative approach.
She quoted Dr Natasha Prescott, a former GIDS clinician, who said in her exit interview from the Tavistock that “there is increasing concern that gender affirmative therapy, if applied unthinkingly, is reparative therapy against gay individuals, i.e. by making them straight”.
Dr Matt Bristow, a former GIDS clinician, said he had come to feel that GIDS was performing “conversion therapy for gay kids”.
Tavistock was closed two years ago.
‘Discover Sexuality On Own Timescale’
The minister also quoted a survey of 100 “detransitioners” – people who have changed gender but then regretted it – which found the experience of homophobia or difficulty accepting themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual was expressed by 23 per cent of respondents as a reason for transition and subsequent detransition.
She quoted one German gender clinic as stating: “It must be understood that early hormone therapy may interfere with the patient’s development as a homosexual.
“This may not be in the interest of patients who, as a result of hormone therapy, can no longer have the decisive experiences that enable them to establish a homosexual identity.”
Bev Jackson, co-founder of the LGB Alliance, said: “LGB Alliance is delighted that the minister for equalities has recognised the concerns that we have been raising for a long time.
“The evidence is clear. The vast majority of young people being put onto irreversible medical pathways are attracted to their own sex.
“We are literally ‘transing the gay away’ when we should be helping them to understand and accept their sexuality and grow up to live happy, healthy lives as lesbians, gay men or bisexuals.”
Helen Joyce, from the women’s rights group Sex Matters, said: “It has been well-established for decades that children destined to grow up gay are far more likely than other children to be highly gender non-conforming in early youth.
“Such children need to be allowed to grow up in a safe, supportive environment, and to be allowed to discover their sexuality on their own timescale.
“Instead, trans ideology interprets gender non-conformity as a potential sign of a trans identity. This tragically misguided framing is today’s version of the historic atrocities of gay conversion therapy.”