Scottish journalist Andrew Neil has said he is proud to join the likes of JK Rowling on the “frontlines on the gender wars”, after he shared how reading the testimony of a gender detransitioner made him realise the practise of gender transition is “barbaric”.
Veteran broadcaster Neil, 74, who is chairman of The Spectator and hosts the Andrew Neil Show on Channel 4, penned a Daily Mail column this week in which he explained why he is now proud to be a “TERF” — a term meaning “trans exclusionary radical feminist,” and which is often used by trans activists to criticise opponents of gender ideology.
Neil said listening the story of one young woman who regretted undergoing puberty blockers and surgical transition brought him to the verge of tears, as he expressed anger over what Cole had endured.
The broadcasting giant said he was stirred to emotion last Thursday while watching the testimony of Chloe Cole, a young gender detransitioner, before a committee of a U.S. congress.
Cole, 19, was giving evidence to the committee an out her experience of gender transitioning from female to male. Aged 13, the youngster was given puberty blockers, and at 15, had her breasts removed. After undergoing the double mastectomy, she explained how she has struggled with her self-image and the physical aftermath of the transition; how she struggled to look at her reflection in the mirror, and when she did, she saw “a monster.”
This moved Neil deeply, who wrote in his Daily Mail column on Monday: “I fought to hold back my own tears.”
“Why had her parents gone along with all this? The doctors prescribing the drugs and proposing the mutilation, she explained, had asked them if they wanted a ‘dead daughter’ or a ‘live trans son,’” he penned in the op-ed.
The former editor of the Sunday Times explained how, after watching the moving testimony given before politicians, he took it upon himself to tweet an excerpt to his 1.2 million followers. He commented that it was ‘ heart-breaking’, ‘barbaric’ and asked: ‘What have we become?’
“That’s when the balloon went up,” he said.
This is heartbreaking. It is barbaric. What have we become? https://t.co/NGsfdvVdZf
— Andrew Neil (@afneil) July 28, 2023
Neil went on to describe the tweet as “a baptism of fire” — with it being his first time to comment publicly on transgender ideology.
“I’ve never commented publicly before on any of the issues swirling round the transgender debate. Readers of my columns and viewers of my TV shows will know I tend to stick to mainstream politics and economics, my areas of expertise. My tweet was a baptism of fire,” he writes.
Neil went on to commend those in public life and in the media who have aired their critical views on the issue — who he said included the likes of Times columnist Janice Turner and other women who have been on the receiving end of “the vilest abuse.” He said such women “received precious little support or comfort” from himself and others.
“They have been vilified by the more extreme elements in the transgender lobby as ‘hysterical bigots’ and regularly threatened with violence, including rape and murder,” Neil added.
Neil went on to mention women who have lost their jobs over questioning transgenderism — including a Senior Arts Council England official who went on to win her harassment claim before an employment tribunal.
“These injustices happened under my nose. Either I took no notice, or didn’t think it was my fight — when it should be everybody’s fight,” Neil admitted.
Neil went on to describe the “barbarous” treatment young people are being “subject to,” adding: “If this analysis proves broadly right, we’re living through a medical and societal scandal of massive proportions.”
The British journalist went on to declare his willingness to accept more abuse for his stance, writing:
“I’m ready for the further abuse that awaits me for siding with such company. Frankly, it’s water off a duck’s back. And it’s never as brutal against men as it is women, which speaks volumes for those dishing out the abuse.
“Who cares? If it means I’m a JK Rowling ally and that makes it harder for what happened to Chloe Cole to happen to other young, vulnerable teenagers, then I’m delighted to be a foot soldier in a just cause.”
Cole’s testimony before U.S. lawmakers has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times since it was given last week, with many commending the young woman for her bravery in sharing her experience.