An independent bookshop has been criticised for tweeting approvingly of a plan by an activist to organise a campaign against psychotherapist Stella O’Malley – a well-known counsellor who urges caution when counselling children seeking to change sex.
Izzy Kamikaze, a left wing activist, posted on Twitter that her pledge for Pride month would be to “publish information about Stella O’Malley’s use of Ireland as a base for Conversion Therapy advocacy”. She also said she would enlist “dozens, if not hundreds, of volunteers in Ireland” to work for a ban on such therapy.
Conversion Therapy has been understood to mean any attempt to force or persuade gay people to change their sexual orientation. However, some transgender activists now accuse all therapists who are not comfortable with the ‘affirmative approach’ to gender dysphoria of supporting conversion therapy – a charge therapists strongly deny.
The affirmative approach, the therapists argue, does not help a child by simply accepting that a child who says they wish to change sex should be started on treatments for same. They say that a ‘watch and wait’ is best, and that good care should not steer a child towards any pre-determined outcome.
O’Malley, a well-regarded psychotherapist, has found herself under attack from transgender activists for urging caution in regard to treating children, and for supporting young people who wish to ‘detransition’ – to revert to the sex they were born with. Many of those who detransition have said that they wished therapists had worked with them to consider underlying issues rather than simply reaffirming a desire to change sex.
The psychotherapist took serious issue with the accusation posted by Kamikaze, and accused the activist of “targeted bullying”.
— Stella O'Malley (@stellaomalley3) June 1, 2022
She said that she had made her position on “conversion therapy very clear many times. I am fully against conversion therapy.”
“I don’t think any therapist should have an agenda nor a planned outcome for therapy. I think we should be exploratory & willing to engage in a gentle & compassionate process,” she wrote.
O’Malley received hundreds of messages of support on Twitter, with some commentators accusing Kamikaze of organising a “witch hunt”.
Kamikaze deleted the tweet after hours of controversy, but not before one independent shop, Gutter bookshop, retweeted her claim against O’Malley.
“We’re in! Are you?” Gutter bookshop tweeted. Most of the responses to that post slammed their decision to support what many saw as “bullying” of O’Malley.
Disappointing from Gutter bookshop. Stella O’ Malley is one of the most credible advocates for our struggling young people. You need to educate yourselves,” one woman wrote.
Disappointing from @gutterbookshop. Stella O' Malley is one of the most credible advocates for our struggling young people. You need to educate yourselves.
— Brídín O' Connor (@bridinoc) June 1, 2022
“No, thanks. Former customer here – I’ll get my books elsewhere,” wrote one person, while another wrote “me too … I’m south Dublin I used the Dalkey shop as do my husband and family. I shan’t any more.”
No, thanks. Former customer here – I'll get my books elsewhere.
— workmanswhistle (@workmanswhistle) June 1, 2022
Me too – we should all meet. I’m south Dublin I used the Dalkey shop as do my husband and family. I shan’t any more
— Belladonna Mooney (@BelladonnaMoon3) June 1, 2022