Stonewall Exposed

Nancy Kelly, CEO of Stonewall

This article is written by the writer Simon Edge

A couple of weeks ago Nancy Kelley, the media-shy CEO of the embattled trans lobby group Stonewall, gave a rare interview to Emma Barnett of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. In it, she struggled to give coherent answers to questions on matters that have preoccupied public discourse for months, such as the hounding of Professor Kathleen Stock from her job at the University of Sussex, or her own suggestion that belief in the immutability of sex is as bad as anti-semitism.

Her stumbling, evasive responses — at one point claiming to have “no idea” whether JK Rowling was transphobic, as Stonewall’s supporters angrily insist, because she had “never met her” – reinforced the impression that hiding behind the mantra “No Debate” has done trans activists few favours; they are notably ill-equipped for debate once it eventually happens. As one widely shared tweet put it, Kelley’s interview was “a real Wizard of Oz moment” when the voice behind the mighty Stonewall was “revealed to be an easily confused woman who barely knew what day of the week it is”.

In the MGM movie classic, the illusionist behind the curtain is Professor Marvel, a bad wizard but an accomplished con-artist who is smart enough to have pulled off a major deception, so the parallel doesn’t entirely hold. But it does raise an important question for those of us battling to undo the havoc caused by gender ideology to schools, women’s refuges, prisons, sport, publishing, higher education and many other environments: is Stonewall really in charge, or is the charity the puppet of other, less visible strategists? If the latter, reining in Stonewall may not be the win we’re hoping for.

Kelley occupies a seat warmed for her by brighter predecessors, such as Angela Mason, architect of the first victories on lesbian and gay law reform, and my old journalist colleague Ben Summerskill, a strategic genius who completed the process.

Summerskill’s deputy, Ruth Hunt, was also formidably talented. When she took over in 2014, she and her board had to decide which way to go: wind the charity down because its work was done, or find new battles?

They chose the latter. That’s what “adding the T” to the initials LGB was all about. Since then, they’ve added an ill-defined Q and an explicitly open-ended “+”, while one member of their Diversity Champions scheme has even added a U, short for “undefined”. It’s all about creating new minorities, no matter how nebulous, to present as oppressed and needing support.

Quitting in 2019, Hunt is now in the House of Lords, as the first ex-Stonewall head to receive a peerage (Mason and Summerskill made do with the CBE and OBE,  respectively). It soon became apparent that her successor did not have the same smarts. For example, Kelly took to Twitter to complain about the huge of amount of time Stonewall spends responding to Freedom of Information requests. This could surely only refer to requests made to Stonewall’s client organisations, which it had no business answering; admitting as much in public was remarkably inept. For journalist Jo Bartosch, who has made Stonewall and its ideology her specialist field, the interview with Barnett confirmed a long-held suspicion. “Nancy Kelley’s appearance on Woman’s Hour made it abundantly clear that anyone with the ability to lead Stonewall wouldn’t touch it,” she tweeted.

So who, if not Kelley, is the brains behind the charity’s strategy? Are there shadowy paymasters and string-pullers in the wings? I offered an answer of sorts in my novel The End of the World is Flat, which uses flat-earthery as an allegory to satirise gender ideology. In my version, a nut-job Californian billionaire provides unlimited cash to a once-respected geographical charity called the Orange Peel Foundation, with a brief to impose flat-earth ideas on the world, while a sinister lobbyist in a Bond villain lair in South London directs strategy.

But that was strictly fiction, where you need a small number of players in easily defined roles, and you also need a way of resolving the story neatly. Real life is not so simple.

We know there are some billionaire donors funding the extreme trans rights agenda, including Republican ex-army officer Jennifer Pritzker, who is trans; medical technology heir Jon Stryker, who is gay; and the investor and philanthropist George Soros. (For mentioning these three in her book Trans, Helen Joyce was accused of peddling an anti-semitic conspiracy theory, even though she didn’t say they conspired and made no reference to race or religion. As it happens, the idea that Stryker is Jewish seems to be fantasy on the part of Joyce’s detractors.)

As for strategy, the answer may lie in the so-called Dentons document, prepared for a group of trans lobbyists by the world’s oldest law firm, with the backing of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. It set out a cuckoo-in-the-nest strategy that is all too familiar to those of us who remember Stonewall when it was simply campaigning for lesbian and gay equality: find a more popular cause to piggy-back onto, and be discreet about it. “[A] technique which has been used to great effect is the limitation of press coverage and exposure,” the document advised. In other words, No Debate.

So what happens when that strategy unravels? When the media starts to disobey the “No Debate” edict, opponents of gender ideology refuse to be cancelled, and more and more people experience a Wizard of Oz moment?

My hunch is that the strategists never had a Plan B. Plan A was all about bullying, intimidation and legislation by stealth, because they knew they had no hope of foisting this stuff on the world by honest persuasion.

But the real unknown is what lasting impact Stonewall has had on hearts and minds. A generation of young people now believes that sex is a spectrum, that children have the right to choose a male or a female puberty, and that any man who says he’s a woman should be allowed in women’s spaces. These young people are already becoming teachers, policy-makers, journalists and politicians, insisting that anyone who disagrees is a bigot who must be cast out of society. Taking Stonewall out of the equation won’t stop them imposing these ideas on another generation.

That’s the pessimistic view, but there’s also a more optimistic one. It’s often noted that identifying as LGBTQ+ has become a fashion for teenagers. Fashions are, by definition, transitory. What’s more, ideas change very quickly under stress. Sooner or later, a group of detransitioners will bring a class action against the doctors and/or pharmaceutical companies who have facilitated a mass medical experiment on children. If it succeeds, it will be hard to find anyone who admits to ever having cheered the experiment on.

That’s why it really is worth continuing to pull away the curtain to reveal the truth behind the Wizard.


Simon John Edge is a British novelist and journalist. Educated at the King’s School, Chester, he went on to receive a master’s degree in Philosophy from St Catharine’s College, Cambridge and has a master’s degree in Creative Writing from City University, where he also taught as a visiting lecturer.  The article first appeared in ‘The Critic’.

Grouse Beater’s view on this highly notorious subject is here:


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9 Responses to Stonewall Exposed

  1. lorncal says:

    Brilliant piece, Simon, and thanks to Grouse Beater for publishing it. May I direct you to Graham Linehan and Nick Tenconi. The latter held an interview session at Sussex University, from which Professor Kathleen Stock was all but drummed out recently for holding gender critical views. It is an eye-opener to the end results of the indoctrination and brainwashing of young people that that person in the photograph has engendered, pun intended. That person ought to be outed as an evil Svengali and the far left ought to be outed for what it is, too: a vicious and stupid creed. Neither Marx nor Engels would have looked kindly on this utter insanity. They believed in biological sex and they believed that women were the serfs of men, even working-class men. So-called learning without a modicum of actual intelligence is a dangerous thing: i.e, critical thinking is necessary and essential for all ideas, everywhere, at all times, lest we apply blue and purple top-knots to our empty noddles and think we’re smart.

  2. duncanio says:

    “It’s often noted that identifying as LGBTQ+ has become a fashion for teenagers.”

    I believe that all of humanity should identify thus. I certainly do.

    As a hetrosexual I belong to the “+” subset.

  3. johnscott11 says:

    “It’s often noted that identifying as LGBTQ+ has become a fashion for teenagers.”

    Identifying as bi- or trans- etc can be a great way to be edgy, which some teenagers enjoy. But there’s another possibility: “identifying” in this way can be a great way to be ‘inclusive’ without any risk whatsoever – no matter your actual preferences. In this way, the smart kids can dodge the crazy people and live their lives as they want without any real commitment to the current fashion.

    Oh, and when it comes to the financing of Stonewall, keep in mind that various government entities (not the least in Scotland) are giving it money as well:

  4. Grouse Beater says:

    I mentioned Stonewall’s primary motivation in a piece recently – money. “Define Woman.”

  5. Indeed when the detransitioners bring a class action these billionaires will have one massive target on their backs.

  6. lorncal says:

    The Scottish government has been funding Stonewall for a number of years, then funding it for its advice on how to f**k up Scotland, starting with the children. The problem for all extremist groups – and the trans lobby is, by definition, an extreme ideological group, you can become a member, but any slip on your part and you’re set upon. You have to live your entire existence being terrified of someone calling you out. McCarthyism and witch-hunting worked the same way: someone else today; you tomorrow. As the Sussex University piece shows, the students were about as switched on as a defunct lightbulb. Too many people, especially young people just go with whatever insanity comes along, without being aware of what it means for them and those around them. The Asian and black students just didn’t get it. They thought it was all grand and fine when it was females who were being targeted, but they couldn’t apply that to themselves: if it’s right to woman-face, it will be right tomorrow to black-face. The absolute lack of any understanding of what this ideology is doing to women, and the accompanying lack of caring, will come back to bite these privileged youngsters. I might feel that I should stir my stumps to try and help them and support them; on the other hand, I might just dye a chunk of my hair blue, shave it up the back, and accuse them of not being kind.

  7. twathater says:

    Like many people I suppose I am quite happy to let people do what they like in their own homes with consenting adults , as long as it does not impact on others or cause harm . BUT this science denying lunacy is doing ALL of that and also forcing me to pay towards their financial survival by a Scottish government who have embraced and co-opted a radical aggressive organisation in to government to formulate and introduce policies without consultation from the electorate who will be severely impacted by the introduction of those policies and who have been ignored in the financial contribution to this organisation and the adoption of their policies without having any say in the matter

  8. Hello from darkest Sussex! Well, it is dark outside.

    Many thanks for this excellent post.

    I said the following on my site.

    ‘As regards sex, that will distract you too. If you are having it, I cannot see how you can be reading this at the same time. If you consider yourself to be male or female that is fine.

    If you are feeling in between, that is fine. That will make you an ‘or’, as the word ‘or’ lay between male and female. If you feel any different to an ‘or’, then I cannot stop you feeling that.

    But I do hope you feel better soon, as you need to make a decision, one way or the other. Life is too confusing otherwise.

    We do not mind about your sexual orientation. You can be male or female and face North, East, West, or South if you wish. Or any other direction in between.

    If you should be LGBTQi+ we do not mind what letter of the alphabet you are. However, you do sound like a sandwich as in Lettuce, Guacamole, Bacon, Tomato, Quinoa + something else (probably mayonnaise) which sounds rather good to eat.

    But it also sounds as if you may be very confused as to who you really are. Again, we hope you will get better soon. Reading this may help as may other parts of this site.’

    This is from this link.

    It is one thing to be nuts, but some people are allergic to nuts so it is unkind to foist them on such people.

    The real problem though with all the nonsense is the wealthy elite behind it all seeking to destroy civilization and create chaos out of order to their own financial benefit. Changing the chemical make-up of the peoples of the earth is part of their strategy, and not just in the lunacy of transgender etc. They have polluted the food, the water, the air and further pollute our bodies via big pharma drugs etc.

    As regards Jennifer Pritzker, he is part of the Pritzker family of which no doubt you are aware. I have recently done an exposé on him in my latest post.

    May I take the opportunity to wish you a very happy new year and many thanks again.

    Kind regards

    Baldmichael Theresoluteprotector’sson

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