Medical charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust has faced criticism for including the terms ‘bonus hole’ and ‘front hole’ in an LGBT glossary for health professionals. The trust has defended its use of these terms, stating that they are intended for specific groups, such as trans men and non-binary individuals, who may prefer different language when discussing their anatomy. The guidance is not meant for all patients but is specifically aimed at health professionals who may encounter these preferences.
A spokesperson for the charity clarified that the glossary was developed in collaboration with expert organizations that work with the LGBT community. It is a list of phrases that nurses may hear some patients prefer. The trust’s mission is to screen as many cervixes as possible, regardless of the individuals they belong to, and while women are the main audience, the trust recognizes the importance of including trans men and non-binary individuals in cervical cancer screenings.
However, women’s groups have expressed outrage at the use of these terms. Accusing Jo’s of ‘grooming’, Caroline Fiske, founder of Conservatives for Women, called for the charities promoting such language to be ‘struck off’ if there were legal mechanisms available. Similarly, Kellie-Jay Keen, founder of Standing for Women, described the glossary as ‘loathsome’, criticizing the erasure of female language by charities focused on cervical cancer.
Jo’s website also includes information to help individuals determine if they have a cervix and why (or why not). The site explains that women are usually born with a cervix, but it also acknowledges that trans men, non-binary people assigned female at birth, and men with differences in sex development might also share this anatomy. The charity advises those who are uncertain to consult their doctor for verification.
The controversy surrounding transgender medical procedures has been heightened recently as the UK and several European countries have reversed their stance on hormone treatment for children. The Tavistock gender clinic in London closed last year after facing allegations of rushing teenagers into life-altering hormone-blocking treatment. Concerns have been raised about the increasing number of referrals to such clinics and the potential impact on young and vulnerable individuals.
It is worth noting that the inclusion of the terms ‘bonus hole’ and ‘front hole’ in the glossary is not a recent development. The guidance was reportedly posted on Jo’s website in 2020 and is scheduled for review in September. The reasons behind the recent viral attention surrounding these terms remain unclear.
In conclusion, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust has defended its use of the terms ‘bonus hole’ and ‘front hole’ in an LGBT glossary for health professionals. While the guidance has faced criticism from women’s groups, the charity maintains that its mission is to ensure as many cervixes are screened as possible, including those belonging to trans men and non-binary individuals. The controversy reflects wider debates surrounding transgender medical procedures and the concerns raised about their potential impact on individuals, particularly young people.