At last, Mermaids, the UK charity for, in their own words, ‘gender variant and transgender children’ is under the spotlight. Following investigations by the Telegraph and Mail newspapers, as well as demands from critics concerned about child safeguarding, the Charity Commission has launched a regulatory compliance case and have said that they have written to the organisation’s trustees.
The investigations found that Mermaids has been offering breast binders to girls reportedly as young as 13, and despite children saying their parents opposed the practice. Binding can often cause breathing difficulties, back pain and broken ribs. It was also uncovered that kids have been ‘congratulated’ online for identifying as transgender by staff and volunteers on the charity’s online help centre, with teenagers being advised that puberty blockers are safe and ‘totally reversible’. When contacted about its breastbinding policy by the Telegraph, Mermaids said it took ‘a harm reduction position’ that using a binder with safety instructions was better than children using ‘unsafe practices’ or experiencing dysphoria.
Mermaids has been given half a million pounds in total from the National Lottery, and lauded by the likes of Emma Watson, Jameela Jamil and even Harry and Meghan. In other words, the charity has had powerful supporters and been like Teflon for a very long time. Starbucks did a fundraiser for them, more than 40 schools invited them in to educate teachers and kids about ‘gender identity’, and a number of corporates sponsor the charity.
I wonder how the celebrities that have given money and support to Mermaids now feel? Will any of them have the courage and integrity to admit they were misguided? And what of the businesses and public bodies that have seen fit to praise an organisation that has pushed the view that some kids are born in the wrong body? Why was the ideology peddled by Mermaids accepted by its legions of supporters without scrutiny?
There is no such thing as a trans child.