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Mermaids: leading children up the trans path

The charity claims to be helping 'gender-diverse' kids. But it really isn’t.

Jo Bartosch

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With the air of an evangelical preacher, Susie Green paces across the stage in her Dr Martens. She is explaining to the Ted X audience how her son Jack became her daughter Jackie.

Green is a former IT consultant and CEO of Mermaids, a charity that advertises itself as supporting ‘gender-variant children, young people and their families’. The story of Jack’s transition to Jackie is frequently told by Green to promote the charity. In the four years since she took the helm, Mermaids has shot to prominence, forming partnerships with Starbucks and gaining the support of media megastars including Prince Harry, actor Jameela Jamil and US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. But questions about the influence of Mermaids on clinical bodies, its response to critics and the science behind the ‘born in the wrong body’ approach have begun to tarnish Mermaids’ highly polished image.

Winner of a ‘National Diversity Award’ and one of the few ‘straight allies’ to appear on the Pride Power List of 2017, Green is the very image of a supportive mother. She says she initially thought she ‘had a very sensitive, quite effeminate little boy who was probably gay’. She recalls how, as a boy, Jack was made to feel shame about his preference for the ‘girly’ toys and clothes by his father, at one point asking his grandmother ‘can you buy me Barbie Rapunzel, but can you hide it because if mummy and daddy find it they’re going to take it away’.

Green offers such anecdotes as evidence that her child was born with a ‘girl brain in a boy body’. But most research suggests that children who exhibit such behaviour are simply more likely to grow up to be same-sex attracted, and that puberty typically alleviates feelings of a body / brain mismatch. Despite this, Mermaids has been so successful in promoting the ‘wrong body’ narrative that it is referenced today by organisations across the UK, from the BBC to the NHS.

Mermaids advertises itself simply as a support service for children, young people and families. But there is a political dimension to it. Its recommendations to government include: the right of children to take legal action, without parental consent, against schools which do not refer to them by their chosen names and pronouns; the provision of hormone-replacement therapy for children under 16; and the fast-tracking of appointments and physical interventions for pubescent young people.

It is understandable that a child who knows him or herself to be different might latch on to the idea that he or she really is the opposite sex. At secondary school, Green’s child Jackie wore a girls’ uniform and long hair. After Jackie was bullied, and became depressed, Green turned online for support and found a US-based doctor, who was willing to prescribe drugs to delay puberty – so-called puberty-blockers, or hormone-blockers, which were unavailable for off-label use in the UK at the time. According to Green, the treatment was both ‘life-changing and life-saving’, and she unequivocally stands by her position, arguing that ‘medical intervention is very important, especially for teenagers who are already in puberty’.

Mermaids shares this position, stating on its website that ‘blockers simply give time for them [children] to reflect; they can stop at any point and a puberty typically associated with the gender they were assigned at birth will resume’. But the safety of such drugs has been questioned by experts, including Oxford professor Michael Biggs who, following his investigation into the use of blockers by the NHS Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS), revealed that far from alleviating distress, ‘puberty-blockers exacerbated gender dysphoria’. After a year of treatment, reported Biggs, there was ‘a significant increase’ in patients who had been born female self-reporting that they ‘deliberately try to hurt or kill’ themselves.

The most commonly prescribed drug to halt development was first licensed to treat end-stage prostate cancer. Its use to treat children with gender dysphoria is ‘off label’, and as yet its longer-term impact on such children is unknown. Biggs argues that such experimental use of puberty-blockers by GIDS followed pressure from Mermaids and other ‘transgendering organisations [sic]’. Earlier this month it was reported by James Kirkrup in the Spectator that ‘the NHS has quietly changed its trans guidance to reflect reality’ with regard to potential long-term effects of ‘puberty-blockers’.

Green claims that Jackie had first requested sex-reassignment surgery (SRS) at six years old. Ten years later, Green took Jackie to Thailand for surgery, which it is now illegal to perform on those under 18. Jackie’s 16th birthday was spent undergoing the seven-hour operation. Green laughingly recalls in a YouTube video that the use of drugs to suppress puberty left surgeons ‘little to work with’ when it came to penile inversion – the process whereby a penis is cut and remoulded to resemble external female genitalia. Arguably, having set her child on the trans path, Green is personally invested in defending juvenile cross-sex transition.

Mermaids: leading children up the trans path

But Mermaids has not always been so strident in advocating for medical intervention. Indeed, when the charity was founded in 1995, bloggers on its website, identifying themselves as young ‘transsexuals’, would often urge caution. One 22-year-old, writing under the name Sian, warned:

‘You need to be unusually mature for your age to be able to transition stably at a young age. People who are still doing a lot of growing up, as is perfectly normal, just aren’t stable enough or prepared with the mental faculties to be able to cope with the stress of transition… A lot of young (around my age or younger) transsexuals seem to think deep down that someone has a magic solution to their problems. Like the rest of life as an adult, this isn’t true.’

To readers in 2020, the idea of a ‘transexual’ child sounds disturbing, though the shift in terminology does little to change the uncomfortable reality that being trans was an adult concept only recently applied to children.

Cautionary advice, such as that offered by Sian, would today be deemed transphobic by Mermaids supporters. After all, the charity now champions the ‘affirmation only’ approach. In slickly produced videos, parents are urged not to question their child’s identification as non-binary or the opposite sex, but rather to affirm it; and to advocate actively for, and to be guided by, their children. Mermaids also warns of the cruelty of the outside world, of hostile doctors and unsympathetic schools. Against all this, Mermaids proffers the sanctuary of the quasi-mystical ‘trans community’.

The most troubling aspect of Mermaids’ messaging is its use of suicide statistics. Mermaids claims that 48 per cent of transgender youth are reported to have attempted suicide at some point in the past. An investigation by Transgender Trend revealed that this finding is from a study of 27 self-selected young trans people, 13 of whom reported having attempted suicide at some point in the past. Nuno Nodin, the lead academic behind the research, explained that the findings had been ‘misinterpreted’ and that this was common ‘when research is used by non-scientists in the context of their own agendas’. Sadly, this nuance is lost during Mermaids’ presentations, where the statistic is trotted out to horrified audiences.

Unlike Mermaids, Transgender Trend is a small organisation with no corporate deals or major celebrity endorsement. Its aim is merely to ‘question the trans narrative’. As founder Stephanie Davies-Arai explains:

‘A child under the age of about nine will believe that putting a dress on a boy doll changes the doll into a girl… To the boy who loves wearing princess costumes, “I am a girl” is the explanation which makes the most sense at this developmental stage of childhood. “Affirmation” reinforces these stereotypes as true.’

Despite its ‘overarching principle’ as a charity not to attack or denigrate other individuals or organisations, Mermaids has been scathing about both Davies-Arai and the organisation she heads. Mermaids has referred to Davies-Arai, who was short-listed for the 2018 John Maddox Sense About Science prize, as an ‘unqualified anti-trans campaigner’.

In 2018, I was invited to contribute a chapter to Transgender Children and Young People: Born in Your Own Body, edited by Heather Brunskell-Evans and Michelle Moore. I interviewed five out-and-proud lesbians, all of whom felt they would have identified as transgender had the option been presented to them as children. Without exception, they felt this would have been a dreadful mistake. Had their ‘trans’ identities been affirmed, each today would be infertile and facing an uncertain future of potential health problems caused by synthetic hormones and invasive surgery.

Despite a paucity of clinical evidence, the ‘born in the wrong body’ narrative has spread from lobby groups through to the general public and even clinical practice. When the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) opened at London’s Tavistock Clinic in 1989, it received two referrals over the course of the year. In 2018-19 it received 2,590 referrals. The role of trans groups, including Mermaids, in the promotion of transition as a cure-all solution for troubled young people, is alleged to have prompted a spate of resignations at GIDS, with 35 staff members leaving between 2016 and 2019. One former clinician told The Times: ‘This experimental treatment is being done not only on children, but very vulnerable children, who have experienced mental-health difficulties, abuse, family trauma, but sometimes those [other factors] just get whitewashed.’ Fear of being accused of ‘transphobia’ and the pressure to affirm the ‘gender identity’ of young patients are reported to have put clinicians in an impossible position. Allegedly, GIDS staff frequently remark that there will soon be no gay or lesbian kids left.

But this is not reflected in the mainstream media coverage of the issue. Mawkish dramas and documentaries about children who identify as transgender, from BBC Radio 4’s Just A Girl to ITV’s Butterfly, have become a staple of contemporary broadcasting, cementing the ‘wrong body’ concept in the public imagination. And on many of these shows, Mermaids has acted as an adviser, giving it unprecedented airtime to make its emotionally charged claims.

Trans-child drama Butterfly was shown on ITV in 2019.
Trans-child drama Butterfly was shown on ITV in 2019.

Those who do not mindlessly follow the ‘wrong body’ dogma are automatically treated by Mermaids as hostile. Olly Lambert is a filmmaker who in 2018 made the documentary Trans Kids: It’s Time to Talk, for Channel 4. Seeking to produce a balanced programme, Lambert approached what he described as ‘the best known advocacy group for transgender children’, assuming Mermaids would be keen to contribute. He explains: ‘Like many others before me, I learned that Mermaids cannot tolerate any questioning of their methods or motives and will work hard to shut down any debate rather than enter into it and win support.’

Lambert was grilled on everything from the language he used to who the presenter, Stella O’Malley, followed on Twitter. ‘Our genuine desire to ask questions about how best to support kids who were gender non-conforming’, he told me, ‘was wilfully misinterpreted as us trying to “deny the existence of trans children”, which was absurd and patently untrue’.

Months after the documentary was aired, Lambert was filming a piece on the Arab-Israeli conflict for the BBC. ‘It was bizarre’, he recalls. ‘It was easier to get an interview with Hamas and the IDF than it was with Susie Green.’

Green herself has a history of initiating legal action. In 2018 women’s rights activist Posie Parker was questioned by police from West Yorkshire, who had travelled 250 miles to ask her about referring to the ‘sex-reassignment surgery’ performed on Jackie as ‘castration’ on social media. In 2019 Catholic broadcaster and commentator Caroline Farrow was also interviewed under caution as part of a hate-crime investigation. ‘It was staggering’, recalls Farrow, ‘that four Twitter comments, which did not even include [Green’s] handle, could necessitate prompt action… The request to interview me under caution left me extremely shaken, angered and fearful.’

It seems others at the charity are similarly keen on pursuing their agenda through the courts. In 2019, Mermaids’ employee Helen Islan, the mother of a child who identifies as transgender, took human-rights activist Miranda Yardley to court, again for comments made on Twitter. Yardley is a transsexual and outspoken critic of the modern transgender movement. The case, which was the country’s first prosecution for ‘transgender hate crime’, collapsed within a day. The judge stated that there was no evidence of harassment and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) should never have brought the case.

Barrister Gudrun Young, who was following the proceedings, noted: ‘Questions need to be asked as to why the CPS not only decided to prosecute Miranda Yardley in these circumstances, but were also so quick to inappropriately label it an incidence of “transgender hate crime”.’ She adds that both the courts and the CPS ‘should be very wary of attempts to use the court system to silence political and ideological opposition’.

It should be noted that not only has Mermaids delivered training to and received support from several police forces, but Susie Green has boasted of the close friendship between Jackie and the Leeds hate-crime coordinator. Mermaids has also had a hand in CPS policy development, when, as a stakeholder, it was consulted on the development of the CPS’s 2019 Trans Equality Statement.

Mermaids’ influence at a parliamentary level is also notable. In 2015 Green was selected to give evidence in person to the inquiry into Transgender Equality conducted by the Women and Equalities Committee, where she claimed that children waiting to be put on cross-sex hormones become ‘self-harming and suicidal’, and referred once more to their ‘48 per cent suicide-attempt risk’.

Mermaids has made a number of high-profile mistakes in recent years — from doubling down in support of a mother who was found by a High Court judge to have caused her son ‘significant emotional harm’, to a data breach that led to the ‘intimate details of the vulnerable youngsters it seeks to help’ being revealed.

It seems the appointment of Liz Truss as minister for women has also impeded the progress of Mermaids. Setting out her priorities on accepting the role, Truss emphasised child protection, arguing that it is ‘very important that while people are still developing their decision-making capabilities that we protect them from making those irreversible decisions’. This has been met with a campaign of letter-writing and a furious public statement by Mermaids. Finally, it seems questions are beginning to be asked about the ideological bias of Mermaids and the charity’s influence on government.

Observing how Mermaids operates, a bastardised version of the old Jesuit saying comes to mind: ‘Give me a child until he is seven and I will show you the trans or non-binary adult.’ While Mermaids’ story of ‘wrong bodies’, suicide and persecution has a base appeal, the speed at which this small group of true believers came to exert such an influence over policymaking and clinical practice is concerning. The story of Mermaids’ success is testament to the credulity of adults who should know better, and the vulnerability of the children they ought to protect.

Jo Bartosch is a journalist campaigning for the rights of women and girls.

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Comments

John Reic

20th July 2020 at 2:20 pm

Those pretending to care about BLM Is the sort of cosplaying Laurie penny in a bikini she’s playing a Suffesgette
The feekimg in labour ever winning again is
What’s rhe vite for rhe traditionalist right, is this a Titania McGrath, parody if sex is chore, also if a drunk man feels submission to perform oral sex on a woman later says he didn’t feel he could decline is he the victim in bed when it comes to sex If this is taken form it’s the end

dom torato

13th July 2020 at 7:06 am

Observing how Mermaids operates, a bastardised version of the old Jesuit saying comes to mind HERE► Read More

dom torato

12th July 2020 at 8:08 am

Free speech is under attack from all sides – from illiberal laws, from a stifling climate of conformity, and from a powerful, prevailing fear of being outed as a HERE► Read More

Robert Sime

9th July 2020 at 4:32 pm

Mods! Do something about the spammers!

Dominic Moorhouse

5th July 2020 at 9:59 pm

M Jones

15th July 2020 at 5:35 am

Thanks for posting the link. Very informative.

Its ironic how the same Radical Leftists that (correctly) denounce Christian groups attempts to “cure” a person of their homosexuality are the first to support and encourage the barbaric practice of gender reassignment in children. Both demonstrate the danger of allowing ideology to trample science and empirical evidence.

Gareth Edward KING

5th July 2020 at 5:16 pm

It’s all creepy stuff. What’s gay got to do with ‘being like a woman’ in any case? If the stereotype’s on effeminate boys and men being ‘gay’, it’s way off score. Stonewall have done a great disservice to same-sex attracted men i.e. ‘gay’ in old money. Why oh why has the use of ‘gender’ replaced the use of ‘sex’? For sure, children should be left well alone in terms of how they might ‘identify’. In my experience so called ‘help’ was actually anything but. The only thing that needs to be ‘helped’ is how to get laid in the sweetest and most pleasant way possible. For almost everybody reaching sexual maturity is in itself complicated enough, getting laid is generally the best bit, and at the end of the day the only thing that’s important is: do enough people find me attractive? It’s not as if there’s much of a window of opportunity; how much is it? 20 years? 25 years?

Melissa Jackson

5th July 2020 at 2:18 pm

The most poisonous idea around at the moment is that declarations must be “affirmed”. Not supported, not accepted. Affirmed.

So, as a parent, a sibling, a friend, or a doctor; it’s not enough to say “I accept you as a person, and support your choices”. You must say “Yes, you are a girl”.

You can accept and support someone while also asking difficult questions, and in fact you owe it to someone you love and care for to ensure that they do understand the issues and that this is what they really want.

But you cannot “affirm” while also questioning. To question is to not affirm. If you question, you are not in agreement.

This is scary stuff. It’s not enough to just be kind, accepting and supportive. You must unquestioningly accept what you are told.

How can you do that?

If you care for someone, how can you not even ask basic questions about these huge decisions?

Linda Payne

5th July 2020 at 1:16 pm

Waste of my time making a long informative comment if its just going to be moderated out

Linda Payne

4th July 2020 at 1:48 pm

Any school promoting the trans ideology on children is practising no less than state sanctioned child abuse. I’ll tell you something you won’t have these charities anywhere near private schools because they are in the business of educating their pupils and their parents would hit the roof and they know it, no it is only the poor who are subject to this experimentation. When I was 11 I was pissed off for not being a boy because I wanted to be in the school footballs team and I was bloody good at it, children have to go through the often painful aspects of growing up, some in the end come to terms that they might be gay, bisexual etc but they do this in the WORLD not in school and these days there is not the stigma there used to be. It is not an accident that most fashion designers are gay men, they know how to dress women, not because they were necessarily taught that way but because they have that intuition within them which they have nurtured themselves. If your son likes playing with dolls it may be that what inspires him not the fact that he would like to have his dick removed or be stuffed with chemicals. We must leave children the space to develop socially and invdividauly, it is not the job of schools to teach about relationships (unless your researching a classic novel for instance) and it is certainly not the job of schools to allow such charities such as Mermaid to push their agenda onto them because make no mistake it will be the vulnerable children whose parents either abuse them or don’t care for them who are more likely to brainwashed by this, it must be stopped

Babsizarly Babsizarly

4th July 2020 at 11:21 am

hello

James Conner

4th July 2020 at 10:36 am

Last week I self-identified my Volvo as an Aston Martin. The strange thing is, it still looks, feels and drives like a Volvo. I just don’t get it. What went wrong?

Eric Lauder

6th July 2020 at 8:33 pm

Volvo is actually a Ford, while the Aston Martin is actually a Volkswagen: those are biological truths.

Mor Vir

4th July 2020 at 9:02 am

Some cultures do not traditionally recognise gays without insisting that they are trans, eg. India. This may turn out to be one. Gays were persecuted in UK for centuries and only recently tolerated, and now gay kids are being encouraged to be trans.

Mor Vir

4th July 2020 at 9:41 am

So, they are not really comfortable or tolerant of men who have s/x with men. The idea is that, if they want to have s/x with men then they must be a woman (qed lol). So they are expected to ‘become’ a woman, in which case it is tolerable that other men should have s/x with them b/c then they are having s/x with a ‘woman’. That may be the path that UK is headed down. Arguably it is an anti-gay way of ‘accommodating’ gays. Some may genuinely be trans but generally the adults are just gay, not trans.

Mor Vir

4th July 2020 at 9:46 am

In which case, the gender identity that is really under attack is not trans but gay. That may turn out to be the drift of what is going on here. If so, then it is not an assault on binary gender, as it presents itself, rather it is a re-imposition of binary gender to the exclusion of ‘gay’, which must conform to the binary norm of ‘woman’.

Ward Anthony

4th July 2020 at 11:37 am

A friend of mine teaches at a girl’s high school and there are two year 9 girls transitioning. He’s sure they’re just lesbians but being gay is soooo last century. And let’s face it, they can now get married into mainstream irrelevance. Far more preferable to identify as the precious minority du jour: Trans.

isla finlay

5th July 2020 at 9:01 am

In India Hijari prostitutes are often preferred because they are less inhibited than women.

Gareth Edward KING

5th July 2020 at 10:37 pm

Yes, but being ‘gay’ is certainly not a ‘gender identity’ or a ‘gender’ anything. It’s to do with sex and sexuality. Full-stop. Personally, I don’t see where the ‘T’ came in on the LGBTQ stuff. I, for one, use the terms ‘we’ all understand like ‘gay’ and ‘lesbian’ and I’m fully with the LGB Alliance on this one. If an unfortunate child is ‘helped’ inappropriately in their being directed towards the possibility of their being in the ‘wrong body’ it’s the parents who have to take responsibility, surely; it’s called being a ‘parent’ the last time I looked. Sexuality becomes an ‘issue’ when one’s 18+ anyway and by that time the person concerned is well away from the safety of the ‘parental nest’ and all that that entails, one imagines. Men who love men are called ‘gay’ and women who love women are called ‘lesbian’. Both terms are of recent origin anyway, in so much as ‘heterosexual’ is also a recent ‘invention’, if my recollections of Michel Foucault are anything to go by.

jessica christon

4th July 2020 at 12:42 pm

In Iran being gay gets you hung from a crane. Being trans on the other hand, gets you a sex change op paid for by the state. And they say there are more trans people per capita in Iran than anywhere else in the world, but I’d bet you they’re almost all gay men avoiding execution by submitting to be mutilated instead.

M Jones

15th July 2020 at 5:55 am

Surveys of transgenders reveal that most are sexually attracted to their own biological sex.They’re gay. If homosexuality was not persecuted and reviled in so many cultures its doubtful the transgender movement would have ever gained so much traction. It has more to do with avoidance of a socially undesirable sexual identity than biology.
Now, were stuck having to watch “trans” biological men with falsetto voices compete unfairly against biological woman. It’s as if Dr Mengele has hijacked modern science

farkennel smith

4th July 2020 at 1:24 am

Why does the author of this article even care?She`s a rabid feminist and this gender nonsense is only seeing little boys being butchered,not little girls.My guess is,she secretly laughs about the fate of the boys.

Tolar Owen

4th July 2020 at 1:57 pm

What an odd thing to write. Actually, more teen girls than teen boys are presenting at clinics for gender reassignment, and some have had their breasts amputated (they call it “top surgery”).

What’s wrong with being a feminist? Why do you hate women?

Ad Dam

6th July 2020 at 9:58 am

Why does ze have to “hate women” to be anti-feminist?

Feminism has never pushed for simple equality and is a full-on hate and supremacy movement.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

4th July 2020 at 12:36 am

When are you S p ike d idiots going to grow some b**** and stand up to the Isl**** threat instead to obsessing about a tiny handful of tranners? There are probably more mosq ues than tranners in this country FFS.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

3rd July 2020 at 11:09 pm

Not a single article on this forum about the appalling mess this Tory regime has made of the UK corona response — just article after stupid article about ‘wokeists’ and ‘trannies’. Anybody would think CCHQ is paying them to do this.

Glenn Bell

3rd July 2020 at 9:52 pm

How can a 6 year old child know he/she/it wants “sex reassignment surgery?” 99% of 6 year olds cant tell you if they want an ice cream or a biscuit! All this has to come from parents who believe they should have had this surgery and other gender realignment stuff when they were kids and are determined that their children, probably regardless of sexual inclination, if any, will have it. Im sure many parents of both genders who had/have gender issues while growing up are sincere, but Ive no doubt there are very many who are out to make a point re transgenderism or what ever its called. No 6 year old should be made to endure this, in fact such surgery should be illegal until the age of 18, if it isnt already.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

4th July 2020 at 12:37 am

Hysteria about nothing. Meanwhile, your country is burning up!

CJ Hawes

4th July 2020 at 10:57 am

I wish that you had intended to show us that hysteria is reserved for you only.

jessica christon

3rd July 2020 at 9:43 pm

When I was about 12 I managed to convince myself that I was some sort of otherkin creature in a human body. Grew out of it a couple of years later when I started meeting boys, and I don’t think this trans thing is all that different. Childish delusions should never be indulged beyond gentle humour.

Glenn Bell

5th July 2020 at 12:25 am

Its called puberty when your body and hormones are running riot and many young people wonder what the fxxk is going on, but they grow out of it.

Lyn Keay

3rd July 2020 at 8:17 pm

It does appear true that children with gender dysphoria are more likely than most to grow up same-sex attracted, but, it is also true to say that most seem to grow up straight. Similarly, while children who play with more other-sex toys (the researchers term) are slightly more likely to be gay most of them will be straight. So, it seems that the GIDS staff fear that their “will soon be no gay or lesbian kids left.” misses the mark.

This is a pretty good article, but like some others on the subject it appears to overplay the link between childhood gender dysphoria & being lesbian or gay. The very research linked too shows that while this link is statistically significant it is also pretty weak. It is a good story that ‘a child who knows him or herself to be different might latch on to the idea that he or she really is the opposite sex’ is really different because they are gay, but in truth I think we will find out it is more complex that that.

In my personal experience ( I used to be in a lesbian & gay youth movement & take adolescents on holidays) while many lesbians & gay men say that they felt in some way different from a young age, just as many of us do not.

John Glasspool

3rd July 2020 at 7:55 pm

I’m astonished that this can even be contemplated in children. I agree with Jack Spratt. I happened to see a while ago, an article about a “trans” person who was suing the gender dysphoria service that allowed him to change. The basis for the claim was that they didn’t “challenge” his views adequately.
In fact, I regard the whole thing as odd. A man is convinced he’s a woman. This is despite every nucleated cell in his body having a Y chromosome. Yet instead if it being regarded as suffering a delusion, he is fed dangerous hormones and has surgery.
If someone goes to a psychiatrist and says they are convinced they are a parrot, is the treatment to give them a nice cage to live in and feed them nuts?

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

3rd July 2020 at 8:39 pm

‘A man is convinced he’s a woman.’ — Not necessarily. Transgendered people hold a range of views. Debbie Hayton, for example, would not claim that she is ‘female’. A so-called ‘transsexual’ (whatever that means) is merely someone who is gender dysphoric i.e. confused about their gender.

Glenn Bell

3rd July 2020 at 9:52 pm

Its all bollocks….or not lol!

Major Bonkers

3rd July 2020 at 7:50 pm

Even more excitingly, entire peer groups of girls are all deciding to ‘transition’ together:

https://spectator.org/silenced-whole-friend-groups-of-teen-girls-are-transitioning/

Luckily, Amazon has decided to ban you from reading about it.

Jack Sprat

3rd July 2020 at 6:56 pm

Lawyers are going to become rich when these kids grow up and realize what’s been done to them to ruin their lives. When young I said I wanted to be a frog but all I got was a plastic frog instead of plastic surgery.

James Knight

3rd July 2020 at 6:35 pm

If an anorexic child is emaciated and says “I’m fat”, what is the right thing for adults to do? Dish out some diet pills?

Matt Ryan

3rd July 2020 at 9:26 pm

Butcher them in some way – a gastric bypass for example?

Michel Houllebeq

3rd July 2020 at 6:00 pm

In any just and moral society, this organisation would be banned and its advocates spending life in jail for giving puberty blockers to children.

Pam Sexton

3rd July 2020 at 5:30 pm

It is a pure lie than there was a forum on the Mermaids website. How do I know? Well, the Mermaids website was first set up in 1998. I set it up. I coded it by hand rather than with a web publishing programme because they tended to have coding biased towards Internet Explorer only. Because I did it by hand, I read every single word that was published. There was no Forum on its website. There were several sections which included Young Voices, which were items written by young people themselves and sent to the Mermaids postal address. There was a section for parents and medical professionals written by experts in the field. There was a media section, which just had newspaper and magazine article about young trans people. A Links page, with links mainly to support groups, and some personal pages that some of the youngsters had asked to be included. All were checked by me to ensure no adult content was linked to. We also had a page tracker on the homepage to ensure we were not linked to by dodgy websites.

Two Forums later were set up at but not connected to the website. One was for young people, 18 and under, the other for parents and Guardians. I was a moderator of the one for the youngsters, along with a trans man, and one of the founders. The only interventions I made were warnings about safety about once a month and the youngsters were able to talk amongst themselves, ask questions, make friendships, etc. We just ensured nothing untoward was posted, although I don’t recall that happening as security checks were made on all applications for membership.

I ran the website for its first ten years, and moderated one of the forums until the same time.

At no time did anybody encourage anybody to take a particular path or not, and at no time did anybody suggest anybody was trans or not. At the time, Susie Green was not a parent member, nor was her daughter Jackie.

And just for the record, Gender Identity, like sexuality, is set before birth, and usually is expressed by the age of 3, 4 or 5.

NB I am not speaking on behalf of Mermaids. These are my personal recollections for clarity.

KATHLEEN CARR

3rd July 2020 at 4:28 pm

It is a denial of personality. That a child can only behave in a way assigned to their sex-so a ‘girly’ boy is really a girl and vice versa.There also seems confusion over inner feelings and outer appearance – there was a boy of about five who was the youngest child with older sisters-he came on a television programme dressed in an exaggerated form of girl’s dress and hair-I wondered if he felt his mother preferred girl children ?. Any parent that consents to unnecessary surgery on their child has problems themselves as surely surgery leaves a person asexual as they are made sterile and it will be more difficult for them to find partners as adults ? . Jackie is the poster girl for her ambitious mother’s career and there is a lot of money involved so she is unlikely to want to ‘rock the boat’ but what possible reason do schools have to invite this organization ? It looks like this is going to be an awful scandal in a few years time with endless law suits.

Tolar Owen

3rd July 2020 at 2:13 pm

Thank you Jo for your work in putting this together. As you probably already know, Reddit banned the 65,000-member sub reddit “Gender Critical” on Monday as “hate speech,” because the group was founded on the belief that one cannot change one’s biological sex. That was it. It was the largest radical feminist online community–with thousands of international members including women from oppressive Muslim countries–on Reddit and the internet as a whole. Meanwhile, they kept up several violent pornography/rape groups, because apparently that doesn’t constitute “hate speech.”

Reddit also closed several documentary subreddits that were aggregating data and news stories about crimes committed by woman-identifying-males as well as thousands of online comments made by these men about being sexually aroused by thinking of themselves as pubescent girls, grooming young people into transgender identity, and threatening women and girls online (like JK Rowling, but worse) for questioning transgender ideology. They closed a group that documented sub reddit hate groups against women, but left the one that documented “hate groups against men” (because it documents feminist groups).

This was an atrociously woman-hating act on the part of Reddit. They of course claimed it was in service of “Black Lives Matter.” GenderCritical was a huge emotional support group for thousands of women and girls, some of whom were detransitioning, considering transitioning, or struggling with violence and exploitation in their own lives. The group was closely moderated to avoid any actual hate speech. The woman-haters in the leadership of Reddit simply could not stand that 65,000 women around the world were supporting each other. The membership was growing daily after JK Rowling made her statements, and as is written on the trans subs, they were really afraid that Gender Critical might be a force in helping the culture challenge trans ideology.

GenderCritical is on said.it, if you’re interested (or maybe you’re already on there). Thanks again for your article.

Ian Davies

3rd July 2020 at 1:23 pm

In times when it is no longer a big deal to be gay and social media obsession demands you have something to attract attention, this is the logical next step. I am one 55 gender types, i am in the wrong body etc. What you do as an adult or what you call yourself is your business and nobody really cares but to push children into this is medieval level of abuse should be outlawed.

Marvin Jones

3rd July 2020 at 1:45 pm

Indulging in this weird and freakish obsession is not enough, but it is demands and rights to be treated as something special must be crushed now.

Alexander Kinnaird

3rd July 2020 at 2:49 pm

Well intended Ian, but this is a comments forum I would like to hear yours, oh and don’t forget the ” ” next time.

Arthur Daley

3rd July 2020 at 11:31 am

Psychiatry is what these kids need, not to be pandered to, which simply makes them dafter.

Marvin Jones

3rd July 2020 at 1:49 pm

Illiterate and uneducated people tend to produce offspring of similar characteristics. So will the sick, demented and people with strange abnormal genetics.

CJ Hawes

3rd July 2020 at 10:17 am

There are some issues for which there is no room for debate. Earlier contributors to this comments section have expressed very eloquently their views on the subject. None of them will resonate with this very small but highly dangerous sect. They are so extreme as to be beyond reason and so must be dealt with accordingly ie no discussion just swift prosecution to help get things back on terra firma.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

3rd July 2020 at 11:29 am

‘this very small but highly dangerous sect’ — Nothing like a bit of hysteria. For a moment there I thought you were talking about the Tory Party.

CJ Hawes

3rd July 2020 at 12:16 pm

No hysteria, just a recognition of the obvious.

Graham Southern

3rd July 2020 at 1:21 pm

Zenobia, children are vulnerable to a range of predatory behaviours. Unfortunately this sometimes comes from those who should be protecting them. The desire to protect children is not hysteria.

Marvin Jones

3rd July 2020 at 1:56 pm

The Tory party is going through an asinine period, with hardly any of the cabinet with an Iota of common sense and logic, but are top of their league in nodding their heads for the sake of their jobs.
They are chosen by their leader who is off the same level of intellect. There are dozens of capable, apt, and highly intelligible MPs on the back benches, but Boris fear their abilities. But, no matter what, the alternative would be many times worse, like instant re-joining the EU dung heap.

Richard Billings

3rd July 2020 at 9:01 am

These people are actually insane. They have strayed so far away from the path of rational thinking they are living in a fantastic world of their own unscientific ideological making. Of course the same frigid masculated aberrates espouse without hesitation the wholesale slaughter of the innocence through Planned Parenthood and extreme abortion.

Tim Knight

3rd July 2020 at 10:17 am

A mermaid is of course a mythical creature.

Kevin Turner

19th July 2020 at 12:17 pm

Trans activism: the flat earthers of social justice.

Mark Houghton

3rd July 2020 at 8:41 am

If surgery is the solution to the anguish felt by transexuals how come their rate of suicide before and after surgery is almost identical? It’s almost as though surgery isn’t the magic solution after all.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

3rd July 2020 at 11:27 am

Where is your evidence for the assertion that the suicide rate pre and post operatively is the similar? Can you provide some links?

Nick Catt

3rd July 2020 at 2:13 pm

ZP, you know that’s not possible because they won’t allow the research to be done because they know it’s true and the whole house of cards will fall.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-41384473

Stephen J

3rd July 2020 at 8:34 am

It seems to me that there is a failure by these identitarians to understand that as human beings, we are not comprised of a series of categories or boxes. We are in fact ALL unique, it is a function of sexual reproduction that we are so.

Why can’t we be happy to be unique, with our own contribution to make? No… there are busybodies around, who want to put us into a box and label us…

… A bit like Americans often categorise musical styles. Personally, if I like a piece of music, it isn’t necessarily from the same box where the last piece that I liked came from, it has something else to offer that appeals.

If I wanted the world to be socialist, I would campaign for the “Movement for the advancement of Ameoba-kind”. I would take drugs in order to enable subdivision, rather than enjoy a loving relationship with another human/s.

We are NOT equal, we are all part of the human soup.

Socialism is utterly evil.

CJ Hawes

3rd July 2020 at 7:30 am

It seems patently obvious that people operating under the banner of Mermaids and other such organisations should be prosecuted for child abuse. Time to apply basic common sense and get back to a less radical agenda whereby people (especially children) who find themselves in such difficult situations are assisted and guided by sympathetic and mature adults. It is simply shocking that we have allowed such organisations to thrive.

Richard Billings

3rd July 2020 at 8:55 am

I agree.

Arthur Daley

3rd July 2020 at 11:32 am

So do I.

Paul Robson

3rd July 2020 at 2:20 pm

Young people are often confused about gender and sexuality – they think they might be gay or trans or whatever. Some may well be. Most will grow out of such confusion as they mature and be comfortable in their own skin, whatever it is.

Mermaids’ approach is the equivalent of “if a (male) child thinks they might be gay, let forty men have sex with them one after the other to check”.

As such, Mermaids needs to be shut down and its founders jailed. This probably will not happen until the lawsuits come in in 3-5 years time which will be “why the **** did you do this when I was a minor”.

James Knight

3rd July 2020 at 6:18 pm

I think it is the adults who have become confused.

James Conner

3rd July 2020 at 6:30 am

Susie Green is a danger to children. Something tells me that if she gave birth to a dozen kids, they’d all be ‘in the wrong bodies’.

Ian Davies

3rd July 2020 at 1:29 pm

Yes, we know a family of a mother with 3 kids. She is constantly banging this gender drum on social media of course to signal her virtuous credentials to the rest of us luddites. 2 of her 3 children are self identifying. Abuse but it is cheered on, we are witnessing the death of rational society.

Dominic Straiton

3rd July 2020 at 6:03 am

Isnt it strange what happens in a religion. Being “born in the wrong body” is just an act of faith like “the immaculate conception”. Its also strange how Christian “conversion therapy” is seen as a great evil and an assault on the gay community whereas irreversible hormone treatments and sex realignment surgery on children, often botched (see Jazz Jennings) is seen as perfectly ok by the same people. Id also suggest that Susie Green has Munchausen by proxy.

PAUL ROGERS

3rd July 2020 at 8:13 am

Indeed, it’s child abuse.
“Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MSBP) is a mental health problem in which a caregiver makes up or causes an illness or injury in a person under his or her care, such as a child, an elderly adult, or a person who has a disability. Because vulnerable people are the victims, MSBP is a form of child abuse or elder abuse.”

It’s now called Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another (FDIA), which is less memorable.

Brandy Cluster

3rd July 2020 at 3:42 am

Why don’t we call them “Mer-men”?

Tim Knight

3rd July 2020 at 10:18 am

Fish from the waist up?

Michael Morris

3rd July 2020 at 3:15 am

Just noticed an odd aspect of that quote which I assume is accurate? She includes “mummy” as well as the squarish Dad, as threatening to take Jack’s feminine toys away. I thought she was the open minded one? Considering how Susie has sold herself here on behalf of Mermaids, to discover she was also making an issue of his preference for girls toys or teddy bears seems rather incoherent. The quote is below.

“She recalls how, as a boy, Jack was made to feel shame about his preference for the ‘girly’ toys and clothes by his father, at one point asking his grandmother ‘can you buy me Barbie Rapunzel, but can you hide it because if mummy and daddy find it they’re going to take it away’.

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Michael Morris

3rd July 2020 at 2:28 am

I’m very disturbed by this. At 6 I had no concept of transgender operations. Hardly had any concept of sexuality at all, more like a bit intrigued by womens underclothing. I can’t believe a 6 year old is going to understand the wide ranging consequences and understand its a one way journey and one cannot return if one decides they made a mistake.

Also the hard wiring of sexuality is still in progress at 6, how can anyone let alone the child know that the gender identity of the child has been fully developed,. Then there is the frequent confusion between being gay and being transgender, very very different things, and its hard enough for an adult to deal with this minefield, let alone a 6 year old!

Furthermore its nonsense to pretend sexuality is not a big part of the orientation, and once we are in the realm of sexuality we ned to remember we are dealing with a minor. I can actually imagine this type of situations being manipulated by abusing parent or parents. It gives adults way too much access to a child’s private sexual world, which really should not be our business.

L Strange

3rd July 2020 at 1:42 am

Susie Green seems to have a personal agenda that she gets almost hysterical about if she feels thwarted. I wonder what’s really going on there.

Tolar Owen

3rd July 2020 at 2:01 pm

Munchausen may be an element, but I also think on some deep level she realizes it’s problematic (as do most transactivists) and feels that tolerating one second of doubt would bring the whole Dr. Seuss-like-100-ft-tall-tower-of-misshaped-boxes crashing down. A few autogynephiliac males (half of “trans women” are simply males acting out the sexual fetish of getting aroused by seeing themselves as a 15-year-old girl) have actually admitted online that they know they’re not _really_ women and that the reason they try to shut down gender critical thought is because it’d end the game for them.

Gordon Te Gopher

3rd July 2020 at 12:46 am

I wanted to be a stunt man (like The Fall Guy) when I was a kid. My parents were quite supportive and in fact it also involved medical intervention – to patch me up and fix broken bones.

I eventually went into banking. I was a stunt man in a banker’s body.

So I can empathise. Probably.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

3rd July 2020 at 11:28 am

You are a banker. I bet you are.

Gordon Te Gopher

3rd July 2020 at 12:57 pm

Not anymore

Ray Hall

3rd July 2020 at 1:44 pm

There has got to be a joke here involving the words banker and cunning stunts…….

KATHLEEN CARR

3rd July 2020 at 6:18 pm

My daughter adored a cartoon superhero called Mighty Mouse and ran around with a tea towel round her neck shouting I’m Mighty Mouse ( or as my husband said mighty mouth )-at no time did we consider rodent re-alignment surgery.

john larkin

4th July 2020 at 3:25 am

I am outwardly a Shetland pony, but I know I am actually a unicorn; could I crowd fund growth treatment and a horn transplant, do you think?

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