Another trans-youth charity bites the dust

Educate and Celebrate, an organisation dedicated to ‘queering’ the classroom, has mysteriously shut down.

Malcolm Clark

Topics Identity Politics UK

If you want to know how our institutions became so infested with gender-identity ideology, a good place to start is by looking at LGBT charities. Whenever an insane new story emerges about a classroom of kids being taught there are a billion genders or that they can identify as cats, there is almost always an LGBT-youth charity somewhere in the background. Educate and Celebrate was one such example, until it mysteriously announced its closure earlier this year without giving any explanation.

Educate and Celebrate was founded by music teacher Elly Barnes in 2010. Driven by her cheery personality, the organisation became a huge nationwide success, garnering accolades and awards. Barnes, who remained chief executive, was given an honorary doctorate and even an MBE in 2016. The wonks at the Department for Education and the Government Equalities Office awarded the charity around £214,000 of taxpayers’ money in 2015. A year later, in 2016, Ofsted hailed it as ‘innovative and visionary’.

In the first years of Educate and Celebrate, Barnes focussed on preventing homophobic bullying in secondary schools – certainly a noble cause. But things soon took a turn for the weird. In 2016, Educate and Celebrate published guidance for schools explaining the need to ‘queer the education system’. It also advised teachers on using ‘neopronouns’ for pupils.

It wasn’t long before Educate and Celebrate turned its attention to younger, more impressionable minds. In a video in 2019, Barnes announced that she wanted to ‘smash heteronormativity’ and ‘encourage intersectional ways of thinking’ among primary-age children.

Any sane person might think these goals are a tad outlandish. After all, 89 per cent of people in England and Wales are heterosexual, making ‘heteronormativity’ a pretty justifiable assumption. And there is certainly no such thing as a ‘queer’ primary-aged child.

As Educate and Celebrate grew more successful, the more deranged it seemed to become. In 2022, Barnes co-wrote a book called ABC Pride, aimed at the apparently eminently queerable demographic of three-year-olds. The book aimed to teach them the alphabet using LGBT issues.

The letter G, tots are informed, is for ‘gender’, which is supposedly ‘something people guess about you based on how you dress or how your body looks’. X is for the neopronoun, ‘xe’. N is for nonbinary, of course. You get no gold stars for guessing what the letter T stands for.

In the US, ABC Pride was excoriated last year by parents’ groups who have been fighting to get this kind of age-inappropriate material out of the classroom. Back in Blighty, however, the School Library Association awarded it the 2023 Information Book Award.

In a sane world, these controversies alone would have been enough to put paid to Educate and Celebrate. But it seems the beginning of the end didn’t arrive until 2022. This was when trans comedian Jordan Gray stripped naked and whipped his pecker out on Channel 4’s Friday Night Live before banging it against a piano keyboard. Oh how we didn’t laugh.

The problem was that Gray wasn’t just any old flasher. He was also a patron of Educate and Celebrate. Patrons of a charity are generally expected to conduct themselves in public with the highest standards – not get their knob out for laughs on national TV.

As if that weren’t bad enough, an old interview from 2016 then re-emerged. In it, Gray claimed he had been going into schools to talk about gender on behalf of Educate and Celebrate.

The charity denied that Gray had given any talks in schools on its behalf and promptly fired him as patron. But the damage had been done. Donations dried up. Few schools worth their salt wanted anything to do with Educate and Celebrate after the penis-on-keyboard debacle.

As of January this year, Educate and Celebrate has ceased operations. Its website is now defunct, as is that of Elly Barnes. No explanation for this has been given.

Perhaps it’s no surprise that Educate and Celebrate eventually self-destructed. The fall of trans-youth charity Mermaids showed that LGBT groups are no longer immune to scrutiny. Besides, the public is growing sick and tired of people trying to indoctrinate their kids.

The trouble is, just as one of these groups shuts down, another is bound to spring up. Tragically, the ease with which Educate and Celebrate was able to enter our schools has encouraged a swarm of others to try their luck at ‘queering’ the classroom.

We can only hope that the fall of Educate and Celebrate will send a clear message to others – keep this nonsense ideology away from kids.

Malcolm Clark is a TV producer.

A longer version of this article appears on Malcolm’s Substack.

Picture by: Wikimedia Commons.

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Topics Identity Politics UK


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