Posted on 1 Octobre 2022
by Julie Bindel
Original: The Spectator – Is sanity returning to the trans debate?
The tide is turning against Mermaids
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.
When and how did it become acceptable to pump kids full of harmful hormones and remove healthy body parts as opposed to offering them therapy?
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. Mermaids passionately advocates for the availability of puberty blockers for kids, despite the growing bank of evidence that they can cause a multitude of harms. The vast majority of those prescribed blockers go to take cross-sex hormones further down the line.
That we are now about to be validated is little comfort, bearing in mind the number of lives ruined by irreversible medical intervention on children.
In the dim and distant past, lobotomies were performed on those with mental illness and psychosis, and today distressed children are being fed the line that they are trapped in the wrong body and that drugs and surgery is the solution. When and how did it become acceptable to pump kids full of harmful hormones and remove healthy body parts as opposed to offering them therapy?
I was at school with a boy who, as a response to the terrible abuse he was suffering at home, began to believe he was a pirate. If this was today, and he was walking around declaring himself to be Long John Silver, would he be offered surgery to remove his eye and have his hand replaced by a hook?
An irony is that the spotlight has fallen on Mermaids partly because it chose to take out a case against the LGB Alliance, claiming that the Alliance was not, in fact, a charity established to support lesbians, gay men and bisexuals — but rather was invented to discredit and disband Mermaids itself. The LGB Alliance, allegedly, ‘does not have charitable purposes’. I was in court during the cross examination of Mermaids and its supporter, and heard loud and clear its dismissal of the fact that sex is immutable. As far as Mermaids and its lackeys are concerned, all that is necessary to identify and live as the opposite sex is an inner ‘feeling’ of gender identity. The witnesses declared that trans men are men, and trans women, women. They were seemingly unconcerned when presented with the fact that there has been a 4000-plus per cent increase in girls presenting at clinics such as the Tavistock GIDS, claiming to be trans boys.
A recent interim report on the Tavistock GIDs recommended that it be closed down in due course, and that much of the ‘treatment’ at the clinic was focused solely on affirming a child’s trans identity and not scrutinising related issues such as mental health issues, autistic disorders, and abuse within the family home.
I first contacted Mermaids in 2003, when investigating the notion of ‘trans children’ and was given the cold shoulder. Many other individuals and organisations that have grave concerns about its practices have spoken out, and as a result have been labelled bigots and transphobes. That we are now about to be validated is little comfort, bearing in mind the number of lives ruined by irreversible medical intervention on children who, if supported therapeutically, would likely have grown up to be lesbian or gay.
As a result of its spiteful attempt to discredit LGB Alliance, it seems the practice and ideology of Mermaids is now being exposed. In my view it is an organisation led by dangerous ideology that promotes medical intervention to kids that simply need to be supported in who they are and in the bodies they were born with. I believe it deserves to be shut down.