Monday 26 September has seen many outraged transphobes posting on social media, in uproar about the trans charity Mermaids. It seems that everyone who reads the right-wing press has something to say, including renowned TERF JK Rowling.
Mermaids is an organisation providing vital support for transgender, non-binary and gender-diverse children and young people. But many are demanding that it is stripped of its charity status after an article in the Telegraph.
Of course, like much of the mainstream media, the Telegraph is renowned for its “transphobia-riddled” reporting. Its front page headline tells the world that Mermaids is sending out breast-binders to children without their parents’ consent. Moreover, the right-wing paper says:
The Telegraph has uncovered evidence of the Mermaids online help centre offering advice to users who present themselves as young as 13 that controversial hormone-blocking drugs are safe and “totally reversible”.
In the last month alone, this newspaper has seen discussions in the charity’s moderated forum for 12 to 15-year-olds on how to raise money to start taking drugs and the best way to take testosterone.
Trying to discredit Mermaids
In response, Mermaids has released a statement saying:
In August 2022, an individual – possibly a journalist – tried to gain access to the Youth forums by pretending to be a 14-year-old in need of support, seemingly with the aim of discrediting Mermaids. This person was caught in the moderation process and has since been blocked.
With regards to recommending chest binders, Mermaids added:
Some trans masculine, non-binary and gender diverse people experience bodily dysphoria, as a result of their chest, and binding, for some, helps alleviate that distress. Mermaids takes a harm reduction position with the understanding that providing a young person with a binder and comprehensive safety guidelines from an experienced member of staff is preferable to the likely alternative of unsafe practices and/or continued or increasing dysphoria.
Of course, people have called out the Telegraph and its supporters as transphobic. One person tweeted:
Friends, do not retweet or share the link to that Torygraph article stoking anti-trans panic about #Mermaids. Do not give that newspaper the clicks or eyeballs, which make them money as well as fulfilling the goals of anti-trans hate groups. Repost the Mermaids statement instead.
— Big Capybara Energy 🌈 🦄 🍉 🥳 (@LMGM) September 26, 2022
Meanwhile, Louise LaTran tweeted:
I've said it before – I eternally wish @Mermaids_Gender
had been around when I was a confused and isolated trans girl.
What they do for trans kids today, against the coordinated backdrop of fascist-aligned propaganda against them is nothing short of amazing#mermaids
— Louise LaTran. 🏳️⚧️🏳️🌈 (@louise_latran) September 26, 2022
And Lee William said:
So prominent GCs are taking aim at #Mermaids yet again because they are helping young trans people with binders by explaining proper usage instead of leaving kids to use them in secret and causing harm to themselves?
— LeeWilliamDesigns (@designs_william) September 26, 2022
It’s no coincidence that Mermaids is being targeted just as it has spearheaded a very public case against the LGB Alliance for propagating transphobia. After five days of evidence, the case has been adjourned until November. It’s possible that the Telegraph timed its exposé to coincide with this case, in an attempt to discredit Mermaids as much as possible before the case concludes.
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