Transphobia reaches new heights as trans charity Mermaids is targeted on social media

a sign saying "protect trans youth"
Support us and go ad-free

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.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

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.

Transphobic Telegraph

Of course, people have called out the Telegraph and its supporters as transphobic. One person tweeted:

Meanwhile, Louise LaTran tweeted:

And Lee William said:

Court case

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.

Featured image via Unsplash/Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona; cropped to 770 x 403px, licenced under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Support us and go ad-free

We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support

The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.

The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.

So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.

Support us