Trans youth charity Mermaids responds to The Telegraph ‘investigation’ amid breast binder row

Again the right has to lie about medical facts, make up fake “investigations”, and lie about the safeguards the charity has for their trans kid subscribers all to drive as much hate as possible against trans.   Please notice that the famous well known TERF J.K Rowling is pushing the lies and myths hard as she does with anything atni-trans.    Hugs

Mermaids marches at Pride in London

Mermaids marches at Pride in London, 2019. (Barcroft Media via Getty/ Wiktor Szymanowicz)

Trans children’s charity Mermaids has responded to an “investigation” by The Telegraph which suggested the charity was putting children at risk.

On Sunday (25 September), The Telegraph ran a story headlined: “Trans charity Mermaids giving breast binders to children behind parents’ backs”.

The story largely relied on an unidentified adult masquerading as a 14-year-old child to access services from Mermaids, including the charity’s youth forum and web chat helpline.


The newspaper reported an email exchange between the charity and the adult – pretending to be a 14-year-old trans boy named “Kai” – in which staff agreed to provide them with a free binder after they had become “a member of the charity’s online Youth Forum for a month and posted three times”.

Mermaids also reportedly provided extensive information about safe binder wearing, and risks associated with binders, which can reduce dysphoria in some trans people.

The Telegraph expressed outrage that the charity did not grill the “child” on their mental health and require that they inform an adult, even though “Kai” had already described their family as unaccepting.

Although Mermaids refused to comment for The Telegraph’s “investigation”, the charity said in its own statement addressing the issues raised: “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.


“The risk is considered by Mermaids staff within the context of our safeguarding framework.”

Although Mermaids’ youth forums are designed to be a safe space for young people, The Telegraph also published information about the kind of conversations being had by teenagers, including on the topic of puberty blockers.

Researchers in 2020 found that puberty blockers can be “life-saving” for trans youth, drastically decreasing their chance of suicide, depression and anxiety, and the Endocrine Society describes hormone-blocking medication as a reversible treatment option to “give adolescents more time to explore their options”.

The newspaper tried to paint Mermaids’ forums as unsafe, including quotes from anti-trans campaigners like Transgender Trend founder Stephanie Davies-Arai, and MPs Joanna Cherry and Miriam Cates, who claimed the “investigation” raised “huge safeguarding red flags”.

But the charity clarified: “We have robust security and moderation processes in place to ensure our forums are a safe space for trans, non-binary and gender diverse young people and their families.


“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. Security of our platforms and safeguarding of young people is of the utmost importance to us and we will continue to regularly review our processes and procedures to make sure our forums remain safe and secure.”

The article from The Telegraph has spread like wildfire across social media, stoking unfounded accusations of safeguarding concerns at Mermaids, and was shared by JK Rowling.

In response, Carrie Lyell, head of communications at Mermaids, told Rowling: “I’d be happy to have a chat about what we actually do at Mermaids. But then, real life is never quite as interesting or salacious as fiction, is it?”

Rowling has not publicly taken up their offer.



4 thoughts on “Trans youth charity Mermaids responds to The Telegraph ‘investigation’ amid breast binder row

  1. Considering the protagonist of the Harry Potter books is a person caught between two different worlds, Rowling’s stance as a TERF is quite puzzling to say the least. As someone who professes to be Christian, and whose books are regarded by many fundamentalists as being “satanic” I would have thought she would would have a more rational or nuanced approach to gender identity. She most definitely is not a friend of the LGBTQIA+ community.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not trying to speak for JK Rowling, nor for anyone who’s worried enough about trans people that they want to keep them in their dysphoria closets. It does strike me, though, that more than a few of the women who I’d never have guessed would be anti-trans are anti-trans. It also turns out that those women have found themselves, and possibly one or more of their children, in survival mode thanks to a bad man and his acts. Once these women, with little to no help but plenty of hindrance from men, get themselves somewhere, here come trans women wanting in the circle, and the first set of women is not ready to accept that someone born with male equipment can be female anyway. I believe, for some, this will change over time, as they come to know trans people. I just wish they’d be generally more merciful to all their fellow humans while they’re learning, but it takes all of us to make a world, including those who are fearful or begrudging.

      It’s interesting how my husband has progressed on it. Today, during a pharma ad, he said the ad made him wonder how trans boys deal with endometriosis. I told him I bet it’s just total cognitive dissonance!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There’s no justification for tarring all males (let alone trans women) for the evils of an individual male any more than it’s justified to tar everybody of one ethnicity if some of that ethnicity did evil on someone of another ethnicity. And let’s face it, trans women are, as are all who are LGBTQIA+, far more likely to be victims of assault than are cis women.

        I don’t think most trans boys would suffer total cognitive dissonance if they had to deal with endometriosis, although no doubt some would. If you understand that gender identity is separate from one’s biological sex although usually aligned, then dissonance doesn’t arise. Gender dysphoria is more about the effect of being denied the opportunity to express oneself in one’s preferred gender than about their anatomy. In this country (New Zealand) one is able to legally self identify in their preferred gender and not be required to undergo “treatment” to do so. There should be no need to remove (or add) body parts unless one chooses to do so – simply the right to be the person they are.

        Liked by 1 person

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