With a scheme to send harmful breast binders to children behind parents’ backs and staff pushing puberty-blocking drugs, children’s transgender charity Mermaids – whose promotion of breast binders the Metropolitan Police has said is potentially abusive – is a scandal unfolding before our eyes. Is it time to withdraw its status as a charity, asks the Mail.
In the past month alone, [Mermaids’] online help centre has told users (who say they are young as 13) that controversial hormone-blocking drugs are safe and “totally reversible”.
Mermaids repeated such claims when approached by the Mail, saying the drugs are “an internationally recognised safe [and] reversible healthcare option”, yet current NHS guidelines say “little is known about the long-term side effects”.
Elsewhere on its chatrooms, a Mermaids moderator publicly congratulated a 13-year-old who had written on the website that they were transgender and wanted drugs and “all the surgeries”.
Evidence also suggests Mermaids has been running a free “binder scheme” since at least 2019, sending the items to adolescents who say their parents oppose the practice…
Yet all this comes despite the fact that Dr. Hilary Cass, the former president of the Royal College of Paediatrics who is leading a review of trans children’s services for the NHS, has described the restrictive garments as “painful and potentially harmful”.
The Metropolitan Police has also confirmed that if instances of minors using binders are reported, they will be treated as potential cases of child abuse. (Binders have been shown to cause instances of breathing difficulties, chronic back pain, and even changes to the spine and broken ribs.)
Amid mounting criticism – including from author and women’s rights campaigner JK Rowling who tweeted on Monday that those who have “been cheering Mermaids on without doing the slightest bit of due diligence” should feel ashamed – the Charity Commission said this week it would be taking a closer look at Mermaids.
These revelations then will undoubtedly cast doubts over the influence and reach of the charity, whose close-knit relationship with London’s discredited Tavistock Gender Identity Clinic has been repeatedly highlighted by former clinicians turned whistle-blowers over the years.
Read More: “Abusive” Children’s Transgender Charity Mermaids is a “Scandal Unfolding Before Our Eyes”