NSPCC cuts ties with transgender activist

13 June 2019

Days after Childline announced Munroe Bergdorf as their “first LGBT+ campaigner”, the transgender activist has been dropped amid safeguarding concerns.

Bergdorf, who was born male and has undergone extensive treatment and surgery to appear female, argued the NSPCC was “bowing down to pressure from a transphobic lobby.”

However, the NSPCC, which runs Childline, posted a statement on their website saying Bergdorf “will have no ongoing relationship with Childline or the NSPCC.”

Widespread concern

Following news of Bergdorf’s appointment as a Childline campaigner, many were quick to raise their concerns on Twitter.

Twitter users complained that his appointment was inappropriate, saying he was not a good role model for children having previously posed for Playboy in 2018 and frequently presenting an oversexualised image of women.

Campaign group Safe Schools Alliance stated that Bergdorf’s appointment would send unhealthy messages to children about how to deal with teenage feelings of discomfort with their bodies.” It also raised concerns about widely published offensive remarks, which later led to him being dropped by L’Oreal and stepping down as a Labour Party LGBT ambassador.

Safe Schools Alliance also added that Bergdorf was a safeguarding risk: “Bergdorf encourages children to make contact privately on the internet, which goes against child safeguarding principles, and can create mistrust between parents and their children.”

Best interests of the children

Bergdorf has since spoken out, calling it a case of ‘transphobia’.

However, Peter Wanless, CEO of the NSPCC assured that the charity would not be reinstating him after feedback was given by the board of trustees. He said: “The comment has been considered, passionate and clearly delivered in the best interests of the children that we are all here to support. I am genuine when I say that we have appreciated the time and thought that has been invested in making clear people’s feelings on this matter.”

The BBC recently reported that the NSPCC had carried out more than 6,000 counselling sessions through its Childline service over issues relating to gender and sexuality.” The number of children being referred to the NHS’s gender service unit has also risen some 2,500% over the last nine years from 97 referrals in 2009 to 2,519 in 2018. However, studies show that over 80% of gender confused girls and over 90% of gender confused boys will usually grow to accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty.

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