Last month, teachers at a Church of England primary school in Essex attended a two-hour training session on transgender issues run by Mermaids, the transgender charity and campaign group. A recording of that session has now emerged. Carys Moseley examines some of the claims made, and what we know about Mermaids, the group that stands behind it.
Who are ‘Mermaids’?
Mermaids is a registered charity dealing with children and young people with transgender issues. It was founded in 1995 and is part of the LGBT+ Consortium. The Mermaids speaker running the training session says that they helped develop the LGBT lesson plans in the curriculum for England according to the framework provided by Ofsted.
Junk science and fake facts
The session starts with a description of human beings according to transgender ideology. Discussing the idea that some people are ‘born in the wrong body’, the speaker claims that the male-female dichotomy originates with our culture, meaning Western culture.
“We put our binary mindset that is our culture onto that [newborn] child.”
Central to this is the claim often repeated by the speaker that ‘gender is a spectrum’, i.e. that human beings are not all exclusively male or female. The speaker compares this to the colour spectrum which is found in nature, then by that analogy, argues that because we humans are also in nature, the idea that gender is a spectrum is natural. This is a way of introducing the concept that transgender identity is a ‘natural variant’ occurring across the world.
Early on, the speaker refers to “someone who is expecting [a baby],” not ‘a pregnant mother’, thus erasing the fundamentally biological female nature of pregnancy and motherhood.
Finally, the speaker refers to many different combinations of chromosomes to illustrate the claim that gender and sex are on a spectrum. She claims that the “male and female physical boxes contain spectrums.”
Humans are just like animals
Another important facet of the training is the analogy drawn between gender reassignment among humans and a type of fish called clownfish, popularised in the animation cartoon film Finding Nemo, where the dominant male is said to change biological sex. This analogy makes little sense in reality because the change in the fish is spontaneous, and, in any case, humans are biologically very different from fish.
The problem is that ‘gender identity’ is a concept referring to a person’s state of mind, whereas sex is biological. Thus, there can be no real analogy between the two. Certainly it makes no sense to make the notion of ‘gender’ being a spectrum as the basis for a comparison with sex supposedly being on a spectrum. It is very concerning that fake science of this kind is being taught to primary school teachers (most of whom will not have studied science beyond GCSE level) as part of a programme aimed at changing their approach to children with transgender problems.
Criticising transgender ideology is ‘like racism’
Throughout the talk, the speaker insinuates that scepticism towards transgender self-identification is like racism; in other words, completely unacceptable. The claim is made that other (non-western) cultures view gender and sexuality differently, giving the examples of the Navajo nation in North America, Two-Spirit People also in North America, and a tribe in New Zealand where mothers bring up second sons as ‘girls’, as well as the fact that India has recently recognised a third gender in law. Whilst much more could be said about the validity of this claim than is possible here, it is important to note that this is a very small number of cultures. By no means is it possible to say that acceptance of a ‘third gender’ or bringing up children as members of the opposite sex is widespread, let alone universal, in non-western cultures. (There are likely demographic pressures behind such habits. They are unlikely to be habits which were always encouraged within a particular culture, given the problems they would create.)
The most relevant point made here is when the speaker claims that a tribe in New Zealand has the habit whereby mothers of second sons raise them ‘as girls’, to do traditionally female tasks. This lets the cat out of the bag as to the fact that ‘female’ identification in a boy may often be due to a mother deliberately rearing him as if he were a girl, and isn’t natural at all. There is also a long-standing clinical debate as to whether transgenderism and homosexuality in males is more likely among men who had older brothers. One possible reason is that mothers wanted a balance of boys and girls among their children.
What this means is that Mermaids training in primary schools is normalising the idea that it is perfectly OK for parents to rear their second sons as ‘girls’. This surely puts second sons in some families at risk of being treated as girls rather than as boys.
Forcing teachers to use trans terminology
The speaker states plainly that not using a preferred pronoun “when you have the knowledge” that a person wants it to be used “is a hate incident, and if you repeat that it can…become a hate crime.” She divides the population of society into ‘bigots’ who are critical of all of this, estimated at 10% of the population, and as many as 80% who could become ‘allies’. In reality, surveys suggest this is a wild overestimation of public opinion.
Statistics are then cited – without reference – making claim that “45% of young trans people have attempted suicide,” “1 in 9 have received a death threat,” “84% have self-harmed and 75% are actively self-harming,” and “51% are bullied in school.” Not giving a reference makes it impossible to test these claims. We don’t know how representative these figures are of the entire number of children and young people referred to the Gender Identity Development Service for Children and Adolescents over a certain period of time.
It is particularly worrying to hear the speaker tell the audience, “We are all responsible for this.” This is what comes of not showing rigorous evidence to back up these claims. It is highly manipulative emotionally to tell people that everyone is ‘responsible’ for young trans people’s suicide and self-harm. The truth is that the percentage of the population under 18 that has been referred to gender identity clinics is so small that most school teachers will have never met one of them. It is therefore obvious nonsense to say that everyone is ‘responsible’ for their unhappiness.
‘Child-led social transition’?
The speaker then makes the following claim:
“We know from lots of research…that when a child or young people is fully supported to make a child-led social transition that their mental health is the same as the rest of their peers.”
The myth that there is a ‘true transgender child’ that was ‘born in the wrong body’, whose condition was never the influence of secret connivance by parents or other relatives who preferred a child of the opposite sex, is behind this. Yet the speaker is very happy to complain about issues that children and young people with transgender problems allegedly experience, and how “this is down to how they are treated by other people and problems with the treatment pathway.” Again, the speaker does not refer to the title of any publication supporting this research.
The current work of Mermaids
Detailed information is given on what Mermaids has to offer to families and schools. We learn that Mermaids considers itself to be a ‘family’, and that parents and carers of trans children under 20 can apply to join Mermaids. There are family groups across the UK which welcome extended family members, and which offer residential weekends. Guest speakers at those include staff from the gender identity clinic for children and adolescents, the police, the anti-hate crime group Stop Hate, and Mermaids peer mentors. Whole families are thus being indoctrinated by this taxpayer-funded machinery.
The speaker said that Mermaids groups attend Pride events, and the speaker encouraged the school to attend its local march in an official capacity. The audience was told that “pride isn’t just for the LGBT population,” meaning that it is for ‘straight allies’ as well.
Then in discussing the treatment pathway, the speaker says that neither GPs nor Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services “have much knowledge of gender dysphoria” in children, and that Mermaids is working with CAMHS in this respect. This should send alarm bells ringing across CAMHS and the NHS, given the junk science about gender and even sex being a spectrum that is being pushed.
Finally it is revealing how the speaker says that “a lot of our team” – presumably transgender people now working with Mermaids – “say they didn’t get the puberty they were expecting.” This begs questions as to what these people were taught by their parents or carers to expect at puberty. Were they taught by their own parents that they were ‘born in the wrong body’ and therefore that they would magically change from male to female or vice versa one day? Or that the gender identity clinic would do this for them? Such magical thinking should be treated as parental neglect of children, depriving them of their right to live as members of their sexes according to Article 2 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
How to be a trans ally
This is introduced gently under the title of ‘Things you can do’, but in reality we soon realise that this really means ‘things you should do if you do not want to be accused of a hate crime’.
The audience is told that “coming out can be terrifying.” Allies “can help them speak up.”The speaker asks the audience members: “Please continue to educate yourself.” A lot of this centres around ‘misgendering’, i.e. referring to a person according to their biological sex rather than their chosen gender. Staff are told to “challenge stereotypes and challenge professionals who misgender use the wrong terminology or deadname.”
Particularly revealing is the subtle method of correcting people who refuse to cave into transgender ideology by ‘sharing information’ with them:
“A useful tip is, if you hear someone say something wrong, and you will, you can say, we had training on that recently and I found that blah blah blah. People don’t mind you sharing information.”
The staff are told that there are “more and more local LGBT groups from 9 to 13 years of age for schools.” In other words, it would be a really good idea to have a LGBT group in your primary school. However, they are also told not to call it that but to call it a ‘Year 6 Diversity Club.’
“You are all now honourary mermaids – whether you want to or not”
Then the speaker makes a very chilling statement:
“and then be a Mermaid. You are all now honourary mermaids – whether you want to or not.”
This is the pinnacle of staff training – it is compulsory to be a ‘mermaid’ supporting Mermaids. The school has a positive duty to have an anti-bullying policy that deals with gender identity.
Regarding disclosure of a pupils’ trans status, here is what the speaker says:
“Unless specifically stated by that family it should be on a very strict need-to-know basis only. So normally we would recommend head teacher, sport, pastoral, class teacher of that year, that’s all …they are the only people who need to be involved in meetings and plannings. Everyone else just gets told the pupil you knew with this name and this pronoun from this day will be this day and this pronoun.”
In other words, the pupil’s trans status is kept a secret from most people. Two comparisons are given here. The first is with male-to-female army captain Hannah Winterbourne, who is a patron of Mermaids. They interview her superior officer in a video, saying that he told the soldiers that Winterbourne was to be addressed as Sir on Friday and Ma’am on the following Monday. The Mermaids speaker tells the staff audience: “If it’s good enough for the British Army it’s good enough for the rest of us.” In other words, shut up and do as you’re told otherwise you are undermining the foundations of the United Kingdom.
The second comparison made with disclosure processes for a pupil’s transition is with a closed adoption. The justification for this is that “the fewer people who are involved the quicker that child will blend in, the less chance there is that he will be accidentally outed and put in danger.” New pupils, staff and governors do not need to be told about anybody else’s transition. New pupils, staff and governors who have transitioned before they came to the school do not need to tell anyone.
Schools should follow the LGBT calendar
Staff are told that among other things they could do to be trans allies would be to celebrate events that are in the LGBT calendar. For example Transgender Day of Visibility takes place on 31st of March every year. The speaker claims that this is when the “one percent of the human race” that are transgender come out and make themselves visible to the surrounding society.
More sinister is the suggestion that schools – primary schools – could celebrateTransgender Day of Remembrance, which takes place on 20th of November each year. The justification given for this is as follows:
“Around the world we hold vigils and service for those who have taken their own life or been murdered because they are trans. Last year Mermaids we lost four of our young people.”
In fact, Transgender Day of Remembrance was started by activists who wanted to remember male-to-female transgender prostitutes who have been murdered. These are not just murders of transgender people in the general population. The truth is that male-to-female transgender prostitutes are at risk of being attacked by clients. This is an attempt at emotional manipulation on a global scale into getting the mainstream of society to see transgender people as victims and to use this to normalise transgender identification.
Lastly, the speaker suggests that schools – yes, primary schools – should observe LGBT History Month, which takes place in February each year. She suggests projects on people like Oscar Wilde and Alan Turing. The reason for this is not given but it is interesting that these are considered heroes from the history of gay men, not transgender people. Seeing as it is really gay men who run the LGBT movement, it is reasonable to ask why the Mermaids speaker suggest these ‘respectable’ gay men as suitable subject matter for school projects.
Shades of Communist indoctrination
Perhaps the most idiotic suggestion is that schools could hold a ‘Diversity Day’ (perhaps for charity) “where each class looks at something in the Equality Act!” This would probably be the first time that any primary school would spend a whole day studying a piece of Parliamentary legislation. Perhaps while they’re at it they can try to figure out the meaning of the term ‘sex’ in the list of protected characteristics!
The idea that schools, let alone primary schools, should be forcibly ‘educated’ to celebrate transgender identification as a ‘natural variant’ sounds ridiculous to most people. However it has a precedent in re-education programmes in Communist countries. People deemed hostile to the Communist regime are to be indoctrinated in Marxist-Leninist ideology, in order that all resistance movements to the government may be defeated. This happened in Romania after the Second World War, Vietnam after the fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, and in China today. It is also interesting that transgender activists at Goldsmiths University in London last September were saying publicly that the Soviet-era Gulags were ‘compassionate’ educational institutions of ‘rehabilitation’. As previously written about, Transsexual rights as a concept entered our laws via political and legal campaigning by Italian former Communist MEP Stefano Rodotà at the level of the European Parliament and the Council of Europe just as the Iron Curtain was falling in 1989.
Mermaids speaker says she doesn’t have to listen to criticism
When teachers are asked whether they have any questions for the speaker, a Christian teacher who said he was trained as a biologist queries some of the scientific claims and asks to be able to share alternative viewpoints given that the school is a Christian foundation. He cites a recent article by Michael Biggs, sociologist at Oxford University, on the Tavistock clinic’s use of puberty blockers on teens with gender dysphoria. This article is clearly damning as it states the following:
“Mermaids vehemently opposed the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust’s Gender Identity Development Service approach.”
The speaker and a female teacher repeatedly try to say they are not taking such questions. In the end, the Mermaids speaker says: “do you know what? I don’t have to do this. My job is to deliver training. I’ve done that. I don’t have to listen.”
So there we go. Transgender activists are above criticism, do not welcome any critical questions on the material they provide which is cited as ‘research evidence’ for all the claims they make. Schools should not ‘misgender’ anyone, they should set up LGBT groups in disguise, attend local Pride marches, and celebrate the LGBT calendar. If they don’t, they are bigots who are guilty of hate crimes and must face the consequences.
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