Mermaids wants more of it, much faster

Susie Green of Mermaids accidentally posted a bunch of highly personal emails online.

Andrew Gilligan in the Times:

Many of the emails, written between 2016 and 2017, included the full names of the parents and children, pre- and post-transition, along with telephone numbers and intimate details of treatment and care. They were sent in confidence by the parents, or forwarded by other agencies, to Susie Green, chief executive of Mermaids, the high-profile transgender children’s support group.

The messages could be found through a simple online search until Friday, when Mermaids removed them after being contacted by this newspaper.

Alongside the client emails were hundreds of often revealing internal ones showing trustees’ concerns about Green’s leadership, accusations from parents that Mermaids felt like a “cult” and alcohol problems at residential weekends putting children “at risk”.

Green appears to have thought she had set up a private email group, using a common webmail platform, to share information with her trustees. But she, or Mermaids, had failed to read her group’s homepage which said that its “archives are visible to everyone”.


But that’s ok, go ahead and trust her with struggling unhappy children anyway, all she wants to do is help them block puberty and then transition to the other sex.

[Mermaids] was given £500,000 by the national lottery, £128,000 by the BBC’s Children in Need and £35,000 by the government. It also has the support of Prince Harry, City banks and large parts of the media.

Green was series consultant on Butterfly, the recent ITV drama about a transgender child that gave a flattering portrait of Mermaids, with its logo visible in some scenes and a script reflecting the group’s talking points.

It all seems very hasty,  but hey, it’s only changing sex, sometimes with surgery but sometimes merely with a lifetime of hormone-fiddling drugs. What downside could there possibly be?

Green, who took her own son, aged 16, for a sex-change operation in Thailand, believes medical intervention is “absolutely vital” for children unhappy with their biological sex.

Mermaids wants more of it, much faster. It campaigns to end the NHS ban on children being given sex-change hormones that reduce fertility and require lifelong medical support. Most doctors believe that children, who may change their minds, are too young for this irreversible step.

Green claims the lack of such treatment is making children suicidal. She has said patients of the main NHS clinic that treats gender-dysphoric youngsters, the Tavistock Centre in north London, have a “48 per cent suicide attempt risk”. The true rate, says the clinic, is less than 1 per cent.

48 per cent, 1 per cent, whatever. Green is so well-meaning!

Green, an IT consultant, has no medical training. Responding on Twitter to an NHS psychiatrist who accused her of “making stuff up”, she wrote that “you need to f*** off. You know nothing.”

A Tavistock clinician said: “Mermaids push simplistic views, emotional blackmail and conscious misinformation at parents. They do so much harm.”

In evidence to MPs, Mermaids complained that the Tavistock spoke too much of the “uncertainty and complexity” of gender transition. It singled out a doctor at the clinic by name as “anti-trans” and demanded “a thorough audit of staff and their views”.

Yeah. It’s not uncertain and complex at all, it’s as simple and benign as getting a haircut. Susie Green, with no medical training, must know all about it, unlike those “science” types at the Tavistock.

Given this tension, one surprise of the private emails is the apparent closeness of the relationship. Perhaps the pressure was working. Sally Hodges, a senior Tavistock manager, promised to “co-ordinate” the text of the clinic’s website with Mermaids. “It would be valuable to think with you about the content going forward,” she wrote. The clinic’s director, Polly Carmichael, told Mermaids it was good to be working together.

“Perhaps the pressure was working” – Andrew Gilligan has a way with understatement.

It’s reminding me of Jonestown again. A whole bunch of people doing what this one narcissistic psychopath told them to do, even though many of them had doubts and would have preferred to leave…but the pressure was working.

The pressure is working; pressure does work. That’s one reason I despise this movement so intensely: it relies so very heavily on pressure instead of anything less coercive and more persuasive. There is far more slogan-flinging than reasoned argument, and far more bullying and ostracism than compassion and generosity. It’s becoming more and more difficult every day to think of it as a political rights-based movement like others as opposed to a cult that attracts every raging disordered narcissist on the planet. Even if I thought they were right in their confusion of “gender” with personality I still wouldn’t want anything to do with the movement, because their rhetoric and behavior are so repellent.

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