Trans Activist Charity Mermaids Now Under Formal Investigation By Charity Watchdog

The Charity Commission for England and Wales has announced a formal inquiry into controversial trans activist organization Mermaids. The announcement comes just two months after complaints were filed after it was revealed that one of their trustees held views sympathetic to pedophiles, and that the organization had sent breast binders to female children without parental consent.

Mermaids is a well-known registered charity in the UK which purports to serve “transgender, nonbinary and gender-diverse children, young people, and their families.” Established in 1995, Mermaids advocates for an affirmation-only approach to gender dysphoria in young people, promoting the use of puberty blockers, cross sex hormones, and surgeries for minors who claim to be transgender.

The organization had recently come under additional public scrutiny after launching a legal campaign against another UK-based charity, LGB Alliance, which opposes its pro-transition approach for minors, citing concerns about the transitioning of gender non-conforming youth who may in fact be homosexual.

Mermaids argued that LGB Alliance’s mission was not a charitable one, claiming LGB Alliance’s real intention was “the denigration of trans people and the destruction of organizations that support them, in particular through political lobbying and campaigning for changes to the law. These are not charitable purposes for the public benefit; they are political objectives designed to roll back legal protections for trans people.”

But in September, the Charity Commission opened a regulatory compliance case into Mermaids after child safeguarding concerns were raised following the revelation that Mermaids had been sending girls as young as 13 breast binders without parental consent. The Telegraph reported that the organization had even been sending the binders to different addresses to avoid suspicion from parents.

But the Commission has now opened a full statutory inquiry into the organization, with the press release specifically noting particular concerns over its governance.

Of the three points of issue the Commission is seeking to examine, two in particular focus on the behavior of trustees.

The inquiry comes just weeks after it was learned that one of Mermaids’ trustees had expressed extensive views sympathetic to pedophiles, and had even given a lecture at a conference held by an organization founded by a convicted child rapist.

Dr. Jacob Breslow, an Associate Professor of Gender and Sexuality at the London School of Economics, became a trustee for Mermaids in July of 2022.

In October, Reduxx reported that Breslow had spoken at a symposium held by B4U-Act — a charity founded in 2003 by convicted child rapist Michael Melsheimer to advance the rights of pedophiles.  

Breslow’s presentation was titled Sexual Alignment: Critiquing Sexual Orientation, The Pedophile, and the DSM V. During his presentation, Breslow read from a paper in which he rejected the understanding of pedophilic attraction to children as being inherently harmful, and supported the concept of pedophilia being classified as a sexual or political orientation.

Since giving the presentation at B4U-ACTs symposium, Breslow has published work such as  “Flirting with the Islamic State: Queer Childhood with a Touch of Contemporary Sexual Politics” and “Ambivalent Childhoods: Speculative Futures and the Psychic Life of the Child.”

It also came to light Breslow had run a WordPress blog from 2009 to 2017, with many of its entries advocating for reframing pedophilia as a sexual identity comparable to homosexuality. 

In several posts, Breslow describes his interest in pornographic magazines centered on the sexualization of teenage boys. In particular, Breslow praises Destroyer Magazine. Breslow describes Destroyer as “a magazine dedicated to the beauty of the boy” and praises Andersson’s “academic(ish) critique and aesthetic appreciation of boyhood, deviance, and the LGBT community.” Destroyer is a publication created by Karl Andersson which features sexualized photos of models that are advertised as being as young as 15 years old.

Following the revelation of Breslow’s history of pedophile apologism, he quickly resigned from Mermaids and the charity released a statement addressing the controversy.

“We have explained that it was only on the 3rd October that we became aware of his participation in a 2011 conference that would have disqualified him from becoming a trustee. Once notified, we immediately launched an investigation and Dr. Breslow tendered his notice that same day,” the Mermaids statement read.

They continued by stating they had informed the Charity Commission of the incident.

A formal inquiry was launched into Mermaids on 28th November 2022.

In a statement released on December 2, the Commission noted that it would be investigating “the regulatory issues to determine whether they indicate serious systemic failing in the charity’s governance and management.”

This announcement follows a sudden departure by Mermaids’ CEO, Susie Green, who abruptly resigned after 6 years with the charity.

Green had been the subject of ample criticism during her tenure, in particular due to the circumstances surrounding her own child’s transition.

Susie Green and her child, “Jackie.”

During a TedTalk Green gave in 2018, she described how she speculated her son was gay at the age of two because he enjoyed playing with “girl’s” toys. Green noted that her ex-husband did not approve of the child’s behavior, so they penalized their son by removing his toys and condemning his effeminate behavior.

“And suddenly, a confident, happy little boy became quite quiet, withdrawn, very clingy, and tearful,” she explained. Green then asserted that it was shortly after this incident that her son began to say he wanted to be a girl.

Green reached out to Mermaids for support, and would become so active within the organization she would later become the CEO.

Green facilitated her son’s medical transitioning beginning at the age of 13. She took her child to America for “puberty blockers” and estrogen before such treatments were legal in the UK. When the child was was 16, Green took him to Thailand for a full vaginoplasty due to it having been illegal for minors in the United Kingdom to undergo such a serious procedure.

Green is now listed as a contributor to the development of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health’s Standards of Care guidelines on children despite having no clinical qualifications. WPATH’s latest guidelines removes age limit requirements for most transgender medicine interventions.

Mermaids have not stated why Green has left the charity but thanked her for “everything she has done over the last six years to support trans, non-binary and gender-diverse young people and their families.”

Following the Charity Commission’s announcement, a whistleblower anonymously spoke to the Telegraph and claimed that Green had been “forced out” of the organization due to her “incapable leadership.” In particular, the whistleblower noted the fallout from the October incident with Jacob Breslow, which was met with a lack of accountability or clear direction from Green.

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Shay Woulahan

Shay is a writer and social media content creator for Reduxx. She is a proud lesbian activist and feminist who lives in Northern Ireland with her partner and their four-legged, fluffy friends.

Shay Woulahan
Shay Woulahan
Shay is a writer and social media content creator for Reduxx. She is a proud lesbian activist and feminist who lives in Northern Ireland with her partner and their four-legged, fluffy friends.