Thu 6 Oct 2022 — 3 min

Trans Safety Network have been made aware of a document - published using what appears to be Maya Forstater’s google account - which encourages “parents, professionals and young people with first-hand experience of Mermaids” to submit their “concerns” about the charity to the Charity Commission.

The document encourages individuals to submit evidence “now” in light of comments made by the Charity Commission in response to the much-criticised and misleading controversy in the UK press, surrounding Mermaids and trans youth access to binders.

The spokesman for the Charity Commission stated that it has opened a regulatory compliance case in response to “concerns [which] have been raised” about safeguarding. Mermaids has stated on their website that such regulatory compliance cases are “relatively routine”.

The document which is circulating encourages and provides instructions on how to submit concerns to the Charity Commission, and that “now is the time” to do so. It also emphasises that those who have previously submitted concerns should resubmit, in what appears to be a tactical attempt to increase the volume of complaints.

The document also includes leading examples of the kind of “experience” individuals might have, listing:

  • advice contrary to NHS/giving medical advice/promoting transition
  • acting without parental consent
  • safeguarding concerns/keeping secrets/age-inappropriate content/forum moderation
  • their approach to detransitioners
  • advice and training given to schools.

Following this, the document provides a step-by-step guide on how to submit evidence to the Charity Commission, instructing individuals to indicate that Mermaids are causing “serious harm to beneficiaries and, in particular, vulnerable beneficiaries”.

TSN has been made aware that this document has been circulated within numerous “Gender Critical” groups. This campaign seems likely to strategically generate a large volume of reports to the Charity Commission which - without awareness of this document - might misleadingly appear to have an entirely grassroots basis.

Update: TSN was informed about this document prior to the publication of information about former trustee, Jacob Breslow, who has been accused of paedophile apologia. We commend Mermaids’ decision to remove him as trustee, and the actions outlined in their statement, to ensure such a mistake can never occur again. Mermaids have also informed the Charity Commission of the circumstances and their intended response. Whilst Mermaids states that there is now a broader harassment campaign against them in response to the Breslow incident, the document discussed in this article was organised and circulated purely in response to the media controversy involving binders.