“Born in the Wrong Body? That’s not what we meant!”

For years we have been told that trans-identified people were born in the wrong body and that it is the clothing, toy and hobby choices of children that mark them out as transgender.

Media-hungry parents have said it of their children, teenage girls with short hair and bound breasts have expressed it on Reddit and Tumblr, and adult men have used to to explain their penchant for sporting lipstick, boobs and high heels.

Yet in the last week there has been a backtrack from lobby groups on this issue. Why might this be?

Well, it could quite possibly have something to do with the newly released  ‘relationships, sex and health’ government guidance for schools. In a document titled ‘Plan your relationships, sex and health curriculum‘ under a section entitled ‘Ensuring content is appropriate’ the guidance states the following:

“We are aware that topics involving gender and biological sex can be complex and sensitive matters to navigate. You should not reinforce harmful stereotypes, for instance by suggesting that children might be a different gender based on their personality and interests or the clothes they prefer to wear. Resources used in teaching about this topic must always be age-appropriate and evidence based. Materials which suggest that non-conformity to gender stereotypes should be seen as synonymous with having a different gender identity should not be used and you should not work with external agencies or organisations that produce such material. While teachers should not suggest to a child that their non-compliance with gender stereotypes means that either their personality or their body is wrong and in need of changing, teachers should always seek to treat individual students with sympathy and support.

So it seems that schools must no longer teach children that ‘their body is wrong and need of changing’ or that their choice of clothing toys and hobbies mean they are ‘a different gender’.

Those of us who are aware of the vast increase in children presenting to gender clinics, the concerns of many professionals who work in them, and the increased presence of organisations such as Mermaids and Gendered Intelligence in schools, greeted this news with relief.

“It’s so clever, isn’t it?” Posie Parker told Sonia Poulton on Raw Report on 26th September. “They haven’t said ‘let’s get Mermaids and Stonewall out of schools’, but they’ve basically said, ‘let’s get Mermaids and Stonewall out of schools.”

This is certainly a blow for the ‘trans toolkits’ which have been distributed to schools and followed with zeal in woke areas such as Brighton and many other parts of the country.

Stephanie Davies-Arai of Transgender Trend, who produce an alternative schools guidance, told me:

“We have had a surge in orders for our schools resources since the DfE published their new RSE guidance. Clearly schools will want to ensure their policies outside this specific curriculum area are not in breach of the new guidance so they need to be looking again at any transgender guidance they are currently using.”

Our schools pack is in fact the only available guidance which is fully compatible with all aspects of the new DfE guidance. All other transgender toolkits and resources promote an ‘affirmation’ approach which suggests to children their bodies are ‘wrong’.

Some suggest a child might want to change their body to ‘match’ their identity, and medical intervention is suggested as casually as changing clothes and pronouns. All advise that a child’s ‘identity’ is real and their biological sex is irrelevant. The DfE has stated unequivocally that resources must be evidence-based so we are expecting a continued increase in orders for our schools pack as schools reassess their policies.”


cartoon by @7Wimpund

This idea is not just promoted by trans lobby groups, documentary makers and newspapers; doctors are promoting it too.

In a now infamous video, Doctor Diane Ehrensaft, a San Francisco child psychologist and founding member of the Child and Adolescent Gender Center, tells her audience (at approx 2.06.00) that boy babies may unsnap their babygros to make flowing dresses because they are really girls. Girl babies may pull out their hairslides because they are really boys. There is a short clip here.

I have a colleague who is transgender.” Ehrensaft tells her audience at an education event in Santa Cruz. “There is a video of him as a toddler- he was assigned female at birth- tearing barrettes out of then-her hair. And throwing them on the ground. And sobbing. That’s a gender message… they can show you what they want to play with… this child wore the little onesies with snap-ups between the legs and at age one this child would unsnap them to make a dress and have the dress flow… this was a child who was assigned male… that’s a pre-verbal communication.”

This insanity was presented at a major events to nods of agreement, laughter and applause.

My body is me

“I am my body, my body is me, it’s a wonderful thing, I’m sure you’ll agree!”

In December 2019, when author Rachel Rooney released her children’s book My Body is Me’, a body positive book published by Transgender Trend, she was bombarded with accusations of hatred, including the suggestion that the book was ‘anti-trans extremism’ equivalent to ‘terrorist propaganda’.

Rooney, reported the Times“wrote the book to counteract what she described as an explosion of titles that promoted the idea that children who felt confused about their gender may be ‘trapped in the wrong body’.

“It’s impossible to have the ‘wrong’ body. It’s a very worrying message we’re sending to children,” says Rooney.

In 2019, psychotherapist Stella O’Malley told the Independent:

A page from the children’s book ‘I am Jazz’

‘Born in the wrong body’ is a great description of a feeling but it’s not a diagnosis. And psychologically, that is a very dangerous thing to say to somebody.

Can you be born in the wrong body? Can you be born in the wrong head? Are people who are born in very challenging bodies, through disability, are they born in the ‘wrong’ body?

I reject the concept. We’re born in the body we have…  I think the underlying concept of being born in the wrong body is troubling. And for somebody who is 14, 15, maybe younger, and feeling distressed, lost, lonely, who feels wrong, and that their body is wrong – that phrase can be hugely appealing.”


“Let Girls be Tomboys!” announced the Times on Monday, referring to the government guidelines released on 25th September, adding, “The change (in government guidelines) could be a response to advice issued by trans charities, such as Mermaids, which says “trans children will sometimes express part of who they are by choosing particular toys and clothes.”

The Mail on Sunday also published an article concerning the new government guidelines, and it was to this that Mermaids published a response claiming, “no teacher has ever been encouraged by any LGBTQ+ organisation to state that ‘tomboys’ should be transgender” begins the response.

This seems a strange claim to make. The recording made at a training session where Mermaids trainers told teachers to use the ‘jellybaby’ model to explain ‘gender identity’ has been in the public domain for some time now.

A trainee teacher who attended one such training course told The Spectator ‘in 2018:

“teachers were told that gender is a spectrum and shown a graph with Barbie at one end and GI Joe at the other. They were asked to consider where they and their students would fit on this chart.

Mermaids now claims the slide was “presented at the time by our training team as a tongue-in-cheek, knowingly-over-simplified look at various gender expressions”.

So the presentation was a joke? Another metaphor?

How on earth are we to know what is serious and what is not?

If transkids aren’t born in the wrong body and being trans isn’t about clothing, toy or hobby choices, how do we know when a kid is trans?

A Mermaids spokesman told The Mail on Sunday,“We accept this point requires careful and subtle expression and we’re working hard to improve the clarity of our messaging.”

Remember the skateboarding, jeans wearing transgirl? Another parent on the Mermaids website, rejecting the ‘born in the wrong body’ and ‘toys, clothes and hobby‘ options wrote:

About Lily Maynard

Shamelessly gender critical. There's no such thing as a pink brain, a lesbian with a penis or a gender fairy. Transitioning kids is child abuse.
This entry was posted in Children & Young People. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to “Born in the Wrong Body? That’s not what we meant!”

  1. Remember the Freethinker Vs Fundamentalist on-line battles of about ten years ago? For a while, the Fundamentalists were winning then something happened and the Freethinkers took the high ground and the Fundamentalists saw this and began to panic and make alarming accusations as they lost ground more and more neutrals were seeing what was happening? A grudging armistice was signed and both groups faded away but the Freethinkers had shown up the Fundamentalists as anti-science? It’s what is happening now.
    Only it’s the Trans Rights Activists Vs the Radical feminists and the Trans Rights Activists are seeing defeat and a resorting to flinging insults and making denials while the Radical Feminists are looking more reasonable and grounded.

  2. Liz says:

    Wonderful evidence-based overview of this saga. Thank you so much for doing this important work.

  3. Kathleen Lowrey says:

    Mermaids can’t run faster than prosecutors eventually will.

  4. Floriana says:

    “They will tell you.”
    And if a child has never heard the word ‘trans’, there will be nothing to tell you.

  5. N says:

    This article doesn’t really make any sense. It quotes Mermaids saying that no one is “born in the wrong body” and then provides extensive quotes that are mostly from other organizations and people.

    The hyperfocus on gender roles in trans kids by news is a pretty frequent point of discussion and criticism within the trans community. It is odd to criticize the trans movement for something that news media are doing, especially when those news media are being criticized as transphobic by the trans movement for the very same reasons you list.

    As for the mentioning of it at all, I don’t see it as very different from most people mentioning the same factors in their childhood. We live in a culture that’s fairly soaked in gender roles. Toy marketing is just one example of something that’s heavily gendered. If girls trend towards playing with dolls and wearing dresses, and boys towards playing with cars and finding wearing skirts embarrassing, then that shouldn’t be taken as confirmation that gender roles are innate. It should be seen as an example of how we are influenced by gendered messages in society. None of that really changes when it’s trans people. The criticism would be better placed with the news media than with trans people just straight up saying what toys they played with as a kid.

    • Sandra Currie says:

      The problem is that trans organizations have successfully lobbied governments and institutions with their cult like ideology. They aren’t necessarily even representative of most people who think they are trans. Because of their misogynist, patriarchal , corporatist ideology, and billionaire funding, they have corrupted our government and institutions. It’s a regressive, anti-democratic, divisive, ideology that has negatively impacted our ability to organize politically, and it is endangering the lives of a generation of children.

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  7. Jody Lanham says:

    I am having a hard time even accepting that there is such a thing as “trans”, particularly in children. If the scientific reality is that no one can be” born in the wrong body”, and it doesn’t really matter what toys, clothes or preferences children have, where is this idea of trans even coming from? Isn’t “transgender” the re-word for “transsexual” who is/was a person who underwent extreme physical and hormonal measures to “become” the opposite sex/gender? There were always kids who seemed more like the opposite sex/gender than what they were but mostly that was just personal preference and not necessarily a sign that they believed, or that anyone believed that they were not really the sex/gender they were born. I have a feeling that, like everything else that tends to be in vogue, or on trend, or clogging up the social media outlets, being “trans” is a “thing”, and if a person (mostly younger or teens, who are majorly exposed to and motivated by such media) has any doubts about his or her “identity” or “sexual orientation”, he or she is labeled “trans”. Someone somewhere who knows labels them “trans”, or suggests that they may be “trans”. And that is that, and everyone else goes along. And they go along, because it is sure an easy way out of the misery they may be feeling. But mostly these would be kids who are struggling with some deep psychological self-doubt and really need some therapy – but because being “trans” is a completely logical “thing”, even normal and on the rise as it seems to be far more interesting than just being a plain old boy or girl, no worries, these kids are unlikely to get the help they really, sometimes desperately, need. They will go along if everyone else is going along, how could so many people be wrong about them? But what if they go for it, all the way, and then they are still distressed and confused? Why didn’t anyone tell them that no one is “born in the wrong body” or that “trans” is just a term used to define someone who is non-conforming but still acceptable and has good qualities and a lot to offer the rest of the world?

    I’m glad to see this article putting some of my thoughts out there and pointing out some of the realities that a lot of people and organizations have been overlooking because it is the politically correct thing to do, at the expense and demise of many children and young adults. What a shame, shame on them!

  8. Pingback: At Last, Mainstream Journalists Are Starting to Report the Truth About Youth Gender Clinics – La Linterna Azul

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