Transgender Trend was established in 2015, by a group of parents who questioned the current trans-narrative. Over the last few years it has grown into a well-known and respected organisation with a strong ethical and empathic foundation. Although considered controversial by many of those who would support the transitioning of children, Transgender Trend is emphatic that there is nothing hateful or phobic about its position.
“We believe that transgender people deserve the same civil and human rights as all of us and should not face discrimination. As the term ‘phobic’ literally means ‘irrational fear’ we want to make it very clear that we are not afraid of, or prejudiced against, transgender people in any way.”
So who are Transgender Trend? Well, the best way to find out is to visit their website, of course. Read what they have to say and decide for yourself.
“We are a growing network of parents, teachers, other professionals and academics.” says spokeswoman Stephanie Davies-Arai. “We are the mouthpiece for the large and growing numbers who are dismayed by the sudden introduction of a non evidence-based approach to children in schools, without any consultation.”
Transgender Trend was concerned that the schools packs produced by transgender and LGBT organisations promoted the new ‘affirmation’ and social transition model, which has been shown to increase persistence of gender dysphoria in children.
The Allsorts ‘Trans Inclusion Schools Toolkit’, for example, co-written by trans-identified Ryan ‘teddy bear’ Gingell and Sam Beal in 2014, and updated in 2017, is used by many schools in Brighton. The pack claims that children ‘under the trans umbrella’ may not just identify as boys or girls, but can be ‘both male and female (this may be at the same time or over time)’ or even ‘have a gender identity that we don’t yet have words to describe’. It suggests that 5 year olds may be given ‘scripts’ to repeat if questioned while deciding which toilets they wish to use. It infers that teachers may have a responsibility to provide SEN kids with required ‘gendered’ clothing; possibly even behind the backs of their parents. It suggests that pupils who are boys one day or girls on another could wear badges to signal to the teacher which pronouns everyone is required to use that day. It says staff may need to use judgement to decide if bullying is homophobic or transphobic, but must be ‘careful not to under record transphobic bullying’ – in fact ‘anyone who challenges the gendered expectations of their natal or assigned sex can be subjected to transphobia’. The pack writers claim that the Equality Act supports the idea that where sex education classes are segregated, trans-identified children should be able to choose which class to attend. They claim that ‘trans’ children should be able to choose which changing rooms to use for PE: if a girl feels uncomfortable changing with a boy ’it would not be appropriate to remove the trans pupil from the changing rooms’. Rather the girl who feels uncomfortable should be moved. The writers of the pack are under the illusion that the Equality Act supports this. It does not.
The Allsorts toolkit is a muddled, misguided and confused document, that never really touches on dealing with the needs of the non-trans children in the class, or creating an environment that is comfortable for everyone. But don’t take my word for it. See for yourself. I WANT you to read it, and come to your own, educated decision.
Under the circumstances, it isn’t surprising that by 2017 it was decided that something more egalitarian, something slightly more grounded in reality, something that truly embraced diversity was needed. Transgender Trend was up to the task. In February 2018, after months of work, TGT released their own schools pack.
The TGT pack was the Marmite of the month: parents and teachers worldwide sang its praises, while magazines like Pink News, organisations like Stonewall, and transactivists accused it of being a work of hatred that would literally cause young people to kill themselves.
The transactivists lobby attempted to whip up a media frenzy and turn TGT into a modern-day folk devil: I wrote about the ensuing furore in my article ‘Bin it! Ban it! Shred it!’ here.
Luckily, despite transactivists claiming that irreversible harm could be done if anyone so much as read the pack, enough rational and respectable people were impressed that its success was guaranteed, and in the fifteen weeks since its release the Transgender Trend schools pack has been downloaded nearly 6,000 times, by parents and educators all over the globe.
Useful and easy as downloads are, being able to hold paper in your hands and share it with others by post or in face-to-face conversation is invaluable.
TGT began working out how much it would cost to print paper copies of the pack and distriblute them to schools throughout the UK.
According to the Department of Education, there were 23,528 schools in England in 2017. 3,408 of those are state-funded secondary schools.
‘We want to get a pack to every school that has requested one and every parent who has asked for a pack for their child’s school,” explains Stephanie Davies-Arai. “We have been swamped with requests from all over the country,”
Everyone who works with Transgender Trend does so voluntarily. There are no government grants, no allowances for travels to meetings, seminars or training courses. There are no multi-millionaires sponsoring their work. The cost of producing and distributing the packs would inevitably be thousands of pounds. It seemed that it wouldn’t be possible to get a pack to everyone who wanted them… until someone suggested a Crowdfunder.
Crowdfunder helps people fund business ideas, charities, community groups, sports clubs and political movements. “Crowdfunder is available to use for anyone with an idea that matters. You can be a social enterprise, business, charity, community group or individual – everyone’s welcome!”
It seemed the perfect place to collect funds from those who had often pledged their support to the organisation, and on the 25th May 2018, three months after the schools pack was released as a pdf document, the Transgender Trend Crowdfunder went live.
The response to the crowdfunder was incredible. In less than 48 hours, the fund had been donated over a quarter of the £10,000 it hoped to raise. Transgender Trend’s crowdfunder page was swamped with messages of support.
It seemed that the necessary money would be raised to start producing paper copies of the packs, with support also coming in on Twitter and other social media.
But certain transactivists were less than pleased by the support the project was receiving. Twitter was again awash with fury, wild accusations and inaccuracies.
The fragrant, ‘non-binary’ Owl, of course, had something to say. The pack is just dangerous bigotry disguised as concern: but luckily, Owl is so very special as to be able to see through it right away!
One fiercely pro-transition mother of a trans-identified child, who used to work voluntarily as Mermaids’ marketing manager, was especially vocal about her feelings, casting aspersions that some might consider libelous (but that’s another story).
She also perpetuates the lie that the pack contravenes the Equality Act. It’s almost as if some people believe that just saying something often enough will make it true…
“I’m sure the person who donated £1 would be thrilled to be called a powerful financial backer,” observed one supporter of the project.
Personally, I donated twenty quid. I’m privileged enough to be a position where that won’t adversely affect my family’s budget for the week, but I hardly think it puts me on a par with the multi-billionaire, late-transitioning man who now goes by the name of Jennifer Pritzker and has donated millions of pounds to the cause of transgender children and their transition.
A lot of the fury didn’t seem to make sense at all. The accusations were wild and violent. It’s almost as if none of these people had actually looked at the contents of the packs. But surely that wouldn’t have been the case…
Um. What? Who hates gay people? Who pays people to hate gay people? What has that got to do with this? Pinatas? I’m so confused.
I could go on with these Tweets, but you probably get the idea. A campaign was quickly organised to mass-report Transgender Trend to Crowdfunder, and on Tuesday 29th May, Transgender Trend received this email.
“Dear Transgender Trend,
I am getting in touch today because we have received a high number of reports from the Crowdfunder Community about your project Transgender Schools Resource Pack. The majority of these reports have reported that the project is in contravention of our terms and conditions:
2.1.2 We have specific rules regarding the types of Projects that you can post on Crowdfunder.co.uk. Please see our Projects and Rewards Guidelines which contain these rules and form part of our Terms.
The particular guideline which these reports are referring to is the following:
What’s not appropriate:
– Offensive material – this means any hate speech [or pornographic material].
We take reports of this nature very seriously, and in light of this, the project has now entered our review process. As part of this in process the project will be hidden from search results on the website, pending review. This process will take up to three days and there will be three possible outcomes:
1. The project will be allowed to continue to run for it’s full duration.
2. The project will be closed and any money raised so far will be collected by you, the project owner.
3. The project will be closed and the supporters refunded.
We hope that you understand that our guidelines are in the best interest of Crowdfunder’s community, and as such is it our duty to uphold them.
All the best,
The crowdfunder has been suspended. At the time of writing, Transgender Trend still aren’t sure what will happen next; if the crowdfunder will be reinstated and allowed to run its course, or the money raised so far returned to the donors.
The Haters were less than happy with what happened next. The campaign to shut down the project backfired. Scores, if not hundreds, of supporters have written or emailed Crowdfunder in support of Transgender Trend.
“I was going to donate later today. Is there a way of donating directly?” asked one parent on Mumsnet. “My donation has just doubled because I’m pretty passed (sic) off.”
Another parent posted the email they’d sent to Crowdfunder:
“…the aim of this crowdfunder is simply to fund producing printed copies of information for schools to help them support gender non conforming children and trans children alongside all other pupils. It has been produced in consultation with teachers, child protection and welfare professionals and lawyers.
It would be very sad if you allowed the extreme activism of a small minority to stand in the way of fund raising for this excellent cause.”
A third had this to say:
“I can only imagine that you haven’t read the pack or you would see how respectful it is of all students. It is also important to remember that many children ( my own nephew included) desist from a transgender identity if not affirmed, and grow into happy, well adjusted gay kids.”
The Times ran a piece on June 1st, exposing the bullying the project had been subjected to.
“Transgender Trend,” wrote Andrew Gilligan, “is considering taking legal action against activists for claiming that the resource pack is “transphobic”, included “hate speech” and was “a modern edition of Mein Kampf”.
More people than ever, angered by the bullying tactics and the lies, began to donate via paypal and within a few days not only had the fund crossed half way to its target, but downloads of the pack were peaking again.
I asked Transgender Trend if they had anything to add before I published this article, and Stephanie Davies-Arai made this statement:
“We are not just a small group of parents. We are a growing network of parents, teachers, other professionals and academics. We are the mouthpiece for the large and growing numbers who are dismayed by the sudden introduction of a non evidence-based approach to children in schools, without any consultation. The accusation of ‘hate’ is being directed towards the very people who are most invested in the protection of the welfare of all children.
We are not cowed by the vitriol directed towards us, it only serves to strengthen our conviction that such people should not be involved with directing policies affecting children.
We are the only organisation advocating a more cautious approach towards children who are confused or distressed about their sex and, contrary to misconceptions, our resource has been legally checked to ensure it complies with EA2010 (The Equality Act).
Our supporters can rest assured that we will continue our work no matter how many attempts are made to silence us.”
Fighting words indeed.
Anyone wanting to give to the fund can do so here by donating via paypal or directly into the Transgender Trend bank account.
Anyone wanting to download the Transgender Trend Schools Pack and read it for themselves can do so here.