|Type||Nonprofit advocacy organisation|
|18 employees, 7 trustees, 31 volunteers|
|Part of a series on|
|LGBT rights |
in the United Kingdom
The 2018 ITV drama series Butterfly, about a young transgender girl, was substantially informed by Mermaids and its CEO, Susie Green, a consultant on the series who worked with creator Tony Marchant. Marchant and cast members Emmett J. Scanlan and Anna Friel also met families involved with Mermaids to inform their creative processes.
In December 2018, the charity was designated £500,000 in funding by the National Lottery. However, the funding was put under review after criticism of the charity, including by Irish comedy writer Graham Linehan, who created a post on Mumsnet calling for members of the forum to email their concerns to the National Lottery. In response to this, on 18 January 2019, YouTuber Hbomberguy began a livestream attempting to 101% complete the video game Donkey Kong 64, with a goal of $500. The stream became popular and raised over $350,000 USD for Mermaids. Among other guests, the stream featured an appearance by American politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. On 19 February 2019, the National Lottery announced that it would follow through with the promised donation.
Starting from 2017, Mermaids reported that it and its volunteers had been the subjects of online harassment, leading to concerns by parents whose children are supported by the organisation. CEO Green stated that she had been accused of forcibly castrating her transgender daughter, Jackie, who had been the youngest person in the world to undergo sex reassignment surgery after Green took her to Thailand for the procedure when she was sixteen. Jackie maintained that "If my mum had not helped me, I would not be here today" and transgender journalist Paris Lees wrote: "Susie Green is saving lives and I wish my parents had known about Mermaids when I was growing up".
In June 2019, The Times revealed that they had discovered a data breach by Mermaids in which confidential emails had been made readily available through their website. The Times stated that these included names of transgender children and their parents, together with contact details and intimate medical information. The newspaper reported that there were internal emails from the trustees that criticised the leadership by Susie Green, as well as criticism from parents. Mermaids issued a press release on the same day, which acknowledged that a data breach had occurred, and that they had informed the Information Commissioner's Office and had corrected the breach. The press release stated that the breach was limited to internal emails and that no emails to and from families were part of the information leaked; The Times disputed this.
In July 2020, the charity complained that the BBC had no longer included links to themselves on BBC LGBT advice pages, alongside two other organisations. The BBC said that Mermaids was removed after complaints were made about the information it provided, and for impartiality reasons.
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- Wells, Adam (21 January 2019). "Marathon Donkey Kong Stream Raises Over $350,000 For Transgender Charity". Kotaku. Archived from the original on 22 January 2019. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
- Greenwald, Will (21 January 2019). "Ocasio-Cortez drops in on Donkey Kong 64 Twitch stream". PC Mag. Archived from the original on 17 February 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
- Mohdin, Aamna (19 February 2019). "National Lottery to give grant to transgender children's group". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 19 February 2019. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
- Marsh, Sarah (27 August 2017). "Police investigate online abuse against charity for transgender children". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
- Gilligan, Andrew (16 June 2019). "Parents' anger as child sex change charity Mermaids puts private emails online". The Times. Archived from the original on 16 June 2019. Retrieved 22 June 2020.
- "A joint complaint to the BBC on behalf of UK LGBTQ+ organisations". Mermaids. Mermaids. 31 July 2020. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
- Brown, David (30 July 2020). "Mermaids and other trans groups dropped by BBC Advice Line service". The Times. Retrieved 12 September 2020.