Mermaids (charity)

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The logo features the text "Mermaids" along with the silhouettes of two mermaids reaching for a star
Motto"Embrace. Empower. Educate."
TypeNonprofit advocacy organisation
Registration no.England and Wales: 1160575
PurposeTransgender rights
  • Suite 4 Tarn House, Leeds LS19 7SP, United Kingdom
Susie Green
£317,575 (2018)[2]
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Mermaids is a British charity and advocacy organisation that supports gender diverse and transgender youth in the United Kingdom.[3][4]


Mermaids was founded in 1995 by a group of parents of gender nonconforming children.[3]

The 2018 ITV drama series Butterfly, about a young trans girl, was substantially informed by Mermaids. Creator Tony Marchant worked with Mermaids CEO Susie Green, who had a consultancy role on the show.[5] Marchant visited families who Mermaids worked with to inform the writing process,[6] and cast members Emmett J. Scanlan and Anna Friel also met families involved with Mermaids.[7]

In December 2018, the charity was designated £500,000 in funding by the British National Lottery.[8] However, the funding was put under review after criticism of the charity, including by Irish comedy writer Graham Linehan;[9][10] the review was praised by Julie Bindel and Rebecca Reilly-Cooper, who PinkNews described as trans-exclusionary radical feminists.[11] In response to this, on 18 January 2019, YouTuber Hbomberguy began a livestream attempting to 101% complete Donkey Kong 64, with a goal of $500. The stream became viral and raised over $350,000 USD for Mermaids.[9][12] Among other guests, the stream featured an appearance by American politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.[13] On 19 February 2019, the British National Lottery announced that it would follow through with the £500,000 grant to the charity.[14]

In June 2019 The Times revealed that they had discovered a serious data breach by Mermaids in which highly confidential e-mails to the charity had been made readily available through their website. The Times state that these included names of transgender children and their parents, together with contact details and intimate medical information. The newspaper reported that there were also internal e-mails from the trustees that criticised the leadership by Susie Green, and external e-mails from parents saying that the charity "felt like a 'cult'". Mermaids issued a press release on the same day, which acknowledged that a data breach had occurred, and that they had informed the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) and had corrected the breach. The press release stated that the breach was limited to internal e-mails and that no e-mails to and from families were part of the information leaked. The Times report disputes this.[15]


  1. ^ "About Us". Archived from the original on 2019-01-21. Retrieved 2019-01-21.
  2. ^ "Charity overview".
  3. ^ a b "About Us". Archived from the original on 2019-01-21. Retrieved 2019-01-21.
  4. ^ "Mermaids (National)". Birmingham LGBT. Archived from the original on 2019-01-21. Retrieved 2019-01-21.
  5. ^ Hunt, Amy (15 October 2018). "Fans praise Anna Friel's 'powerful' new ITV drama Butterfly". Woman & Home. Archived from the original on 2018-12-06. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  6. ^ Percival, Ash (14 October 2018). "'Butterfly' Writer Tony Marchant On Changing Attitudes To Transgender Children And The Importance Of Trans Representation On Screen". HuffPost. Archived from the original on 2018-12-06. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  7. ^ Harrison, Ellie (28 October 2018). "Paris Lees: 'Butterfly is the best thing to happen to the trans community for years'". Radio Times. Archived from the original on 2018-12-06. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  8. ^ Cooney, Rebecca. "BLF to review £500k grant to transgender children's charity Mermaids". Retrieved 2019-01-21.
  9. ^ a b "Streamer Hbomberguy Raises Over $230,000 for Trans Charity". Gaming News, Reviews, and Articles - 2019-01-20. Archived from the original on 2019-01-21. Retrieved 2019-01-21.
  10. ^ "'Massive shame' as Big Lottery Fund announces review of £500,000 funding grant to Leeds' Mermaids UK transgender support charity". Archived from the original on 2018-12-19. Retrieved 2019-01-21.
  11. ^ Jackman, Josh (24 December 2018). "Robert Webb criticised for attacking trans kids charity Mermaids". PinkNews. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  12. ^ Wells, Adam (21 January 2019). "Marathon Donkey Kong Stream Raises Over $350,000 For Transgender Charity". Kotaku. Archived from the original on 2019-01-22. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  13. ^ Greenwald, Will (2019-01-21). "Ocasio-Cortez drops in on Donkey Kong 64 Twitch stream". PC Mag. Archived from the original on 2019-02-17. Retrieved 2019-02-18.
  14. ^ Mohdin, Aamna (2019-02-19). "National Lottery to give grant to transgender children's group". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 2019-02-19. Retrieved 2019-02-20.
  15. ^ "Trans charity apologises for data breach". BBC News. 16 June 2019. Retrieved 16 June 2019.

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