After leaving Twitter, anti-trans TV writer Graham Linehan led a campaign on the online parenting network Mumsnet, calling on users to email the Big Lottery Fund’s CEO, Dawn Austwick, asking her to review the £500,000 donation to trans charity, Mermaids, which would have allowed the charity to open 45 contact points around the UK.
“I was a bit knocked back today when I saw the story about Mermaids being given whatever insane amount it is from the National Lottery. The idea of 45 Mermaids clinics opening around the country is terrifying,” Linehan wrote.
.@Glinner is urging @MumsnetTowers users to pressure @BigLotteryFund to take money away from @Mermaids_Gender, a vitally important charity for young people and their families. My childhood would have been far less difficult with them. Let Big Lottery know if you feel the same way pic.twitter.com/VTzRd2s8oy
— Paris Lees (@parislees) December 16, 2018
Big Lottery Fund, which gives millions of pounds to charities and community groups every year, said that they had received a lot of emails about the donation to Mermaids, some positive and some negative.
“We have received a range of correspondence in relation to a proposed grant to Mermaids, expressing both concern and support regarding this organisation,” a spokesperson said.
“We’re grateful to those who have taken the time to write to us, and in light of the nature and volume of the communication we have received, we have decided to undertake a review of this grant,” they added.
In a statement, CEO of Mermaids Susie Green said, “Mermaids understands that people may not know exactly what we do and how we support families, therefore we want to make it clear that part of the lottery funding is for family support groups across the country to allow parents and their children to meet in person, sharing experiences and reducing isolation and loneliness.”
She also denounced Linehan’s anti-trans stance, saying, “It is very sad to see that a white, privileged man has decided that he knows better than the parents and young people directly affected, seeking to undermine funding for often lifesaving support for children to achieve their best in the face of bigotry and prejudice,” she said. “Parents are bewildered by the hostility they are facing, as are we.”
Linehan’s post has since been removed from Mumsnet by moderators after it resulted in “an awful lot of reports.”
A statement issued by Mermaids reads, “Whilst we are disappointed that this is necessary, Mermaids understands that the volume of correspondence, both positive and negative, received by Big Lottery has necessitated a review of the grant that we were notified of last week.
“It is unfortunate that transgender children and young people continue to be a largely misunderstood population, and we understand that misinformation about the reality for trans kids is at the heart of this. Perhaps this review will reveal more about the very real challenges faced daily by families and young people, and help to foster understanding and acceptance.
“We look forward to the outcome of this review and will work with Big Lottery to provide them with any additional information they require, as and when needed.”
This news comes after Linehan was given a police warning due to his anti-trans behaviour on Twitter.
Linehan was reported to Norfolk Constabulary by trans activist Stephanie Hayden in October after he retweeted a post that shared Hayden’s deadname and photo to his 672,000 followers on Twitter.
Last week, he likened trans activism to Nazism and said, “The thing I can easily see happening because I’ve had experience with these type of people already, is someone in a changing room, a man walks in, absolutely no indication he’s a woman.
“The woman challenges it, the man says, ‘No, I’m sorry, I’m a woman, this is my female beard, this is my female penis, and you’re guilty of hate speech.’ If you don’t think that’s going to happen, I don’t know what world you’re living in because it’s already happened.”
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