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If you are affected by the issues covered in this blog, please contact us for support – or call Samaritans for someone to listen 24-hours-a-day, 365 days a year. On World Suicide Prevention Day, we spoke to Nick Barnes, the founder and Chief Executive of the National Centre for Suicide Prevention, Education and Training CIC and Simon Blake, Chief Executive of the social enterprise, Mental Health First Aid England. We asked them some questions about suicide and how best to protect those we love from harm, and they kindly offered us their thoughts. Suicide thrives in secrecy. So, it is…

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We’ve decided to get together with some of our parents and look at a common question being discussed online: Are kids being identified as trans because of the toys they play with or the clothes they like to wear? The answer, of course is, ‘no’. Children play with all sorts of toys and that doesn’t mean for a second they’re transgender. The same goes – of course – for clothing. Nonetheless, some people do still believe that parents are basing their understanding of their child’s gender identity on clothes and toys and it’s important we address such a common misconception….

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Photography by Julia Forsman In a recent twitter post, the children’s author J. K. Rowling stated an apparent concern that some gay people are being ‘turned’ transgender by homophobes via an unidentified process of conversion therapy. This suggestion has caused great offence to parents already doing everything they can to support their trans child in the face of constant threats, ridicule and misinformation from those who have never experienced trans parenthood themselves. If you’re a parent of a trans child and would like to share your story, click here. We hope J.K. Rowling and those supporting her will take notice…

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Susan’s Story I wanted to help other young people to access and benefit from the support of Mermaids in a way which my own family didn’t have when we needed support. Six days before the date of the London Marathon, I saw details of the 2.6 Challenge organizers had set up to replace the event which, of course, couldn’t happen this year due to the pandemic. I would never normally contemplate taking part in the Marathon, but they’d suggested socially-distanced events such as running round your garden for 2.6 miles, or 26 times. That made me decide I’d raise money…

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How the star of the Harry Potter films helped our trans social media manager overcome that blog post. I’m sitting on my Slytherin bed sheets feeling gutted. This isn’t the first time I’ve experienced what feels to me like transphobia. It’s not the first time someone’s let me down by saying things that seem to deny who I am, and it certainly won’t be the last time I’m hurt by someone I thought was my friend. I’m Jake and I’m a non-binary muggle. I came to terms with my identity when I was 17, at a time when toxic trans…

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Some of our trans staff members share their experiences at Mermaids and being visible in the workplace. Lui Asquith There is no expectation, no agenda, nothing but pure integrity and care at its core. That’s no small thing. I first came across Mermaids whilst I was at a previous law firm as a practising family solicitor, running a LGBT department in the North East. I was put in touch with Mermaids as the only (at the time) trans and gender diverse children’s charity in the UK. As soon as I connected with Mermaids, I felt incredibly compelled to help the…

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Tyler I was emotional when Tyler was chosen because I finally knew my name and I felt valid as who I am. Tyler talks about how he chose his name through a Facebook poll I actually used Facebook to run a poll voting on my new name, as I’d originally picked ‘Harley’, but then the new Joker film came out and I was worried people would think I’d named myself after Harley Quinn, which I didn’t! I was pretty indecisive on which one I liked the most at the time, but Tyler was definitely one of the names I secretly…

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Mermaids Press

An open letter from Mermaids on World Suicide Prevention Day 10th September 2019 Change now to save transgender children from suicide Mermaids has been supporting transgender children and young people for nearly 25 years. We know that there is nothing more devastating than the loss of a child or young person to suicide. We see, first hand, the terrible psychological trauma suffered by some of our service users because they live in a society that seems unable or unwilling to understand and accept them. Overall, the number of suicides in the UK fell between 2017-2018 but the number of under…

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Mermaids Press

This year, for Volunteer’s Week, we’ve asked our amazing volunteers to share what giving up their time for Mermaids means to them! We have a very diverse range of volunteers ranging from LGBT activists, to parents and former service users. Together they work so hard to provide our vital services, such as the helpline and forums, to everyone who needs them. If you’d like to become a volunteer for Mermaids, click here to find out more! Our trustees are amazing LGBT rights champions who love to get involved with supporting our service users! Some of our most dedicated volunteers have themselves been…

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Last week, Phoebe Waller-Bridge revealed in an interview on the American network, NPR that she ‘desperately wanted to be a boy’ when she was younger. Cue the inevitable reaction from certain members of the press. Within hours, articles appeared implying the actress and writer was lucky to have grown up before the days of trans awareness because…well…she would have been forced to take medication and identify as a boy for the rest of her life against her will, right? One of our young people, Sarah, wanted to explain that, then as now, it’s actually just about exploring who you are and there’s…

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