Solidarity with Munroe Bergdorf.
A few days ago Munroe Bergdorf made the announcement that the NSPCC had decided to cut ties with her and she would no longer be working with Childline as the charity’s “LGBT+ campaigner”. Bergdorf highlighted a tweet from a journalist who branded her a “porn model” and calling that her appointment an ‘astonishing decision’.
Teaching ‘The Talk’ condemns the NSPCC and Childline for their actions. Their statement to the BBC that NSPCC trustees has received transphobic letters seems a weak justification. Surely the answer to transphobic hate and abuse* is not to silence the very voices that are being targeted. It is worth pointing out that Bergdorf has been an active voice for trans people everywhere, her strength in the face of transphobia has been an example to us all. While it is shockingly short sighted that the NSPCC decided to remove their first ‘LGBT+ campaigner’ during Pride Month their actions send the same message it would at any time, the NSPCC does not truly value LGBT+ voices as part of their organisation.
As an organisation we support Bergdorf and the many thousands of trans and gender non-conforming young people that access Childline and use their services. The NSPCC themselves released that they have held over 6,000 counselling sessions with young people relating to gender and sexuality. We want organisations set up for young people to work in the interests of those young people rather than online hate and abuse.
Young people’s organisations and charities must remember that their actions are internalised by the young people they support which makes their position incredibly important. To us it seems simple, the NSPCC’s main stakeholders are the young people that they ‘protect’ yet the message that the NSPCC have sent to those young people if that their identities are less important than messages of hate.
Munroe Bergdorf has requested that those who want to support her donate to Mermaid’s Charity (A charity supporting trans and gender non-conforming young people and their families).
At Teaching ‘The Talk’ we suggest you make your solidarity with Bergdorf and the LGBT+ young people that Childline supports loud and proud. You can also lobby your local MP to ask for updates about the new #RSE curriculum and support your schools in delivering LGBT+ inclusive relationships and sex education. Often young people are more inclusive than the adults who can shout louder than them, allow these young voices to speak up above the hate.
*The actions perpetrated against Bergdorf are not isolated transphobia but are examples of racism and transmisogynoir. We have focused on the transphobia in this commentary but to read more about transmisogynoir check out this article from Wear Your Voice.