The Royal Family today recognize a prominent trans rights campaigner for their work on mental health.
Susie Green is the CEO of Mermaids UK, a charity that supports transgender children and their families. She was honored at a reception hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with Prince Harry today.
Though they only spoke briefly, Green tells GSN that when she told Prince Harry what Mermaids does, he said ‘that’s amazing.’
Held on World Mental Health day, Both Prince William and Harry welcomed a number of mental health campaigners. In attendance were big names like Stephen Fry, Ruby Wax, Esther Rantzen and many of those involved in the Royals mental health work and charity the Heads Together campaign.
Our CEO is at Buckingham Palace today to be recognised by the Royal family for her outstanding work supporting trans kids & their families. pic.twitter.com/2T9pD5d05H
— Mermaids (@Mermaids_Gender) October 10, 2017
Speaking to Gay Star News, Green says it is an honor to get the invite to Buckingham Palace today.
‘What a fantastic evening, the Royals are clearly passionate… Kate, Will, and Harry have made their commitment to mental health very clear.’
Acclaimed author Stephen Fry was one of the speakers at the event at the palace, who Green said was amazing. Fry spoke about the stigma of mental health as well as the difficulties of those ‘left to spiral downward.’
Prince Harry who spoke alongside Fry, drew on his experience to talk about recovery.
When we spoke to Green before the event she said: ‘Although gender dysphoria is not a mental illness, unfortunately, due to massive prejudice and ignorance, discrimination is still rife. Young people and their families are suffering because of this.
‘Our detractors try to play down the suicide attempt stats, the bullying and the self-harm; which leaves me asking – why?’
The statistics Green refers to are numerous – and globally, mirror each other.
In Scotland, Stonewall’s school report suggests nearly all of trans students are self-harming. Correlating with similar figures it also found more than two in five trans young people in Scotland attempt to take their own life.
Moreover, in California, when over 600,000 students took part in research; one trend shows trans students are two and half times more likely than cis students to use drugs including cocaine and methamphetamine too.
With all of these statistics looming over the charities work, Green reflects on today:
‘For Mermaids, and for me as CEO, this is recognition of the fact that we are making an impact. As the voice for so many families and young people unable to speak out for fear of repercussions against themselves and their children; we are thankful that our work on the behalf of gender variant and transgender children is of value.’
The charity is considering legal action against a UK newspaper
This comes in the week the charity has taken ‘huge issues’ with a Sunday Times article.
It’s after an article reports the charity were banned by the High Court from any contact with a family when the mother ‘forced her seven-year-old son to live as a girl’.
Though Mermaids confirm to us they did support the mother during a court case; in a statement, they say they have ‘not been banned from contact with the child by the high court.’
For this reason, the charity is looking at an IPSO complaint and legal action.
Subsequently, their supporters took to social media to reiterate, many using the hashtag #IStandWithMermaids.
Anti-bullying and trans activist Paris Lees tweets:
Shame on @mragilligan. You should be asking the teaching unions & government what they’re doing to help these kids, not going after Mermaids
— Paris Lees (@parislees) October 8, 2017
Moreover, Lees went on to call The Sunday Times ‘nothing short of evil.’