Jameela Jamil, Josie Long and Mermaids: The Latest Gender Critical Conspiracy Theory

On Sunday the 28th of June celebrity and activist Jameela Jamil deleted all of her tweets from before 2020. Shortly after, on Wednesday the 22nd of July, comedian Josie Long deleted all of her tweets completely. I know what you’re thinking. This, of course, can only mean one thing: that they are trying to hide that they ever supported Mermaids, a UK charity that supports trans children. More importantly this is finally the beginning of the end for Mermaids and the concept of trans children in general, soon every celebrity and organisation will disavow them! At last Gender Critical (GC) people will get the vindication they’ve been predicting for years!

This huge story was first broken by full time internet blogger, Graham Linehan, on his blog “The cry of the Glinner”. Quite soon afterwards, several GC people noted that Stonewall, the largest LGBT organisation in Europe, had its page on Mermaids apparently completely blank. Around the same time the BBC removed all the links on its support page for trans people. To say that GC people are excited at this sure sign of Mermaids’ demise might be an understatement.

Even some of the most notable people in the Gender Critical movement have spoken about this including Julie Bindel and Suzanne Moore.

So far the full list of celebrities that have deleted tweets are:
- Jameela Jamil
- Josie Long

Jameela Jamil noted that she’d deleted her old tweets just so she could focus her account more on activism. Josie Long mentioned in an instagram story that she had deleted her tweets and stopped using Twitter “to avoid [Gender Critical people], not because I’ve become one”. Both have deleted tweets indiscriminately, not just ones about Mermaids. Stonewall stated that the page being shared around was actually an admin page and noted they still point to Mermaids elsewhere on their site.

So wait… what?


To fully understand what this is and why it is so sad, funny and representative of the Gender Critical (the Politically Correct term for anti-trans) movement as a whole, we need to step back a bit. Mermaids is the leading charity in the UK specifically for trans children, and for that GC people HATE them. In general the GC movement is against the current international best practice guidelines for treating trans kids, in short they do not want trans kids to be able to transition. A major component of the GC movement is that it is trying to sell itself as the “pro-science side” in the “trans debate”, but unfortunately for them none of the actual science or experts backs them up. So to avoid the cognitive dissonance caused by this they have created a world where leading organisations from the NHS to the WHO and beyond have been infiltrated by “trans rights activists”, aka “institutional capture”. To them the concept of trans children is a new thing that a handful of powerful people have managed to sneak into all of the top medical organisations, rather than one based on decades of research. All it needs is exposing.

GC people often genuinely believe that their position is the “common sense” one true truth and that anyone saying otherwise has had the wool pulled over their eyes, or is a malicious actor, usually a pedophile. They really believe that there will be a moment where everyone suddenly wakes up, where the whole trans rights movement comes crashing down, and everything will Go Back To Normal™ (where normal is an imaginary time when trans people didn’t exist). Much like a doomsday cult that is constantly predicting the end of the world, and then making a new prediction as soon as that one doesn’t come true, GC people need this to be true and so are desperate for any piece of evidence that will validate their position at all. This is how have we got to a point where two people deleting all their old tweets and a blank admin page are evidence of the end of trans rights in the UK.

It is funny to watch a load of people almost giddy at the idea of a charity for children being shut down getting it wrong so publicly, a bit like the time when an anti-trans campaigner accidentally doubled a substantial donation to Mermaids. But it is also sad. It’s sad that thousands of people have been indoctrinated into wanting to make some of the most marginalised children’s lives more difficult. As we have seen in with other conspiracy theorists, very rarely will getting something wrong publicly deradicalise them; this won’t be the last GC conspiracy theory.

We can now all look forward to the Sunday Times article pushing this conspiracy theory into the mainstream on the weekend. You can donate to Mermaids here.

Katy is a feminist, LGBT rights advocate, atheist, metalhead, insect enthusiast and trans woman

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