Girlguiding sparks trans row over interview with boy, seven, who lives as a girl

22 July 2022, 13:41 | Updated: 22 July 2022, 13:56

Some social media activists have expressed anger after a girl scout group shared the story of a trans child
Some social media activists have expressed anger after a girl scout group shared the story of a trans child. Picture: Alamy

By Seán Hickey

Girlguiding has sparked a trans row after an interview about a seven-year-old boy who lives as a girl appeared in its latest in-house magazine.

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The story of Rainbow, a seven-year-old trans girl, was published in the Summer edition of the Girlguiding magazine.

Jane and Mike, the parents of Rainbow, shared their story as parents in helping Rainbow discover her true self.

"My child had always talked about the differences between boys and girls but her questions accelerated as she got older," Jane told Girlguiding.

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Jane told the magazine how she and her husband worked to embrace Rainbow as she discovered her true identity: "At first, it felt alien. We made a few mistakes and wondered if it might change. We talked about pronouns and Rainbow wanted 'she/her’, so we focused on this at home too.

"With the changes we had made at home, she was very happy and the persistent gender questions stopped. But we knew we needed to go beyond our four walls."

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Girlguiding published Rainbow's story in the Summer edition of their magazine
Girlguiding published Rainbow's story in the Summer edition of their magazine. Picture: Alamy

Maya Forstater, an international development researcher, took to Twitter to voice her anger about the magazine elevating the story of one of their members.

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Ms Forstater gained fame after winning an appeal against her employer which found that her gender critical views were protected under the Equality Act. The Tribunal however noted that having such beliefs doesn't grant one the right to "misgender trans people with impunity".

She branded the story by Girlguiding "dangerous, reality-defying nonsense."

The researcher also said that the article should "have a health warning" on it.

Dr Katie Alcock, who used to work for Girlguides before being expelled for challenging the organisation's policy on accepting trans girls, spoke to the Telegraph about the story.

The cognitive psychologist, who reached a settlement with her former employer earlier in the year, said: "There should be information about the risks of social and medical transition, and an acknowledgement that this is not everybody's belief. 

"It’s like presenting a religious belief as if it were the truth."

Girlguiding as an organisation prides itself on being an inclusive organisation which ensures that all girls "receive a great guiding experience."

On their website, the girl scout organisation says: Girlguiding believes that the needs of girls and young women are best met through a charity catering specifically for girls, and led by girls and women, as set out in our Royal Charter and backed-up by the views of our young members.

Our Royal Charter states that Girlguiding is for ‘…the primary object of educating girls and young women to help them develop emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually so that they can make a positive contribution to their community and the wider world...’

As per our Royal Charter, we uphold our promise to support all girls and young women including trans girls and young women.