Earlier this week, I wrote about “Desmond is Amazing,” the eleven-year-old boy whose sexualization and exploitation is being obscured by ideologues.
One of the ideologues I mentioned is the British transgender (male-to-female) activist, Munroe Bergdorf. In February, Julia Long, a lesbian activist, attended an event where Bergdorf was speaking and asked about Desmond’s safety. This turned out to be a highly illuminating encounter (see here):
LONG: [Desmond] appeared in a show with a convicted killer and a picture behind him that said “rohypnol” [the date rape drug]… and [he] has also appeared in gay clubs… [where] older gay men [throw] money at him. And I wondered what you thought about this normalization of child abuse?
BERGDORF: I did an article with “Desmond is Amazing” — who is amazing. And it was with their mother as well and it was focused on how we can encourage children to be themselves and how we can listen to what they want to do. With regards to Desmond having money thrown at him, if you’ve ever been to a New York drag club, that is completely normal.
Bergdorf added: “I think we need to be encouraging children to be themselves and do whatever they want to do.” This was met with rapturous applause from the audience and a post from Desmond’s official Twitter account — “owned by Mom” — expressing thanks.
Thank you @MunroeBergdorf and @DragSyndrome#munroebergdorf #dragsyndrome#babydrag #clubkid #drag #dragkid #dragkids #dragmakeup #dragqueen #fashion #gayboy #genderbender #genderfluid #influencer #lgbt #lgbtq #lgbtyouth #noh8 #pride #queer #trans #transgender #desmondisamazing pic.twitter.com/ESRhRb01E4
— Desmond is Amazing (@desmond_amazing) February 18, 2019
But who is Munroe Bergdorf, anyway?
The activist underwent a gender transition from male to female at the age of 24, became the first transgender model in the U.K. for L’Oreal (but was soon fired for making racist comments). After this, Bergdorf was appointed LGBT adviser to the Labour Party (but resigned after negative press coverage).
When Bergdorf was appointed the celebrity ambassador for NSPCC, a child-protection charity which operates the Childline helpline, many felt that the appointment was inappropriate. For instance, Bergdorf has modeled naked for Playboy, a fact which would be easy for any vulnerable child to ascertain with a quick Google search. Another reason for concern is that Bergdorf, who is 31 years old, has solicited private communication from vulnerable minors online on multiple occasions. This behavior directly contravenes NSPCC’s safeguarding policy. Here are some of Bergdorf’s Tweets of this nature:
“To any trans kids out there who need or want support. Please @ me. I will answer all messages and work with you to get you the help you deserve. You deserve to be happy.”
“Further proof to my post regarding any trans kids why feel they have no one to talk to about how they feel. Please don’t feel alone. If you ever need to talk. Drop me a msg on insta. It’s easier to track than on here. Keep your heads up! You got a big sister here, always. X”
When one minor wrote, “I cant legally set up a gofundme or youcaring for about a year and im a queer trans disabled kid in an abusive household who cant work,” Bergdorf replied, “Let’s talk on dm. Msg me.”
Janice Turner, a columnist for the Times of London wrote on Twitter:
Hey @NSPCC can you please explain why a children’s safeguarding charity has hired a porn model as a Childline ambassador? It’s an astonishing decision. Is it worth the cancelled direct debits?
— Janice Turner (@VictoriaPeckham) June 6, 2019
The NSPCC dismissed Bergdorf and explained in a public statement:
When appointing an ambassador we are required to consider whether the relationship supports our ability to safeguard children and be influential in safeguarding children. The board decided an ongoing relationship with Munroe was inappropriate because of her statements on the public record, which we felt would mean that she was in breach of our own risk assessments and undermine what we are here to do. These statements are specific to safeguarding and equality.
However, as James Kirkup writes perceptively at the Spectator, the media narrative was redirected from the real story — the firing of a Childline ambassador who, having appeared in sexualized photo shoots, had also failed to comply with the charity’s own safeguarding policies — to a total fantasy about an allegedly “transphobic” campaign begun by Turner. Kirkup sums up the depressing details:
Fact 1: Munroe Bergdorf was sacked by a child safety charity because the charity said she undermined its child safety work. She has since been lionised and feted, treated as a victim of injustice.
Fact 2: Janice Turner sent a single tweet to ask the charity a question about Munroe Bergdorf’s appointment, an appointment the charity has now accepted was inappropriate and mistaken. Janice Turner has since been vilified, abused and defamed.
Question: what are the differences between Munroe Bergdorf and Janice Turner that might explain the different ways in which they have been treated?