Now BOYS can be Girl Guides [in the U.K.] if they think they’re the wrong gender
Note: This story refers to Girl Guides in the UK.
The Daily Mail Australia, 22 January 2017
Now BOYS can be Girl Guides [in the U.K.] if they think they’re the wrong gender – and anyone who says they’re a woman can be at girls’ sleepovers, without telling parents
- And adults born male but identify as female will be permitted to become leaders
- Parents of girls as young as five should not be told if transgender person joins
- It would be ‘unlawful’ for leaders to inform parents they are sharing toilet facilities with people born as boys
Boys who believe they are girls are being allowed to join the Guides for the first time, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
And adults born male but who identify their true gender as female will be permitted to become leaders under radical changes to the organisation’s single-sex policy.
Controversially, the new rules state that parents of members as young as five should not be told if a transgender person joins their group.
They add that it is not ‘best practice’ to tell parents their daughters will be sharing facilities such as sleeping areas and toilets with transgender girls, who are born male, during trips away.
And they state that it would be ‘unlawful’ for leaders to inform parents their children are being looked after on overnight excursions by transgender women.
Until now, Girlguiding has been a single-sex organisation, with its chief executive, Julie Bentley, a leading campaigner for abortion rights and greater access to contraception, describing it as ‘the ultimate feminist organisation’.
Last year, girls who responded to a survey run by Girlguiding stressed how important it was to have ‘a safe, girl-only space’.
The transgender approach marks a major departure from the 107-year-old organisation’s origins as a ‘movement for girls’. It states that it will now accept members based on the gender they ‘self-identify’ as, rather than their biological sex.
A document sent to all leaders last week explains: ‘Girlguiding aims to support all girls and young women. This is understood in terms of the way a person self-identifies their gender identity – a person’s inner sense of self.’ This means that if a boy ‘self-identifies’ as a girl, he can join his local guide unit without undergoing any medical treatment to change sex or even having to dress as a girl.
The same applies to adult transgender women – and the updated guidelines will apply to all ages: Rainbows, from five to seven, Brownies, seven- to 10, and Guides, 10 to 14.
Some parents are horrified. One mother from Bristol, Amanda Gracey, whose six-year-old daughter recently joined a Rainbows group for younger children, said: ‘It’s shocking that if there is a man who believes he is a woman leading the group, it is forbidden that parents should be informed, even on residential trips.
‘You might be in a situation with girls having to deal with menstruation going to a leader with no understanding at all. Every piece of safeguarding advice says you should provide separate sleeping and changing facilities for children of opposite sexes under the age of 18.’
The Girl Guides have had many high-profile members during their long history, such as the Queen, who is the organisation’s patron, her sister Princess Margaret, actress Emma Thompson and author J. K. Rowling.
Philip Hollobone, the Conservative MP for Kettering in Northamptonshire, said the new rules would set alarm bells ringing for many parents. He added: ‘Sadly, the result will be fewer girls joining the Girl Guides. There will be parents who won’t let their daughters join because of this change.’
Julie Bentley said: ‘Girlguiding complies with the Equality Act 2010 which makes clear organisations providing single-gender services should treat people according to their acquired gender. In line with our values of inclusion, we welcome any young person who self-identifies as a girl or young woman.’