Transgender Trend (also known as Transgender Trend Ltd) is an anti-trans organization that presents itself as feminist, based in the United Kingdom. Founded in 2015 by Stephanie Davies-Arai as a website providing an “alternative source of evidence-based information,” Transgender Trend has since grown into one of the UK’s largest anti-trans advocacy organizations, influencing public policy nationally as well as abroad through an affiliated organization known as Genspect. They are one of the key popularizers of the slur “groomer” to describe LGBTQ+ adults.
Transgender Trend has gained notoriety for a variety of prominent and public facing campaigns. These include the release of an anti-trans children’s book known as My Body Is Me!, the sharing of anti-trans ‘resource packs’ to schools across the UK intended for teachers and parents, and producing various anti-trans stickers for children, of which they have since apologized for.
The organization has also been involved in prominent cases concerning trans rights in the UK, including Bell vs. Tavistock. They were among the organizations who testified against the usage of puberty blockers for minors, and contributed to the ruling that doctors need a judge’s approval before giving puberty blockers to those under the age of 16.
Gender affirmation, whether through the social transition of children or the teaching of ‘gender identity’ as fact, is not education but indoctrination into a belief.
The site was officially incorporated as a business on June 6, 2019 at an address in Lewes, England, likely in preparation for a fundraiser dedicated to their mission project. It has since moved to a second address, also in Lewes.
As of June 6, 2019, Transgender Trend is a private limited company in the United Kingdom. Stephanie Davies-Arai acts as its officer, secretary, and Person with Significant Control (PSC), whereby she has the vast majority (and likely sole) control of the company and the ability to appoint a board of directors if she so wishes.Stephanie Davies-Arai is the only employee listed by Transgender Trend.
The group claims to receive income from individual donations with no charities, political, or religious groups. They claim to use the money for legal costs, website costs, and other maintenance costs, including “full-time salaried positions within the organization.”
History of Anti-LGBTQ+ Activism
Transgender Trend started as a repository of articles discussing the views of Davies-Arai and others holding anti-trans views.
The site claims to be concerned about the increase of young people who identify as trans in schools, and feel the right approach would be for children to wait until they’re older. A lengthy series on their website uses misleading statistics to suggest that autistic children are being coerced into being transgender. (While there does seem to be a link between autism and gender dysphoria, there is no evidence that autistic patients are being misdiagnosed, that they don’t benefit from treating their gender dysphoria, or that being autistic alone makes a person incapable of participating in treatment decisions or providing age-appropriate informed consent.)
Among the issues Transgender Trend is most known for is its promotion of the fringe theory of Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD). In addition to websites like 4th Wave Now and Youth Trans Critical Professionals, it functioned as a source for parents in Lisa Littman’s study on the theory. The research method of relying on parental surveys from unsupportive parents is one of the key scientific criticisms of Littman’s paper and of the theory of ROGD itself.
Transgender Trend were a key source of popularizing the slur “groomers” as a description of trans adults as far back as 2019. They have also worked with prominent anti-gay and anti-trans individuals such as Lynda Rose in attempting to combat trans rights, as described by PinkNews.
Transgender Trend has been involved in campaigning against modernization of the process for changing one’s legal gender in 2020. They also spoke to legislators to promote restrictions on puberty blockers in the infamous Bell vs. Tavistock case, which succeeded in restricting trans healthcare for children in Britain. This case ruled that children younger than 16 cannot get puberty blockers without the approval of a judge, but this was later overturned on appeal.
Davies-Arai has been to numerous events as a representative of Transgender Trend, including speaking before the Association of Child Protection Professionals and speaking against “gender ideology” at the University of Edinburgh. In 2022 she was awarded the British Empire Medal for Queen Elizabeth’s Birthday Honors List.
My Body Is Me!
Released in mid 2020, My Body Is Me! is a children’s book intended for 3-6 year olds written by Rachel Rooney, a special education teacher focusing on children with autism, and illustrated by Jessica Ahlberg.
The intention of the book is to tell trans children that they aren’t truly trans and to push against the idea that they were “born in the wrong body.” It’s prominently marketed by Transgender Trend for young children of all stripes, featuring teacher’s notes, a lesson plan, and various worksheets that accompany the usage of the book.
Rooney has claimed that neither she nor Ahlberg receives profit from the book, suggesting that purchases go to Transgender Trend.
The book has also been featured in various news outlets, such as the Sunday Times, The Christian Institute, and The Times. It has also been shared positively onto other anti-trans websites, including Women Are Human and PeakTrans. It was formerly promoted by the National Educational Union, however this support was retracted when questioned by PinkNews.
Perhaps what Transgender Trend is most known for is distribution of educational resources to schools to attempt to counteract what they believe is an indoctrination of trans children into a “gender ideology.” These resources vary in their approach, with some focused on parents and some focused on teachers, but they’re all based around promoting the “wait and see” method of handling trans kids. This approach is popular among those who reject the mainstream medical consensus that transition improves outcomes in transgender youth, and instead aims to delay the transition of trans youth while implicitly - or, sometimes, explicitly - discouraging them from ever doing so.
Transgender Trend gained international headlines in 2018 when they began to promote the use of transphobic stickers, which included slogans comparing gender dysphoria to anorexia and denying the idea that one can be trans at all. These stickers were promoted for children to use in schools, which was met with widespread controversy, as it was pointed out that these stickers were inappropriate for children and were politicizing school grounds.
Transgender Trend initially denied claims that they were for schools, claiming them instead to be for “public or personal use.” This was contradicted by tweets they’ve previously made, which suggested their intended use was - at least in part - for children to put them on their school supplies and share them around.
In response to the public opposition, Transgender Trend has since apologized for the sticker campaign, and removed them from their online store.