On Oct 19th, Charlie Evans went on Sky News and claimed there were 100s of people seeking help detransitioning. The UK media were quick to support their narrative. It was picked up by The Telegraph and The Daily Mail, and soon formed a tirade of opinion on social media that hundreds of cisgender people were being harmed by accessing services for trans people, then suddenly discovering they were cisgender and claiming to be harmed by the process.
Compared to actual studies in GIC's which put the detransition rate as low as 1 in 600 people, this was a frightening claim, both for trans people themselves, and for "concerned" cisgender people. Charlie, the source of this "evidence", used the UK national media, claims to be a "detransitioner". She says she lived as a man for 10 years, however she didn't have surgery or take hormones, so one would immediately question whether she was the most qualified/experienced person to offer the help detransitioners needed. Still, she went ahead.
She went on to launch the "National Detransition Advocacy Network", launching a web site. She claimed that she was "really struggling" and needed donations, saying that she was unemployed. On Nov 19, Charlie fundraised for a website. She got £980. However, the website didn't appear until Mar 20, after a false start. The website was made with WIX, and I can testify that it's very user friendly. I have experience in CSS and HTML, although none of that is required here.
She announced the launch on the 30th December 2019. Fuelled by exposure from the national media, the money started rolling in, however, it was clear that by March 20th, there was very little to show for it. Her claims were to provide 24/7 support, creating research, and to make guides for detranistioners.
Now imagine the head of a trans advocacy service like Mermaids sent out a tweet looking for amateur advice for vulnerable people, the media frenzy that would ensue, and the accusations of unprofessionalism that would cause. But when "Detransition Advocacy Network" did? Silence...
The website currently has only 5 pages. It has a scant resource page which links to someone's blog, Tumblr and Youtube videos. It has a contact page which indicates a few people taking enquires, however there is no indication of who they are or what qualifications they have. The last page of the website is a donation page, which links to a Patreon. DAN (Detransitioners Advocacy Network) brings in $226 a month. It's difficult provide a professional 24/7 listening service for 100s of vulnerable people on that budget. And, indeed, 6 months later, Charlie stopped doing it.
Charlie is now a lab technician by trade and because lab technicians are needed to combat COVID, Charlie got a job. She said in a tweet she is working 60 hr weeks. So who is providing the 24/7 listening service she promised now? Also, the DAN Twitter page hasn't tweeted since she left.
So what about the charity that was apparently essential to help "hundreds" of detransitioners that the media reported extensively on back in Oct, whose founder departed 6 months later? What about the money which continues to roll in. What about the "100's" of detransitioners apparently seeking help? The UK media drives anti-trans narratives, like this. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, in the absence of any research and due dilligence. Even the slightest scratch in to the surface of these spurious claims has demonstrated a scam, people profiteering from the lives of vulnerable trans and detrans people, under the guise of moral panic. I've seen Charlie's claims repeated as if they are fact, and yet there's no indication that DAN was anything more than her, a few mates, and a laptop. Charlie said that "resources are urgently needed" in her media publicity and yet it took her £980, and 4 months, to make a website that has a total of 5 links to blog/Tumblr advice and 2 links to YouTube documentaries. Any detransitioner would do better in an evening of Googling.
In Jan 2020, DAN raised £175 to fly someone over for what they called their "last-minute 2nd meetup." To help them with research to provide 100s of people with urgent help you say? No, for walks, pubs, and the cinema.
Normally, when the head of a service or charity leaves, especially one that is providing "urgent help" they appoint a new head. Charlie did not do that. There is now no public face of DAN and only four email addresses to guess at who might be providing advice.
No public face means no accountability. Who is getting the 226 quid Patreon money every month? What qualifications do they have? What services are being provided with this money? Research? Phone bills? Or is the money going on local chapters' "English pubs and movie nights"?
There is simply no indication that Charlie's claim to know 100s of detransitioners (300 to be precise, as per an article by Julie Bindel) that needed her to provide a service like DAN for urgent help was ever true, or, if it was, that she ever provided this in a timely manner. She left DAN when a job opportunity arose, 6 months after formation, and it seems utterly remiss of the UK media not to revisit this story for an update on the 300 detransitioners and how they have been helped in the last 6 months, outside of "country walks and English pubs." Consider Susie Green from Mermaids, who has been with that org since 1999. Now consider that Susie Green and Mermaids are under constant UK media scrutiny, and yet Charlie Evans is able to do a huge media splash and then drop her advocacy within 6 months without a ripple? When trans people say that the media is driven on our extermination, that the press is hostile - this is what they mean. The media are happy with scandal and misinformation about trans people because it sells. They have no concern for the safety and wellbeing of trans people, or indeed, detransitioners, there is no evidence of any "investigative journalism" in the UK press today. The scandal is how trans people in the UK are being demonised, harrassed and, indeed, possibly legislated against because of this. As trans people, all we can do is investigate the truth, and as always, act in defence against unfounded and spurious rumours hailed to be "exclusive" truths, but based on transphobia and lies. The evidence was collated from a collection of tweets originally posted by a concerned party on twitter. As usual, it's up to trans positive members of the community to expose what reasonable journalism should have questioned.