British police last month interrogated a woman who opposed transgenderism on Twitter. The woman, a 43-year-old married mother of four, is now awaiting a decision by Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) on charges of “malicious communication” and possible hate crimes.
Police contacted Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, a self-described feminist with an active Twitter account, in early February. She said they told her an activist had reported her for tweets critical of sex-change surgery for minors. They said she was a “test case” in a new human rights fight.
On Feb. 23, a police constable and a hate crime officer came to interview her. The officers questioned her about eight specific tweets spanning from October 2016 to August 2017 in which she criticized the actions of another British mother of four, Susie Green.
Green is the CEO of the U.K.-based pro-transgender group Mermaids. The group receives public funding to train schools, the police force, medical practitioners, and others about transgender issues. She is also widely recognized as the mother of Jackie Green, reportedly the youngest person in the world to undergo a sex-change surgery. From the time Jackie, born Jack, was between the ages 12 to 16, Green took her child to Boston every six months for puberty-blocking hormone treatments, which were illegal in Britain at the time. In 2010, on Jackie’s 16th birthday, Green took her child to Thailand for a “sex reassignment surgery,” also illegal in Britain.
In her tweets, Keen-Minshull criticized Green for allowing her child to undergo the surgery, which she called castration.
In July 2017, Green filed a five-page complaint with the authorities, alleging Keen-Minshull’s tweets—under the handle @ThePosieParker—were illegal under British law.
The police said it took months for them to get Keen-Minshull’s personal contact information from Twitter. Once they had it, they launched the investigation.
Keen-Minshull is not backing down.
“I will not kowtow to an ideology that demands I cannot speak the truth,” Keen-Minshull wrote on her blog soon after the interview. “I will not be compelled to say a man is a woman, or that sterilizing children is okay, [nor encourage] kids who don’t fit in or who struggle with their identity that a good solution is puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones and a lifetime of drugs.”
Keen-Minshull is outside her normal camp in this battle. A pro-abortion political liberal, she was interviewed in 2012 as a poster mother for a new wave of progressive parenting. She and her husband decided to raise their four children “gender neutral.” She now clarifies that meant “ignoring stereotypes, not ignoring genitals.”
She said she has debated abortion with a number of pro-life people who use strong language and imagery in their passionate arguments. “It never once crossed my mind that I should phone up my local police to report them,” she told me.
She now finds herself allied with religious conservatives in her battle against transgender activists. But she argues her message is not a left or right issue but rather a fight against a totalitarian ideology set on silencing its opponents.
“The first thing you want to do if you want to control thought is to control language,” Keen-Minshull said, noting that pushing children into transgenderism is central to activists’ efforts. “If you can transition children, you can validate the movement.”
Despite those efforts, a growing chorus of voices from across the political and religious spectrum is questioning the treatment plan pushed by transgender activists for children with gender dysphoria. Critics argue that the push to fully embrace a child’s self-reported gender identity—from changing their name and clothes to hormone treatments and eventually surgery—is potentially sterilizing, abusive, and dangerous.
Keen-Minshull is still waiting for official charges from the police. Proposed charges include nuisance, disrupting public order, malicious communication, and conspiracy. She and her husband are booking summer family vacations at the moment, but Keen-Minshull is making sure there is a full refund available in case she ends up in court.
“I don’t want them to charge me; I’d rather it go away,” Keen-Minshull said, but she added that a public battle could be necessary. “I really feel that this is a war on women and girls, and in order to win it, you have to have some really public battles.”