A trustee on a board of a United Kingdom-based charity for transgender kids resigned this week after reports broke detailing a speech he gave to an organization that provides services to pedophiles in 2011.
Dr. Jacob Breslow is an associate professor of gender and sexuality at London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and served on the board of Mermaids, a nonprofit supporting transgender and “non-binary” children, according to the New York Post.
Breslow resigned from Mermaids this week after reports broke that he gave a speech at a conference in 2011 with B4U-ACT, a Maryland-based organization focused on “ending stigma” around “minor-attracted persons,” or, in other words, pedophiles.
“Established in 2003, B4U-ACT is a 501(c)(3) organization run in collaboration between mental health professionals, researchers, and people who are attracted to minors,” the organization’s website reads.
“B4U-ACT helps mental health professionals and researchers learn more about attraction to minors and to consider the effects of stereotyping, stigma, and fear. That way they can be informed before they interact with people who are attracted to minors, and before they talk, write, or make public statements about minor-attracted people,” it continues.
The Post noted that B4U-ACT was cofounded by Michael Melsheimer, who reportedly served four years in federal prison for aggravated sexual assault involving children.
In 2011, Breslow reportedly issued remarks at a symposium with the organization. The presentation was titled “Sexual Alignment: Critiquing Sexual Orientation, The Pedophile, and the DSM V.” In the presentation, Breslow continuously referred to pedophiles as “minor-attracted persons.”
“Allowing for a form of non-diagnosable minor attraction is exciting, as it potentially creates a sexual or political identity by which activists, scholars and clinicians can begin to better understand Minor Attracted Persons,” Breslow reportedly said in his presentation.
“This understanding may displace the stigma, fear and abjection that is naturalized as being attached to Minor Attracted Persons and may alter the terms by which non-normative sexualities are known,” he continued.
In a statement following his resignation, Breslow claimed that he believed B4U-ACT was an organization that “promotes treatments to prevent offending by pedophiles.” He claimed he hasn’t been involved with the organization since and “[condemns] child sexual abuse.”
In a statement to BBC, Breslow said he resigned as not to “distract from the good work the charity is doing to help transgender and gender-diverse children.”
Belinda Bell, who is chair of Mermaids, issued a statement clarifying that Breslow did not interact with any young people and families affiliated with the organization. Apparently, Breslow only attended one regular quarterly meeting.
British paper UnHerd published an opinion piece this week describing Mermaids as a “troublesome charity” and said the Breslow is writing a book about “the queer lives of children’s desires.”
In July, Reuters reported that Britain's only children’s gender clinic would be shutting down after a review by experts.
“It comes after the review criticised long waiting lists and raised concerns over a lack of consensus about how the health service should assess, diagnose and treat young people seeking gender services,” the report noted.