An anti-trans mouthpiece moaned over Wagamama’s joyful Pride campaign. It backfired, badly

A picture of the outside of a Wagamama storefront

Wagamama is being praised on social media for its Pride campaign donating a portion of proceeds from its tasty offerings to trans youth charity Mermaids. 

The Asian food restaurant chain announced in June that it partnered with “inspirational” charity Mermaids to support trans, non-binary and gender diverse youth. Wagamama promised to donate 25p from every power juice sold and 20 per cent of profits from its bespoke menu at its Old Street, Manchester St Peters and Portsmouth locations to the charity. 

It’s been several months since Pride, and yet anti-trans voices are still saucy about the campaign raising funds for the amazing charity. 

Nick Buckley – who was fired by the board of The Mancunian Way in June 2020 for criticising Black Lives Matter before later being reinstated – denounced the partnership on Twitter. 

He then alleged the money generated was funding a “charity that promotes child abuse”, which is fundamentally incorrect as Mermaids provides services advocating and campaigning for the rights of trans youth in the UK. 

It is not the first time that Buckley has spoken out against the trans community as he believes “gender does not exist” and has written multiple articles decrying so-called cancel culture as well as whining about wokeness on his substack

Another person on Twitter claimed that affirming trans children is a “brewing medical scandal” while someone else vowed never to eat at another Wagamama location again because of the partnership. 

Yet, in a show of solidarity, the community came together to fight the wave of hatred with many voices (and probably some hungry stomachs) showing their support for Wagamama and Mermaids. 

Mermaids told PinkNews the charity exists to support trans, non-binary and gender diverse young people and their families – especially in the “overwhelmingly hostile” climate “both politically and socially” in the UK. 

“We understand how difficult it is for trans young people to exist and live as their authentic selves in a climate which is overwhelmingly hostile both politically and socially – and often steeped in misinformation – and a media landscape that puts trans identities under relentless scrutiny,” Mermaids said. 

“Our aim is to empower our service users to be confident in who they are and find solidarity in community, and we are thankful for our partners and allies like Wagamama, who understand the importance of that.”

The trans community has sadly become the frequent target of right-wing ire both in the UK with prime minister Liz Truss showing that she is no ally to the community during her Tory leadership election campaign. 

Campaigners and advocates have gathered together to protect their trans siblings as they took to the streets to proudly declare there is ‘no LGB without the T’, push for trans rights and dispel misinformation about trans youth healthcare perpetuated by right-wing voices.

Study after study has found that trans youth who have access to gender-affirming healthcare report experiencing lower levels of depression and anxiety than those who are barred from such treatments. 

Additionally, research by the Trevor Project found that LGBTQ+ youth who felt high social support from their family reported attempting suicide at less than half the rate of those who felt low or moderate social support. 

LGBTQ+ youth said that the five most common ways they felt supported by their parents were welcoming their LGBTQ friends or partners; being talked to “respectfully” about their identity; using the correct name and pronouns; supporting their gender expression; educating themselves about LGBTQ+ issues. 

PinkNews has also contacted out to Wagamama for comment.