Huge list of feminists, MPs and activists sign open letter in support of trans mum, cruelly attacked for breastfeeding baby
Dozens of MPs, charities, activists and feminists have condemned the torrent of abuse directed towards a trans woman for simply being a mum.
Mika Minio-Paluello, the Trades Union Congress’ climate and industry policy officer, has faced intense abuse – including death threats, accusations of child abuse and demands for her to be arrested – from anti-trans voices after she discussed how soaring water bills affected her as a mum on an ITV news segment.
Hateful campaigners then reported Minio-Paluello to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) because she spoke openly about breastfeeding her baby. The NSPCC concluded there is no safeguarding risk.
In response to the abuse, politicians, charity leaders, academics, artists and allies have signed a letter in solidarity with the trans mum, published Friday (7 July) by the feminist campaigns community Level Up.
The signatories include Labour MPs Nadia Whittome, Apsana Begum and Zarah Sultana as well as Baroness Shami Chakrabarti.
The Green Party of England and Wales, Act Up London, senior figures at Greenpeace UK, British journalist Ash Sarkar, singer-songwriter Billy Bragg, and trans writer and dad Freddy McConnell were also among those calling for solidarity with Minio-Paluello.
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The letter described how the “most important thing for any child is love and care”, and mothers must have “adequate support and resources” to raise their children.
“As feminists and mums, we give our wholehearted support to Mika Minio-Paluello who has faced a vile wave of personal attacks for speaking on TV while trans,” the letter read.
“We are in solidarity with every mother who is doing their best for their children in this cost of living scandal, where so many are struggling to make ends meet.”
It also pointed out that motherhood and family look different for everyone, depending on their circumstances, and often the title of mother is the “only thing we have in common with other women”.
The letter read: “Whether we parent alone or with a partner, we are mothers. Whether we have birthed, adopted or fostered, we are mothers.
“Whether or not we had IVF, we are mothers. Whether we bottle-feed or breastfeed, we are mothers. Whether queer, straight, cis or trans, we are mothers.
“We condemn the attacks on trans parents and queer families and remain focused on the bigger picture and the need to fight for reproductive justice for all, defined as ‘the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities’.”
Labour MP Rosie Duffield was among those criticised for making anti-trans remarks about Mika Minio-Paluello after the ITV segment aired.
Duffield, who has a lengthy history of airing her ‘gender critical’ views, claimed Minio-Paluello isn’t a mother in a tweet. She later doubled down on her anti-trans views by claiming trans women “cannot carry a baby or give birth” so, therefore, can’t be a mother.
LGBT+ Labour and other Labour groups have said Duffield should have the whip removed for years due to the MP’s anti-trans pattern of behaviour.
In the past, Duffield called trans women “male-bodied biological men”, liked a tweet that referred to trans people as “heterosexuals cosplaying as the opposite sex” and formed a concerning anti-trans alliance with Tory MP Miriam Cates to ensure “women’s rights are protected at all costs”.
The MP has always denied that she is transphobic, and says she supports the LGBTQ+ community.
Several residents in Duffield’s constituency wrote to the Whitstable Gazette after the politician’s comments about Mika Minio-Paluello, slamming her “frequent, gratuitous utterances about trans people”.
The letter also urged the MP to “properly represent and support all her constituents” instead of attacking the trans community.
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