A controversial anti-trans rights campaigner currently dividing Australia on an explosive speaking tour once admitted to encouraging her sons to play with dolls while her husband’s events company promotes it’s pro-LGBTIQA+ credentials.
Kellie-Jay Keen, the British activist who sparked fury when Nazis joined her rally in Melbourne last Saturday, is described as a ‘women’s rights campaigner’ by her supporters, but has said on many occasions she ‘isn’t a feminist’.
Also known as Posie Parker, the mum-of-four who dresses in bright jumpsuits and sports a Marilyn Monroe-style hairdo, has built a following by claiming it’s impossible to change sex as she pushes to exclude trans women from female-only spaces.
But the current views of the self-confessed ‘transphobe’ appear radically different to the more ‘woke’ views she has expressed in the past.
Speaking to The Times in 2010, Ms Keen, from Bristol in England, said that she grew up believing in feminism, that her father ‘did a lot of housework’ and that she hated gendered clothes for her children.
She described letting her sons plays with dolls in pushchairs to avoid gender stereotyping them.
British anti-trans rights campaigner Kellie-Jay Keen has caused controversy in Australia since touching down in Sydney last week (pictured at her rally in Hobart on Tuesday)
Her husband Ryan, now 48, added that they never tell their children ‘that’s for girls’ and ‘that’s for boys’ with regard to toys and that they let their sons Roman, now 20, Carter now 21, put dolls in pushchairs.
Ms Keen told The Times she took her daughter Mabel, now 17, out of ballet class when she was two because it was all ‘put lipstick on, let’s get Mummy’s heels, aren’t we the prettiest’.
She also explained that she hates t-shirts that ‘say Little Monster for boys and Little Angel for girls’ and would never put her then two-year-old daughter Artemus in them.
‘I grew up believing that feminism was a battle that had been won. I bought into the whole Spice Girls idea of empowerment. Then I read a thread on Mumsnet about rape that made me question my thinking,’ she said at the time.
‘I’ve come to the debate quite late, so while we’ve not restricted our boys in their choices, we’re now filling my daughter Mabel’s room — where there are lots of pink dresses and dolls — with different books where the female character doesn’t need rescuing.
‘I am also using Letterbox Library children’s books to find more diverse stories featuring children with disabilities, gay and ethnic minority characters.
‘I do not subscribe to the notion that boys are more violent, so my children were taught that hitting is not acceptable and we never say, “Boys will be boys”.’
British anti-trans rights campaigner Kellie-Jay Keen has certainly caused controversy in Australia since touching down in Sydney last week, with Nazis joining her recent rally in Melbourne. Pictured at her most recent rally in Hobart on Tuesday
Before her Marilyn Monroe-esque makeover, the campaigner had long brown hair. Pictured in her University days
Ms Keen’s husband, Ryan Minshull, who also goes by Max Ford, runs events company Digilive, which often posts pro-LGBTIQA+ posts to its Instagram page.
The company’s website also has a diversity statement where they claim to ‘foster a diverse and inclusive culture in which people with all experiences, families, and cultures can thrive’.
It adds: ‘We recognise the struggle for equality for those in the global LGBTQA+ community and celebrate their steps toward this goal over the last fifty years.’
Now on an anti-trans speaking tour of Australia, Ms Keen told the Australian at her latest rally in Hobart on Tuesday that she had become ‘public enemy number one’.
She said it was ‘bonkers’ that her speeches had been overrun by pro-LGBTIQA groups, while also claiming she had no association with Nazis.
Ms Keen was relatively unknown in 2018, when she raised £700 ($1,282AUD) to set up a billboard outside the UK’s Labour party conference defining woman as an ‘adult human female’ in a move that was slammed as transphobic.
Ms Keen is seen arriving in Hobart on Tuesday with a bodyguard and police
Ms Keen’s Instagram also shows a picture of a UK Labour Party membership card, although it’s not clear when she left the party
Her Instagram also shows a picture of a UK Labour party membership card, although it’s not clear when she left the party.
While the origin of her stage name is unclear, followers have speculated it’s a pun on ‘Nosey Parker’. Her platinum blonde look appears to be inspired by Marilyn Monroe, with her Instagram full of memorabilia of the 1950s star.
In 2021, she wrote a blog for UK’s political magazine The Spectator, where she slammed an advert for British department store John Lewis for letting a boy dress up and play with ‘girls’ toys – which appeared to be in direct contradiction to her 2010 interview.
Ms Keen has faced fierce criticism from LGBTIQA+ groups, as well as politicians who have raised concerns about her association with far-right groups and compared her anti-trans rhetoric to homophobia faced by gay people in the 1980s.
Now, even fellow ‘gender-critical feminist groups’ are cutting ties with the 154cm-tall mother-of-four, with one prominent UK group saying the presence of Neo-Nazis at the Melbourne event should be a ‘wake-up call’.
In 2021, she wrote a blog for UK’s political magazine The Spectator, where she slammed an advert for British department store John Lewis for letting a boy dress up and play with ‘girls’ toys – which appeared to be in direct contradiction to her 2010 interview with The Times. Pictured at her rally in Sydney
Pro trans groups have counter protested Ms Keen throughout Australia. Pictured Tuesday in Hobart
Ms Keen previously listed her occupation as ‘housewife’ in filings by her companies -including Woman by Definition, adulthumanfemale and Standing For Women.
Ahead of her travel to Australia, Stephen Bates, the Greens spokesperson for LGBTIQA+ issues, wrote to Immigration Minister Andrew Giles asking him to revoke her visa.
Mr Bates argued that Ms Keen had a long history of ‘promoting or excusing hate and violence towards trans and other marginalised communities’.
Since then, New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has raised concerns about Ms Keen entering the country.
She is due to speak in Auckland on Saturday and Christchurch on Sunday after her final talks in Australia in Hobart and Canberra.
Speaking at a press event, Mr Hipkins said he ‘condemns’ Ms Keen’s rhetoric.
‘Anybody exercising their right to free speech, whatever the circumstances are, should be mindful that we don’t want to incite hateful behaviour or violence,’ he said.
‘In fact, it’s illegal to do so – and I think everybody should bear that in mind.’
The activist, 48, – who has been supported by JK Rowling – is described as a ‘women’s rights campaigner’ by her supporters, but her most recent rally in Melbourne was attended by Nazis
A group of protesters held up an offensive sign as they clashed with trans rights activists on Saturday
He explained this was in reference to the Nazis that attended her rally in Melbourne where a group of men, wearing black shirts, gave Nazi salutes on the steps of Victorian parliament.
He explained that Immigration New Zealand was reviewing policy on her entry.
However, Richard Owen, the general manager of Immigration New Zealand, told The New Zealand Herald she is able to enter New Zealand without a visa on her British passport.
Despite this, she is required to apply for a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which checks for previous convictions or removals from other countries.
‘[Immigration New Zealand] is now reviewing whether, in light of the events at the weekend, Ms Keen-Minshull is still able to travel to New Zealand on the basis of the NZeTA,’ he said.
In a video response, Ms Keen told Mr Hipkins: ‘Revoke my visa at your peril.’
‘Roll the dice my friend. I don’t think you’ll dare to keep me from coming into New Zealand – but we’ll see.’
On Saturday, about 30 people from far-right group National Socialist Movement marched along Spring Street near the Victorian Parliament.
New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has raised concerns about Ms Keen entering the country after Nazis (pictured) attended her Melbourne rally. Founder of far-right group European Australia Movement Thomas Sewell (pictured) was also spotted among the crowd
UK-based activist Kellie-Jay Keen, who also goes by Posie Parker online, believes it’s impossible to change sex and campaigns to exclude trans women from female-only spaces
Disturbing footage showed masked protesters holding signs calling transgender people offensive names and performing Nazi salutes.
Controversial former Liberal candidate Katherine Deves was among the guest speakers as the protest spiralled into chaos.
Founder of far-right group European Australia Movement Thomas Sewell was also spotted among the crowd.
Ms Keen has come under fierce criticism from many groups, including for allegedly posing with a campaigner who celebrated Winnie Mandela’s death and called the anti-apartheid fighter ‘a whore’ and ‘white farmer murdering c***’.
She has also been slammed by a British MP for saying access to abortion and contraceptives need to be rolled back for children and teenagers.
Ms Keen also raised eyebrows recently after she criticised British MP Jess Phillips for reading out the name of a teenage trans murder victim Brianna Ghey in the House of Commons during an International Women’s Day speech.
She has also spoken alongside a number of figures in far-right groups, including Christopher Barcenas, a member of the Proud Boys, who was deposed by the US government due to his presence at the January 6 Capitol riots.
One protester put their middle finger up in the direction of the LGBTQI+ group at a recent protest in Sydney
Mounted police join officers standing on foot to create a human wall separating the protesters in Melbourne
Prior to this weekend’s events, Ms Keen also gave an interview with white nationalist Jean-François Gariépy for his YouTube channel.
Mr Gariépy calls for a ‘white ethno-state’ and has made videos with neo-Nazi Richard Spencer and former Klu Klux Klan leader Richard Spencer.
Ms Keen later denied prior knowledge of the interviewer’s far-right beliefs.
Despite describing herself as a ‘women’s rights campaigner’, Ms Keen has also given interviews with far-right YouTuber Avi Yemini, who has a criminal conviction for assaulting his ex-wife.
Recently, a speaker at her rally in Newcastle, England, read an extract from Hitler’s manifesto Mein Kampf.
The speaker described trans people as ‘the big lie’ – a term coined by Hitler and a technique used by the Nazis to turn Germans against Jewish people and justify the Holocaust.
While the Nazi group at Melbourne’s rally is believed to have organised separately from Ms Keen’s protest, speakers Ms Keen invited to talk happily posed with the fascist group.
Ms Keen has also been criticised by other gender-critical women’s rights activists.
Ms Keen has also been slammed by a British MP for saying access to abortion and contraceptives need to be rolled back for children and teenagers
Police officers remove a protester during the transgender rights rally as tensions boiled over in Melbourne
In May 2018, she was removed as a speaker from Women’s Place UK, a trans-exclusionary feminist group over now-deleted tweets where she said the town of Bradford in England was an ‘awful place for women’ due to its high population of ‘Pakistani Muslims’.
She added it was ‘disgusting’ that young children were ‘wearing hijabs’ and said that Islamophobia was ‘b******’ made up to ‘silence critics of Islam’.
At the time, the group, which is opposed to self-identification for trans people, cut its ties with Ms Keen due to her ‘stated views on race and religion’.
‘We reject any generalisations or misrepresentations of Muslims and other faith groups and we think this contributes to the alienation of these communities from the public discourse,’ the group said at the time.
Since, she has announced plans to run as an MP in the UK, calling the hijab ‘atrocious’ and a ‘tool of oppression’ in her speech.
Ms Keen said she would run against transgender comedian and Labour party member Eddie Izzard, revealing that she would ‘obliterate the word gender’.
Another gender-critical feminist Jean Hatchet, said she cut ties with Ms Keen due to her links with far-right groups.
Ms Keen also faced controversy after praising far-right campaigner Tommy Robinson in a podcast.
Speaking at recent rally in Sydney, Ms Keen described trans women as ‘men’ and said they are ‘upset they can’t wear dresses because they’ve never been told no before’.
She added that when people say they ‘believe in trans rights’ what they are actually saying is ‘men should be in girls’ spaces and play girls’ sports’.
JK Rowling is seen wearing a T-shirt designed by Ms Keen
In February, Ms Keen was told by a police force in the UK she had to attend a ‘voluntary’ interview or faced possible arrest following a rally
Speaking on 2GB with breakfast host Ben Fordham on Friday, Ms Keen described herself as a ‘transphobe’ but argued that she’s ‘not scary’ because she’s ‘really small’.
She argued people had ‘attempted to cancel her’ and that she ‘does nothing to invite controversy’ but she’s ‘so influential, trouble follows her’.
‘I’m not scary. I’m really small as well,’ the British commentator told Fordham.
When asked by Fordham why people were scared of her, Ms Keen said: ‘It’s my ability to speak directly and speak the truth.
‘I think that’s quite frightening for some people. We’ve lost the ability both in the UK and Australia and elsewhere, to just speak plainly, just just to speak the truth.’
‘In today’s money, because being transphobic means that you say ‘a woman doesn’t have a penis’, and probably I am a transphobic.’
When asked if she’s an anti-trans activist, she replied: ‘I am a woman’s right activist’ and that she defines a woman as an ‘adult human female’.
‘Because so many people are complete cowards, social media has been able to manifest into a mass silencing tool,’ Ms Keen added.
‘There’s a weird social currency of acceptance. And I think underpinning that is really not caring at all about women.’
Ms Keen founded the group Standing For Women which campaigns for sex based rights and protections of the word woman, but has been supported by many far-right figures
Ms Keen has been interviewed by British police at least a two further times on suspicion of malicious communication over anti-trans tweets and suspicion of harassment over YouTube videos attacking a child’s decision to transition
When asked what she would say to people who were assigned male at birth, but feel like they’re trapped in the wrong body and they want to be a female, Ms Keen said: ‘There’s plenty of people that feel things that aren’t true. We don’t then say that they’re a different category of person.
She said that she has ‘no objection’ to people ‘doing what they want in lives’ but that this shouldn’t ‘impinge on her’.
She added that she also has a problem with calling trans people by names and pronouns that don’t align with ones they were born with, because it ‘opens the door’ for more trans rights.
When questioned by Fordham why she then goes by the name ‘Posie’ instead of her birth name ‘Kelly’, she added: ‘If I wanted to be called John, it would be difficult.’
‘I’m so influential. Trouble just comes along. I do nothing, I really do nothing to invite it,’ she added.
‘What’s happening in a country like this, the state is gaslighting women into pretending they cannot see the truth in front of their eyes and they can’t name it.’
In February, Ms Keen was told by a police force in the UK she had to attend a ‘voluntary’ interview or faced possible arrest following a rally.
It is understood she was interviewed under caution for an hour over an allegation she may have committed an offence under Section 5 of the Public Order Act, which outlaws threatening or abusive words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour.
Ms Keen has been interviewed by British police at least a two further times on suspicion of malicious communication over anti-trans tweets and suspicion of harassment over YouTube videos attacking a child’s decision to transition.
The same police force had previously investigated menacing messages sent against Ms Keen before the Let Women Speak Brighton rally.
They included many branding her a TERF – which is short for Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist – and urging people to ‘fight her by any means you see fit’.
Then at the event on September 18 officers arrested two people after masked pro-trans campaigners clashed with rally attendees.
Ms Keen founded the group Standing For Women which campaigns for sex based rights and protections of the word woman, but has been supported by many far-right figures.
Last month, a UK printing firm said it would no longer make stickers defining Ms Keen and her supporters as ‘adult human females’ – a trans-exclusionary term used by Ms Keen.
Helloprint – which has a UK branch but is headquartered in Rotterdam – previously printed T-shirts designed by Ms Keen and worn by JK Rowling which described Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as a ‘destroyer of women’s rights’ over the controversial Gender Recognition Act.
But now the company – which accepted $137,500 of orders from the cause – now says they are ‘offensive material’.
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