Socialist Worker

Protest in solidarity with hounded teacher

Issue No. 2346

 

Lucy Meadows, a transgender teacher, was found dead in her home on Wednesday of last week in what police believe to be a suicide.

Up until last year she was working at a local primary school as Nathan Upton.

The school sent parents a letter saying that after last Christmas holidays she would be known as Miss Meadows.

School head, Karen Hardman wrote, “Mr Upton has recently made a significant change in his life and will be transitioning to live as a woman.”

Davina Gregson, a parent of a pupil at the school told Socialist Worker, “The majority of parents were very supportive and the kids took the news on board.

“Most people I spoke to thought it was about time.

“It was clear that Miss Meadows was not comfortable living as Nathan.

“Some of the girls were curious about what colour dress Miss Meadows would wear, but nothing major.”

Lucy Meadows was hounded by the right wing press after the letter was leaked to the Daily Mail newspaper.

She was singled out by its star columnist Richard Littlejohn.

In emails that Lucy sent to a friend she described feeling under pressure as photographers waited for her outside her house.

People in gender transition go through an intense emotional and psychological experience.

Suicide

In 2012, the Trans Mental Health Study produced by the Scottish Transgender Alliance, found that 48 percent of respondents had tried to commit suicide.

Trans people often suffer bullying at work. A Unison union survey last year found that 41 percent of trans members feared for their job if people knew they were trans.

The tragic death of Lucy Meadows highlights both the hate-filled bigotry that trans people face, but also the support that exists for them among ordinary people

Davina went on, “On the day that the children were told that Mr Upton would be coming back after Christmas as Miss Meadows they came out of school in the same mood as they normally do.

“On the Wednesday they were told she had died they came out with tears in their eyes.”

Davina, along with thousands of other people, has signed an online petition condemning the Daily Mail and other media outlets for hounding Lucy Meadows. It calls for Littlejohn to be sacked.

She has also written an open letter to the press stating, “As a parent I certainly know that I would rather explain someone being transgender to my children than explain the death of a person they know and care for.”

On Monday, up to 300 people gathered at a vigil outside the Daily Mail offices in London to protest at the papers’ bigotry.


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Thu 28 Mar 2013, 13:04 GMT
Issue No. 2346
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