Following the tragic death of popular primary school teacher Lucy Meadows last Tuesday, a ‘vigil against monstering’, in Lucy’s memory, has been planned to take place tomorrow evening, (25th March 2013) outside the Daily Mail offices in Kensington.
Online anger has being growing after the emergence of an article written by Daily Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn.
The piece entitled: ‘He’s not only in the wrong body… he’s in the wrong job’ was first published on December 20th 2012. Littlejohn, who referred to Meadows as ‘he’ throughout, claimed her decision was due to ‘personal problems’ and inferred that by proceeding with gender reassignment surgery showed she didn’t care for the children she taught.
It’s claimed that following Littlejohn’s column, Meadows, who was transitioning at the time, was routinely hounded by the press. In a New Year’s Day email to a friend, reported by the Guardian, Meadows complained that the media had published one of her wedding photos, and had lifted other photos from her siblings’ Facebook pages. She described the lengths she had taken to avoid being photographed. “I became pretty good at avoiding the press before Christmas. I live about a three-minute walk from school so they were parked outside my house as well as school. I’m just glad they didn’t realise I also have a back door. I was usually in school before the press arrived and stayed until latest I could avoid them going home.”
Two online petitions calling for Littlejohn to be fired and issue a formal apology have received huge support over the weekend. The tally of signatures, combining the Change.org and Sum of Us petitions stands at almost 90,000 today.
The Daily Mail
have vehemently defended Littlejohn. A spokesman said: “It is regrettable that this tragic death should now be the subject of an orchestrated Twitterstorm, fanned by individuals – including former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell – with agendas to pursue.”
Campbell had previously tweeted: “I hope journalists are doorstepping Dacre Murdoch and Littlejohn for their reaction to Lucy Meadows suicide. The Mail really is scum.”
David Allen Green, legal advisor to Trans Media Watch, a charity for transgender people, told BBC Radio 4’s The World Tonight: “There is no public interest in the story whatsoever. The only part of the story which seems significant is that there is a gender reassignment, what used to be called a sex change.”
“What makes it especially easy for tabloids is that transgendered people are very unlikely to fight back. They are usually members of the public and have no experience of dealing with media and all they want to do is to make it go away.
“In a way, tabloids treat transgendered people the way they would treat anybody if they could get away with it.”
“There is a sense that transgendered people are fair game for sensationalist reporting. These are people who are going through the most traumatic experiences you can imagine and they are suddenly humiliated by these stories in the tabloids.”
We at TheGayUK stand strongly against any forms of discrimination. The T in LGBT needs to be supported as strongly the LGB. We must all stand together to change attitudes.
Details of the vigil:
Monday 25th March at 6.30pm.
Outside Daily Mail HQ,
Nearest Underground station: High Street Kensington (District and Circle)