There is nothing more I can say about the tragic death of Lucy Meadows that hasn’t already been said and all I can do is offer my heartfelt condolences to all of her family, friends, colleagues and students. I hope they can take comfort from the sheer number of people who have expressed their sadness and have offered their sympathies.
This past week has been extremely tough on the trans communities mental health. Never before have I seen such a spontaneous outpouring of grief, shock and anger. As a community it is well documented how we are more likely to suffer mental health problems and this definitely seems to be the case with Lucy. This is a fact that very few people outside of the trans world seem to understand and simply don’t take into consideration. I know that the cause of her death has not been confirmed but it is known that she had written about just how much pressure the press monstering had caused her in the months since her forced outing.
I feel that one of the main reasons this has upset trans folk so much is that, as the rules stand at the moment, any one of us could be next. Lucy never asked for the press attention she received, in fact from the outset she asked for her privacy to be respected and the only reason an editor in an office somewhere decided that her transition was ‘newsworthy’ was because of her profession and it’s not like her job was in the public eye. Ignoring the fact that lots of other trans people already worked as school teachers these editors pursued, harassed and tore into a woman who was just trying to live her life as best as she could and be happy. There is no one person to blame though, virtually every single member of the press are equally at fault for fostering this attitude that trans people are soft targets to get easy publicity and make a quick buck from, there are few among them who would have acted differently.
And If they can do that to her, what’s to stop them doing it to you next?
The way things stand there is nothing you can do and nobody with the power to stop this from happening again.
It is up to us, trans people and our allies to stop this right now. It is our responsibility to protect the vulnerable and the innocent, we absolutely must make people take notice. This cannot happen again.
Jane Fae has suggested some ways forward and I rather agree with the put pressure on advertisers idea. If we can all let our feelings known to the advertisers then maybe they will see the hurt and upset they contribute to, maybe they can help us to stop this from repeating. It is up to all of us to come up with a solution and in my opinion the best approach is a multi pronged defence, challenging transphobia on every level, helping people to understand why it is so important that our problems are listened to and taken seriously. In spite of all our differences we all suffer from common predujice and share common goals, as a group of humans trans people and our allies are both incredibly diverse and talented so we must all pull together for the greater good. We can succeed.
There is a vigil outside the Daily Mail’s headquarters planned for tomorrow, Monday 25th March at 6:30 PM. Northcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, Kensington, London W8 5TT.
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