Teacher Lucy Meadows reportedly killed herself, some say because of the hounding she suffered by the press due to her gender-reassignment surgery and her decision to remain at her school – St. Mary Magdalen’s Church of England Primary School. Of course, no one will know why Meadows killed herself – but it isn’t a stretch to imagine who difficult her life would be.
The Daily Mail‘s Richard Littlejohn wrote an op-ed piece about Meadows before her death entitled, “He’s not only in the wrong body…he’s in the wrong job.” Unfortunately, you can’t read the article in its entirety, because every time I click on the link I get an error. The Daily Mail removed the article in light of Meadows’ death and the ensuing controversy.
So at this point I can only go with what was quoted from Littlejohn’s article. According to Anorak.co.uk, while Littlejohn sympathized with transgendered people, going as far as approving NHS-funded gender-reassignment surgeries, he finds issue with Meadows’ decision to transition during the Christmas holidays, returning after the break as a woman.
Littlejohn preferred it if Meadows would “disappear quietly at Christmas, have the operation and then return to work as ‘Miss Meadows’ at another school on the other side of town in September. No-one would be any the wiser.”
So, if the quote is correct, then Mr. Littlejohn is find with transgender people as long as they pass and kids don’t have to know that they’re transgender. Real nice – except in the real world, people like transgender folks exist, and hoping they’d “quietly disappear” is terribly insensitive (and awfully old-fashioned).
So, while I’d love to sign the change.org petition to get this guy fired I can’t – because The Daily Mail has removed the article, I can’t read Littlejohn’s work for itself, and therefore it’d be intellectually dishonest for me to sign the petition.
On the same token, transphobic fans of what Littlejohn’s views can’t support his words either because they can’t get at the words themselves.
So, I suggest that The Daily Mail returns the article online and let its readers decide on their own whether they’ll be offended or not – right now it’s all conjecture and in danger of becoming a game of telephone. I don’t know how the editorial staff at the The Daily Mail work, but I’ll assume that someone there approved Littlejohn’s op-ed piece as it was, and it’d still be up had it not been for Meadows’ death or the uproar.
At this point, I’d like to make a fair assessment of Littlejohn’s opinion, and instead I’m going by a probably-biased representation of his work. And because I’m a liberal and pro-trans rights, I’m not looking at the guy with an open mind because I don’t have all the facts. So, The Daily Mail should get it together and repost his op-ed. Then I’ll be happy to sign the Change.org petition without any feelings of guilt.