A vigil for Lucy Meadows will take place on Monday evening outside the headquarters of the Daily Mail tabloid newspaper in London’s Kensington area.
LGBT activists are to protest in front of the Daily Mail offices where columnist Richard Littlejohn continues to be employed after having published an article condemning primary school teacher and transgender woman Lucy Meadows.
On March 19, the 32-year-old Meadows’ body was found in Accrington.
The vigil Monday serves as a public outcry in response to what critics have said was Littlejohn’s “severe media bullying” against Meadows, which may or may not have led to her recent death.
Beloved school teacher Meadows decided to live openly as a woman in late 2012.
In absolute support during the following Christmas, the administration of St. Mary Magdalen’s Church of England Primary School where Meadows taught courteously informed parents and families of Meadows’ transition through a letter.
After the Accrington Observer published news about Meadows, Littlejohn also wrote a disparaging article that appears to have been removed only since Meadows’ death.
“These are primary school children, for heaven’s sake. Most of them still believe in Father Christmas,” wrote Littlejohn, according to the Guardian who has kept record of the Daily Mail’s piece. “Let them enjoy their childhood. They will lose their innocence soon enough… But if he cares so little for the sensibilities of the children he is paid to teach, he’s not only trapped in the wrong body, he’s in the wrong job.”
There appears to be no foul play surrounding her death, as META Magazine’s Paris Lees believes.
“We don’t know why Lucy Meadows died but you can hardly blame people, especially other transgender people, from assuming it was suicide. Sadly, taking your own life or having it snatched off you by bigots is much more likely when you’re trans,” Lees, an openly transgender writer and public speaker, told 429Magazine.
“What we do know, of course, is that Lucy Meadows was monstered in the press by a columnist and a newspaper that time and again ruins private individual lives by making public figures of them against their will,” Lees added.
The school’s head mistress, Karen Hardman, made it clear in a press release to the Daily Mail that “this is a personal matter for our staff member, who has our full support, and we are all working together to ensure it has the least impact on the smooth running of our school.”
Meadows released a single statement at the time, saying that “this has been a long and difficult journey for me, and it was certainly not an easy decision to make. I’d now ask for my privacy to be respected so that I can continue with my job, which I’m committed to and which I enjoy very much.”
There is now an online petition circulating in the hopes that the Daily Mail will ask Littlejohn to resign from his post, as well as a plea for a formal apology to be written on behalf of the Daily Mail to those who have been pained by the death of Meadows.
According to resources available through the Trevor Project, suicide is the “3rd leading cause of death among young people ages 10 to 24 and accounts for 12.2 percent of the deaths every year in that age group.” And LGBT youth “are 4 times more likely, and questioning youth are 3 times more likely, to attempt suicide as their straight peers.”
“Nearly half of young transgender people have seriously thought about taking their lives, and one quarter report having made a suicide attempt.”