Equality campaigner starts petition to raise awareness of trans issues after the death of Lucy Meadows

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An equality campaigner has started a petition with the hope of raising awareness of issues faced by trans people, particularly in the media, following the media attention around the death of trans woman Lucy Meadows.

Many were shocked recently by the death of Lucy Meadows. Not all representations of her in the press were complimentary, and some were criticised as negative.
The exact cause of her death has not yet been established, but many have suggested that the actions of the press in relentlessly hounding her could have been a contributory factor.

Earlier in April, an inquest into the death of Lucy Meadows was opened and adjourned. The 32-year-old was found dead in a house in Lancashire on Tuesday 19 March.

The article that caused the most outrage was a piece written by Richard Littlejohn, who is known for the promulgation of polemic views.

The death of Lucy Meadows touched the transgender and non binary communities deeply. A vigil, attended by over 300 people was organised outside the Daily Mail Headquarters in Central London, to celebrate her life and pay respects.

Over 200,000 people also signed a petition calling for the sacking of Littlejohn who wrote an offensive article about a transgender teacher.

The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) also said it had received a number of complaints about the article – but none directly from the family of Lucy Meadows.

One trans woman is now taking the opportunity to campaign for better representation of trans people in the media at large: Tara Hewitt, an equalities campaigner this week created a petition.

The petition itself calls on Parliament to: “Highlight this issue with the body and to make the ending of transgender hate, bullying and systematic transphobia from some media sources to be a priority for the [new press] regulator to tackle going forward after its formation.”

Speaking about her motivation for creating the petition, Tara said reducing ignorance around transgender people, and the issues they can face.

She said: “Too many people are ignorant about transgender people in the United Kingdom, and that is often further compounded by abusive articles published in mainstream British media. It’s important that we have a free press but also that the press takes responsibility for its journalism and tries to reduce ignorance where it can.

“I hope that this petition will help focus the work of the new press regulator and raise the wider issue of the ignorance in regards to transgender people in society amongst the Government and MPs.”

At the time of writing, the petition had 254 signatures. One hundred thousand signatures are required to trigger a Parliamentary debate, whilst ten thousand are required to trigger a formal Parliamentary response.