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New sports editor: Daily Mail is a great place to be gay

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The Daily Mail has appointed Alex Kay-Jelski as its new sports editor, making him the first out gay journalist to edit the back pages of a daily British newspaper.

The 30-year-old joined the newspaper in 2007 after coming through the Mail’s graduate training programme.

He told PinkNews.co.uk: “It’s a great place to work, they have always been very supportive of me, especially when I got married in November, and I hope people realise that you can be gay and work in sports journalism without any problems at all.”

Mr Kay-Jelski will report to Head of Sport Lee Clayton, who said he is “delighted” with the appointment.

Mr Clayton said: “Alex is a passionate, talented journalist who has made expeditious progress through the department. He deserves this prestigious role at the Daily Mail and I am delighted for him.”

When asked about the working environment at the Daily Mail, Mr Kay previously told GFSN: “It’s been fine. There is a general misconception about people who work at the Daily Mail, there is a wide range of the type of people who work there and I have not even had a hint of a problem.”

He added: “The reality of the Daily Mail and the perception of it are wide apart and I think this comes from people not reading the paper; their only exposure to it is when they read reports of it in other media. While the paper may be seen often to defend ‘traditional values’ the paper’s editorial is not anti-gay in my opinion.”

Mr Kay-Jelski is among several high profile LGBT staff to work at the newspaper.

However, the Daily Mail is no stranger to controversy. Over the years PinkNews has frequently reported examples of the paper’s negative coverage of LGBT issues.

Writing for the Mail in June 2012, Andrew Pierce, the paper’s gay consultant editor, criticised Prime Minister David Cameron for pressing ahead with same-sex marriage and stated: “Well, Mr Cameron, I am a Conservative and a homosexual, and I oppose gay marriage. Am I a bigot?”

In December 2010, Mr Pierce strongly criticised the decision of Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish to have their first surrogate baby, despite the columnist being adopted himself.

He wrote: “Yet I can’t help feeling that his decision to become a father is another grotesque act of selfishness from Sir Elton, and that the child is a little Christmas bauble he and his partner have awarded themselves. How telling it is that he was born on Christmas Day.”

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