Ruth Hunt on Stonewall’s trans mistakes and coming out as a Catholic

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Stonewall’s CEO Ruth Hunts has reflected on six months in the job.

In an interview with the Guardian, Ms Hunt spoke about how the organisation, that she has worked with for nine years, has failed trans people in the past, and how winning back trust was “bloody hard”.

She said: “We made a series of cock-ups, so it didn’t look like we were trying to support people, it looked like we were a bit crap.

“We invited speakers with a transphobic history, we nominated them for awards, we made a film for secondary schools which included the word “tranny” unhelpfully.

“We were often in positions of privilege and opportunity with ministers where we could have talked about trans issues. By not doing, we were doing more harm.”

She also spoke about what she sees as a failure of campaigners to engage properly in activism. “We have now bred a generation of campaigners who think hashtag bring back our girls, hashtag boycott, is in some way contributing to that social movement internationally, but it isn’t always the most helpful way of going about things.”

Speaking on her faith as a practising Catholic, she said: “It’s been harder for me to come out as a Catholic than it was to come out as a lesbian – easily. At least I had the backing of a community when I came out as a lesbian.

“[Faith] is doing significant damage to people’s mental health – we have to do something about it.

“There are also many faith leaders who are gay and many faith leaders who are distressed by the constant exclusion of LGBT people from their communities and parishes.”

In February, Ms Hunt spoke to PinkNews about why Stonewall was becoming trans inclusive.