Stonewall announces ‘passionate social justice’ advocate as new CEO who vows to ‘fight for a world in which every LGBT+ person is safe’

Nancy Kelley: New Stonewall boss vows to fight for 'every LGBT+ person'

Nancy Kelley has been appointed the new chief executive of LGBT+ equality charity Stonewall.

Currently the deputy chief executive at the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), Kelley will take up her new role on June 1.

While at NatCen, Kelley worked on research looking at public attitudes towards LGBT+ communities, as well as experiences of discrimination and social exclusion amongst LGBT+ people and other minority groups.

“It is an honour to have the opportunity to lead this groundbreaking organisation,” Kelley said in a statement.

Crediting Stonewall for its role in the “amazing strides” that have been made in the past 30 years for LGBT+ equality in the UK, Nancy Kelley noted that “the benefits of progress haven’t been equally felt by all LGBT+ people”.

“Today, we see the LGBT+ community around us responding to the challenge of this pandemic with solidarity, resilience and creativity. But we can also see deep inequalities,” she said.

“Across the UK and around the world, LGBT+ people are trapped in homes where they are unsafe or unwanted.

“LGBT+ people of colour, and those living in poverty are more exposed not only to the coronavirus, but also the social and economic consequences it brings in its wake.”

Vowing not to let anyone “turn back the clock” on LGBT+ rights, Kelley added that we “cannot afford to be complacent about making those rights meaningful for all”.

“We need to continue to fight for a world in which every lesbian, gay, bi and trans person is safe and free to be themselves,” she said.

“This is a world that Stonewall and all our allies stand ready to fight for, and I am very excited to be a part of that work.”

Kelley’s predecessor as Stonewall’s chief executive was Ruth Hunt, who oversaw the inclusion of transgender rights into the charity’s remit in 2015.

Hunt, who is now an independent peer in the House of Lords, said on her departure that she had felt it was a “moral responsibility” to add trans issues to Stonewall’s campaigning.

Sheldon Mills, who was recently appointed the new chair of Stonewall’s board of trustees and is the first person of colour to take up that role, welcomed Kelley’s appointment as the new chief executive.

“Nancy brings a huge wealth of experience, along with an unwavering passion for Stonewall, our work and the communities we support,” said Mills, who is Stonewall’s longest-serving trustee and succeeded Jan Gooding as chair in April.

“I have no doubt that Nancy will be transformational for us,” he continued.

“We are stronger together as an LGBT+ movement and community, and her vision for Stonewall will help bring forward the day when every lesbian, gay, bi and trans person is accepted without exception.”