Lorraine Kelly says her unflinching trans allyship goes back to the 70s

Headshot of Lorraine Kelly on the red carpet

Lorraine Kelly has said that her steadfast LGBT+ allyship stretches right back to the 1970s, if you didn’t stan her already.

In a profile for The Guardian published Thursday (20 January), Kelly reflected on her recent interview with Kathleen Stock, the University of Sussex professor who resigned last year amid peaceful student protest over her so-called “gender-critical” views.

She also opened up about her heated feud with Esther McVey, the Conservative MP for Tatton in Cheshire who once said parents and guardians should be able to withdraw kids from LGBT-inclusive lessons.

The 62-year-old queen of daytime television shut down Stock’s claims that she was being “silenced” for her anti-trans beliefs – something Stock said while literally on Lorraine, Kelly’s morning talk show watched by millions of Brits.

“I thought: let her speak,” Lorraine Kelly told the newspaper. “You’ve got to.

“I was able to disagree with her. Because I think trans women are women and trans men are men. That’s my belief.

“And, in the end, people can make their own mind up, but it was important for me to say that and to show my support.”

Lorraine Kelly: ‘Who cares’ if someone is trans

Unsurprisingly, the Drag Race UK guest star’s support for the trans community is nothing new.

As a child growing up in South Lanarkshire in Scotland, Lorraine Kelly said her school bus driver was trans and, the more she got to know her, realised she was a “brilliant woman”.

“I remember getting the school bus to school in East Kilbride and the driver was a lady called Jane,” Kelly recalled.

“Jane was a trans woman and she was going through the process of transitioning. And you can imagine the abuse she got because it was the ’70s.

“But I used to chat to her, got to know her as a person and she was a brilliant woman. I often wonder what happened to her.”

Decades on since meeting Jane, Kelly has become one of Britain’s most fiery trans allies, once saying that she wants to kick transphobic bigots “up the arse“.

For Lorraine Kelly, “who cares” if someone is trans. “They’re all just human and that’s part of who they are,” she stressed.

“People should just be a bit more tolerant because trans people are currently going through, I think, what gay people went through.

“It’s a hard road, it really is.”

Fast-forward to 2019, and Kelly proved how unwavering her support for LGBT+ people was when she went at loggerheads with McVey.

Esther McVey leaves 10 Downing Street. (WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Lorraine Kelly cold-shouldered her former GMTV colleague during an awkward on-air exchange – but Kelly insisted that it’s McVey’s troubling track record with LGBT+ rights that she took issue with.

During a live link on Good Morning Britain at the time, host Susanna Reid asked Kelly: “Do you remember Esther McVey from her GMTV days?”

Lorraine Kelly bluntly replied while shaking her head: “Yeah, I do.” She added that she “doesn’t remember” if she gets along with McVey. “I don’t remember at all, it was an awful long time ago.”

Speaking two years on, she told The Guardian: “I thought to myself: she’s come out and said the most appalling things about a section of society that are really hard done by and have enough going on without someone like that having a pop at them.

“And I didn’t really say anything, did I? But isn’t it amazing what you can say without saying anything?”