Trans endometriosis charity boss issues powerful response to attacks on new role
The trans CEO of an endometriosis charity has hit back at vile anti-trans critics who launched a hate campaign against her over her appointment to the role.
Steph Richards became the centre of a media storm this week for her appointment as CEO of Endometriosis South Coast (ESC), a small charity which supports those who have endometriosis or are on the journey to diagnosis.
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes, and can cause severe pain and impact fertility.
News of Richards’ new role quickly caused a firestorm on social media, with so-called ‘gender critical’ activists condemning the charity and its new CEO as “insulting” women and letting down service users.
On Tuesday afternoon (14 November), Richards released a lengthy statement on X, the platform previously known as Twitter.
She began by pointing out the size of the charity, making just £8,000 a year, with a team of unpaid staff: “we do it to improve the lives of those who suffer Endo”.
She wrote: “Our chair at ESC suffers from Endo very severely and is currently working towards her endometriosis research PhD – understandably, she wants to take a step back.
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“The trustees decided that the organisation needed an activist with a proven record to drive the charity forward and advocate for a women’s health hub in our city, and when asked, I duly obliged – I feel very honoured; thank you @EndoSouthC.”
She continued: “My birth sex doesn’t come into it …..my CV does.”
Richards went on to point out that CEOs are hired “because of their “skill set”, not because of their sex” and pointed out other organisations in which the CEO’s sex does not correspond with the main service users; such as Laura Kerby at Prostate Cancer UK and Simon Cook at MSI Reproductive Choices.
She said: “Many gynaecologists are men – I don’t see any headlines about them. Some midwives are men – I don’t see any headlines about them either. And how about the male paramedic who may deal with miscarriage or prolapse – there are no headlines about them either. Am I wrong?
“No, I am not.
“I do believe the complaints against me are transphobic.”
‘Helping those in need has nothing to do with ‘sex”
Richards went on to question why trans women are making headlines when topics such as support for sufferers of disabling periods are not.
“Diversity should be seen as a strength. Stereotyping is wrong, and by appointing me as the CEO of ESC, I will look at the issues Endo suffers endure with a different perspective than others. Who can argue that is not a positive?
“ESC are an inclusive charity, meaning we welcome EVERYONE with endo and adeno. We do not mind if you are straight, gay, black, trans, non-binary or whatever.
“WE ARE HERE FOR YOU.
“ALL OF YOU.”
Alongside Richards’ statement, in response to the backlash, Endometriosis South Coast also issued a statement where the team say they “deplore” the vile reaction Richards has had to endure, adding they will be “raising this transphobia with the MPs we are meeting later this week”.
In the statement, the charity described how Richards has a “rich history of supporting women’s equality and has decades of experience in women’s healthcare issues and pregnancy”.
“In the past, she has worked alongside two pregnancy charities as a consultant and has contributed to saving hundreds of babies’ lives,” it reads, “Helping those in need has nothing to do with “sex” – proven by the fact there are thousands of so-called “male” gynaecologists and midwives based in the UK and beyond.”
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