Lucy Meadows

This page contains the available public information and many of the more significant links in respect of the death of Lucy Meadows.  I do not endorse the content of all the links.  My own post on her death is here and I did a BBC interview here (starts at 25:20).

Please note that this page is for information only; there is no evidence of a link between the press conduct/coverage of her transition and her death, and there are no confirmed reports as to the cause and relevant circumstances of her death.

Background

Headteacher’s notice in end-of-term newsletter (source):

Mr Upton has recently made a significant change in his life and will be transitioning to live as a woman.  After the Christmas break, she will return to work as Miss Meadows.

Lucy’s statement issued at the time asking for her privacy to be respected (source):

This has been a long and difficult journey for me, and it was certainly not an easy decision to make. I am grateful to governors and colleagues at St Mary Magdalen’s for their support.

I’d now ask for my privacy to be respected so that I can continue with my job, which I’m committed to and which I enjoy very much.

Headteacher’s statement to press (source):

We value all our teachers for their hard work and commitment to the education of our children.

Naturally, we understand that an issue such as this is bound to arouse interest for a short while.

However, this is a personal matter for our staff member, who has our full support, and we are all working together to ensure it has the least impact on the smooth running of the school.

Lucy’s emails (source):

I was lucky to have a supportive head, but I think I’d have done it here regardless as I couldn’t put it off any longer and I have family and financial commitments as well. The guidance I’ve had from the trans community has been generally sound and very much appreciated, and I’d like to be able to say I’ve given something back. I suppose the best way for me to do this would be to educate the people around me and children at school – I am a teacher after all!

[…]

I know the press offered parents money if they could get a picture of me.

[…]

I became pretty good at avoiding the press before Christmas. I live about a three-minute walk from school so they were parked outside my house as well as school. I’m just glad they didn’t realise I also have a back door. I was usually in school before the press arrived and stayed until late so I could avoid them going home.

[…]

[M]any parents have been quite annoyed with the press, too, especially those that were trying to give positive comments but were turned away.

Guardian: “All she ever wanted, she told her friend in emails shared with the Guardian, “was to be me“, the person she always felt she was meant to be, a woman and not the man she had been born 32 years earlier.”

It is understood that Lucy submitted a PCC complaint in January; there is no public statement as to any outcome of that complaint.

(See this December 2011 Leveson submission by TransMediaWatch on tabloid treatment of trans people: http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Submission-by-Trans-Media-Watch.pdf – and also see Hannah Buchanan on monstering at New Statesman here).

(For context on teachers who happen to be trans, see the Subscribe blog by @gameoldgirl http://subscraft.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/death-of-teacher.html and the Channel 4 item on the pressures on trans teachers http://www.channel4.com/news/transsexual-teacher-dies-after-hitting-headlines.  Also see 2008 this TES article on trans teachers: http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6002373 )

News reports

News item at Lancashire Telegraph:http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/10116784._Sir__will_become__Miss__at_Accrington_school/

News item at Accrington Observerhttp://www.accringtonobserver.co.uk/news/local-news/accrington-schools-letter-parents-tells-1273948

News item at Daily Mailhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2250555/Shock-CofE-school-Mr-Upton-return-Christmas-Miss-Meadows.html

News item at Sun: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4705509/male-primary-school-teacher-to-have-sex-change.html

Richard Littlejohn column (cache): http://web.archive.org/web/20121226073921/http:/www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2251347/Nathan-Uptons-wrong-body–hes-wrong-job.html

The school website announces her death: http://www.st-marymagdalens.lancs.sch.uk/

Local news report of her death:  http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/local-news/teacher-due-begin-new-term-1767749

New Statesmanhttp://www.newstatesman.com/media/2013/03/lucy-meadows-trans-teacher-whose-gender-reassignment-made-news-found-dead-home-0

Independenthttp://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/sex-change-teacher-found-dead-8544877.html

Lancashire police press statement:

At 4.45pm on Tuesday [19 March 2013], police were called by the ambulance service to a report of a sudden death at an address on Ramsbottom Street in Accrington.

On arrival they found the body of a 32-year-old woman. There are no suspicious circumstances and a file will be prepared and passed to the coroner.

Announcement of vigil: http://www.lgbt.co.uk/england-blog/greater-london/341-kensington-vigil-against-monstering

Trans teacher who killed herself ‘had complained of press harassment’ – Guardian:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/mar/22/lucy-meadows-press-harassment

Trans teacher Lucy Meadow’s death turns town against press- Guardianhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/mar/22/trans-teacher-lucy-meadows-press (misleading headline, but contains text of Lucy’s emails)

Guardian report on the vigil: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/mar/25/lucy-meadows-daily-mail-vigil

Gay Star News report on the vigil: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/hundreds-attend-candlelit-vigil-lucy-meadows-outside-daily-mail-office260313

Dan Waddell’s two detailed posts http://dan-waddell.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/here-there-be-monstering.html and http://dan-waddell.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/here-there-be-monstering-follow-up.html on how the news story developed.

Jane Fae contacts the local paper: http://faeinterrupted.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/answer-questions-oh-my-no-were-the-press/

Statement by Graham Jones MP (constituency MP): http://hhgrahamjones.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/in-memory-of-lucy-meadows-and-all-those.html

My post on 26 March 2013 on what (on that date) we know and do not know about the death: http://jackofkent.com/2013/03/what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-know-about-the-death-of-lucy-meadows/

An alternative take on the events by a unnamed tabloid journalist: http://tabloidtrolls.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/the-hysteria-around-lucy-meadows.html

Commentary

“The Lucy Meadows bandwagon” – post by Paul Canning http://paulocanning.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/the-lucy-meadows-bandwagon.html (balanced and measured – problem of monstering not limited to Littlejohn or indeed any one news title)

Subscribe blog by @gameoldgirl: http://subscraft.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/death-of-teacher.html (excellent and insightful)

Juliet Jacques’ insightful analysis of press and trans people: http://www.newstatesman.com/juliet-jacques/2013/03/trans-people-and-media-compromise-neither-desirable-nor-possible

Post by the leading media law blog INFORRM: http://inforrm.wordpress.com/2013/03/23/privacy-monstering-and-the-press-the-case-of-lucy-meadows/

Channel 4 item on the pressures on trans teachers: http://www.channel4.com/news/transsexual-teacher-dies-after-hitting-headlines (highly informative)

Paris Lees at Guardianhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/26/lucy-meadows-death-not-in-vain

Jane Fae at New Statesmanhttp://www.newstatesman.com/media/2013/03/press-regulation-freedom-speech-and-death-lucy-meadows (also contains information about her emails)

Miss Wonderly: http://misswonderly.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/how-do-you-go-about-sharing-your-most-important-truth/

Helen Belcher: http://challengingjourneys.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/the-ongoing-saga-of-tabloids-and-trans-people/

Bethany Black: http://bethanyblack.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/they-call-it-climbing-and-we-call-it.html

Dr Brooke Magnanti: http://sexonomics-uk.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/her-name-was-lucy-meadows.html

Media blogger Zelo Street: http://zelo-street.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/littlejohn-victims-suicide.html

Liberal Conspiracy: http://liberalconspiracy.org/2013/03/21/lucy-meadows-and-the-tabloids-that-harassed-her/

Roy Greenslade at the Guardianhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2013/mar/22/richard-littlejohn-transgender

Legal blogpost by John van der Luit-Drummond:  http://johnvdld.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/transsexual-rights-in-the-uk/

Post by Joanne Cash: http://www.joannecash.co.uk/?p=57 (humane)

Post at The New Liberty blog: http://thenewliberty.wordpress.com/2013/03/23/a-free-press-moral-outrage-and-leveson/ (a libertarian’s take)

Claire Black at Scotland on Sundayhttp://www.scotsman.com/scotland-on-sunday/opinion/comment/lucy-meadows-story-not-in-the-public-interest-1-2854438

Amanda Kendal on why Littlejohn should not be sacked: http://thevoluptuousmanifesto.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/why-im-not-calling-for-richard.html

Me at Jack of Kent: http://jackofkent.com/2013/03/the-death-of-lucy-meadows/

Me at Radio 4 (at 25:20): http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01r9sw8

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