Words: Steve Brown
A columnist for the education news magazine TES has resigned following its coverage of transgender issues.
Natasha Devon MBE has written a column in the weekly publication for around four years but over the weekend, the columnist took to Twitter to reveal she has resigned ‘with deep regret’ after TES – formerly the Times Education Supplement – highlighted the organisation Transgender Trend.
The ‘Transgender Trend’ was previously described as a pressure group set up by parents who ‘question the trans narrative’ by Schools Week despite warnings from Stonewall.
Taking to Twitter, Devon said in a lengthy post: “Today, with deep regret I have resigned as a TES columnist.
“It’s been a brilliant home for me for the past four years and I want to say thank you so much for all the help and support they have given me – I’m very grateful.
“However, I have been concerned for some months now re TES’ stance on trans issues.
“I am a vocal ally to the trans community and believe the prejudice and bigotry they face is directly equivalent to that faced by gay and bisexual people 20 years ago.
I am absolutely gutted to have to tell you I just officially resigned as a @tes columnist. I did it in solidarity with the #trans community and you can read my full statement below. (cc @Mermaids_Gender @realLilyMadigan @MunroeBergdorf @mimmymum). pic.twitter.com/wKdykykMhe— Natasha Devon MBE (@_NatashaDevon) May 11, 2019
“TES’ front page article this week contains promotion of an organisation called Transgender Trend, which supports conversion therapy for trans young people and suggests being trans is a mental disorder.
“It is my understanding that Transgender Trend pretends to be an organisation which gives teachers tools to support transgender young people but in fact does the opposite.
“I’ve had several people contact me to express their despair that TES would promote such an organisation.
“I cannot remain professionally associated with a publication which supports transphobia.”
In a statement, TES said they ‘stand by the content of the article’ but refused to comment on Devon’s resignation.
Devon also said she would be removing the publication from the signees of the Mental Health Charter – a campaign she created to champion responsible language in mental health reporting – as trans people have a higher risk of suicide.