Living in 21st Century Britain came with some assumptions for me. It now turns out that some of them were wrong.

I thought the days when people felt hounded and isolated for asserting their individual rights were over. I thought this was a society that encouraged and embraced differences, so we could contribute to an incredible multicultural patchwork tableau.

Lucy Meadows’ life was very different. She felt isolated, vulnerable, hounded by the national press who had an unhealthy interest in her story. A primary school teacher in Lancashire, Lucy had returned to work after undergoing gender reassignment surgery. Both the headteacher and the pupils at her school had been supportive, but the twisted world of the Daily Mail had picked up her story to feed an appetite to annihilate difference.

Unable to cope with this any longer, Lucy committed suicide: an unnecessary, awful death, that will teach her pupils about the need for tolerance and respect in all circumstances, as will the spontaneous protest vigil that gathered outside the London offices of this newspaper.  May she rest in peace.

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