Jack Monroe ‘taking legal action’ against Daily Mail for claim Jack isn’t her ‘real’ name
Lesbian food columnist Jack Monroe is “taking legal action” against the Daily Mail – after the paper claimed that Jack is not her “real” name.
The Guardian columnist and poverty campaigner changed her name to Jack when she was younger, moving away from a feminine name in line with her gender identity.
However, she hit out at the Daily Mail for claiming her “real name is Melissa” – and revealed she is taking legal action in a blog post.
She responded on her blog after a letter printed in the Southend Echo accused her of misrepresenting her qualifications, citing the Mail in suggesting “Mellisa… is her real name”.
In a blog post, she wrote: “The name I was assigned at birth was ‘Melissa’, with one L and a double-S; goodness, if you’re going to try to pull my ‘old name’ out of a bag you could at least pull the right one.
“This is something I occasionally have to address when people, usually men with a grudge (#NOTALLMEN) try to undermine my ‘authenticity’ by claiming that my name is somehow false.
“I will explain very clearly. When I was born my parents gave me a name that was very definitely feminine and I never felt particularly comfortable with.
“I adopted male nicknames for myself throughout my childhood. When I left the Fire Service I was struggling with the realisation that I may be transgender and realised that this was my opportunity to adopt a new better-fitting name without the hassle of having to impose it upon my colleagues.
“I had been considering doing this for several years by this point. And so I changed it by deed poll, legally, and proceeded to change my bank details and passport accordingly. I cut my hair short. I bind my 36DD breasts to make my chest flat.
“I wear clothes from the menswear departments, but they aren’t ‘mens clothes’, they’re ‘my clothes’. My real and legal name is Jack, and has been for many years.
She continued: “Calling someone by their former name, especially a person who identifies as genderqueer, genderfluid or transgender, is known as ‘deadnaming’ and is not only highly insulting but is an attempt to dimish them.
“It is simply saying ‘you cannot be who you are, you must be the person I insist you should be.’ I refuse to accept such crass and offensive belittling from an imperfect stranger.
“It is CAITLYN Jenner. CHELSEA Manning. JACK Monroe. Get it?”
She added: “I am currently taking legal action against the Daily Mail for printing that my ‘real’ name is not Jack. It certainly is. I have the passport to prove it, and gently suggest that the Echo, nor any of its correspondents, repeat this claim.”
Elsewhere, she hit out at an attack on her former relationship and young child.
She said: “If you consider an eight year friendship followed by five years of solid co-parenting and a very happy, safe, secure, intelligent child to be a failure simply because Mummy and Daddy don’t have matching wedding bands, then I am genuinely saddened by your narrow viewpoint.
“Families come in all shapes and sizes, from divorcees to widows to lesbians to shared custody arrangements to single parents to remarriages to adoption and fostering.
“To quote the actress Sophie Ward in last week’s Telegraph: ‘Bringing up children is mostly common sense. They need love and security and encouragement and boundaries, none of which is gender-specific’.”