An award-winning trans novelist has been left “mortified” after a school cancelled her visit saying it was “inappropriate”.
Juno Dawson, author of Margot and Me and This Book is Gay, was due to speak at St. Mary’s Catholic High School in Preston.
However, despite the school previously being praised for its work on LGBT issues, it dumped the writer with just 48 hours notice.
Speaking to BuzzFeed news, she said she had been speaking about her new book “all week, in a mixture of grammar schools, private schools, faith schools, all sorts of different schools.”
Her latest book, Margot and Me, tells the story of a grandmother and her granddaughter living in South Wales during the Second World War and is aimed at those in their early teens.
Dawson said she was booked to give a talk about her latest work and the role of women in the 20th century, however, school officials said it was “inappropriate” and the “subject matter” meant “they didn’t think it was suitable”.
“I went through stages – the first was I felt personally attacked and quite mortified,” she added. “But then I became angry as I very quickly realised that you can’t do that – you can’t discriminate against people on the basis of their gender.”
She said her final reaction was “a real sadness for the young people of that school.”
However, headteacher Martin Reynolds claimed the event was not cancelled and denied the allegation of discrimination.
In a statement he said he’d infact asked for the visit to be postponed, adding: “The postponement of Juno’s visit was not due to the fact that Juno Dawson is transgender.
“We would never discriminate against any individual on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity as we teach our children that each individual person is precious and unique.”
“A representative said she felt the subject matter meant that a visit was inappropriate at this time because we wanted a proper context for it so that our younger students could get more value out of it. We wanted more time to do this theme justice for our younger students.”
Dawson, however, has rebuffed the claims as “back-peddling”, and said there was no offer of a talk at a later stage.