Trans teen Lily Madigan begs the media and anti-trans activists to stop attacking her
A teenager at the centre of a vicious campaign of hate from anti-trans activists has begged for the abuse to stop.
Lily Madigan, from Kent, has been the subject of no fewer than five articles from The Times newspaper, along with hundreds of messages of abuse online.
The national newspaper heavily focussed on the teen in recent weeks – claiming she is at the centre of a national debate around gender recognition reforms after being elected women’s officer of her local Labour Party.
Despite the abuse, the teen tells PinkNews she won’t let transphobes stop her from pursuing her political passions.
The 19-year-old wrote on Twitter this morning, “Please stop. I can’t handle it anymore.”
“I’m so mentally distressed that I can’t sleep or eat or go to school. No one deserves this.
“There’s only so many times I can read lies or my deadname or misgendering. I’m just a teenager. Please just stop. I don’t want to do this anymore.”
The post has been favourited more than one thousand times, with comments of support from the likes of Labour MP Wes Streeting and Hollyoaks actress Annie Wallace.
Former Labour leader Ed Miliband even showed his support when he followed Lily on Twitter earlier today.
But elsewhere online Lily has faced endless vitriol, including from many adults and experienced, powerful activists.
“I’ve found the coverage to be very targeted against me; lots of what I said was omitted or used out of context,” Lily tells PinkNews.
The attention began after Lily was elected women’s officer for her local Labour Party in Rochester and Strood.
Months earlier she had lodged a complaint against a transphobic party member, Anne Ruzylo, who held the same post in another constituency and stood down following the complaints.
It’s the stuff of local politics that would usually go no further than the local paper.
But this teen has been forced into the national spotlight over the altercation, simply because she is transgender.
“It definitely has felt intrusive at times, like when they posted an article saying I had applied for the Jo Cox programme before I actually had.
“The backlash alone could have turned other trans-women off from applying which would be an incredible shame.”
55 Labour activists involved in the Jo Cox Women in Leadership scheme wrote to the newspaper to defend Ms Madigan in response.
The Times declined to publish the letter, in spite of extensive coverage criticising the student.
Lily came out as transgender less than two years ago, taking her school to court after they tried to ban her from wearing a skirt.
“In my situation I know coming out was really a method of survival.
“I was depressed not being myself and ultimately I think if I hadn’t come out to this extent I’d very likely be dead.
“Sometime in January 2016 I posted on Facebook, coming out to most of my friends and family. It was the only way I felt comfortable enough to do it.”
The response, she says, was positive from friends and family.
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She is also keen to praise Labour and its leader Jeremy Corbyn, who she feels is fully supportive.
“The Labour Party is not only a safe place for transgender people but actively supports them with programmes like the Jo Cox women in leadership programme asking for underrepresented, and self identifying women.
“We also have our leader Jeremy Corbyn calling for changes to the GRA to help trans people, and I’ve had the opportunity to ask him about transphobia in society and media and he gave a very supportive answer.”
Despite the high-profile attacks, Lily says transphobes cannot stop her.
“I’d love to be the first trans MP,” she told BBC Newsbeat. “It’s about time.”