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‘Unequivocal dyke’ Ruth Hunt admits to receiving more abuse for supporting trans rights than from homophobes

Vic Parsons May 18, 2020
Ruth Hunt: Baroness and 'unequivocal dyke' comes out as an introvert

Ruth Hunt, "unequivocal dyke", giving her maiden speech in the House of Lords.

The Baroness of our hearts, Ruth Hunt, has come out as an introvert and admitted that she didn’t expect to end up in the House of Lords.

The ex-Stonewall boss, 40, also spoke about growing up gay, still wanting a cigarette and her penchant for beautiful ties in a Guardian interview.

She realised she was gay at 12, she said, in a year when “a lot happened”.

“I was hit by a car, realised I was gay and my aunt died during childbirth leaving behind three young children,” Hunt said.

“Like every teenager I thought I knew how to cope when I didn’t. I only started being kinder to myself in my 30s.”

Hunt, who grew up in Cardiff and left home to study at the University of Oxford, also revealed that she was very hardworking as a teenager but became “less studious” once she got to Oxford.

“I found other girls who liked girls, cheap alcohol on tap and the freedom to smoke out of my bedroom window,” she said.

Hunt, who was the fourth-ever out lesbian to join the House of Lords, in 2019, oversaw the inclusion of trans rights into Stonewall’s agenda in 2015.

It is a move she’s spoken about previously, and has received the most criticism for, which she stressed once again in the Guardian interview.

“Trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary people are valid,” she said.

“The ease with which we dehumanise them is terrifying. I receive more hateful abuse from people who take issue with this than I’ve ever had from homophobes.”

“Aged only 40 and unequivocally a dyke, finding myself a baroness in the House of Lords is unexpected,” said Hunt, who has continued to speak out about trans and queer rights in the House of Lords, including using her maiden speech to address marriage inequality.

“It was a big decision to accept, but I see it as my duty. Receiving letters addressed to ‘Baroness Hunt of Bethnal Green’ does tickle me.”

Ruth Hunt also came out as an introvert, admitting that whilst she enjoys giving speeches to thousands of people, she struggles in smaller groups: “I’m the introvert who finds small talk excruciating.”

 

 

 

More: Homophobia, queer prophets, Ruth Hunt, Stonewall, trans rights, transphobia

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