Boyz magazine appoints new trans editor in aftermath of blistering backlash over LGB Alliance support

Josh Milton December 3, 2020
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Boyz magazine appoints trans editor following backlash over LGB Alliance

Rebecca Tallon de Havilland, a trans trailblazer and HIV advocate, has resigned from her position at Boyz magazine. (Twitter)

Embattled British gay magazine Boyz appointed a transgender affairs editor in an effort to soothe wounds split by its endorsement for LGB Alliance.

Rebecca Tallon de Havilland, an author and sexual health campaigner, took on the new post on Monday (30 November) in the aftermath of a blistering backlash against the London-based publication for supporting the anti-trans lobbying group.

The publication was pelted with criticism after it shared and sought to encourage readers to “hear out” the LGB Alliance. After an array of advertisers and stockists severed ties with Boyz in response, magazine leaders apologised and insisted Boyz are not “transphobic”.

Boyz magazine editor and co-founder David Bridle, initially abrasive towards criticism after doubling down on support for the LGB Alliance, welcomed de Havilland in a statement published in Boyz.

Newly named transgender affairs editor is seeking to ‘build a bridge’ following Boyz backlash 

“I am delighted that Rebecca has chosen to taken on this new role despite the difficult circumstances Boyz has faced recently,” he said.

“I am very sorry for the distress I have caused in the transgender community as a result of my actions and I hope with Rebecca’s help that I can rebuild those relationships with the trans community and our loyal Boyz readers and supporters.”

With de Havilland taking up the new position in Boyz’s editorial wing, she brings with her a tenacious, decades-long track record of activism for trans rights and HIV advocacy.

She was the first known trans person to undergo gender affirmation surgery in 1991 in Ireland and has since worked tirelessly with LGBT+ charity Terrence Higgins Trust as well as at 56T and TransPlus at 56 Dean Street, a top sexual health clinic in Soho.

“I did feel sad and upset when I saw it first on social media,” de Havilland reflected in a statement, “but then I thought how could we build a bridge for our community to move forward with this.

“I’m so pleased I did reach out as I’ve always been a fan of Boyz magazine in the past and how you handled my story last year for World AIDS Day with such sensitivity was lovely.

“I want to be a part of the solution that brings us together, which I am delighted that is also what you want too. Also if I hadn’t been given a second chance some years back, I wouldn’t be here today!”

Founders of the LGB Alliance have defended working with the anti-LGBT+ and anti-abortion Heritage Foundation and have refused to denounce its neo-Nazi and homophobic supporters, despite it seeking to position itself as an “LGB rights group”.

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