Trans affairs editor of Boyz magazine resigns over its support for trans-exclusionary group

Rebecca Tallon de Havilland had originally joined the magazine following a backlash against its support for the group.

A smiling woman under multi-coloured lights

Sexual health campaigner, Rebecca Tallon de Havilland, resigned from her position as trans affairs editor at Boyz magazine following the publication’s continued support for a trans-exclusionary group. 

In November 2020, de Havilland joined Boyz magazine to lead the publication’s coverage of trans, non-binary and gender identity-related issues as well as introduce new trans writers and interviewees to the team. Her role was announced after the magazine faced widespread backlash for promoting a trans-exclusionary group. 

Editor and co-founder of Boyz magazine, David Bridle, welcomed de Havilland in the new role and issued an apology to the trans community. However, in a recent article for Spiked, titled The witch-hunting of Boyz magazine, he claimed his magazine was “being punished by the ‘progressive’ establishment merely for debating trans issues.”

On Friday, January 29 2021, Bridle alleged the UK’s leading sexual health and HIV awareness charity, Terrence Higgins Trust, pulled advertising from an upcoming Boyz issue over his support for a trans-exclusionary group. The group refuted these claims, asserting that, due to lockdown restrictions and closure of venues, print advertising was rendered pointless. 

Following the Spiked article, de Havilland told PinkNews that she felt “let down” and “betrayed” by Bridle. She said, “Because I really felt that the conversation that we had that led to me being trans affairs editor was that anything trans-related would be run by me. At the time, David said he needed to know more about the trans community and that he would run everything by me… Basically, he had gone over my head on this. I just felt betrayed and I think initially I was kind of numb.”

“It hurts because I feel I should’ve had my guard up… I genuinely thought I had done something good. For [a trans person] to have a position like I had in Boyz, I was proud of it and so were others,” de Havilland further stated. 

Responding to de Havilland’s resignation, Bridle said, “I would like to thank Rebecca for the reach out she made last December to me personally and for her decision to join Boyz as our trans affairs editor. I would like to thank her for the articles she has contributed to the Boyz website. I am very sorry she has made this decision.”

Speaking about his recent article, Bridle added, “As I said in the Spiked article: ‘What was the point of the Boyz apology if our critics won’t accept it?’ That remains our position. Above all Boyz believes that the LGBT+ community must debate these matters in an informed way.”

Since publishing the Spiked article, Boyz commenced promoting the trans-exlcusionary group on their social media accounts, from sharing a YouTube link to a webinar with the caption “Why does gender dysphoria matter to lesbians and gay men? This webinar will tell you” and retweeting a post which characterised trans rights as “groupthink hysteria” from the LGBTQ+ community. The publication’s recent surge in support for anti-trans messages resulted in people launching a Boycott Boyz campaign across social media. 

On Twitter, the European Pride Organisers Association, EuroPride, wrote, “Pride with the T today, tomorrow and every day. We’ve unfollowed Boyz and hope they will return the favour. #BoycottBoyz.”

Scottish actor and director, David Paisley, shared, “Boyz Magazine publicly apologised for associating with LGB Alliance hate group, and hired the wonderful Rebecca Tallon de Havilland as Trans Affairs Correspondent. This was to save face, they betrayed Rebecca by again supporting LGB A – so she resigned. Please retweet using #BoycottBoyz.”

Another person expressed, “Do not protect bigots in our community, attacking our own. […] They have not learned, changed or made amends. As a community it’s time we #BoycottBoyz and show them what encouraging hate does.”

© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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