As you know, we have had Kellie Maloney on the radio station a few times and she is a great supporter. Her and Lucy have formed a great friendship and with the sporting connection have so much in common.
A few weeks ago she rung up for one of her chats with Lucy and commented that she didn't know much about her personal life and relationships. She didn't even know we were married or that I even existed. As part of this conversation Lucy mentioned that she was a referee and her plans to 'come out' but still stay as an active referee and how the FA seemed to be dragging their feet as although they have all the great policies they don't know what to do or how to support Lucy as she will be the first openly trans referee in English football across the world. A scary thought!
This sparked Kellie off and she said that this was going to be news and likely to hit the papers whether we liked it or not so her suggestion was to head it off and contact the papers ourselves so we could get our story out first (no doubt there will be lots of positive and negative comments from in and out the community) but also may force the FA to be more supportive.
So we were caught in a little bit of a whirlwind and before we knew it Kellie was approaching newspapers and put us in touch with her solicitor. We discussed it between us and thought that if the story was going to hit the newspapers anyway, it would be good to control the first story that was going to be put out there. At least this way we would have an input although we know that any 'trans' news story will attract positive and negative comments from our community and outside. We already deal with 'TERFS' and the like on the radio station social media so nothing there really changes. It also gives a definitive date that Lucy will have to tell the remaining friends of our situation and when all the noise quietens down will enable us to start properly living our life together and no more worrying of being caught out.
Fast forward a few weeks and we are sat here with key dates looming. A few offers from papers came in and a decision was made to go with the Mirror as they would give us headline and copy rights so we can ensure the right message is given over. They have agreed that we can provide photos rather than reply on them taking any, we are to be interviewed together and on Sunday 19th August they will publish Lucy's story and on the same day will come down to cover the womens football match she will be refereeing which will form the basis of a follow up article the following Sunday. On Monday 20th August they will apparently publish my interview which we were not expecting. They are also going to be mentioning Trans Radio too.
In the meantime Lucy contacted the FA again and once she had explained the situation with the press she was put in touch with the head of referees who was very supportive. Lucy does still want to referee mens matches however she feels that maybe for the first couple of months she would prefer to do the womens and when the dust has settled a bit then resume the mens matches. The moment she steps out on any football pitch as the true her it will start the chatter within the football community. The FA are supportive of this and going to ensure we gets allocated womans matches to the same level as the mens she was doing. They also want to do a press release to coincide with the newspaper article.
So quite a bit going on in our lives at the moment!