Natasha Devon describes herself as a "writer, speaker and campaigner," and she used to serve as the mental health advocate in the Department for Education in the UK. Devon also happens to be a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for her work with young people, and is now a fellow at Prifysgol Aberystwyth University in Wales. She continues to champion mental health issues.
In and hour-long presentation at the Girls’ School Association, Devon spoke briefly about gender and sexuality. She suggested educators consider addressing groups of students with gender-neutral language to promote inclusivity.
In making sweeping assumptions about gender, sexuality and identity we can create a culture in which anyone who deviates from the established archetypes feels excluded from the community and therefore doesn’t have this need fulfilled.
She's rather accomplished, isn't she?
I received death and rape threats, messages questioning my sanity, calling me a “f**king idiot”, trying to insult me through the prism of questioning my own gender, calling me fat and ugly, suggesting I should be burned as a witch and, perhaps most offensively, claiming that I am single-handedly responsible for the current poor mental health of British children.
Shame and fear makes people behave in strange ways. You are doing such important work. Please stick with it and ask for support if needed— TheHobbsConsultancy (@roxanne_hobbs) November 24, 2017
You are a force for good, so ignore, block and report. And don’t let them get you down 😘— Lucy McDonald (@lucymcdonald) November 24, 2017
Their own insecurity. Their own ignorance. Their own fear. It's never about you. Horrendous that you have to go through it. Report it, block and know differences of opinion can and should be civil so we can all learn from each other.— Sasha Hunter (@A_mum_and_wife) November 24, 2017
I worry that, for the next few months, if my name happens to be mentioned in a pub, or an office, or school the next words spoken will be 'isn’t she the one who says we aren’t allowed to say girls or boys anymore? PC Gone Mad! Nothing wrong with being a girl or a boy!'
Devon contacted Twitter about the messages but was told none of them violated any rules. Let's hope her message doesn't get lost amidst all the hate.