‘Not always a pleasure, but a privilege’ – Stonewall chief executive quits

Nancy Kelley is leaving after three years in the role

Nancy Kelley

Stonewall’s chief executive, Nancy Kelley, has announced that she is stepping down at the end of this month.

After just over three years in the role, Kelley reflected on the controversies and victories by tweeting: “I can’t say it's always been a pleasure, but it has surely been a privilege leading Stonewall.”

The former deputy chief executive of the National Centre for Social Research has led the LGBTQ+ charity during some bruising encounters with critics – particularly over trans rights.

Kelley has also overseen Stonewall’s campaign to ban conversion therapy (practices that seek to “cure” certain sexual orientations or gender identities on the grounds that they are mental illnesses) and  its work for more inclusive sex and relationship education in schools.

She announced her departure by tweeting: “I’m sad to share that I’ll be leaving @stonewalluk at the end of this month.

“Sad, but so SO proud of what we’ve achieved in the last three years, working as part of the incredible LGBTQ+ rights movement.

“And whatever comes next for me, in every way I can, I will continue to stand with our community, and continue to fight for a world where we are ALL free #LWithTheT.”

In terms of trans rights, Kelley sounded a warning, saying the anti-rights movement was “running rampant”.

She said: “I started this job three years ago clear that supporting the struggle for trans liberation was the defining challenge facing LGBTQ+ organisations in the UK.

“That *now was the time for all of us to stand up for trans people’s right to live free and equal lives.

“I leave this job as the anti-gender/anti-rights movement is running rampant around the globe and the transphobic moral panic created here in the UK is being exported everywhere. The time for us all to stand up is long past. We need your help.”

Scores of supporters tweeted their reaction to Kelley’s departure.

Stonewall co-founder, author, actor and activist Michael Cashman said: “You have made us proud and stronger. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. 

“Because of your work, taking on the unrelenting organised attacks on Stonewall and what we stand up for, means that we can achieve and will achieve EQUALITY. Together. Only together.”

National Aids Trust chief executive Deborah Gold said: “Nancy what a magnificent job you have done, despite incredible obstacles. The LGBTQI+ movement will be poorer without you.”

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