Art show memorial to transgender Accrington teacher Lucy Meadows

The Bolton News: Chris Fittock with a self portrait at Haworth Gallery Chris Fittock with a self portrait at Haworth Gallery

AN exhibition by a Burnley artist which has been dedicated to transgender teacher Lucy Meadows has has gone on show at a county museum.

Miss Meadows, 32, was found dead at her home in March, just three months after telling pupils she was undergoing a gender transition.

Painter Chris Fittock said the works were inspired by his own four-decade struggle to come out as a cross-dresser.

He said he hoped his work would ‘help spread the message of acceptance’ towards the transgender community.

Mr Fittock, who has lived in Burnley for the past 20 years, gave a lecture yesterday at Haworth Art Gallery on his collection of self-portraits, entitled Transcending Perceptions, on show until June 2.

When he heard about Miss Meadows’s death, he contacted the school where she worked, St Mary Magdalen’s CE Primary School, in Accrington, and asked if he could dedicate the exhibition to her.

The 55-year-old, who is married with two children, said: “It was a total coincidence that I had been planning the exhibition. I knew Lucy’s story loosely through the media but only really got involved when she died.

“I phoned the school and asked if it would be ok to dedicate the display in her memory and they said they were happy for me to do so.

“I have been a cross-dresser since I was nine but didn’t admit it publicly until I was 52.”

I suppose there are vague similarities between my story and the struggles Lucy had.

“You can’t deny who you are. At first I suppressed it but now I just want to get accross that we’re all very different and that that should be celebrated.

Yvonne Robins, co-ordinator at Haworth Art Gallery, said: “It’s a very challenging exhibition and we’re very proud of the fact we’ve put it on.

“People have misconceptions and hopefully this helps break down some barriers.”

The exhibition runs at the museum, in Hollins Lane, until June 2.

Miss Meadows’ inquest resumes on May 28.

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