Nigella apologises to trans activist over ‘self-mutilation’ column

Celebrity chef was criticised over an article written 27 years ago


MIAMI BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 28: Chef Nigella Lawson attends a Brunch Hosted By Nigella Lawson during 2016 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival Presented By FOOD & WINE at Casa Tua on February 28, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for SOBEWFF®)

Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson has apologised over a column written 27 years ago describing a campaigner’s gender-reassignment surgery as “self-mutilation.”

The best-selling cookery writer, 60, offered a personal apology to Christie Elan-Cane, who is non-gendered and uses the pronoun per, after the activist shared a newspaper clipping of the “offensive diatribe” and said Ms Lawson was “no #trans ally of mine.”

“And I am very glad to have the opportunity to apologise,” the food writer replied on Tuesday, about the piece published in the Evening Standard in October 1993.

“While I certainly meant no harm, unfortunately that doesn’t mean I didn’t harm. And I’m sorry. I hope that the past 27 years have been rich and happy ones for you,” she said. 

In her column, she had said there were “no medical justification for such brutal surgery” and suggested the removal of her breasts and womb had stemmed from “the most troubling self-hatred.”

The campaigner thanked Ms Lawson for the apology and accepted it. “I appreciate that very much. Thank you for your gracious response,” Ms Lawson replied. 

Only last month, Ms Lawson drew praise from LGBT campaigners after she approvingly tweeted a piece by a woman who previously sympathised with “gender-critical campaigners” but changed her mind when her nephew came out as trans. 


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