Vicky Hungerford, the director of the UK metal festival Bloodstock, is to “step back” from her role, after sparking anger with a tweet about gendered pronouns that many interpreted as transphobic. Hungerford has apologised for the comments, and stated that she fully supports everyone in the LGBTQI+ community.
In a now-deleted tweet, Hungerford criticised the practice of putting gendered pronouns in an email signature, writing: “If you’re going to start putting pronouns on your emails so I can refer to you as he/him she or her, I’m binning your emails.” The tweet was screenshotted and shared on her Instagram account as well, along with the comment that it was just her opinion, “as it is for people to use pronouns.”
Following an adverse reaction to this comment, Hungerford wrote: “So it appears my last tweet offended people and that was NOT my intention, I deleted my tweet as some people were upset and I was NEVER intending to upset anyone!”
This was followed by a more in-depth apology, in which she stated: “I would like to be clear that I fully support everyone in the LGBTQI+ community” and “I only wish I could take back my ill-thought-out comment.” However, Hungerford did clarify that she still felt frustrated that “some people feel they HAVE to sign off with a pronoun”.
To all ❤️ I hope the very community and people offended will accept my apology x pic.twitter.com/C9yfkQzuDt
— Bloodstockvicky 𝓥𝓲𝓬𝓴𝔂 𝓗𝓾𝓷𝓰𝓮𝓻𝓯𝓸𝓻𝓭 (@vickyhungerford) October 14, 2021
The practice of clarifying pronouns in online communication has become more popular in recent years, with both trans and cisgender people doing so. As well as making it clearer how a person would like to be referred to, some do so to signify their acceptance of transgender and nonbinary people and to normalise the practice, even if they themselves are cisgender.
Following Hungerford’s posts, Bloodstock Festival’s official Twitter account posted a statement saying: “We are ashamed and disappointed by the recent lack of understanding, awareness and opinions voiced from within the Bloodstock camp… for now, Vicky has taken a step back from Bloodstock Festival.”
— bloodstockfest (@BLOODSTOCKFEST) October 15, 2021