A leading news reporter for Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTÉ, has been “overwhelmed” by the support he has received from his employers and the public since he revealed that he identifies as “gender fluid.”
After 16 years of service, the 44-year-old journalist, Jonathan Clynch, asked that he now be referred to as Jonathan Rachel Clynch by RTÉ.
The term, gender fluid, means that Clynch sometimes identifies as male and sometimes as female.
The national broadcaster released this statement:
"[We], both as an employer and broadcaster, value the uniqueness of individuals and encourage diversity and equality.
"We are 100% supportive of Jonathan Rachel who is a valued member of staff and a highly respected journalist."
On Twitter the Irish public have also been showing support for Clynch and RTÉ.
Congratulations, Jonathan Rachel Clynch, may you continue to smash the gender binary with pride.— Emer McHugh (@emeramchugh) September 13, 2015
Regarding RTÉ fully supporting Jonathan Rachel Clynch coming out as gender-fluid. It's great to see society accept people for who they are.— Stephen O'Brien (@Ob_OBrien95) September 13, 2015
Well done to RTÉ for their positive support for their employee Jonathan Rachel Clynch. That's how an employer ought to react.— Marty O'Prey (@MartyOPrey) September 12, 2015
yay for RTÉ being cool sometimes and triple yay for Jonathan Rachel Clynch �� http://t.co/eZic3ZQ1E4— Peadar Sweeney (@Ahjeezwat) September 13, 2015
Clynch was due to speak on Marian Finucane’s Radio One show on Saturday but changed his mind. Finucane explained that Clynch did not want anyone to “dictate when he would or wouldn't talk about himself."
He has worked with RTE for 16 years, often filling in on Radio One’s “News at One.” He is currently on a long vacation, which he had planned far in advance and will return to work on the Foreign Desk in the coming weeks.
A friend of the journalist told the Herald, “He has been open about it for a while now and his friends and family were all aware of his situation.
“He is going through a process at the moment and will speak about it in his own time and he hopes everyone will be respectful of that.”
The source continued, “The reaction has been hugely positive so far and if his situation serves as a talking point and a way to educate people then it's a good thing.
"He'll be back to work next month and will be warmly received by his colleagues."
According to GenderDiversity.org “Gender fluidity conveys a wider, more flexible range of gender expression, with interests and behaviors that may even change from day to day. Gender fluid people do not feel confined by restrictive boundaries of stereotypical expectations of women and men.
“For some people, gender fluidity extends beyond behavior and interests, and actually serves to specifically define their gender identity. In other words, a person may feel they are more female on some days and more male on others, or possibly feel that neither term describes them accurately. Their identity is seen as being gender fluid.”