There's been a 'sea-change' in opposition to trans ideology, says de-banked vicar

A retired Anglican vicar whose bank account was closed down after he expressed gender critical views says people are becoming less afraid to speak out against trans ideology.

The Rev Richard Fothergill, 62, told The Telegraph in an interview that there has been a "sea-change" in attitudes towards transgenderism. 

His account with the Yorkshire Building Society (YBS), which he had held for 17 years, was closed earlier this year after he complained about the bank's public messaging during Pride month. 

In a letter to YBS in June, he said that the bank should be "worrying about financial issues" instead of promoting LBGT ideology. He also criticised trans ideology.

In response, YBS said that it had a "zero tolerance approach to discrimination" and that their relationship with Rev Fothergill had "irrevocably broken down".

Speaking during a recent episode of The Telegraph's Planet Normal podcast, Rev Fothergill said he believes people are starting to push back against harmful transgender ideology. 

"There's been a sea change and I really would say within the last year," he said. 

"I think at last normal people in every walk of life and not necessarily just people of faith are pushing back and saying no, come on, reality, let's have some reality here."

Rev Fothergill, who leads an evangelical network called the Filling Station, added: "There are males and there are females. That's it.

"If you as a male really think it's important to dress up as a woman and present yourself as a woman, you aren't a woman. You've got X and Y chromosomes all through your body. You will always be male. And so it's an ideology."

Even his critics support his right to a banking account. 

Rachel Dee, president of the Beaumont Society, which supports trans people, called his views "obviously transphobic" but said he was entitled to a bank account.  

"It's wrong to de-bank anyone," she told the newspaper.

"Whatever his views are on the trans issue, whether anti or pro, it doesn't make any difference. It's wrong for the YBS to take a stand on it just because they disapprove of his views.

"The bank is not there to make judgment on your views. They are there to service your banking requirement."

YBS has denied closing his account because of his beliefs.

"While we do not comment on individual cases, we never close savings accounts based on different opinions, beliefs or feedback provided by our customers," a spokesman said. 

"It's extremely rare that we have to make the difficult decision to close accounts and we only ever close a savings account if a customer is rude, abusive, violent or discriminates in any way, based on the specific facts, comments and behaviour in each case."