LinkedIn deletes mum’s post about Fareham Academy son coming out as transgender at prom

SOCIAL media network LinkedIn has apologised for deleting a proud mum’s post about her teenage son coming out as transgender at a school prom.

By Kerri L Watt
Thursday, 29th July 2021, 4:44 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th July 2021, 4:49 pm
Justin Sedgwick came out as transgender at his Fareham Academy prom. Picture: Jade Scotney

Justin Sedgwick, 16, had ‘one of the best nights’ of his life at the Fareham Academy prom that took place after months of Covid uncertainty.

Everyone ‘embraced him immediately’ and Justin was overjoyed - as was his mum Jade Scotney.

She took to LinkedIn to post about her son’s bravery in front of his 15 and 16-year-old peers.

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But the social media site blocked access to her account just as she was starting to be inundated with supportive messages.

It transpired some were less than supportive and had taken to reporting what she called her ‘proud mum’ post.

The social media giant has admitted its error and reinstated access.

Justin said: ‘If seeing our experience helps someone else to come out and be themselves, it was all worth it.’

Mum Jade said: ‘I logged in because loads of people were commenting on my LinkedIn post and connecting with me.

‘Then all of a sudden my account was blocked and I couldn't gain access again. I was gobsmacked.

‘Justin thought arriving in front of his 15 and 16-year-old peers would be difficult but everyone including his teachers embraced him immediately.'

‘He was overwhelmed at the positive responses from his own social media accounts too.

‘Yet adults are the ones that weren’t all as accepting by reporting my proud mum post and I was banned because of it.

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Autistic Justin was left shocked and hurt by the error.

Jade added: ‘I really felt for Justin... I was so proud of my son and his achievement. It was a big moment for him as no one at school knew he’d do this before he arrived.

‘I posted publicly on social media in the hope it would inspire other people to be themselves.'

'I was really nervous about him getting hate from nasty people but as he stepped out of the car in front of 200 people, his response was “This is me. I am so ready for this!”

‘I’d love to see LinkedIn change their policy on removing users. The fact that they removed my entire profile could potentially have stripped me of my livelihood as I use it to find new clients and grow my business.’

Since the enormous social media response supporting the mother and son, Jade’s account has now been reinstated.

She said: 'There really are some wonderful people on this platform and, despite being reported and banned, I think in the most part, I’ve realised just how many lovely people there are out there.'

In response, the website posted a comment that said: ‘We are sorry about your experience...

‘This was our mistake - your post shouldn’t have been taken down, and your account shouldn’t have been restricted.

‘We’re very sorry for these mistakes and are happy to see you celebrating Justin at prom. We are so glad he had a great night!’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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