Saturday 3 December 2016

RTE news reporter Jonathan Clynch 'is overwhelmed' by public support since it was revealed he is gender fluid

Elaine McCahill

Published 14/09/2015 | 07:30

RTE news reporter Jonathan Clynch is said to be overwhelmed by the support he has received since it was revealed he is gender fluid.

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The 44-year-old is believed to have told his bosses at Montrose in recent weeks that he wishes to now be known as Jonathan Rachel and sometimes present himself as female.

He has been widely praised for his decision and is said to be "touched" by the public's reaction.

Gender fluidity is an overlap or blending of genders where he or she sometimes identifies as being more male and other times as more female.

Clynch had been due to speak about the issue on the Marian Finucane show on Saturday, but changed his mind when the story broke in a tabloid newspaper.

Finucane explained that Clynch did not want anyone to "dictate when he would or wouldn't talk about himself".

He is currently on annual leave and a colleague told the Herald the trip had been planned "for a long time".

"His holidays were booked long in advance, it wasn't that he was blind-sided by this and decided to go away," a source said.

"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."

He has been using the name Jonathan Rachel online since last summer and had recently changed his profile picture on LinkedIn to one of him wearing make-up, jewellery and feminine clothing but it was later removed.

Clynch has worked at RTE for 16 years and often filled in on Radio 1's News at One.

Request

However, he will move to a new position on the foreign news desk, at his own request, on his return to work in October.

"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," a source said.

"He'll be back to work next month and will be warmly received by his colleagues."

An official statement from RTÉ said: "[We], both as an employer and broadcaster, value the uniqueness of individuals and encourage diversity and equality.

"We are 100pc supportive of Jonathan Rachel who is a valued member of staff and a highly respected journalist."

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