Tuesday 27 September 2016

RTE star comes out as 'gender Fluid'

Published 13/09/2015 | 02:30

RTE Radio One news presenter Jonathan Clynch (44) is taking time off work after telling bosses he is "gender fluid" and will now be referred to on air as Jonathan Rachel Clynch.

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The presenter will return to work at the start of October, when he will take up a job on the foreign news desk.

He will be out of the country for a time before returning to RTE to edit and cut packages and provide voiceovers for foreign news reports.

This weekend, a source close to Mr Clynch told the Sunday Independent that he is "in the middle of a process" and "working through it himself".

The news presenter is said to have received widespread support from staff at the station.

"Jonathan is very well liked and very well respected at the station," said an RTE colleague. "He will be back in the office in a couple of weeks but the feeling here is very positive."

"The decision was made by Jonathan to move to the foreign desk because he was looking for a change and often people move around within the newsroom. It is not unusual. He could be back on air in time."

Mr Clynch, who has been a household name at Montrose for 16 years, told RTE staff last week that he now wishes to attend the station sometimes in women's clothes and take on the name 'Rachel'.

He is biologically male and intends to remain so but describes himself as "gender fluid". This means he sometimes identifies himself more as male and other times as more female.

It is understood that Mr Clynch attended meetings at Montrose last week to discuss his future career.

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."

Mr Clynch was due to appear on The Marian Finucane Show yesterday morning, but he cancelled his appearance at the last minute, following a front-page story in the Irish Daily Star breaking the news in advance of his radio interview.

Yesterday morning, as she opened the show, host Marian told listeners: "After today's front page, Jonathan wants to speak about his decision on his own terms."

Meanwhile, many have taken to Twitter to congratulate Clynch on his decision. "What he has done takes tremendous courage," said one user.

Sunday Independent

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