Aimee Challenor is a British transgender activist who recently hit the headlines following her dismissal as a Reddit administrator. People discovered Aimee’s administrative position on Reddit after the app’s algorithm banned a UK politics moderator for linking an article mentioning Challenor’s name.
Redditors responded angrily to the ban, with many popular communities locking down in protest. The basis of the protest wasn’t the exclusion of the moderator, but the fact that Reddit hired Aimee Challenor. Via a statement released by Reddit CEO Steve Huffman, the company announced that it had cut ties with the controversial politician.
This piece will look at Aimee’s personal life. It will focus on her gender, her parents, and her husband.
Aimee came out as trans as a child but only felt comfortable with her gender in her late teens
Aimee Challenor was born on 1st October 1997 in Coventry, England, to Tina and David Challenor and was assigned male at birth. She realized that her assigned gender didn’t conform with her identity at age 10. “It struck me when I was about 10 or 11 that I was a girl,” Aimee told The Guardian.
However, Aimee didn’t fully understand what being trans meant, and neither did her parents. “When we talked about it later they [her parents] were supportive, but no one knew what trans was,” Aimee added. Challenor retreated into her shell, where she became isolated, depressed, and lonely. The pressure to become someone she wasn’t weighed on her and reflected on her poor school results.
Aimee finally embraced her trans identity during her high school graduation prom. The school’s head tried to ban Aimee from attending prom in a dress, but Aimee’s parents invoked the Equality Act, which forbids any form of discrimination based on protected characteristics which include sex and gender reassignment. Aimee told The Guardian:
“They wouldn’t let me wear a dress to the prom because they thought it was unnecessary attention seeking; they said it made the school look stupid. But I dug my heels in. I was incredibly nervous on the night, but it felt so positive – for me it reinforced what was right.”
Challenor told the publication that she wishes that she would have come out before completing puberty. The next step in Aimee’s journey involved her transition from male to female. Transitioning became a huge challenge due to Aimee’s autism diagnosis. Aimee’s extended family pointed to her autism as the reason for her gender change.
“How do we know this isn’t part of your autism?” an email sent by Aimee’s extended family read. “What’s it all about? A need to be different?” Aimee doesn’t believe that her family was purposively malicious, but she feels that her relationship with them is damaged beyond repair.
Aimee faced further challenges accessing Gender Identity Development Services due to her diagnosis. “They had the power to refer me or refuse me because of my autism,” Challenor told Disability Arts Online. “It [autism] was preventing me from moving forward. If I could magically remove it, I would.” Thankfully, Aimee fought hard and accessed the services she needed to transition.
Aimee’s father was convicted and sentenced to 22 years for torturing and raping a minor
In August 2018, Aimee’s father was sentenced to 22 years in prison for torturing and raping a 10-year-old girl in the attic of the family home. Aimee came under fire for hiring her father despite knowing that he’d been charged for sexual offenses.
In a statement released after the conviction, Aimee feigned ignorance, stating that she didn’t understand the full extent of David Challenor’s charges despite living him. However, she also accepted part of the blame for hiring him. The statement read:
“That might be hard for you to understand, or to believe, but it is the truth. Yes, he was my election agent. This was one of a number of ways I was seeking to reconcile my relationship with my father after coming out of care. On reflection, I can understand that it was unacceptable for me to appoint my dad as my election agent when he had been arrested.”
The Green Party released a statement claiming that it wasn’t notified of David’s arrest or charges. It added that it was reviewing its disclosure policies. The statement read: “We apologize unreservedly that Mr Challenor was able to act as an election agent for Aimee Challenor in the 2017 general election and the local elections in May this year despite the nature of the charges brought against him.”
Aimee’s husband Nathaniel Knight came under fire for posting tweets referencing sexual immorality
In mid-2019, the Liberal Democrats party received formal complaints against Aimee Challenor’s husband based on tweets he posted detailing sexual fantasies with children. People made the complaints via screenshots after the account was removed from public view.
The party declined to publish the screenshots, but you can find the tweets on Reddit. Nathaniel talked about sexual fantasies involving children, torture, and rape. In a statement, Aimee’ defended her husband, claiming that the tweets didn’t represent his opinions. She said:
“The tweets that were purported to appear on my partner’s account were not his thoughts or opinions. He deleted the tweets as soon as he could. Because they are under investigation, I cannot comment too much on him. Even if I found out tomorrow that I was allowed back into the Liberal Democrats, I would not be campaigning for the Liberal Democrats.”