Patrick Christys: I welcome this move to potentially outlaw trying to convince children to change their sex

Patrick Christys
Patrick Christys

'From next spring it will be illegal to convince someone to change their sexuality or gender identity, with extra safeguards to protect adolescents'

Published

Adults who try to persuade children to change their gender will face criminal sanctions under government plans.

From next spring it will be illegal to convince someone to change their sexuality or gender identity, with extra safeguards to protect adolescents.

This is a rare bit of common sense. For too long I feel that we’ve suspended logic and biological fact and hurtled head first into needless discussion about challenging traditional gender roles and identities.

In order to not seem anti-trans, people feel the need to be over the top when it comes to being pro-trans.

Some people are born into the wrong body, some people are attracted to people of the same sex, some people want to change their sex, and all of those things are obviously fine.

But do we really need resources being sold to primary schools that force children as young as five or six to consider whether or not their genitals aren’t right for them?

It is, by definition, impossible to have that conversation with a five year old and for them to understand it fully. There is no way that you can do that without confusing them. Impossible.

And I would argue that there’s just no need. The best estimate at the moment is that around 1% of the population might identify as trans, including people who identify as non-binary. That would mean there are about 600,000 trans and non-binary people in Britain, out of a population of over 60 million. And that’s a pretty generous estimate.

Call me a dinosaur, but wouldn’t children be better served by our education system if there was more of a focus on them learning maths, or geography, or Mandarin.

I think parents have a right to be angry if their school decides to discuss transitioning into a different gender with your very young child. But the problem is, if you went in to talk to the headteacher about that, you’d probably be labelled transphobic.

What qualifies a lot of these teachers to have that conversation with your child? What qualifies Dorothy from the art department to talk to your six year old child about whether or not they’ve been born into the wrong body? Nothing.

There are numerous cases in this country of children with autism being prescribed puberty blockers, or even having gender reassignment surgery.

From what I can see, the notion of changing your gender is often presented to children like a change of clothes or dying your hair a different colour – but it’s much more serious than that. It can have life changing, and irreversible consequences.

I welcome this move to potentially outlaw trying to convince children to change their sex – let kids be kids.