Parents should ‘push back’ children identifying as non-binary: MP

Parents whose children identify as non-binary or trans should ‘push back’ and tell them to be ‘proud of who they are’, a Tory MP has said.

As MPs debated a public petition to make non-binary a legally recognized gender identity in the UK, Don Valley MP Nick Fletcher said: “While I’m here I want to talk to parents.

“If your child comes home with these worries, talk to him but be strong.

“Never give in to them or peer pressure from other adults.

“Your child was born a boy or a girl.

“Be proud of who they are.

“Tell them to be proud of who they are.

“Wherever their interests lie, help and encourage them.

“Be a part of their life, talk to them.

“Talk to them all the time.

“But push that away.

“Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.

“They’ll thank you for it in the long run.”

An online questionnaire offering female, male or other options for asking a user’s gender (Yui Mok/PA)

He added: “If they say they’re unhappy, just think for a second how unhappy they’ll be when their best friend has a child and they can’t, when their best friends dress up beautifully and that they will have to shave.

“What makes you sure they’ll be happy then?”

Mr Fletcher said he accepted that non-binary people “exist”, but disagreed that legal recognition for them was necessary.

He added: “I see them. I hear them. I feel for them. I want to help them.

“I tell them this: We are a tolerant nation and we accept you as you are, but it doesn’t follow that the law should be changed to reflect what some individuals feel.”

The petition, which calls on the government to “make non-binary a legally recognized gender identity in the UK”, has attracted over 140,000 signatures from across the country.

He added that recognizing non-binary as a “valid gender identity” could “contribute to the protection of non-binary individuals from transphobic hate crimes and alleviate the gender dysphoria experienced by non-binary people.”

Elsewhere in the Westminster Hall debate, former Tory cabinet minister Tim Loughton suggested puberty blockers should only be available to those over 18, likening the drug to cosmetic surgeries.

The MP for East Worthing and Shoreham said puberty blockers are having “life-changing impacts for these children, much more than a temporary tattoo or tan or even breast augmentation surgery”.

He added: “Yet if you dispute that, if you wonder if these children are actually capable of thinking about the consequences and aware of the implications for the rest of their lives to make this decision, with or without parental responsibility, then you are subject to the cancellation culture.

Labor Party leader Anneliese Dodds urged the government “to focus on the treatment of non-binary people, in particular the need for research into this”.

Equalities Minister Mike Freer said there was not enough data on the experiences of non-binary people to ‘draw conclusions’ about their needs, adding: ‘The Government will continue to monitor research on the experiences of non-binary people, seeking to better understand their lives. live.”

He also said: ‘It is important that under-18s are properly supported according to their age and decision-making abilities.