In a saner time, it was widely accepted that children develop their sexual identities through childhood and through adolescence. One UK city council wants children as young as four to choose the gender “they most identify with” before starting school, the telegraph UK reports.
They even wrote to parents urging them to support their child’s choice of “gender identity” in a letter confirming primary school placements.
It asked parents to leave the gender section black if the child had another gender identity.
Thousands received this letter.
Brighton and Hove City Council wrote: “We recognise that not all children and young people identify with the gender they were assigned at birth or may identify as a gender other than male or female, however the current systems (set nationally) only record gender as male or female.
“Please support your child to choose the gender they most identify with.”
“Or if they have another gender identity please leave this blank and discuss with your child’s school.”
Many parents were angry according to reports. One mother said: “Children at school should be free to develop their identity. “They are not adults — let them enjoy the innocence and creativity of their childhood.”
The telegraph quoted the head of the Orwellian-sounding equalities committee on the issue.
Councillor Emma Daniel, head of Brighton’s equalities committee, said: “We have inserted the additional text about gender identity in response to calls from families, young people and schools to show an inclusive approach.
“There are increasing numbers of children and young people nationally identifying as trans.”
Ms Daniel said she was aware of “concerns” about the wording on the form, adding that it would be reviewed to “see whether we can make it clearer that we consider discussions around gender identity to be an option for parents rather than an obligation”.
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen described the letter as “utterly ridiculous”. He added: “Schools should be teaching kids to read and write, not prompting them to consider gender swaps.”
Brighton once proposed banning titles such as Mr, Mrs, Miss and Ms in case they offend the transgender community. In 2012, councillors discussed the possibility of removing the words from official forms and paperwork after complaints that they forced people to “choose between genders”.
It was shot down.
Three months ago, the same council sent a “profoundly confusing” gender survey to pupils at Blatchington Mill School, in Hove, with 25 options to choose from.
As well as traditional options of ‘girl’ and ‘boy’, children aged 13 to 18 were also invited to select from a list that included ‘genderqueer’, ‘tri-gender’, ‘gender fluid’ and ‘intersex’.
Brighton is recognised nationally for its diversity, with the city’s Primary Care Trust estimating that one in six people is estimated to be from the lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender community, Mail Online reported.