TV personality Jeremy Clarkson has created yet another controversy, this time with a blatant attack on the transgender community.
In his The Sunday Times column, the former Top Gear presenter claimed, among other things, that young people who want to change gender are “poisoned” by “lunatic” parents.
In an attempt to justify his transphobic views, he recounted a story told to him about an eight-year-old child: “She had been born a boy, but had insisted from the age of three that she had a girl’s name and wore girls’ clothes and, later, that she went to a girls’ school.
“Her parents had simply indulged this whim.”
“I wanted to seek out (the parents) and explain that they were free to live a lunatic life, they must not – and I was going to emphasise this with spittle – be allowed to poison the mind of a child.
“(Children) dream impossible dreams. You don’t actually take them seriously. You don’t take them to a hospital when they’re 10 and say, ‘He wants to be a girl, so can you lop his todger off?’”
Clarkson went on to say that transgender issues got far too much attention in the media, and suggested that transgender numbers in the population (of the UK for his example) were inflated.
“(People) have decided that we must now all turn our attention to the plight of people who want to change their name from Stan to Loretta, and fight for the right for men to have babies,” he wrote.
“As far as I was concerned, men who want to be women were only really to be found on the internet or in the seedier bits of Bangkok.
“They were called ladyboys, and in my mind they were nothing more than the punchline in a stag-night anecdote.”
Teenage transgender campaigner Zoe Pierce added her voice to the thousands who branded Clarkson’s remarks as both offensive and transphobic.
Zoe, 15, told the Daily Star she “always knew” she was a girl and that Clarkson’s “appalling” remarks had “hurt her heart”.
“If I had the opportunity to meet Jeremy Clarkson, I would show him how normal my life is – I go to school, I study, I make YouTube videos to educate people.”
Clarkson was fired from Top Gear by the BBC last year after punching a producer and is now filming a new car show for Amazon.