Boris Johnson: There should be parental involvement when kids make decisions about gender

The issue of trans rights is creating a big stir in the UK right now. This has actually been an ongoing debate but the most recent round seems to have kicked off with Labour leader Keir Starmer saying to the Times of London, “A woman is a female adult and, in addition to that, trans women are women, and that is not just my view — that is actually the law.” That followed another statement several months ago when Starmer publicly criticized a Labour MP who had said “only women have a cervix.”


The statement to the Times about the law led to some backlash from JK Rowling on Twitter:

Even more recently, Starmer appeared on a British call in show during which he was asked about Lia Thomas and trans women competing in sports. Starmer dodged that question saying it should be decided by sports regulating bodies. He was then asked about JK Rowling’s criticism and was trying to lay out a moderate position when the interviewer, Nick Ferrari, asked a blunt question: “So a woman can have a penis?” Starmer stammered a bit in response.

It’s odd that he would have such difficulty with this because all he really had to do, to be consistent, is repeat that trans women are women. It was really his hesitation that made this noteworthy.


There’s even more to the story because there was supposed to be a ban on conversion therapy but the government first announced it wouldn’t follow through and then announced it would in what the media called a double U turn on the issue. A big LGBT conference set to be held in London this summer is now on the edge of being canceled because activists groups upset by the government’s waffling are dropping out.

Yesterday the health secretary announced another wrinkle in the plan, saying that conversion therapy for LGB people should be banned but that when it came to trans people there might need to be some more nuance.

“When it comes to conversion therapy, it is absolutely right, as the government has said, that we ban the so-called conversion therapy for LGB people,” Mr Javid told Sky’s Kay Burley.

“When it comes to trans. I do think that we need to be more careful.”

With all of that happening in recent weeks, Boris Johnson was asked about his stance on trans issues and gave a pretty clear statement. “We will have a ban on gay conversion therapy which to me is utterly abhorrent, but there are complexities and sensitivities when you move from the area of sexuality to the question of gender and there I’m afraid there are things that still need to be worked out,” Johnson said.

“These are novel concepts, we’ve got to be clear about that,” he said. He then offered a few points on which he did feel confident. “I don’t think that it’s reasonable for kids to be deemed so-called Gillick competent, to take decisions about their gender—irreversible treatments that they may have. I just don’t—I think there should be parental involvement at the very least.


“Second thing, I don’t think that biological males should be competing in female sporting events…It just seems to me to be sensible. And I also happen to think that women should have spaces which are—whether it’s in hospitals or prisons or change rooms, wherever— which are dedicated to women.

“That’s as far as my thinking has developed on this issue and if that puts me in conflict with, you know, some others then we’ve got to work it all out. That doesn’t mean that I’m not immensely sympathetic to people who want to change gender, to transition and it’s vital that we give people the maximum possible love and support in making those decisions.”

Naturally, this statement is receiving all sorts of responses.

Others find themselves disturbed at being in agreement with Boris Johnson:


I like this response from someone who compared this statement to an open goal.

And of course he also has supporters who think he did a good job here.

No tweets about this from JK Rowling yet but if I see one I’ll add it.

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