School pupils in Brighton are getting badges saying if they prefer to be called ‘she, he or they’ with the slogan ‘gender is a spectrum’ in a bid to help transgender children.
Secondary school pupils across Brighton and Hove are being handed the badges as part of the council’s ‘My Pronouns are…’ scheme that aims to promote trans inclusion and prevent ‘misgendering’.
There is also a blank badge that youngsters can use to fill in their own pronouns. Wearing a badge is optional, but the scheme has drawn criticism.
One online commenter said, ‘Children are not transgender. They don’t know who they are yet, and won’t until their raging hormones settle down after puberty.’
Another said, ‘Gender identity is a fraud. Just because people recognise it, doesn’t make it any more real. It is extremely harmful to children and truthful science should be done on it.’
Others spoke up particularly against the Council, with one saying, ‘This is beyond ridiculous. Pronouns are not a choice, they are part of language.’
Last year, it was revealed that Brighton and Hove City Council had approved guidance for primary schools which said children should be told that ‘all genders’ can have periods.
The schools’ guidance states, ‘Trans boys and men and non-binary people may have periods’ and ‘menstruation must be inclusive of all genders’.
In 2016, the council also sent a survey to teenagers asking them to choose their gender from 25 different options.
A spokeswoman for Brighton and Hove Council defended the transgender badges scheme.
She told The Argus newspaper: ‘The badges and stickers help raise awareness that you can’t assume someone’s gender identity and the pronouns they use.
‘We know from a range of evidence that gender is more complicated than is traditionally recognised.
‘We all define our own gender and we should respect other people’s identities and rights.
‘We’re proud of being a diverse city, and the council is committed to equality and inclusion for all people, including our trans and non-binary residents.
‘Our equality and inclusion strategy rightly supports those who are experiencing greatest disadvantage.’