Schoolchildren who identify as trans are going through “nothing more than a phase”, a Conservative MP has said.
Nick Fletcher, the MP for Don Valley in South Yorkshire, has sent a letter to every school in his constituency asking them to each set out their position on the “trans question”.
He also urges schools to “push back” against children who question their gender identity, and suggests that the “transgender lifestyle” is being glamorised.
“I believe that quite simply boys are boys and girls are girls,” Mr Fletcher’s letter states.
“There are obviously some who may feel different to this.
“I recall that in my childhood there were girls who were viewed as ‘Tomboys’ and usually or probably prepubescent boys that liked the company more of girls, so this in itself is nothing new.
“What is new is the way it is now viewed. It appears from the media that it is now seen by our children and young people that they may be or actually are transgender when it comes to feelings of being a boy or a girl.
“Books which make this ideology acceptable to embrace and such media in all its forms that glamorise this transgender lifestyle are I’m afraid reaffirming something that is nothing more than a phase.
“I understand schools sometimes feel as though they have to be all things to all people and are afraid of being classed as transphobic.
“But please be assured that a push back on this is desperately needed and if you do I will stand up for you at all times and champion your resolve.”
Mr Fletcher has previously criticised the idea of women taking traditionally male screen roles, suggesting that young men were committing crime because positive male role models on TV have been replaced by female characters.
Speaking in a debate on International Men’s Day in Westminster Hall last November, Mr Fletcher highlighted the difficulties faced by many young boys, telling MPs that a number of them were “lagging behind” at school.
Mr Fletcher told the debate there appears to be a “tiny yet very vocal minority” who want a female replacement for “every male character or good role model”.
“In recent years we have seen Doctor Who, Ghostbusters, Luke Skywalker, the Equalizer all replaced by women, and men are left with the Krays and Tommy Shelby (from crime drama Peaky Blinders),” the MP for Don Valley said.
“Is there any wonder we are seeing so many young men committing crime?
“These programmes make crime look cool.
“Trust me, a lifetime in prison is not cool and neither is living with the memory of a stabbed son or daughter.”
Jodie Whittaker became the first female Doctor Who in 2017, while a remake of Ghostbusters in 2016 featured an all-female line-up in the main roles.
At the time of his remarks, Mr Fletcher was criticised by Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael, who told the Commons: “It seems Nick Fletcher has stepped into the Tardis and taken a trip back to the 1950s, where his attitude belongs.”
Mr Fletcher, who became an MP in 2019, later released a statement on Twitter saying his “nuanced point” had been “misconstrued”.
“As has been alleged rather lazily by several individuals, I did not link a Dr Who being female to crime being committed by men,” he said.
“In fact, I was making a statement that boys and young men also need positive role models within the media, just as women do.
“Boys need positive male role models, and that is a point that I will continue to reiterate and never apologise for making.”
Mr Fletcher has been contacted for a comment.