Dame Jacqueline Wilson has come under fire for her comments on transgender children and young people.
The celebrated childrens author, who is set to release her 110th book Dancing The Charleston, has featured hard-hitting issues in her books, such as eating disorders and tough upbringings.
However, when she was asked in a recent interview if she would ever write a trans character into one of her books, following the backlash against John Boynes new YA book about a trans teenager, Wilson said she didnt want to jump on a bandwagon.
Speaking to The Telegraph, the 73-year-old said: If there was a really strong reason for me wanting to write about a trans child then possibly. But I wouldnt want people to think Id jumped on the bandwagon just because its current and in the news.
If only everybody could be and act exactly the way they want to but not actually try to change themselves physically, I think that would be easier.
The Story Of Tracy Beaker author went on to say that she wishes anybody could fit themselves into whatever girly or stereotypically male slots they wanted – before sharing concern for children coming out as transgender.
Wilson said: Some people, right from the time that they are toddlers, are aware that something is wrong and they wish that they could be the other sex. But Im also aware that some children feel strongly for a while and then they change their minds. I think its a decision that has to be left a while until you are utterly mature and utterly certain you know all the actual consequences.
Where I would be very, very worried is young children taking any kind of drugs, hormones or whatever, the long term effects of which we dont know. And the whole idea of having major surgery… If youre a young child its not a question of just having bits of you lopped off. Its really serious, difficult surgery which can have pretty devastating consequences, I would imagine. Its nothing to be taken lightly.
The author seemed to predict that her comments would be controversial, saying peoples opinions can be taken down and used as evidence against you.
Many fans of Wilson have expressed their disappointment in Wilsons views on trans kids, with one person tweeting: Someone needs to have a chat with Jacqueline Wilson before transphobes come along and tell her more untruths. Its clear that shes absorbed their false narrative of “kids being fast tracked into surgery”.
Im sure shes not transphobic, just worried by the lies shes been told.
Others pointed the author towards the Gender Identity Development Service, which states that while children and teenagers can be referred for physically reversible interventions like hormone blockers, they will not be referred for surgery.
The GIDS website reads: As a child and adolescent service, we do not provide any form of surgery. Given this, whilst the topic of surgery may come up in our sessions, we are not best placed to advise on surgical options.