Stonewall has been slammed for promoting books about gender identity – described by critics as ‘deeply concerning’ and set out to make ‘children feel less comfortable in their bodies’ – for children as young as three.
‘Are You a Boy Or Are You a Girl?’ is penned by Sarah Savage, chief executive of Trans Pride Brighton and author and trans campaigner Fox Fisher, who is also a trustee of the event.
The book appears on Stonewall’s list of ‘LGBTQ+ inclusive books for children aged 2-4’ under its ‘Trans Inclusion’ category, but a spokesperson said that they recommend parents use their discretion and follow publisher guidelines – which is ages 3+ for this book.
The description of the book on the charity’s website says: ‘When Tiny starts a new school, the other children keep asking whether they are a boy or a girl.
‘The other children eventually come to realise that it doesn’t matter what gender Tiny is. What matters is that Tiny is themselves.’
Tiny questions: ‘What does it mean to be a boy or a girl?’ The character is referred to as an ‘it’ by a school bully but bravely concludes: ‘I am me’, even befriending the bully in the end.
The Stonewall list of LGBTQ+ books for children aged two to four-years old features a number of storybooks on categories including challenging gender stereotypes, celebrating difference, different families, emotional literacy and trans inclusion.
Parents are told on the website: ‘As with any resources for children and young people, do make sure you check them first to make sure they suit you and your children’s needs.’
Malcolm Clark, Head of Research at LGB Alliance said tales like Tiny’s make ‘thousands of ordinary children feel less comfortable in their bodies’.
Mr Clark said: ‘Everyone wants boys and girls to feel under less pressure to conform to stereotypes but these books set out deliberately to make thousands of ordinary children feel less comfortable in their bodies.
‘We have seen in recent years what can happen when activists fight culture wars over the battleground of children’s bodies.
‘They sow doubt and confusion, which can lead directly to young people joining a treadmill of experimental, irreversible medical interventions that are often regretted later.’
James Esses, co-founder of Thoughtful Therapists, a group of psychologists and psychotherapists who share a concern over the impact of gender ideology, posted about the book recommendation on Twitter.