Another day, another outdated, outmoded, and anachronistic politician saying something ridiculous and offensive. This time it's the turn of former Chairman of the British Conservative Party, Lord Norman Tebbit, who has written in a national newspaper that he thinks pollution is making people transgender.
In a comment piece in The Telegraph, the 86-year-old Peer, who it is worth noting has a pretty detailed record of speaking out against LGBT+ rights, claims that the rise in people identifying as transgender is possibly down to the increase in pollution, and that science backs him up. I fear this might be overkill, but science really doesn’t.
“I think it is time we had some research into the extent of the phenomenon both in time and geographical reach,” wrote Lord Tebbit. “I do not know if the populations of third world or of urban or of rural societies are more or less affected.”
“Nor is it known if it is only our species or others living alongside us which have been affected, but that knowledge might point to a trigger such as pollution, which is the belief of some scientists,” he continued.
Predictably, this isn’t the first time that a British politician has come up with some bat-shit explanation for the increase in people identifying as LGBT+. Only earlier this year a Liberal Democrat (yeah, the irony isn’t lost on us either) parliamentary candidate Susan King claimed that “there are a lot of feminising hormones getting into the environment and that has to be taken into consideration; it's affecting people's sexuality, basically.”
In other words, she thinks that the water is making people gay. The idea of gay water has been floating around the internet for some time now, with the ever measured and grounded Alex Jones being one of the theory's biggest champions. Speaking in soft, not at all terrifying tones from his InfoWars studio, Jones has previously raged against the fact that gay water is making men put on short skirts and wear lipstick. Which, I’m sure you don’t really need reminding, is not actually the same thing as being a homosexual.
Anyway, there is solace in the fact that Lord Tebbit is simply yet another dinosaur who’ll (hopefully) make way for a more accepting and better-informed politician. But we still have to keep in mind that he is still a member of the House of Lords, and thus has more influence than the vast majority of people in the country when it comes to the rights of others, such as transgender people. Not to mention that he has enough influence to get his moth-eaten views published in a national newspaper.