Sorry, but you’re probably wrong about gender

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Piers Morgan has incorrectly tweeted about gender again, and it’s time to set the record straight.

The TV host and one-time gay club patron tweeted about gender neutrality in the wake of John Lewis removing gendered labels from their children’s clothing.


The thorn in the side of Susanna Reid has repeatedly misunderstood what transgender actually means, stating on multiple occasions that he thinks that non-binary people and gender fluidity have nothing to do with transgender rights.

Sorry Piers, but gender fluidity is under the transgender umbrella.

Many gender fluid people are transgender, so if you’re not supporting gender fluid people, you’re not supporting transgender rights.

Morgan is sadly not the only person to peddle this unique brand of nonsense.

Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott recently mixed up gender fluidity and same-sex marriage, asking whether gender fluidity could be removed from schools, despite it not being part of the curriculum or the upcoming postal vote.

These arguments are appearing repeatedly in the build-up to the Australian postal vote on same-sex marriage, with former politicians stating that the postal vote is actually for ‘transgender marriage‘ and anti-LGBT groups even asking supporters to email McDonalds about transgender people in the postal vote.

This is starting to frustrate LGBT supporters, so let’s break it down. It’s time for Gender 101.

First, here are some basic facts for TV presenters, former Prime Ministers, and everyone else who has questions about gender.

Gender is a spectrum. Even if you don’t believe it, it’s still a spectrum.

If you don’t understand an identity, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

For some people, their understanding of gender fluidity is like a baby’s grasp on object permanence, but suffice to say, it exists whether you understand it or not.

After all, just because I don’t speak German, doesn’t mean that the German language doesn’t exist.

Sorry, but you’re probably wrong about gender
Wait, gender identities I don’t understand exist regardless of my opinion?  (Photo: Haveseen)

Transgender is a term for people whose gender does not correspond to the gender they were given at birth.

Trans people can be binary, where they identify either as male or female.

They can also be non-binary – that is, they identify as something other than male or female, including gender fluid (though some non-binary or gender fluid people don’t use the term transgender as a matter of personal preference).

Gender fluidity refers to a gender that changes over time and frequently can be mixed between masculinity and femininity.

In an exclusive interview last week, Sean, a navigation engineer for Jaguar Land Rover spoke to PinkNews about their gender fluidity.

Gender fluidity is a concept which biologists, sociologists, anthropologists and psychologists have agreed upon, not to mention the thousands of non-binary people who have lived experience of it.

The ways in which we discuss gender and sexuality have changed dramatically over the last century.

Even being ‘heterosexual’ is a relatively recent concept, having only been used over the last few centuries.

Similarly, if you ask why there were no gender fluid people 50 years ago – well, there were.

But they often weren’t called gender fluid.

It’s only recently that different societies have found the words, and communities have publicly defined themselves in this way.

Comments like Piers Morgan’s may not keep anyone up at night.

However, when someone is given a platform, that person has a duty to make sure they use it in a way that doesn’t harm people – particularly those who are more vulnerable.

Words have power, and refusing to acknowledge the legitimacy of people’s genders frequently has deadly consequences, as seen through the frequent deaths of transgender people at the hands of bigots.

For instance, an inquest this week found that a 15-year-old trans boy took his own life after his school refused to acknowledge his gender. 

Yes, it is sometimes difficult to understand, especially as a lot of these terms and identities are new to people.

No-one is born with an inherent understanding of gender and sexuality.

Related: So what if LGBTQQIAP2 is a mouthful? Just learn it already

However, the way we discuss gender is changing.

Gender neutral terms are increasingly being used in society, including Canada recently adding X as an option on their passports, along with M and F.

Change is scary, but it’s happening and you’ve got to get used to it.

So maybe check the facts – especially if you host a TV show.