‘Why can’t we just have straight plants?’: Piers Morgan rages over Kew Gardens ‘queer nature’ event 

Kew Gardens' Queer Nature event has drawn the ire of Piers Morgan.

Kew Gardens has launched an event celebrating “queer nature”, and Piers Morgan is – predictably – less than pleased about it.

The Queer Nature After Hours event will include music, cabaret, comedy and drag performers, and promises to deliver a “sprinkle of queer joy” while celebrating the “healing powers of queer nature”. 

Right-wing provocateur and TalkTV presenter Morgan hit out at the event, however, claiming “there’s nothing sexual about mushrooms” in a segment for Sky News Australia.

Speaking with comedian James Barr and right-wing commentator Tomi Lahren, Morgan slammed the idea that nature could be queer, claiming: “My question for all of this is, why?”

“Why are we having some queer celebration of things like mushrooms?”, Morgan continued, before Barr rightly explained that studies have found mushrooms with “about 23,000 different genders”.

Ignoring this, Morgan went on to rant: “We’ve just had Pride month, where the entire month was taken up with turning everything LGBTQ … Why can’t we just have straight plants?”

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“I just don’t understand why you care,” Barr responded.

Tomi Lahren, an outspoken Trump supporter, added during her appearance on the show: “Well, I’ll tell you this, what concerns me is if there are 23,000 genders for mushrooms and fungus I’m a little concerned, because the LGBTQ+ barbecue is already too long for most Americans and most people to memorise, so now we have 23,000 genders added to that.”

She added: “Why does everything have to be about ‘queer this, gay that’? Why is that the only thing that leftists seem to respond to? It’s either race, gender or climate change.”

Right-wing media outlets covering the Queer Nature event have criticised Kew Gardens for “going woke”

Despite criticism, queer ecology is no new thing, with the scientific theory aiming to shift thinking from rigid, heteronormative understanding to a more fluid way of seeing the world.

The theory maintains that a heterosexual, cisgender way of viewing the world is not reflective of reality, with queer ecologists explaining that the existence of plants with many genders and same-sex relationships between penguins means scientists should update their thinking to “reflect the true nature of nature”.

A spokesperson for Kew Gardens confirmed that the Queer Nature festival will “illustrate ways in which nature is diverse” and explained that some plants “do not neatly fit into binaries”.

They told PinkNews: “In some species, there are no separate female and male plants (they are hermaphroditic) so the male/female binary system does not apply at the level of individuals. In some such plants, flowers can start off by being male and later the female parts become active (and vice versa).

“Some plants are even more complex, with functionally male, functionally female and hermaphroditic flowers all on the same individual. In fungi even the basic system is anything but binary, with fungi having as many as 36,000 different mating types.”

The spokesperson added: “Events at Kew aim to be inclusive and celebrate the diversity of Kew’s visitors, staff, and the community.”

Piers Morgan is known for his often-inflammatory discussions concerning the LGBTQ+ community, and is seen consistently asking interviewees to answer the question: “What is a woman?”

The broadcaster was criticised in 2020 for airing his views on trans women playing on women’s sports teams, after World Rugby issued a new policy banning trans women from playing the sport at an elite level.

The former Good Morning Britain host claimed on Twitter that trans women playing sport was “obviously wrong”. 

“How can there even be a debate about transgender women playing women’s rugby? It’s so obviously wrong, unfair, unequal and dangerous to women born to smaller, less powerful female biological bodies,” Morgan wrote in October 2020. 

A wide-ranging review of all scientific literature in a 10-year period released in March found that trans women who have begun testosterone suppression have no clear biological advantage over other women when participating in elite-level sports.

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