Katherine Deves says “mutilated” was the “correct terminology”

Liberal candidate for Warringah Katherine Deves has walked back her apology over social media posts she made about transgender youth, saying “mutilated” was the correct terminology to describe them from a “medico-legal” perspective.

Sky News host Chris Kenny was frustrated that the Liberal party kept blocking Deves from appearing in mainstream media, he headed out of the studio and confronted Deves on the campaign trail where he asked her to clarify what her apology was for.

Deves repeated her statement that Twitter is not the best environment to have a nuanced debate about complex issues, but said the phrasing she used to describe transgender youth was technically correct.

“I don’t think Twitter is the right place to having arguments about very complex emotive issues, and I apologised for my language. I do not resile from my position,” Deves said.

Asked specifically about her posts which described transgender people who have undergone gender affirming surgery as “mutilation”, Deves said she had technically used the correct phrase.

“That is actually the correct medico-legal term.” Deves said.

“It’s very emotive and it’s very confronting, and it’s very ugly. So of course people are going to be offended, but when you look at medical negligence cases that is the terminology that is used, and it is also contained in the crime act of New South Wales.”

Kenny asked Deves is she really was apologising for the language she had used.

“Well I’m apologising for the way people might have perceived it, and the fact that it is confronting, and it is ugly, and I certainly don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings – but that is the correct terminology.”

The candidate said that NSW Treasurer Matt Kean, who called for her to be disendorsed as a candidate, had not “read the room” correctly, and “quiet Australians” were supportive of her positions on transgender women participating in sport.

Deves said she was confident she would be victorious in the election over current member for Warringah Zali Steggall.

While Deves comments suggest that transgender youth are undergoing surgery, in Australia people are required to be 18 years old to undergo gender confirmation surgery.

There have been a miniscule number of select cases where people under the age of 18 have been given permission to undergo surgery, this requires court permission and a doctor’s recommendation.

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