Lyle Shelton has found a new book to be upset about

Australian Conservatives candidate Lyle Shelton has found another children’s book he doesn’t like.

During his time as the Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby, Shelton often appeared on television to complain about The Gender Fairy, a book written for children who are transgender. now he’s up in arms about other title called Gender Diversity.

On a video posted to the Australian Conservatives website Shelton calls on the ABC to remove the title from their Reading Eggs program. The online resource helps parents find great books for their children to read and encourages reading at home.

Shelton says Gender Diversity by Hazel Edwards and Goldie Alexander could be a pathway for children to mistakenly assume they are transgender.

“If a child becomes confused about whether or not they are a boy or a girl as a result of reading this, who bears the liability for those who experience transgender regret later in life?” Shelton asks on the party’s website.

Shelton says the ABC is being complicit in indoctrinating children into falsely believing they are transgender.

In an accompanying video Shelton asks if the ABC’s Reading Eggs program is putting the organisation and government at risk of law suits in the future from children who accidentally undergo gender reassignment surgery.

“If a resource like this puts children on a pathway towards taking puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones – all of which have negative side effects – and then ultimately irreversible surgery, who bears the liability?

“Does the ABC? Does the Communications Minister Mitch Fifield?” Shelton asks before claiming that many transgender people later regret affirming their gender.

Shelly Argent, the national spokesperson for Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) says Shelton’s concerns are baseless.

“Gender identity is how your see yourself, not what the ABC tells you. But if a child recognizes difference  by reading the Eggs program it can certainly help the child understand them-self.

“If the child has no issue, this program will not encourage identity confusion or cause any harm.” Argent told OUTinPerth.

“Toys that children play with do not develop gender identity. Children can play with any toy and have fun. It’s time people stopped over analyzing and looking for problems that aren’t there.

“Young children generally are not aware of being straight or gay, but are often aware of whether they feel boy or girl. It has nothing to do with pink or blue, toys they play with or parenting styles.

Argent said the Australian Conservatives candidate might think he’s doing the right thing, but his campaign against children’s literature does nothing to help transgender people or their families.

“Unfortunately, Mr Shelton and other well-intentioned people, if successful in their campaign will only cause more problems, not fix them.”

“The world is changing, there is more information out there for people searching for answers to access. Parenting, is changing and parents are now listening to their children which is permitting children to be their true self, even if right wing thinkers disagree.” Argent said.

The advocate for parents said there was overwhelming research that showed that acknowledging gender diversity had a positive affect on people’s mental health.

“Studies show that children should be permitted to express their true self. By doing so, it can minimize suicide and depression. And, if at a later date if the child decides they are not gender diverse there is no harm done.

“Additionally, puberty blockers are not harmful as Mr Shelton suggests. They can be life savers and once again if the child decides this is not the path for them and reverts back to puberty, life continues as normal.”

Argent said rather than condemning transgender children and their families we should be embracing and supporting those families.

“As a parent I want my child alive and happy, regardless of their chosen gender, not not depressed or dead just to make right wing groups feel comfortable.

“The world is diverse and people are diverse. We are not all made in the one mould and its time to recognize this fact.” Argent said.

Since leaving the Australian Christian Lobby and joining the Australian Conservatives as their lead senate candidate for Queensland in the next federal election, Shelton has often spoken about his concerns about “rainbow ideology”.

Last year the aspiring politician headed the ‘No’ campaign against marriage equality and he often cites programs that aim to assist transgender people and calls for LGBTI rights to be acknowledged as “unintended consequences” of allowing same sex couples to wed.

Recently he raised concern about drinks manufacturer Sodastream releasing a limited edition bottle that recognised rainbow families and rallied against people who were not wearing dresses using women’s bathrooms.

OUTinPerth has contacted the book’s authors and the ABC for comment.

OIP Staff

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