Rushdie: We must ‘back off’ pushing sex changes for children
SATANIC Verses author Sir Salman Rushdie says society needs to ‘back off’ promoting sex-change surgery to young people.
The 70-year-old writer says he ‘worries’ how children are being affected by more liberal attitudes to gender-reassignment procedures.
He adds: ‘I have quite strong views about the over-insistence on these issues, particularly when you get down to very young people.
‘Because, to put it crudely, if there’s a boy who likes playing with dolls and wearing pink shirts it shouldn’t necessarily mean that he has to have gender-reassignment surgery.
‘Until quite recently that would never have occurred to anyone, so I think we maybe need to just back off a little bit.’
However, Rushdie insisted he did not want to be ‘stupidly judgmental’ about the issue, which he tackles in his new novel The Golden House.
He said: ‘My personal experience of people who have gone through this process as grown-ups is it’s been very beneficial to them, so I’m not hostile to it. But I’m just saying, particularly when it’s with little children, I worry about it.’
In an interview to promote the book, Mr Rushdie added: ‘There are two people I know quite closely who have transitioned – one in each direction – and in both cases these have been very successful. Both people seemed to me much happier now than they were before.’
The author famously spent more than a decade in hiding after a fatwa was issued by Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989 following the publication of The Satanic Verses.
On the current climate of terror, he said: ‘The only answer is not to allow it to change us into being different kinds of people and not to allow our societies to become much more closed and repressive.
‘We have to have the courage of our convictions.’
‘WORRYING’: Salman Rushdie