Stonewall founder Matthew Parris believes sexuality can be ‘re-channelled’
Stonewall founder Matthew Parris has claimed that sexuality can be “re-channelled” in some young LGBT+ people, who only come out because it’s “cool or fashionable”.
Parris, who was among Stonewall’s original founders in 1989, renounced the charity last year saying he was “walking away” from the combined LGBT+ focus.
He further distanced himself from Stonewall’s values in his Times column on 27 February, entitled “It’s clear our sexuality isn’t set in stone.”
“In a great many people, I believe sexuality can be channelled or re-channelled somewhat, one way or another. These poll findings lend support to this belief,” he claimed.
“That’s why I’ve never accepted the prevailing view among gay men that ‘we can’t help it’. Some people can’t. Others could. Many have. Nobody should be required to, there being nothing regrettable about being gay.
“Whimpering that it’s ‘not our fault’ is a pathetic argument for equality.”
Responding to a UK poll indicating that only 54 per cent of Gen Z youth identify as straight, Matthew Parris suggested the prevalence of LGBT+ identities among younger generations is at least partly explained by peer pressure.
He considered this could be an explanation for “gender-confusion”, which is often used as a pejorative term for gender dysphoria.
“We are herd animals, much more captive to the herd than we like to acknowledge,” he said. “Girls in girls’ boarding schools fall prey to school-wide waves of anorexia, self-harm, and perhaps gender-confusion too.
“I heard a friend say, ‘It was only when his best friend confessed his longing to go ‘trans’ that he found the same longing in himself; so thank God for his friend’s honesty!’ And I thought, ‘Maybe. Or maybe he longed to be like his best friend.'”
Experts attribute the increase in LGBT+ people among younger generations to a change in prevailing attitudes that has resulted in more people feeling comfortable responding to questions about their sexual orientation.
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An additional factor is the continuing evolution of language to describe sexuality and gender, which has helped more people to articulate their identities.
Yet Parris is so convinced of “peer-group pressure” moulding young LGBT+ people that he suggested some should actually remain in the closet until they’re old enough not to be swayed by friends or fashion.
“The younger the person, the softer the clay. It may not be a shirking but a shouldering of responsibility, to ask a child to wait,” he stressed in his column.
When asked by PinkNews to clarify his position, Matthew Parris conceded he only believes sexuality can be changed in some cases.
“I certainly don’t think most gay people could switch at the drop of a hat; nor that we should or in most cases could ‘cure’ homosexuality,” he said.
“Why would anyone want to, anyway? We should be glad to be gay. Many gay men, I suspect though, will have tried their hand at ‘curing’ heterosexuality in others; and not always without success. Five pints of lager will often do the trick.”