News (USA)

UK official blasted for demanding investigation into student who identifies “as a cat”

LBC Presenter Natasha Devon
LBC Presenter Natasha Devon Photo: Screenshot

It seems the furry frenzy has made it across the pond, with one U.K. official demanding an investigation into a “pupil who claimed to identify as a cat.”

British talk radio presenter Natasha Devon recently ripped into conservative British media for spreading a lie about a 13-year-old student at an East Sussex school identifying as a cat.

Devon said the school, Rye College, confirmed that no students identify “as a cat or any other animal” and blasted right-wing media outlets for “recycled homophobia.”

“It’s the 2023 version of if a man is allowed to marry another man, he will eventually want to marry his dog,” Devon said.

But that didn’t stop the federal government from getting involved. Kemi Badenoch, the U.K.’s Minister for Women and Equalities, sent a letter to the Chief Inspector of the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) demanding an investigation into the school.

“As you will be aware, the U.K. courts have ruled that gender critical beliefs – the belief that sex is biological and immutable, that people cannot change their sex and that sex is distinct from gender-identity – are classed as a philosophical belief worthy of respect in a democratic society and are therefore a protected characteristic under section 10 of the Equality Act 2010,” Badenoch wrote.

Devon criticized her for spending her time on the outlandish claim rather than actually helping women.

“It’s interesting how quickly she jumped on this… That the Minister for Women and Equalities in the context of the fact that a woman… recently went to prison for having an abortion and not a day goes by where we don’t hear about another woman being abused or assaulted or murdered, that the Minister for Women and Equalities apparently thinks that this is such a major priority within her remit I think is quite telling. But clearly, Kemi Badenoch has decided that Shroedinger’s transphobic cat is the biggest priority for her.”

Devon went on to explain that the right-wing frenzy over students allegedly identifying as animals began in the U.S. as a way to “de-legitimize trans people and malign the entire LGBTQ community.”

“It was discovered that there were cat litter trays in American classrooms, and when I tell you the reason why they were there, you’ll want to cry. I know I did. It’s in case there’s a school shooting and the children had to barricade themselves in their classrooms. It was somewhere for them to go to the toilet.”

Last year, conservatives from across the country were saying that schools were allowing students to identify as animals, with many of them calling those students “furries.” The urban legend, when told, often included the details that students were using litterboxes – sometimes in classrooms – and that schools were being forced to accommodate these students.

The tall tales led to Republicans naming lists of schools where they said this was going on, with schools being forced to deal with angry phone calls and emails from people who actually believed this story despite the lack of proof.

The claim often came as school districts and state legislatures discussed equal rights for transgender students in schools, which led to comparisons to furries. They compared, for example, a trans girl living as her authentic self to a student wearing a cat costume and defecating in a litter box as a way to promote intolerance of transgender people.

Now, as the vitriol continues to grow, Devon is reminding viewers that the claims are really nothing new.

“Same grift. Slightly different story,” she said.

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