A Conservative peer has said he may wear a dress to the House of Lords on a “hot day”.
Lord Lucas, a Conservative hereditary peer, made the comments in a debate on the government’s recent LGBT Action Plan, which included the launch of a long-awaited consultation on changes to the Gender Recognition Act.
Speaking in the Lords, the peer said: “At its heart, the government’s proposal to amend the Gender Recognition Act, the idea that a commitment to change gender should be enough, that we should do away with the current hurdles that have to be leapt, are proposals that I entirely support.
“If we are moving towards a world where it will become commonplace for men to have babies and women to have penises, then that is the end of the fiction of binary gender. I absolutely think that is good for us all… gender cannot be counted or clearly defined.”
He added: “Who should care if men choose to wear pink dresses and makeup, or women climb trees and have hairy armpits. Why should any of us try to make people behave in ways they choose not to?
“It is time we took advantage of this liberalisation that the government is looking at to free up the world for all of us. Not that I expect things to change fast, but on the odd hot day I might choose to wear a dress.
“My goodness, a suit and tie in this place [when it’s hot] doesn’t go very well! We’re not really allowed to be colourful these days.”
The peer then opened his suit jacket, revealing a colourful lining.
He added: “The restrictions that we’re under because of gender are entirely unreasonable and I congratulate the government in opening the challenge to that. I hope that is something they will allow us all to take advantage of.”
Home Office minister Baroness Williams of Trafford welcomed his comments.
She said: “Can I thank my noble friend [Lord Lucas] for securing this debate, and for the very positive way in which he introduced it.
“I do look forward to the next hot day, when he arrives in the Lordships’ House in a dress.”
Alluding to protests at Pride in London, the government minister added: “Trans people face the most horrendous treatment in society, even within the LGBT community, it has to be said.
“I hope through the GRA we will see some improvements to their lives.”