Hagen lashes out at transvestite ethics

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Top politician Carl I Hagen, the former vice president of the Norwegian Parliament, has taken up the cause of transvestites with a demand that they be honest about their sexual orientation. The highly unusual initiative stems from Hagen’s anger with his own former son-in-law, who publicly emerged as a transvestite in a widely seen TV series on Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

Carl I Hagen, former head of the Progress Party, has engaged himself in a highly unusual issue. PHOTO: Fremskrittspartiet

Hagen is angry that his former son-in-law never mentioned his sexual orientation until Hagen’s daughter was pregnant with the couple’s last child.

“In the (NRK) documentary, he states that he knew he was a transvestite since he was six years old,” Hagen wrote in a scathing commentary in newspaper Aftenposten on Wednesday. “My complaint isn’t that he’s a transvestite — that’s fully acceptable and no reason for discrimination — but that he had a responsibility to tell my daughter about it when their relationship got serious.”

Transvestites, Hagen wrote, have “in my opinion, a moral obligation to inform their closest family and those they enter into relationships with.” He believes a transvestite who doesn’t do this is guilty of lying, and must suffer the consequences.

Hagen claims that both his former son-in-law and NRK allegedly misled the public into sympathizing with his situation as a transvestite. Hagen sees no reason for anyone to feel sorry for his former son-in-law, claiming that it’s his daughter and grandchildren who have suffered instead.

His former son-in-law, for example, still dresses in men’s clothing at work but insists on dressing as a woman when he’s with his children “even though he knows his children would prefer their father dress like a man when he’s with them.” 

Esben Esther Pirelli Benestad, Norway’s first open transvestite, disagreed with Hagen. Benestad told Aftenposten that transvestites have often been told they “will outgrow their sexual orientation, therefore not everyone thinks it’s natural to talk about it as a future lifestyle with potential partners.” And children, Benestad said, shouldn’t be allowed to dictate how their parents dress.

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