Former

Top Gear

host Jeremy Clarkson has criticised the transgender community, labelling them as living "a lunatic life".

The controversial comments were made in a column for The Sunday Times on the weekend, with Clarkson concluding trans people were never taken seriously before and shouldn't now.

"As far as I was concerned, men who want to be women were only really to be found on the internet or in the seedier bits of Bangkok," Clarkson said.

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"They were called ladyboys, and in my mind they were nothing more than the punchline in a stag night anecdote."

Speaking about a family he knew of that had a boy that identified as a girl, Clarkson said he was "horrified" when the parents "indulged this whim" to allow the child to dress as a girl and attend a girl's school.

"I was horrified. I wanted to seek them out and explain that they were free to live a lunatic life, washing their armpits with charcoal and liking Jeremy Corbyn's thoughts on how ballistic nuclear submarines must be built by the comrades and then used as flower pots," he said.

"But they must not, and I was going to emphasise this with spittle, be allowed to poison the mind of a child."

The article drew severe criticism from the trans community, with many famous activists joining the condemnation.

"My father bullied me for years, hitting me and criticising me to try and make me macho. Trans kids need love and acceptance @JeremyClarkson," said transgender rights activist Paris Lee on Twitter.

Trans author Juno Dawson was angered by the column but chose to look at the positives.

"The good news is that, like all dinosaurs, people like him will soon be extinct," she said.

Parents of trans children also weighed into the controversy.

"Just read Clarkson's comments. As a stepfather to a trans male teenager, I'd like to use a brick to reason with his head," said Andrew on Twitter.

- AAP