Today, the Scottish Government and the SNP effectively threw trans people under the bus. After a lengthy public consultation that found the general public and women’s groups overwhelmingly in favour of its proposals for gender recognition reform, the next step is… to water down the proposals and have another consultation and maybe water them down some more.
It’s a terrible decision: the Government has capitulated to the bigots, ignoring the results of its own consultation. It has backtracked from its manifesto commitment to bring gender recognition in line with best practice to proposing a minor tweak to the current system, reducing the recognition criteria from two years to either six or nine months (six months living full time plus a three month waiting period, or three and three; it’s unclear at the moment) – something that bears no relation to international best practice.
I’m not going to dwell on it, on the affirming message it sends to the bigots or on the inevitable uptick in anti-trans abuse it’s going to engender. Instead, I’ll tell you a story.
Every year a man, a religious man, stands at the entrance to Glasgow’s Pride event. Through his microphone he shouts fire and brimstone, punishment and damnation. And every year the crowd of beautiful LGBT+ people, of families and of allies grows larger, and louder, and more vibrant, and more diverse, and more beautiful. Few notice him. Even fewer care.
So let the bigots shout. Let them shout until their eyes pop and their throats rip and their lungs burst. Let them shout at clouds and at crowds and at a world that’s leaving them far behind.
All they have is hate.
We have love.
And love will win.
The love my friends and family have for me, and that I have for them, does not require a certificate.