Listening to the malicious, not the marginalised

PinkNews’ headline says it all:

After 30 academics sign letter opposing trans rights, 3600 sign letter in support

(Update, the same day: it’s more than 4,000 now) This is the reality, away from the social media echo chamber and the furious clickbait columns. Again and again, the public is overwhelmingly in favour of treating trans people with dignity and respect.

That’s something we saw in the Scottish public consultation over gender recognition reform, where the overwhelming majority of the public and all the major women’s groups were fully supportive of reform. The proposed reforms were also manifesto pledges by all the main Scottish political parties.

So it’s very frightening to hear that tomorrow the SNP may kick the issue of gender reform into the long grass – or worse, announce a second consultation.

There’s no way such a consultation can be fair now that all of the major newspapers in Scotland – the Herald and the Scotsman, plus the Murdoch press, the Telegraph and the Mail – are rabidly anti-trans, while social media has been poisoned by US money and activists. The press in Scotland is picking on trans people just like it used to pick on gay and lesbian people.

I really hope the rumours are wrong. Because if the Scottish Government chooses to be cowards on this, the last couple of years of vicious anti-trans abuse will seem like a golden age by comparison. The message it would send to bigots is frightening: if you scream loud enough, if you hate hard enough, we’ll do what you want.