MINISTERIAL CANDIDATE APOLOGISES (AGAIN) FOR ‘HAIRY KNUCKLED TRANNY TROVE’ COMMENTS

The SNP’s candidate for Education Minister, Gillian Martin, has apologised after a blog she wrote described trans students as ‘hairy knuckled lipstick-wearing transitional Laydees’ and that the Eu had a ‘tranny trove’.

The MSP for Aberdeenshire East published the blog back in 2007 and it first reached the headlines when she stood for election in 2016. It then resurfaced in The Times today after she was promoted by Nicola Sturgeon in this weeks cabinet reshuffle.

Now, a leading trans activist in the north east of Scotland has said she is to write to the MSP asking to meet to discuss her views on transgender issues.

Justine Smithies, a Stonewall Role Model and LGBT activist, said:

“I’m pleased that Gillian Martin has apologised but I’m puzzled why she would feel it was appropriate to write that in the first place? I agree we can all say the wrong things from time to time, especially about issues that we perhaps don’t fully understand, but actions speak louder than words. I’ll be writing to Gillian offering to meet her and discuss trans rights and to see for myself whether she feels remorse for those words she used.”

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Ms Martin previously worked as a college lecturer in the north east and her 2007 blog post was in response to her students being asked to complete a questionnaire in which they were asked if they had ever identified as transgender, a very standard equalities monitoring question.

She wrote:

“How much extra money will the undisclosed establishment get due to the fact that the EU clearly have a tranny trove? What will they use it for? Will they install a third category of loo with a special transgender sign?”

She continued:

“Are we going to see lovely photos in the foyer of hairy knuckled lipstick-wearing transitional transgender Laydees being embraced by the principal of undisclosed college or visiting politicians for the press?”

Thousands of people from the north east, including Ms Martin’s constituency, recently attended the inaugural Grampian Pride and it’s Co-Chair, Deejay Bullock offered his view on the row:

“People do make mistakes and I’m sure Gillian Martin is sorry for the words she used. I would hope that since writing, and subsequently deleting the post, that she has evolved her understanding of trans people. Most ignorance about LGBT issues comes from a lack of education so I hope that she stands with her leader, Nicola Sturgeon, in her pledge made just days ago to ensure Scotland becomes the leading nation on trans rights and equality.”

Ms Martin was an early signatory of the TIE campaign’s pledge for inclusive education. The Scottish Trans Alliance have welcomed the MSP’s apology and have said they “look forward to working with her to ensure further progress on equality in FE & HE”.

Ms Martin’s name has been removed from the list of new appointments to the Scottish Cabinet, which need to be ratified by the Scottish Parliament in a motion.  Opposition politicians, including Ruth Davidson, said they could not support the appointment following the revelations published today.

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