More than 70 LGBT organisations in Scotland have signed a joint letter to politicians in favour of trans rights.
In an unprecedented show of support and solidarity with the trans community, groups from across the country have said “there is no real equality unless it is equality for all” in an open letter published today.
Groups including national LGBT charities, Pride organisers, sports groups, workplace networks, support groups, political organisations, healthcare charities and media outlets have all declared their steadfast support for transgender people.
The letter says:
“The LGBT community in Scotland, and our allies, have worked together for a better Scotland, changing this country for the better for all its people and challenging sexual orientation and gender reassignment discrimination. In this journey we have learned that as an LGBT community we are stronger when we are united.”
“Recently, we have been concerned by attempts by some to isolate the trans community from the wider LGBT community – this goes against everything we stand for.”
The signatories go on to outline their support for reform to the Gender Recognition Act and for LGBT inclusion in the 2021 Census.
Commenting on the show of solidarity, Dr Rebecca Crowther, Policy Coordinator at the Equality Network, said:
“We know that an overwhelming majority of the LGBT community support trans equality. The LGBT groups and organisations that have signed this letter prove just that. It is vital that the LGBT community and allies continue to stand together to ensure that Scotland continues to be a progressive and inclusive country for all and that this is reflected in policy and legislation.”
Michelle Wright, of the support group ‘Transgender Fife’, said she was overwhelmed by the support from people around the country:
“How heartening it is to hear of the fantastic support shown to the trans community by so many diverse groups and organisations. In these times when one feels the push back against our path to equality, then to find that we are not alone, is so humbling and uplifting. Many, many thanks to all those who stand with us.”
The joint letter comes in a week when London-based ‘LGB Alliance’ launched their Scottish wing at Oran Mor in Glasgow. The group say they have been established to “advance the interests of LGB people”, yet the majority of their public profile so far seems to be focussed on attacking rights for trans people.
South Scotland MSP and self-proclaimed ‘gender critical’ feminist, Joan McAlpine, was pictured at the launch event.
Last weekend one supporter of the group was asked to leave the Polo Lounge in Glasgow for wearing a t-shirt which some complained was offensive, and their co-founder Malcolm Clark made the headlines for saying LGBT groups in schools are “unnecessary encouragement” for predatory teachers on social media.
The LGB Alliance has been widely ridiculed online this week, with users on Twitter calling them out for their unsavoury views.
The joint letter brings together scores of national bodies but also smaller locally-run LGBT organisations from Orkney to Dumfries. Stuart Duffy, Founder of the community development charity Pink Saltire, said:
“This unprecedented demonstration of support and solidarity from LGBT organisations right across Scotland sends a clear message that we will not be divided on this issue. Trans and non-binary people have been, and continue to be, absolutely critical in the fight for LGBT equality and we will not abandon them or deny their existence as others would – we stand shoulder to shoulder and resolute in our support.”
“Rather than pandering to a tiny band of angry folk on Twitter, our politicians should recognise the strength of feeling amongst LGBT people on this issue – there can be no equality without equality for all.”
The list of signatories already includes these 72 organisations: