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Democracy and trans richts

I’m aye sweirt tae breinge in anent maiters that I dinna consíder mysel an expert in, but I need tae scrieve a bit aboot the dingin doun o Scotland’s Gender Recognition Reform bill by the UK government.

For tae evite ony dout as tae the subject o the bill itsel: I’m for the reforms. A hunder per cent. Like maist fowk, and like wi ony bill, I mebbe deh ken aw the oots and ins o’t. But I ken what it’s aboot in braid terms, mebbe mair nor a lot o fowk dis (I’m a gay man that keeps up wi LGBT+ news and issues), and I hae nae reason tae dout that it’s soond legislation that’s been weel sichtit by oor electit politícians (ye can read aw the amendments that wis made til it here). It shouldna be sic a tyauve for trans fowk tae transition. And their haein richts and dignity is nae threit tae cis wemen, aitherins. But the hale subject o gender seems tae gar fowk gae gyte. I deh ken what’s up wi some fowk the nou.

Onywey, I’m here tae speak maistly aboot democracy (as I feel I can speak wi authority frae the perspective o an ordinar cítizen that wants tae see democracy uphauden). Say I didna gree wi the bill — weel, that wad juist be teuch for me. It wis intil the winnin pairty’s manifesto, and it wan throu pairlament wi support frae aw pairties (e’en a couple o Tories wis in favours o it). 

As it is for voters, sae it should be for the UK government: democracy haes tae be respectit. I juist canna thole Alister Jack mairchin in like some kinna governor-general and sayin the bill winna be gettin royal ascent. It wis a símilar feelin I got whan Ruth Davidson and the auld ‘Secretary of State for Scotland’ David Mundell wis brocht in tae deny Scotland a seicont independence referendum in 2017. It wis a feelin o anger and humiliation. It fair gars me beal!

I see an-aw that Jack didna gie ony detail in his statement as tae exactly hou this gender recognition bill is a problem. Whaur’s the specifics, ye hae tae speir? I’m nae legal scholar, but I dinna see what wey gender certificates canna juist apply ’ithin Scotland. rUK disna need tae recognise them if they really want tae be erses aboot it. We’v haed oor ain separate legal system for centuries. The UK government gangs the gate o no recognisin Irish cítizens wi sel-ID if they’v no haed their birth certificate amendit.1 No very nice, certainly, but better as what’s happenin wi Scots trans fowk that finnd it a sair fecht tae get recognition in their ain kintrae.

Thinkin langer term aboot the politics, I’m wonderin will the dingin doun o the bill gar mony fowk chenge their views on independence? Several polls efter the recent ‘UK Supreme Court’ ruling anent indyref2 haed majorities for independence. Will Scots react in a símilar wey tae the first uiss o a section 35 order in the history o the reconvened Scots pairlament? Polls anent independence is taen fairly regular sae I dout we’ll get some idea o ony effect it’s haed on public opinion suin eneuch.

This latest affront tae democracy maks me aw the mair keen tae see Scotland become a normal kintrae that’s no aye haein the feet cawed frae unner it by Wastmínster. It fair weirs ye doun. I can only imagine hou trans fowk ar feelin the nou. I juist wiss fowk wad mind their ain business, baith them in oor society that’s agin trans richts, and governments furth o Scotland that winna respect democracy.

  1. Thanks tae the Common Travel Area greement, Irish and Brítish cítizens can freely stey, wirk and study in the ither’s kintrae. But the UK government wadna recognise the gender o a trans Irish person steyin in the UK that haedna haed their birth certificate updatit.