Taking a stand against discrimination, over 700 voices unite for a cause – to combat transphobia in the political sphere.
In an emphatic call to action, more than 700 individuals, which include political figures and prominent personalities from fields such as acting and journalism, have penned an open letter demanding concrete measures against transphobia within political circles.
“We are a group of trans and/or non-binary people who have come together from across Scotland’s political spectrum to highlight the crisis of inaction on transphobic abuse in our parties,” the open letter says.
“Over recent years, we have often felt too intimidated to speak on this matter publicly due to the risk of further abuse, both online and in person.
“But with consideration to recent events, we have come together in solidarity to ask our cisgender allies to put pressure on all political parties to take internal complaints of transphobic abuse seriously.”
Many complaints of transphobia are filed every year, but nothing is being done to stem the problem.
The letter continues:
“Through their silence, our parties have deliberately looked the other way as a hate crime against transgender people in Scotland soars to unprecedented numbers.
“As alleged abusive people still exist in our parties, they can be elected to NEC, and as parliamentarians.
“This means that people with provable track records of hostility against trans people and with serious allegations of abuse are being allowed the power to shape the future of Scotland.”
The letter calls:
“We are pleading with you as we all are citizens in a free and dignified democracy.
“As trans people or allies who wish to see a Scotland where bigotry has no legitimacy, please speak up and sign our petition to show the Scottish government that we say no to discrimination.
“We demand an independent review of all major Scottish parties’ complaint procedures and outstanding complaints regarding internal transphobic abuse and harassment, in line with a definition of transphobia that is agreed upon by the trans community.”
Beyond transphobia within political parties, a new law is being prepared, as confirmed by the Scottish justice minister Humza Yousaf.
This law will qualify anti-trans acts as acts of hatred.
Anyone “aggressively campaigning” against transgender people will be found guilty under this law.
Anti-trans statements such as “trans women are not women” if accompanied by “threatening behavior”, will also be recognized as a crime of “stirring up hatred”.
Scotland is committed to the fight against transphobia with this bill. I hope it will inspire other UK countries to do the same.