Colin Macfarlane, Director, Stonewall Scotland said: ‘At a time of unprecedented crisis, it’s right the Scottish Government is doing everything they can to tackle the impact of Covid-19. Marginalised communities, including lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, are always hardest hit in times like this. So it’s crucial we all come together to play our part in supporting each other and protecting the most vulnerable members of our society.
‘Still this news means reform of the Gender Recognition Act is being delayed for now, and that will be disappointing for trans communities and the many allies who’ve come out for trans rights. Please know that we hear you, we are standing with you and will continue to fight for you. Equality is not a luxury and especially right now, it’s vital the Scottish Government remains committed to protecting the rights of all marginalised groups.
‘Once we’ve made it through this crisis, we urge the Scottish Government to uphold its commitment to GRA reform, as well as tackling the inequality trans people are facing in their everyday lives. Waiting times for Gender Identity Services are over two years long and combined with the rising climate of anti-trans hostility, it’s taking a huge toll on trans people’s mental health and wellbeing. Investment and work must be done to bring down these waiting lists and improve mental health services, so every trans person who needs support can access it, when they need it.
‘We are living through extraordinary and uncertain times, there’s no doubt about that. But there's also a hope that when this is over, we can build a kinder, more caring society that benefits everyone. Making sure trans people can enjoy the rights and respect they deserve is one way to make sure we are creating a better future, and that’s something we at Stonewall and all our allies stand ready to fight for.’