Any cis person who is still convinced that a Gender Recognition certificate would enable abusers, exploit children, fill women’s prisons with rapists, allow trans women to take all the sports medals and other ‘legit concerns’ should scroll on. Nothing will change your mind now. Let’s face it, you tuned out when you read ‘cis’
There are many, many others out there who’ve quite suddenly encountered the massive damn burst of activity that has been contained within twitter for several years, boiling over with the s35 order to thieve our legislation by the Secretary of State for Scotland. Folk who may wonder why the media describes people who appear to oppose trans rights as ‘feminists’, why the outrage about pronouns and why a very small percentage of our population is being subjected to absolute scrutiny and terror. Why the horrors of the homophobic days are visiting upon another minority, and where it will end.
We need that huge wedge of essentially decent, busy people to listen up, find out what the GRR really does and put down the tabloids immediately. A battle for hearts and minds if you like, and it’s crucial. The era of being apolitical is over, we’re talking about minority rights now and I believe that the saying ‘The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members’ is attributed to Mahatma Gandhi. Right now our trans siblings are being thrown under the bus and it won’t end there.
The focus will remain firmly on this unfinished business until there really is an actual end in sight, one that must result in the re-instatement of the legislation passed overwhelmingly by a cross-party group of Holyrood MSPs. Alternatives are unthinkable and involve the growth of a more sinister wave of populism and actual fascism that is sweeping parts of the globe and settling happily within our shores. A vocal minority of seriously determined people are weaponizing the GRR issue for their own agenda and the media are complicit.
See the piece by Xander Elliards ‘Who is Posie Parker? The anti-trans founder of Standing for Women’ in The National. You would have to search far and wide to find a mainstream commentary that reports the purpose and far-right links behind Parker’s (real name Kellie-Jay Keen) recent rally in Glasgow. In a previous article Elliards wrote ‘At an event which Keen’s group organised on January 15th, Speaker Lisa Morgan was videoed quoting Hitler to attack trans rights. She said “Do you know the big lie? The big lie was first described by Adolf Hitler in Mein Kampf…The big lie is that trans women are women. But they’re not are they? They’re men”’ The BBC reported the hate fest on 5th February in Glasgow’s George Square as a ‘Women’s Rights’ protest.
The origins and trends of transphobia have essentially been conveniently forgotten or glossed over by the media and it doesn’t take much imagination to understand why the media and MSPs from unionist parties who voted for the GRR would want to remain silent. This is a golden opportunity to let Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP take the fall. It’s that important to them. Oppose independence at all costs, and the costs are mounting as populism comes for the next group that threaten the patriarchy. They need to be very careful what they wish for.
While a series of independence polls briefly peaked around the Supreme Court decision to deny our right to make our own decision about a referendum, it remains to be seen where the constitutional dial will point when the tidal wave of political and media opportunity subsides. Sadly, political opportunism in this case includes a block of Yessers who would sacrifice independence and even devolution to avoid the re-instatement of Gender Recognition Reform. They belong to the first category of people who won’t change their views. We have to Let them fester and shout into the void about ‘Independence First’ (subtext; before the rights of minorities.)
However, there’s no doubt that we need independence. It can’t really be separated from Trans Rights or any other piece of progressive legislation that the UK can swipe away at will. Remember Kenmuir Street and the impotency of our police to act decisively in the face of UK immigration laws (they swithered then chose a bit of violence readers, if you were wondering.) Don’t forget that we still have nukes at Faslane and a whole range of energy and climate issues that we need our own powers for.
Sadly for those who have declared Gender Recognition and Prison-gate to be ‘Nicola Sturgeon’s Poll Tax moment’, we’ve seen her resurface before. She has survived the Salmond Enquiry under the malevolent gaze of Murdo Fraser, Jackie Baillie and basically the entire UK establishment and came back to lead the SNP to another win in the Holyrood elections. Opinion polls are strange things, not necessarily because they are worthless until a trend emerges over time from a range of pollsters, but because they do broadly represent a pool of people, like ducks in a bath that float from one side to the other depending on how it is tipped or how strong the wave machine at the time; the floating voters.
The stakes are high though, with additional pressures following on from the Supreme Court decision, and the impatient voices on the Yes side that declare the FM as an imposter when it comes to her commitment to independence, even in the face of the current storm. We need to get all those ducks in a row again despite it all. No matter how much we all want to move on from the GRR issue, not least trans people, it’s incumbent on us to reassure and explain everything that the media does not.
Nothing is obvious during a wave of high moral panic. Not everyone has an agenda, and some will baulk at the idea that ‘safeguarding’ and ‘Women’s Rights’ has been a convenient cover for actual transphobia. But have some consideration of your bedfellows from Trump to the Tories to Hitler and every far-right group in-between who have focused on trans people within a negative spectrum. You literally are on the wrong side of history. We have to turn this around. There’s nobody else out there to do so, but we can do it one person at a time.