Friday , 27 May 2022

Scotland to host major conference for transgender and intersex rights

Scottish Transgender Alliance
Scottish Transgender Alliance

Between Friday 31 October and Sunday 2 November, the Equality Network and Scottish Transgender Alliance’s (STA) Trans and Intersex Conference of the Isles takes place at the John McIntyre Conference Centre in Edinburgh.

Thanks to funding from VisitScotland, the Scottish Government and Edinburgh University, the event is bringing together over 150 trans and intersex people from across the UK and Ireland in the biggest push for transgender and intersex rights Scotland has ever seen. Together with the Scottish Government’s move from using the acronym LGBT to the intersex inclusive acronym LGBTI, the event is a major step forward for intersex visibility in Scotland.

The Equality Network says “that following the introduction of equal marriage, we need LGBTI people and their allies to join us in pushing for transgender and intersex rights as the key legislative priority. While lesbian, gay and bisexual people now have almost full legal equality in Scotland, there are still massive gaps in the legal protections for transgender and intersex people.”

Current legislation does not include intersex people at all – individuals born with a reproductive, sexual anatomy, or chromosomes that does not seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male – which leaves them completely exposed to discrimination and harassment in all areas of life.

The conference will also be launching the Equal Recognition Campaign for trans and intersex rights. James Morton, STA Manager at the Equality Network, explains “For too long intersex people have not had their right to bodily autonomy recognised. That must to change so that intersex people are protected from unnecessary genital surgeries without their informed consent.

“The Equal Recognition Campaign also seeks reform of the Gender Recognition Act. It is not acceptable for our access to legal gender recognition to be dependent on the views of psychiatrists. Nor is it acceptable for those of us who do not self-identify as men or women to be forced into gendered boxes which do not fit.”

The lack of legal and social recognition shown to transgender people’s identities has profound consequences. Research shows 98% of people who are transgender in Scotland have faced discrimination, and that at least a third of transgender people in Scotland have attempted suicide.

Most of the places for the conference are booked-up, but there are still a small number available, so if you are interested in going, check it out here.

About Cate Lauder

Cate Lauder
A graduate of Bournemouth University’s Scriptwriting for Film and Television course, a produced writer of 4 short films and a stage play. Edinbrugh based Cate is an all-rounder media lass, who has done just about everything in showbiz. She is also a transsexual woman, a lesbian, and notoriously cheeky.

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