Thousands of people are expected to march for trans equality in Edinburgh today (22nd June) as part of the city’s annual Pride event. After speeches from politicians from the main political parties outside the Scottish Parliament, over 10,000 people are expected to march up the Royal Mile led by a 15 metre long trans flag.
The march assembles outside the Scottish Parliament from 11.30 today, with speeches from politicians from noon, and will move off up the Royal Mile at 12.30.
Oceana Maund, of the Scottish Trans Alliance, said, “We call on the Scottish Government to listen to the LGBTI community who are united in support of trans equality. Trans people deserve equal rights and will settle for nothing less.”
The event follows Thursday’s announcement by the Scottish Government that it remains committed to reforming the Gender Recognition Act that allows trans people to change their legal sex.
Brett Herriot, Chair of Pride Edinburgh, said: “To mark the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, an uprising led by the transgender community, the Pride Scotia march will be led for the first time in our 24 year history by a giant trans flag in place of the Rainbow flag. Pride Edinburgh stands with the trans community as together we continue the march to equality for all. It truly is time to say ‘This is me’.”
The Gender Recognition Act 2004 allows trans people to change the sex recorded on their birth certificate. However, the procedure is intrusive and humiliating, and is not available to people under 18 or to non-binary people. In their 2016 Holyrood manifestos, the SNP, Labour, the Greens and LibDems all committed to reforming the Gender Recognition Act, and the Tories committed to review it. The Scottish Government consulted publicly on proposals for reform, from November 2017 to March 2018. On Thursday (20th June), the Scottish Government announced that they would consult on a detailed draft bill at the end of this year, and are committed to bringing forward a bill in this Parliament.
Vic Valentine, Policy Officer of the Scottish Trans Alliance, said “Along with the trans flag leading the way, we will also have a ten metre non-binary flag for people to march with. Non-binary people are an important part of the trans community, and following the Government’s announcement that they won’t be legally recognising us, we want to be as visible as we can be this Pride. Whatever the law says, we are here.”
Scott Cuthbertson, Development Manager from the Equality Network said, “Pride was born out of protest in the aftermath of the Stonewall uprising exactly 50 years ago. It has always been an important event for LGBTI people to come together and be visible. I’m proud that thousands will this year send a message in support of trans equality. It is vital our government listens to ensure that new laws are passed for trans people before the Parliamentary term ends in 21 months time.”