GRA Reform

Nicola Sturgeon is revealing an appalling naivety over trans rights

Sturgeon’s SNP and her Scottish Green collaborators are destroying the trust and confidence that transsexuals used to take for granted

Her plan would compromise the rights of women and undermine the safeguarding of children

Sonia Sodha is right to expose the ludicrous naivety at the heart of Nicola Sturgeon’s reforms to the Gender Recognition Act in Scotland (“Sturgeon’s plans to reform gender law could leave Tories as the champions of women’s rights”, Comment).

As a transsexual, I am astonished and appalled that a bill purporting to extend trans rights compromises the rights of women and undermines the safeguarding of children. When distinguishing men from women, it is neither progressive nor practical to replace biological sex with self-identified feelings of gender – whatever gender might mean.

The people often forgotten, not least by those banging the drum for “trans rights”, are transsexuals. Legislation originally passed to protect people who had undergone a meaningful transition from harassment and discrimination may be extended to a much wider group, with no checks and balances against abuse. Few men might claim to be women to breach the boundaries that women have worked so hard to establish, but those that will choose to self-identify their way in are precisely the men that women need to worry about.

Sturgeon’s SNP and her Scottish Green collaborators are destroying the trust and confidence that transsexuals used to take for granted. This is a bad bill that must be opposed.

Debbie Hayton, Bristol

This letter was published by The Observer on 4 December 2022: Nicola Sturgeon is revealing an appalling naivety over trans rights.

By Debbie Hayton

Physics teacher and trade unionist.

3 replies on “Nicola Sturgeon is revealing an appalling naivety over trans rights”

I am going to take it upon myself to do a little interpreting for Debbie for those who aren’t aware. Speaking now of men, a transsexual is a man who has taken estrogen and had bottom surgery (i.e., a sex-change operation). In those cases in which the estrogen didn’t cause breasts to grow to a satisfactory degree, a transsexual will usually have breast augmentation. With these surgeries, a transsexual assumes the appearance of a woman even when naked.

Speaking again of men, a trans person is simply a man who feels like a woman. Such a man need not take estrogen or have any surgeries. In fact, there is at least one trans woman in England (that I know of) who sports a beard and looks nothing like a woman. This type of self-identification, which requires no evidence or proof of one’s feelings (which taking hormones and living as the opposite sex would provide), impinges upon women “by allowing “women” who look like men into women’s spaces), and also but impinges upon transsexuals by not recognizing the effort they have made to blend in and appear authentic.

I’m not sure how the Scottish bill would harm children, but I haven’t looked at the text.

Debbie, if I have said anything that is incorrect, please set me straight.


Debbie, is there any way for me to correct the typos in my comments? Even after proofreading them, I sometimes leave errors.


Well said Debbie. I reckon snp will not get into power next time n the new gov will repeal the act. This will sadly make things worse for trans ppl who care about women, as we hear of more sex assaults by men who self id as women after arrest. Ive read of dozens around the world who’ve done this. A woman in Denmark (has self ID) arrested put on trial for calling a transwoman a man in a female changing room (where women girls all ages are naked getting ready to swim).

Many women are self excluding from places to avoid this. Esp victims of sexual assault and religions, which is a huge number…. eventually businesses must notice lost trade from self exclusion.

It will harm transppl which is a worry to me as i have family who’ll be affected by any reduction in support, as ppl see offenders take advantage, as they have around the world to access women in prison leading to rape, sex assault and suicides by frightened women in prison.

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