A GROUP of high-profile trans activists from outwith Scotland have written to MSPs urging them to be wary of a “being trans” event at Holyrood tomorrow night.

Organised by Labour MSP Mary Fee, it’s been billed as an opportunity for parliamentarians and their staff to “come and meet trans people from across Scotland and talk to them about their lives, experiences, and what being trans in Scotland is like today”.

Groups including the Equality Network, Scottish Trans Alliance, Stonewall Scotland, LGBT Youth Scotland and Amnesty International Scotland are all due to take part.

But the group of prominent campaigners from south of the Border have told MSPs that the organisations speaking at this meeting do not reflect their “views or experiences”.

It’s the latest development in what has become an increasingly bitter debate over planned reforms to the Gender Recognition Act (GRA). Despite consultation on the changes ending 13 months ago, the Scottish Government have struggled to take any reforms forward, with reports suggesting the Cabinet are split 50-50.

The proposals would allow transgender people to self-declare their gender, instead of having to go through years of medical approval and certification.

Stonewall Scotland chief Colin MacFarlane said the delay was causing transgender people “real concern and anxiety”.

In their letter about tomorrow’s event, the campaigners say it’s wrong to claim that transwomen and women born as women are “two equivalent types of women.”

“As transsexual people we are horrified by the impact on women: their right to organise as a biological sex and their ability to protect their own boundaries."

SNP MSP Joan McAlpine said the intervention was “significant”.

“This letter shows that not all trans people agree with the vocal and often aggressive extremists who condemn reasonable voices asking reasonable questions as ‘transphobic’. Are they now going to say trans people are themselves transphobic for sharing women’s concerns?”

Speaking about the lack of movement on the GRA changes, one senior member told the Herald on Sunday that accusations of transphobia were troubling the leadership: “Clearly Nicola wants to see the self-ID brought in, but there’s others who are dead against it and it’s causing all the friction. The debate has become so toxic now that people feel there may be an issue with transphobia in the party.

“If it’s not addressed properly, and the leadership fails to clarify its position on the Gender Recognition Act, we could see a row emerge like Labour has had with antisemitism."

MacFarlane continued: “The problem we have is there has been complete silence. We know from trans people that this is causing them real concern and anxiety.

“Trans people who speak to us say they have been marched up on top of a hill around the consultation and just left there.”

Over the weekend, the SNP’s Women and Equalities officer Fiona Robertson, deleted her social media after she was criticised for suggesting women could be described as “people who menstruate”.

There was anger last week when leaked private messages between three female MSPs saw the First Minister branded “out of step” for saying some women’s concerns over the GRA were “misplaced.”