THANK you to Joanna Cherry for a sensible voice in the gender debate (Why I'm renewing call for Citizens' Assembly on issues around GRA reform, June 11). I think this debate needs to hear the views and experience of ordinary people.

Perhaps I have got the wrong end of the stick, but I cannot believe that my lived experience as a woman (periods, PMT, giving birth, post-natal depression) means nothing. Saying that there is no such as thing as biological sex seems to deny or ignore the fact that I have had experiences which I could not have had in a man’s body. It also leaves me with the feeling that these experiences have no value.

READ MORE: Joanna Cherry: A renewed call for a Citizens’ Assembly on gender reform

While I have sympathy for trans people and the level of discrimination they face, the debate over gender identity should not obscure the fact that there is still very much a women’s rights issue. Women are paid less and juggle work, housework and childcare while society puts little or no value on the choice to look after your own children. Women are under-represented on boards and in politics. Healthcare is an issue, with inadequate support for post-natal depression and post-natal psychosis.

As a female physicist, I found it hard to even get job interviews. I experienced the loneliness of being the token woman in my workplace and then, once I became a mother, saw opportunities being blocked off. My council recently held a series of public consultations on cuts. The meeting I attended was full of mothers and grandmothers concerned about the effects of cuts on their families. The council representatives were all male.

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THANK you to Patrick Harvie for highlighting the dark, right-wing forces mischievously working against the LGBT community. (Never forget origins of using trans people as a wedge issue, June 11).

Having grown up in the 70s and 80s I witnessed first-hand the hostility or mockery shown to those from this marginalised group of human beings. To my shame and regret, whilst not actively participating in their denigration I also wasn’t particularly supportive or vocal in establishing their basic human rights – rights that I and my other straight friends or family members enjoyed and took for granted.

READ MORE: Patrick Harvie: Never forget origins of using trans people as a wedge issue

It is understandable for people such as myself to assume that with the establishment in law of gay marriage everything was now on an even keel and such bigotry was on the decline in a more progressive Scotland. However, I fear that is not the case.

Recently I have watched with interest what seems to me to be a relentless attack on trans people from a variety of journalists/bloggers/social commentators and politicians. It is abhorrent and should send a warning sign to everyone who yearns for a caring, humane and inclusive society. In particular, I find Joanna Cherry’s persistent criticism of Stonewall baffling and has the air of someone who gains their own rights but then proceeds to kick the ladder away from those less privileged following in their path.

For myself, this time round I want to be on the right side of history and state clearly that if I were a member of the LGBT+ community I would far rather have someone like Patrick Harvie fighting my corner than the increasingly irritating SNP politician.

Alan Black

IF ever Scotland needed full powers over immigration, it is now. Make or break is approaching for so many due to the UK hard Brexit and immigration policies. The pre-settlement status deadline is approaching at the end of June and we have the potential to lose thousands of migrant workers from employment rolls, just when social care is in crisis due to Covid and is under review here in Scotland, and just in time for the seasonal fruits to become ripe.

Just two of the sectors dependant on migrant workers, yet two sectors that are already feeling the impact of the ending of free movement in Europe – you could not make this up. The care sector is seriously dependant on migrant workers and here in Scotland a review of adult social care is under way. This review will be looking into the provision of care, workers’ pay and conditions, but perhaps the review body may want to add to it the recruitment of employees, because with the end of free movement in Europe, this will become a major factor in the provision of care.

READ MORE: Mike Small: Brexit's real driving force is lower standards and less regulation

The same scenario exists for our food chain! While businesses have been struggling to survive during lockdown, fruit growers have watched their harvest grow, but due to a reckless Brexit may now have to watch their precious harvests wither on the vine!

Migrant workers are no threat to our employment market, no threat to public funds, they come to Scotland to work and have made an enormous contribution to our economy and are very welcome as they are helping to sustain businesses here in Scotland.

If Scotland is going to make a serious attempt to recover from Covid as a country, we need migrant workers. The Scottish Government recognises the need but is powerless to act, a situation that demands change urgently.

Catriona C Clark