"It’s about time.”

“It’s definitely a long time coming.”

“The fact that it might actually happen is very exciting.”

“I think it’s a really good reform, it’s just a shame you’ve got to constantly explain to people that it’s not about using toilets.”

“I want to remove the internet from my PC, so I don’t have to read all the reports and opinion pieces about it.”

This is what five trans people in Scotland have to say when asked how they feel about the introduction of the Gender Recognition Reform Bill, set to be laid out in the Scottish Parliament this afternoon.

After being committed to in some form by every political party represented at Holyrood in the 2016 elections, and becoming the subject of two public consultations, “GRA reform” has become a sort of short-hand in Scotland – and across the UK – for any number of other issues.

In the words of 22-year-old student campaigner and Scottish Young Greens co-convener Ellie Gomersall (below), the proposed reforms have become “a proxy for the legitimacy of trans people”.

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The detail expected in the bill is far less interesting: it would remove the requirement of a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria to change the gender on a person’s birth certificate (as is already the case for other forms of ID and personal documentation); reduce the required period of living in one’s “acquired gender” before applying from two years to three months; and lower the age limit from 18 to 16.

“It’s quite a narrow policy. It relates to taxes, pensions, marriage certificates, and death certificates” says Florence Oulds, Policy and Public Affairs officer for Scottish Trans.

Nonetheless, the trans people I spoke to feel its passage would be significant: both practically, and in offering what Oulds describes as “a symbol of hope”.

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Seventy-year-old Jacqueline Wilde (above), a writer, performer and retired graphic designer in Paisley, started her transition about two and a half years ago. But she knew she was trans all her life. “I came out, went back in the closet, and came out again. I went private and got the hormones because I couldn’t wait any longer,” she says.

For Wilde, getting a Gender Recognition Certificate is about an important sense of “affirmation”, but the thought of dealing with the “demands” of evidence required by the current process is daunting.

“It feels like, oh no, not again, I’ve got to go through all that again,” she says.

This fear of the current system is the reason Gomersall, who transitioned four years ago when she moved to Glasgow from England, hasn’t applied.

“It’s because it’s so difficult. It’s why we need reform. It’s so intrusive – you have to present yourself to a panel of ‘experts’, in inverted commas, and it costs money. It has been reduced, but it’s still inaccessible to a lot of people.”

It also requires a diagnosis – something that’s far harder to come by on the NHS. “I’ve been waiting in Glasgow for three years for an appointment, and I’m still waiting. That makes it difficult,” Ellie says.

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Dundee-based Alex Muir (below), who works in a bar and for an LGBT sports charity, came out as trans five years ago, at age 21, and waited 18 months for an appointment.

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Now, he says, the situation has worsened. “The waiting list at Sandyford is 44 months. You can’t make demands that you can only get this piece of paper if you get this diagnosis if the government-led service is unable to provide that,” he argues.

That being said, a GRC “isn’t that important” to Muir, personally. “I’m not sure I know where my birth certificate is – I hope my mother has it somewhere,” he adds.

Trans people are protected against discrimination by the Equality Act, and the proposed reforms to the GRA are a separate issue.

However, recent calls from certain campaign groups to require a GRC to access single-sex spaces or services have made Muir fearful this could change. “I pass, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t be challenged if I took my shirt off in a changing room if policies like that were in place,” he says.

Wilde also says that she and many of her trans friends “think the main aim of some of these groups is to reform the Equality Act, which would be even more dangerous”.

On the question of how the discussion around trans rights in Scotland has become so hostile, a common theme emerges: time.

“There has been a lot of information about what this legislation will actually do, and the fact the Scottish Government let this go on for so long means that toxicity has kind of bubbled over, and it has become entrenched,” says 20-year-old Stirling University student Dylan Mac Aodha (below).

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Some, like Oulds, are hopeful that much of this will “die down” if the legislation passes, because “most people won’t notice it having any impact, other than trans people”.

While welcoming the proposed reforms, there is also a shared feeling that this legislation is just a first step. For one, non-binary recognition isn’t included at all, despite this being one of the central calls of the initial campaign.

Mac Aodha, who is non-binary or agender, feels “the Scottish Government has done a real disservice to Scotland’s non-binary population by not including non-binary recognition”.

For them, being able to get a GRC would be an important step after a lifetime of having another gender and pronouns “enforced” on them.

“Having that little bit of recognition that your government recognises you – I can’t find the words – it would just be a great thing. I’d be the first to sign up,” Mac Aodha says.

Next on the agenda is to solve what Gomersall describes as the “crisis” of trans healthcare, an issue she says is “much bigger and more impactful for trans people” – a view which was echoed by the trans people I spoke to.

After years of debate on gender recognition reform, the overwhelming sense is that trans people are ready for this to be over. Oulds captures the tone when she says: “I really hope this is done in about a year and we can almost forget about it.”