RUTH Wishart writes that the debate on trans rights should be conducted civilly and without the chucking around of instant judgements (Why is a trans minority being pandered to by the Scottish Government?, Aug 15). We completely agree.

The campaign for trans equality has been led in Scotland by the Scottish Trans Alliance, a project here at the Equality Network, and by colleagues at LGBT Youth Scotland and Stonewall Scotland. Ruth could take a look at the Facebook and Twitter channels of all those organisations. She will find them a model of civility.

She could then look at social media directed at our organisations, such as our Twitter mentions. She’ll see over the past few days a deluge of tweets, including those calling us maniacs, child abusers and paedophiles, from people who don’t like the fact that we work for trans equality. Much of the language is unrepeatable, but one tweet this morning asks: “Why are there not angry mobs with burning torches outside these people’s homes?”

READ MORE: Why is a trans minority being pandered to by the Scottish Government?

Take any significantly sized sample of people, and you will find some unacceptable behaviour – that’s the nature of humanity. Those of us who believe in civil debate need to hold fast to that and promote it assiduously. Civility can go out of the window very fast, and holding on to it is not helped by people accusing others of “hijacking” and “infiltration”.

A civil approach to these issues would surely have included Ruth contacting some of the organisations listed above to hear why these issues are important to the small minority who are trans, and why trans equality can be delivered without negatively impacting on other people’s rights.

Tim Hopkins
Director, Equality Network