OF all the policies outlined in the draft co-operation agreement between the SNP and Scottish Greens, the promise to reform the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) is hardly the most interesting – after all, it’s been in the works for several years now.

Yet the obsessive manner in which our print media covers trans issues has meant that once again the GRA has taken the top spot over other major policy wins for the Greens, such as rent controls and funding for a just transition away from fossil fuels in the north-east.

I don’t use the word “obsessive” lightly to describe the manner in which people have approached the issue of trans liberation in modern Scotland. The rabbit hole of radicalism which many anti-trans activists have slipped down has left us with a multitude of commentators and online accounts that are now seemingly unable to engage in any conversation without ultimately finding a way to bring it back round to the so-called trans debate.

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A particularly shameful example of this is organisations such as For Women Scotland who, on seeing the terrifying advance of the Taliban in Afghanistan last week, used the situation to immediately attack transgender people in now-deleted tweets. As trans people, we are no stranger to slanderous and false stories in the press, or for that matter, the kind of hyperbolic “trans Taliban” wordplay that has only fuelled intolerance toward us.

We dealt with the fallout when a newspaper quite simply invented a story – repeated in several other publications without question – that notorious child killer Ian Huntley was claiming to be transgender and had taken the name of one of his victims. It took two years for a retraction to ever be published.

We’ve dealt with misrepresentations around the use of inclusive language (no, nobody is trying to ban the phrase “breast-feeding”) and last week were put through it again when the Daily Mail ran a sensationalist story about four-year-olds in Scotland being encouraged to swap their gender in school without telling their parents. The claim was debunked by The Ferret but not before it had been repeated by reporters and columnists alike without basic fact checking.

Yet despite the mountain of misinformation that has come to define any and all discussions around transgender people in this country, nothing comes close to sheer scale of misunderstanding that surrounds the GRA. Its reform and self-identification are the transphobic boogeymen at the heart of the “gender-critical” world, the lynchpin of a view that anti-trans activists are about to discover has been built on sand. Because when the bill to reform the GRA passes, and none of the apocalyptic predictions of anti-trans activists come to pass, the foundations of the hateful house they have built will be split to pieces.

READ MORE: Scotland's LGBT community is frightened by the current anti-trans obsession

Legislation that allows transgender people to update their legal gender through a process of self-id already exists in Denmark, Malta, Ireland, Belgium, Luxembourg and Portugal without issue – a fact that is often purposely ignored in discussions around Scotland adopting similar principles of self-determination for transgender people. What reason do we have for thinking the results in Scotland would be any different?

I don’t think self-ID passing into law will be enough to end the current onslaught against trans people. It’s been too politically useful and fiscally profitable for some to just discard at the first hurdle, particularly for anti-trans elements within the Yes movement that have found it rewarding to pretend independence has been put on the back burner in favour of supporting trans people. (If that was true, maybe there would be one piece of legislation that you could point to that has materially improved the lives of trans people in recent memory.)

However, to pass self-ID into law and reveal the fears around it have been unfounded would call into question the many other claims made around trans people – and that in turn may be all the push some would need to re-evaluate their position. And while hardline anti-trans activists will simply pivot to the next point, much like anti-equal marriage groups pivoted to opposing GRA reform after losing that battle, it will be enough to undermine the recruitment process.

Of course, all this is dependent on the Scottish Greens membership approving the deal with the SNP, a deal made more radical thanks also to the input of the Scottish Young Greens. Even if the membership does ultimately reject the agreement, however, it will have shown that the SNP could have, and still can, improve the lives of transgender people in Scotland if they chose to.

READ MORE: We must find a way to talk about this complex issue

GRA reform is a much smaller issue than the lack of funding and planning behind trans healthcare in Scotland. Of far more importance to many will be the promise to properly fund gender identity clinics, to overhaul the system and to bring waiting times for access to these services in line with NHS guidelines, something that should not have needed a new policy programme to bring about.

Why is it that waiting times of several years to access healthcare services was so readily accepted for trans people, when the NHS guidelines were already in place that should have prompted action before now? The SNP have been failing Scotland’s LGBT community for quite some time now. The current hostile atmosphere in Scotland is directly attributable to a lack of action the party has taken in both passing legislation and dealing with transphobia within its ranks.

Thankfully, the Greens were ready to step in to fix their mistakes, and to potentially bring this dark chapter for Scotland’s trans community to a close.