Scotland’s only transgender councillor leaves roles after death threats

Scotland’s only openly transgender councillor has left frontline politics after suffering “a vicious and sustained string of abuse,” including death threats.

Gregor Murray announced on Facebook that they will no longer be convenor of the Children and Families Service Committee or spokesperson for Equal Opportunities, but will stay on as a Scottish National Party councillor in Dundee.

Earlier this year, research published by LGBT+ charity Stonewall revealed that 65 percent of people in the UK were concerned about the abuse which trans people face.

Murray said their “mental wellbeing is not where it should be” (grogipher/twitter)

Murray, who is non-binary and prefers they/them pronouns, explained that the decision was “the best for my health.”

They outlined the abuse they have faced over the past few months in a resignation letter to council leader John Alexander, saying that the hatred they have faced online has contributed to the fact that their “mental wellbeing is not where it should be.”

The representative for the North East Ward in Dundee City Council, who has held their position since 2012, continued: “I have also been subjected to a vicious and sustained string of abuse across various social media channels, a small fraction of which you have witnessed.

“This has led me to make a number of wrong judgements in communicating with people who campaign against my fundamental human rights. I have not handled this situation well in the slightest.

“I have used language that is inappropriate for someone in my position, which is causing an unnecessary distraction from the fantastic work that this administration is doing for the city.

“The points that I have been trying to make have been lost due [to] the ways in which I have expressed them, and I feel as though I am not being a helpful member of your administration or of the LGBTI community,” they continued.

Murray has long campaigned for LGBT+ equality (grogipher/twitter)

Murray said it had been “an honour and a privilege” to serve in the roles they were leaving, adding that they were always “dedicated to making Dundee a fairer and more inclusive place to live.

“As the only openly trans person elected in Scotland,” Murray continued, “it has not been easy dealing with the sustained and vindictive nature of some of the personal attacks and threats to my life that I have received over the past few months, and I must thank you for all of the time and support you have given to me.

“I would never have achieved half of what I have without your continued belief in me.

“While many write me off due to my age or gender identity, you put your trust in me, and I apologise on a deeply personal level if I have disappointed you in this regard. Yours aye, Gregor.”

They will continue as councillor, a position they’ve held since 2012 (grogipher/twitter)

Murray is far from the only prominent trans person to be targeted by anti-trans people online this year.

In May, trans electoral candidate and former Cambridge City Councillor Sarah Brown told PinkNews about the “horrendous” insults she had faced in the hour after a pro-LGBT Twitter account posted its support of her.

And in April, PinkNews revealed the threats and abuse which were hurled at Susie Green, the CEO of trans children’s charity Mermaids, in the wake of a series of negative press stories about the group’s work.