Scotland: street festival to be held in Edinburgh for transgender rights

A day of celebration focusing on transgender equality is being held in Edinburgh on Sunday (August 11).

Led by campaigners who are seeking reform of the Gender Recognition Act in Scotland, the street festival will celebrate trans identities and call for better trans rights in Scotland.

More than 20 performers, artists and authors will appear at the event – which is taking place during the Edinburgh Fringe – in Leith on Sunday.

The event comes after the Scottish government delayed plans to reform the GRA and instead announced on June 20 that it would reopen its public consultation into how to improve the legislation, which controls the process by which trans people obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate to change their legal gender.

Shirley-Anne Somerville, the SNP equalities minister, also said that Scotland would not extend legal recognition to non-binary trans people – despite the fact that the governments own consultation on GRA reform found 62 percent of the public would back the government taking action to legally recognise non-binary identities.

Trans rights campaigners frustrated with the delay have begun lobbying the government, with more than 2,800 emails in support of trans rights sent to MSPs in June, according to The Scotsman.

Street party for trans rights in Scotland

Sunday’s event is being organised by the Equality Network and the Scottish Trans Alliance.

Becky Crowther, of the Equality Network, said, “Showing solidarity with the trans community in Scotland is so important right now.”

“Whilst trans rights and trans people are under attack online and in the media, we are so grateful to all of our contributors for standing with them to do something positive and celebratory,” Crowther said.

Playwright Jo Clifford, who will perform at the event, said, “This is a difficult time for everyone in the LGBTI and queer community, and it’s really important we find occasions to show our pride and our solidarity for each other.”

“So I’m really happy this event is happening in the middle of the Edinburgh Festival, and really proud to be taking part in it.”

The event will raise money for the Equal Recognition campaign, which is seeking reform of the GRA.

More information about the event can be found here.