SNP’s Mhairi Black urges politicians to ‘leave trans people the hell alone’

SNP MP Mhairi Black wears a grey shirt and dark blazer

Outgoing SNP MP Mhairi Black said trans people deserve to live with dignity and happiness and that politicians should stop picking on them.

Speaking at an Edinburgh Festival Fringe event, the Scottish National Party MP said that people should not be made into an “intellectual debate”.

“Being trans is not something to be feared. It’s just an aspect of a human being, the same way being gay is just an aspect of who I am,” she went on.

Addressing the suggestion that a person’s sex assigned at birth that should define their place in society, she continued: “The only place, as far as I’m concerned, that my sex matters, as opposed to my gender, is in a medical setting. That’s between me and a doctor.

“I want trans people to be able to live with dignity and happiness, and for newspapers and politicians to leave them the hell alone.” 

Black has previously stood up for trans rights, condemning Labour MP Rosie Duffield’s views on the trans community, and defending transgender people after author JK Rowling implied that promoting trans rights would lead to the erasure of lesbians.

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“The only time I’ve felt erased as a lesbian is when anti-trans activists have shouted me down and sent me the vilest abuse whenever I express support for my trans siblings,” Black, the former deputy leader of the SNP in the House of Commons, tweeted in 2020.

“Never once have trans women treated me with the ferocity of straight people claiming to be saving me.”

Mhairi Black MP fired back at critics
MP Mhairi Black has consistently spoken up for trans rights.

At the Edinburgh Fringe event on Tuesday (8 August), Black said the trans community is being scapegoated by Christian groups opposed to abortion.

“There are definitely bad actors at play, radicalising people who are vulnerable, radicalising people who are too online, and they are also using this small community as a wedge issue to cause chaos,” she said.

“It’s been happening since 2016 at least. And if you start tracing it back, all these big names, the money always comes back to fundamental Christian groups in America: Baptist groups, anti-abortion organisations.”

Black announced last month that she’s stepping down at the next general election, explaining that she’s had enough of Westminster.

“It is one of the most unhealthy workplaces that you could ever be in,” she claimed

“It’s a toxic environment. The entire design of the place and how it functions is the opposite of everything that I find comfortable.”

She added, however, that she will continue to campaign for an independent Scotland.