Bigots mad after new Scottish First Minister John Swinney affirms that trans women are women

Unsurprisingly, bigots are mad after the new Scottish First Minister, John Swinney, affirmed that trans women are women in a new interview where he spoke about trans rights.

On 7 May, the new leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) stepped up to replace Humza Yousaf as First Minister. In a recent interview with BBC Radio Scotland, Swinney rightly stood for trans rights in Scotland after being asked, “What is a woman?”

He answered the question by saying: “I believe a woman is an adult female born as a woman and I also accept that transgender women are defined as women.”

Anti-trans feminist groups responded to Swinney’s comments on trans rights, with the Scottish Feminist Network writing on X (formerly Twitter): “All that fuss and nothing ever really changes. The new First Minister believes there are 2 routes to womanhood (just like the last 2 FMs): biological and fantasy. We know what happened to the last 2 FMs, so brace yourself, John.”

For Women Scotland responded by calling his statement “silly”, while Wings Over Scotland said, “WTF does that even mean”. However, Swinney did not elaborate on his trans-inclusive views, and how his leadership would affect the trans and non-binary community in Scotland.

Politics involving trans and non-binary people in Scotland have been divisive in the SNP and the wider Scottish Parliament. 

Previous Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon rolled out the Gender Recognition Reform bill, which allows Scottish trans people to gain legal recognition in their correct gender without the need for a medical diagnosis. Meanwhile, Yousaf persevered with the bill when the Tory government blocked the vital reform of its law.

Swinney also described the controversial Cass review into gender affirmation services for under 18s as a “significant piece of work” which should be taken seriously. He added that the Scottish government is committed to legislation banning conversion therapy, depending on findings of the Cass Review, The Scotsman reported.