THE Scottish Government has announced a five-year action plan to improve the lives of non-binary people.

It is the first plan of its kind in the UK and includes actions to support research on the experiences of non-binary people in Scotland, as well as funding training for fertility preservation providers on trans and non-binary healthcare needs.

The plan also aims to produce guidance for public bodies and services on simplifying the process of name changes for trans and non-binary people.

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Non-binary people identify as having a gender which is in-between or beyond the two categories man and woman, as fluctuating between man and woman, or as having no gender, either permanently or some of the time.

Emma Roddick (below), Equalities Minister, said the plan will “contribute to improving the experiences of non-binary people and begin to tackle some of the challenges that they currently face in their everyday lives”.

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She added: “Our vision is for Scotland to be a place where everyone’s identity is recognised, respected and celebrated.”

The action plan has been welcomed by seven national LGBT organisations including Scottish Trans, Equality Network, LGBT Youth Scotland, Stonewall Scotland, LGBT Health and Wellbeing, LEAP Sports and Time for Inclusive Education.

Stonewall, the largest LGBT rights organisation in Europe, praised the Scottish Government for becoming “the first government in the world” to publish an action plan of this kind.

In a statement on Twitter/X, the charity said: “We applaud the Scottish Government on becoming the first government in the world to publish a time-bound range of deliverable actions specifically for non-binary people.

“The Non-Binary Equality Action Plan sets out the steps the Scottish Government will take over the next five years to address the inequalities and barriers faced by non-binary people.

“The commitments within the plan span six key themes - including healthcare and data and research - which seek to holistically advance non-binary equality in Scotland.

“We are supportive of the plan and welcome the Scottish Government's efforts to respond to the Working Group on Non-Binary Equality's recommendations within their proposed actions.”

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The action plan was published in response to the recommendations of the Scottish Government’s Working Group on Non-Binary Equality, following the decision of the Scottish Government to not extend legal gender recognition to non-binary people through reform of the Gender Recognition Act.

Vic Valentine, manager of Scottish Trans – Scotland's national trans equality and human rights project, based within the Equality Network – and a member of the Scottish Government working group, said: “It is really positive to see this Action Plan published, and to see that the Scottish Government has made public, concrete and measurable commitments to changes that will make non-binary people’s lives better.

“I particularly welcome the commitments that will have a positive impact not only on non-binary people but on marginalised people more widely: such as those that seek to make it easier and fairer for people on benefits to participate in policy making processes and be paid for their time, and to look at how the design of public buildings does, or doesn’t, work for everyone in Scotland.

“As with any plan, the most important thing will be delivering. We look forward to working with non-binary people across Scotland to challenge the Government to turn these commitments in to real change.”