IT is with reluctance that I raise my head above the parapet and identify myself as an adult human being who is legally female. As such, I ask Ruth Wishart (Universities in Scotland must be champions of free speech and debate, Apr 30) why a “documentary” titled Adult Human Female does not support my right to exist and live life as I choose (within the law, of course).

To be clear, my being transgender was not a choice, rather a destiny or fate that I could not refuse. My choices included marrying my beloved husband Tony as soon as I was legally able – sadly he was taken from me by coronavirus in 2020, and I am now a widow.

READ MORE: Joanna Cherry cancellation by The Stand 'highlights free speech need'

Ruth pretends the planned university screening would have led to a “debate”, but there are several reasons why this is not so. Firstly, the propaganda film would be followed by the opportunity to ask questions of those who produced the film and their allies – this is not the structure of a debate, more that of Prime Minister’s Questions, where those responding to the questions hold all the cards.

Secondly, a debate requires a motion to be put before the meeting. Even Ruth is unclear about what the “trans issue” really is. Is it that trans-women should not use female toilets? Something we have done for many years, as we are legally entitled to do, and where I think the consensus is that trans-women are not a danger to other females – indeed, we simply want to exist alongside you. Or is it, as Joanna Cherry argues, (I’m ashamed that my old university failed to make sure that this film was shown, Apr 28) that somehow trans-women are preventing lesbians from exercising “their legal right to be same-sex attracted”. Not to my knowledge.

READ MORE: The Stand acting 'unlawfully' by cancelling Joanna Cherry event, says ex-Tory MSP

I contend that the real “issue” is revealed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s recent advice to amend the Equalities Act 2010 (which prevents discrimination against people undergoing gender reassignment – at whatever stage of transition). So ironic, considering the great efforts made during consideration of the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill to avoid impacting on that Act – including rejecting some amendments that would have done so, for example by reducing the human rights of prisoners.

Not just ironic, but reminiscent of Lord Frost’s contention that we should “reverse devolution” – the EHRC is, in effect, suggesting we reverse the rights of trans-people to exist and live normal lives.

I could write pages more about Ruth’s article and her skilful use of phrasing to embellish her points, but as a trans person just trying to live my life I would like to see an end to this friction. I could only join in a debate if the issue before us was clearly stated, and my legal right to exist and live life as I choose was respected.

Diane Redhead
via email

YOUR report (May 1) that a live discussion with SNP MP Joanna Cherry at The Stand in George Street has appallingly been called off because staff “would not be comfortable working at the event” is surely redolent of the worse excesses of fascist society.

Closing down views is not what a free society is meant to be about. And seeking to close down opposing views merely betrays the truth of an unsustainable argument.

READ MORE: The Stand releases statement after Joanna Cherry event cancelled

Doesn’t this beg the question whether those opposed to Cherry’s views about the sex-based rights of women really believe in free speech and opinion, or only if it’s theirs?

How can any degree of social equality be achieved as long as any group insists on its dominance at the expense of others?

Reconsidering whether I will attend the Fringe this year because of this fundamental rights abuse, shouldn’t The Stand’s staff’s employment be rescinded and them replaced, with the guarantee of the event taking place as planned or The Stand’s venues withdrawn/expelled as official Fringe venues?

Jim Taylor

IT is obscene of Steph Paton to claim that those opposed to various governments’ so-called gender reforms “create fertile ground” for the far right (This is not North Korea – it’s 21st-century Britain, May 1). On the two occasions

I was able to lobby the Scottish Government, I saw about 500 people, mainly women concerned about the dangers they were likely to experience by the erosion of women-only spaces. I saw no presence of the far-right.

It is slander to falsely claim that “the UK’s gender critical movement has contributed to the rise of fascism by creating safe spaces for neo-Nazi groups to share with anti-trans organisers unchallenged”.

Firstly, is fascism rising? Secondly, where has Steph seen the phenomenon described occurring? Comments like this are designed to create a hysterical mood of panic. They are inappropriate in any serious newspaper.

Like many other concerned people, I am not “gender critical”, I believe a person’s sex is determined by the biochemical mechanisms in every person’s 30 trillion cells, and not by personal or consumer choice, self-identification or other faith-based methods. I will not abandon objective material reality for others’ subjective aspirations.

Murdo Ritchie