IT feels rare to hear a good news story on LGBTQ+ issues at the moment. Surges in homophobic, transphobic and queerphobic hate crimes and Westminster’s vile tactic of using trans people as ammunition in its grim culture wars is resulting in an increasingly hostile environment for queer people in Scotland and the rest of the UK.

That’s why, this Pride Month, it meant so much to me to see a motion by one of my local councillors pass unanimously through Glasgow City Chambers explicitly condemning the rise in anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment and requiring the council to review its LGBTQ+ equality measures to ensure they are effective in protecting trans and gender non-conforming people from the increasingly hostile environment.

The motion, proposed by Councillor Elaine Gallagher of the Scottish Greens (below, who is also Glasgow’s first openly trans councillor), didn’t mince its words, explicitly condemning the approach taken by Westminster, as well as the anti-drag-queen sentiments espoused by a small right-wing minority.

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The motion powerfully notes that the anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments we’ve seen in recent months is “equivalent in some instances to a genocidal threat against trans people”.

I found it hugely emotional to see not only that the motion passed but that it did so without division (ie, it passed unanimously). It was a vital reminder that the rhetoric espoused by the mainstream media that LGBTQ+ issues are somehow “controversial” is simply not the case.

If anything, the solidarity among Glasgow councillors on social media after the motion was among the most united I think I’ve seen politicians on Twitter in a very long time, with Conservative councillor Thomas Kerr retweeting the Glasgow Green Party in explicit support of the motion. It was a moment that represented the very best of collaborative politics.

It was also significant for me as a constituent of Councillor Gallagher. As a trans woman, to see myself represented in the City Chambers by another trans woman and to see her use her position to powerfully and passionately defend our rights and our safety, meant a huge deal to me. This is why representation matters.

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Councillor Gallagher’s motion was also joined by a motion by SNP Councillor Christina Cannon which re-affirmed Glasgow City Council’s commitment to supporting LGBTQ+ children and young people, setting a 100% target for uptake of the TIE campaign for LGBT-inclusive education in Glasgow’s schools.

Scotland was the first country in the world to commit to embedding LGBT inclusive education in the school curriculum back in 2021, and with a 2022 report from LGBT Youth Scotland finding that just 10% of young people rated the experience at school for LGBT pupils as “good”, it’s clear that this work has rarely been more crucial.

Councillor Cannon’s motion also passed with cross-party support, underlining Glasgow’s clear commitment to LGBTQ+ equality.

The overwhelming support for LGBTQ+ equality and inclusive education in Glasgow over the past week was all the more significant due to the bleak contrast to it presented by Westminster.

Last week it was leaked to The Sun that Rishi Sunak (below) had drafted guidance which would see children in England forcibly outed to their parents if they told a teacher they were questioning their gender and banning schools from “allowing” young people change their pronouns or gender presentation without parental consent.

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The guidance is as stupid as it is dangerous. Schools should be a place where children and young people can grow and flourish and can learn more about themselves and the world around them.

If a young person is questioning their gender, or thinks they might be trans, surely anyone with their best interests at heart would prefer that that young person is able to tell a trusted adult and receive the support and guidance they need to be able to explore this and thrive?

It doesn’t take a genius to realise that this guidance will result in huge numbers of young people keeping their questions and feelings to themselves, setting back their journey and development by years.

I came out as trans to my parents when I was 18, just before moving out for university. I was so fortunate that they were incredibly supportive, and I have to confess that I deeply regret not coming out to them sooner.

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But the reality is that if either of the two high schools I attended had had more support in place so that I could chat to a teacher or other trusted adult about my gender, I’m certain I would have had more confidence to then go home and chat to my parents about it – possibly with that teacher’s support. Instead, I didn’t know who I could talk to, I didn’t know who I could trust.

So I kept it bottled up.

The proposed guidance could have been a huge opportunity to give support to teachers and staff at schools across the country on how best to support young people questioning their gender.

It could have given teachers the confidence to help trans young people thrive as their true selves. Instead, the Tories are using children as pawns in their culture wars. It’s disgusting.

Repulsed though I am by the scenes in Westminster, I am also comforted in knowing that here in Scotland and in my home city of Glasgow we have politicians who are unafraid to stand clearly in support of equality.

Despite its blocking by Westminster, it must never be forgotten that the Gender Recognition Reform Bill was passed by an overwhelming two-thirds majority of MSPs from across all five parties back in December. Support for LGBTQ+ equality in Glasgow City Council passed unanimously. And at the weekend, huge crowds gathered for Edinburgh Pride, showcasing the gorgeous diversity and unbreakable unity of Scotland’s LGBTQ+ community.

When Westminster blocked the GRR Bill, queer people and our allies across the UK stood proudly in solidarity and it will be essential that we stand in solidarity with queer people in England as this horrendous schools guidance is rolled out.

But part of how we can do that is by proving that a better world is possible, and I couldn’t be prouder of Glasgow for doing just that.