by Colin Campbell
AS everyone knows, or certainly should know, we are very much in the LGBTI era, and let there be no doubt about it. In case anyone has NOT been paying attention, LGBTI stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex. Whether or not other acronyms stretching across the alphabet to describe other varying groups are yet in place, well it could happen. How about a ONSHPEFRMFC group? That would cover One Night Standers, Heterosexual Philanderers, Escort Frequenters, and Randy Male and Female Clubbers. Well, it doesn’t seem to be in place – not yet. They could all join forces and hold a parade through Inverness as well, although what manner of interaction would break out at the end of it, God only knows.
Nicola Sturgeon has said she wants Scotland to be “the most transgender friendly country in the world”.
When an LGBTI Pride march was held in Inverness one Sunday a few months ago, we reported on it favourably and in fact warmly welcomed it.
But now things have taken a very awkward turn. A row has broken out in the SNP Scottish Government over proposals for people to be able to “self identify” their gender, without any medical checks or diagnosis.
So a “man” would be able declare he is a “woman”, or vice versa, at any time and in any circumstances he or she chooses.
That’s what Sturgeon wants. And I’d say there can be no reasonable alternate view on it other than it’s complete and utter madness.
But in these strange times, needless to say, not everyone shares that opinion.
One faction within the SNP fully backs Sturgeon. And another faction has expressed opposition. But Sturgeon is determined to ram it through in any case.
So what could “self-identifying” lead to in practice?
Here’s one scenario – and in this case the “never say never” rule most definitely applies.
A person hitherto universally regarded as a male approaches the check-in desk at the Inverness Leisure centre, where he’s well known.
But this time the routine ticketing procedure is very different.
He states calmly and clearly that he has self-identified as a woman and is informing staff that from now on he’ll be using the female changing rooms.
This evokes a puzzled look and maybe a brief outbreak of slightly nervous laughter.
Stone-faced, he repeats what he’s just said, adding: “Sorry if you don’t understand. But I’ve self-identified as a woman, and I’ll be using the female changing rooms.”
What happens next?
Backed by a new Sturgeon law, what does not happen is that a manager appears, takes him aside for a chat, tells him to stop being an idiot, and warns him if that he as much as puts a foot inside the female changing rooms he’ll be ejected into the car park by staff and then arrested by police.
So what does happen next?
In a world where people are cowed into fear and terror of giving offence, of being branded prejudiced, of losing their jobs, of being sued for huge sums in damages, what the hell does happen next?
Does Jock Jockstrap sail gaily into the female changing rooms as everyone else there flees for the exit? Is there some other kind of practice or procedure in place? Is he led to another changing room already prepared for “self-identifiers”?
Do staff in these kind of situations know how to respond?
One thing’s for certain, in a world where people are allowed to “self-identify” and all sanity goes out the window, organisations like Inverness Leisure would require a rock-solid back up plan to deal with the situation if – or when – it would arise.
Maybe the thousands of men and women who use the centre would have to be squeezed into a smaller space with an entire section being set aside to cater for random “self-identifiers”.
And the world as we once knew it under the SNP would run, jump or hurdle further towards hell in a handcart.