Hey everyone Today a friend from my virtual village that is forever facebook posted the Scotsman Pink List. I have to say I find this list which names the 50 most influential LGBT Scots unrepresentative of the real picture and believe that though it does give some well deserved credit to fighters for equality it has missed out a number of very important people and by doing so it has managed to get my knickers in a right twist.
You see as a transwoman, who is a blogger, poet and political activist I believe I know who is and isn’t fighting for the LGBT community in this country and there are some people who if I’m honest haven’t campaigned as much as I have to bring about equal marriage or change people’s attitudes on this and other issues. So I think the list should to renamed the 50 people we know to be gay who are in the chattering classes.
Having expressed this opinion it is now time for me to validate my view by stating who I believe is missing from the list and why they merit inclusion. To do this I may expand the boundaries of the list and include one or two straight allies who also deserve a mention in this rainbow of honour.
Let me start however by saying that I am delighted to see the names of Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson and co leader of the Scottish Greens Patrick Harvie featuring prominently on the list. I am also very happy to the see sterling work of the chairman of Scottish Equality Network Tim Hopkins and the Network policy co-ordinator Tom French get recognition for their stalwart efforts over many years of service. I am also happy to see the work of Mario Biagi MSP highlighted by his nomination and veteran gay rights campaigner Derek Ogg is equally deserving of his inclusion for his dedication to the cause of equality which stretches back to before homosexuality was legal in Scotland.
From a trans perspective it was great to see to see playwright and poet Jo Clifford included amongst the great and the good and James Morton of the Scottish Transgender Ailliance is another name of whom I am certain we will hear much more
in the future. Also it was good to see the name of one of my favourite comedians Susan Calman deservedly gaining a place but I am disappointed at the exclusion of poet and Liberal Democrat candidate Chris Young, Author Kirsty Logan, and the chair of the Scottish Association of Writers Marc Sherland
On a slightly more personal level I was proud beyond belief to see the name of one Lee Beattie on the list as one of the most powerful movers and shakers in the media industry. You see I have to admit a wee bit of personal bias here having known Lee since she was a caring intelligent teenager in a theatre group in Govan of which I was also a member and when it came to the youth group a volunteer helper. I have to say her success in her chosen field comes as no surprise whatsoever as such was her dedication and commitment she was always going to be a success. This recognition merely confirms what some of us already knew.
As for some of the others on the list there a few people of whom the best that can be said that they are to the compilers of the list. Amongst those whom I do not think should have been on the list are actors Alan Cumming, and John Barrowman and Glasgow Labour councillor Gordon Mathieson. With regards to Cumming and particularly to Barrowman who is now better together’s hired clown. I do not think that just being LGBT should be enough to be included in this list, especially at the expense of Pride Glasgow organiser Alasdair Smith or Tesco Equality Champion Lisa Tait.
As for the inclusion of Gordon Mathieson I quite frankly find this ridiculous. I mean why in the name of god was he chosen. Was it because he has actually done anything to advance LGBT rights in Scotland? No, of course it wasn’t because he hasn’t and that is my honest opinion. In fact his only contribution to that list is that as Labour group leader he helped his party hold a city they were never going to lose.
Also one has to say and will that Councillor Mathieson’s contribution to LGBT equality has been at best modest or to be more accurate non existent. This is the man who presided over the ashes of the Glasgow LGBT Centre and watched over the demise of a valuable community resource and like a later day Nero did precisely nothing. However be under no illusion this my condemnation of councillor Mathieson is not partisan or party political it’s just If I am being honest I believe there are others in his party who have done a lot more for this particular cause such as Disability campaigner Pam Duncan, and Glasgow MSP Drew Smith who has attended the last two Pride Glasgow events, speaking from the platform and the heart in 2012 and campaigning for his party at last year’s event.
As I said earlier in this post you can achieve nothing in politics or indeed life without allies and though not gay Stonewall Scotland’s Sophie Bridger is certainly a great ally to the LGBT community. Sophie who stood for the Liberal Democrats in the Inverclyde By-Election has certainly been a force for good in all equality matters.
So as you can see though I agree with many of nominations on the list I do not agree with all of them. I find the absence of the SNP MSP for Dundee West who was Scotland’s first openly gay cabinet minister and LGBT Youth Activist and equal marriage campaigner Laura McLachlan to be disgraceful omissions. It does however please me as a daughter of the kirk to see the inclusion of Church Of Scotland minister Scott Rennie. Overall though this list gives credit to the contribution of many in the LGBT community I can’t help but think it’s a case of shocking pink and it’s certainly got my knickers in a twist.
Love And Best Wishes