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Intersectional training

Equality Network’s Intersectional team provide high quality training to employers and service providers on intersectional inclusion which can be delivered either online or in person.

We have delivered training to a wide range of services, community groups and individuals.

We can provide short presentations, interactive two hour workshops, and half day or full day structured training events. We can create bespoke training packages on request. Please complete the training enquiry form and our training team will respond to you by email.

Example of our online training:

Including Intersectional Identities in Services

People who belong to more than one marginalised group (e.g. LGBTI, disabled, and/or Black, Asian and minority ethnic) are sometimes erased and excluded from our own communities. This is often reflected in organisations that primarily focus on one protected characteristic and may not have the necessary knowledge to help service users with the barriers they may face because of the intersecting aspects of those identities. This can lead to attitudes and practices which make spaces unsafe or unwelcoming for those who may need to access them the most.

This training is aimed at helping organisations become more inclusive of all their service users and respect every part of their identity. ​This inclusion work can start without a big budget or extra staff and benefit every service user regardless of their identities.

This training will help you to:

  • Listen to the lived experience of people with intersectional identities
  • Learn the best terminology to use about LGBTI people and others
  • Identify barriers that people may face to participating in your service
  • Increase access and tackle discrimination
  • Integrate an intersectional approach across your service.

Who should attend?

This training is open to all paid and unpaid workers and volunteers in the third sector and small community groups who want to improve their intersectional inclusion.

The Trainers

Rowan Alison is an intersectional project officer with a particular interest in mental health, disabled access, neurodiversity and bi+ issues.

James Verardi is an intersectional project support officer with a particular interest in trans issues and immigration.

About Equality Network’s Intersectional Project

The Equality Network is a leading national charity working for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) equality and human rights in Scotland. The Intersectional Project creates publications, resources and training about including people whose identity falls in more than one marginalised group.

Training and Support

Training The Equality Network has a great deal of experience in providing training of the highest quality on a wide variety of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality issues to both the public, voluntary and private sectors. We have particular expertise in intersectional training, for example on the needs of people who are both LGBT and disabled, and transgender training which is provided by the Scottish Transgender Alliance.

As well as holding general training events  we can discuss with you your organisation’s specific training needs and develop a bespoke training which meets your requirements.

“Excellent and highly informative”
Solicitor, Advising Transgender Clients Seminar

Training sessions and events will be advertised, and can be booked, on this page. To discuss bespoke training please fill in our training enquiry form.


We’ve three new free training sessions this month – sign up now

These new training sessions taking place in October are free and help LGBTI people support each other as Covid restrictions continue. Please register using the links below.

Improving online LGBTI meetings


Online gatherings are here to stay. While many of us are familiar with the mechanics of platforms like Zoom, how confident are we with making sure that online gatherings are a safe, comfortable and empowering experience for all participants? This session will show you how to interact with your participants in more constructive ways than just watching a face on-screen and wondering if they’re actually wearing trousers.

This training session is being run twice on Zoom. You can choose between Monday 12th October (7pm-8:30pm) or Wednesday 14th October (7pm-8:30pm). PDF of the PowerPoint slides for the effective online meetings training session.

LGBTI groups and coping with Covid local lockdown uncertainties


The ongoing risks of Covid, fluctuating Government rules and temporary local area lockdowns mean that in some ways we are living through a time of greater anxiety and uncertainty for many people than full lockdown was. There are questions about safety, social distancing, and what future small group meetings will be legal. As we face several more months of fluctuating restrictions, this session will help you think about the best ways to support your LGBTI group members to cope with Covid uncertainties.

This training session is being run twice on Zoom. You can choose between Monday 19th October (7pm-8:30pm) or Wednesday 21st October (7pm-8:30pm). PDF of the PowerPoint slides for the LGBTI groups and coping with Covid lockdown training session.

Organising LGBTI events in a socially distanced world


Events are important to LGBTI communities, both in terms of fostering a community spirit and sense of belonging and in terms of challenging discrimination and raising public awareness of LGBTI rights. With fluctuating Covid restrictions and a number of unknowns, how do we start thinking about future events such as LGBTI group meetings, conferences, training events, Prides and protests for the next several months? This session will help you plan successful community events in a complex and unpredictable year.

This training session is being run twice on Zoom. You can choose between Monday 26th October (7pm-8:30pm) or Wednesday 28th October (7pm-8:30pm). PDF of the PowerPoint slides for the events in a socially distanced world training session.

Training enquiry form

If you would like to discuss arranging a bespoke training course, please use this form to send us your details.
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We all want a Scotland free from prejudice and discrimination, and we recognise the significant role and influence sport has in achieving that aim. We also want a healthy Scotland where, again, sport plays a vital role, and the barriers to the full and active participation in sport should therefore be examined and removed.

Overall, the recommendations in this report seek to achieve three key objectives:

  • Leadership to ensure the elimination of homophobia and transphobia in Scottish sport.
  • Practical action to lift barriers to inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and to encourage greater LGBT participation in sport at all levels.
  • A better understanding of the issues relating to homophobia and transphobia in Scottish sport and what should be done to tackle the problem.

These recommendations are designed to be carried forward by a range of stakeholders and action on these recommendations should reflect a level of proportionality and capability for the different stakeholders involved.


1. Visible Leadership

The Scottish Government and the sports sector, which includes Scottish Governing Bodies (SGBs), Local Authorities, Clubs, Local Sports Councils, Leisure Trusts and Sport facility providers, should demonstrate visible leadership on the issue of homophobia and transphobia in Scottish sport, in order to tackle prejudice and encourage greater inclusion and participation of LGBT people.

  • A Scottish LGBT Sports Charter should be created to facilitate the full inclusion of LGBT people in Scottish sport.
  • SGBs of sport should visibly display support for LGBT participation in their sport (e.g. on official websites, social media, annual reports and through other publications).
  • There should be visible support from the sports sector and the Government for initiatives that tackle homophobia and transphobia in sport.


2. National Coordinating Group

There should be a coordinating group established to bring together the stakeholders working for better inclusion of LGBT people and to combat homophobia and transphobia in sport, and to act as an information distribution point. Membership should include the
key stakeholders in this work, for example LGBT sector organisations, local authorities, SGBs, sportscotland and others. The aims of the coordinating group would be:

  • To develop an Action Plan taking into account the recommendations of the Out for Sport research.
  • To discuss strategies and monitor progress.
  • To facilitate a partnership approach and share information.
  • A means to facilitate discussion with the Government.
  • A vehicle to provide practical and policy guidance.


3. Action Plan

The coordinating group should develop an Action Plan to tackle prejudice, and increase LGBT inclusion and participation in sport, including:

  • A clear strategy with deliverable and measurable outcomes to tackle prejudice, and encourage inclusion and participation.
  • Actions would be informed by the Out for Sport recommendations. They would be prioritised against deadlines, with allocated responsibilities.
  • This action plan should be monitored and evaluated periodically.


4. Policies

Scottish Governing Bodies of sport, and those delivering sport, should have clear, embedded and proportionate equality policies which make a positive difference for LGBT participants at all levels.

  • Scottish local authorities, universities and other public sector sports bodies should be supported to comply with the general and specific duties of the Equality Act 2010. This includes pro-actively considering equality when carrying out their work, and paying due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations across the range of protected characteristics, including sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Leisure trusts, SGBs and clubs that are in receipt of public money should be supported by sportscotland and/or local authorities, where appropriate, to work to the principles of the Equality Act 2010 in terms of all protected characteristics, including sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Scottish public authorities should make sure that they collect data from, and consult with, all sectors of the LGBT community as effectively as possible, to meet their obligations under the Equality Act 2010 as well as providing better, more LGBT accessible services.
  • Scottish public authorities should be encouraged to set new equality outcomes based upon these Out for Sport recommendations.
  • SGBs should be encouraged to work with sportscotland towards the achievement of the Equality Standard for Sport at a level which is proportionate to the size and investment of the governing body.
  • sportscotland should make sure that all SGBs know that they are able to take specific and targeted action to address homophobia and transphobia.


5. Education

Diversity training should be rolled out to ensure a greater understanding of the needs and issues of LGBT people, and to develop a more inclusive approach.

  • LGBT organisations should build long-term, sustainable relationships with sportscotland and Sports Coach UK to develop coaching, training provision and CPD.
  • Mainstreamed equality training which includes awareness of sexual orientation and gender identity issues should be developed for basic level coach education for level 1 and/or 2 coaches as part of their UKCC qualification.
  • Training should be developed for teachers and staff working in schools, clubs and elsewhere, on sexual orientation and gender identity issues including the identification, prevention and challenging of homophobic and transphobic bullying.
  • Local authorities and leisure trusts should make sure leisure centre staff have basic equality training so they can fulfil their requirements under the Equality Act 2010.


6. Changing Attitudes

There should be a public awareness campaign to tackle homophobic and transphobic prejudice, and encourage greater inclusion and participation of LGBT people in Scottish sport.

  • The Scottish Government should take steps to educate the public, SGBs, local authorities and clubs that the Hate Crime and Offensive Behaviour at Football legislation also covers homophobia and transphobia as well as racism and sectarianism.
  • The Offensive Behaviour at Football Act should be implemented robustly to challenge and eradicate homophobia and transphobia.
  • The law on threatening communications should be reviewed to ensure that homophobic and transphobic abuse on the internet can be dealt with appropriately.


7. Tackling abuse

Homophobic and transphobic behaviour in Scottish sport should be actively and effectively challenged.

  • SGBs and clubs should visibly challenge homophobic and transphobic behaviour by participants and spectators.
  • Coaches, PE teachers, sports club welfare officers, SGB community development officers, and other key role models and influencers should exercise zero tolerance of homophobic and transphobic abuse.
  • Homophobic and transphobic abuse in all sports should be dealt with by the Police and prosecutors robustly where appropriate, as a prejudice aggravated breach of the peace or threatening behaviour.
  • The Scottish Government should take steps to educate the public, SGBs, local authorities and clubs that the Hate Crime and Offensive Behaviour at Football legislation also covers homophobia and transphobia as well as racism and sectarianism.
  • The Offensive Behaviour at Football Act should be implemented robustly to challenge and eradicate homophobia and transphobia.
  • The law on threatening communications should be reviewed to ensure that homophobic and transphobic abuse on the internet can be dealt with appropriately.


8. Supporting LGBT Participation

Sports bodies should provide support to encourage LGBT participation in sport.

  • The LGBT sector should offer ongoing assistance to SGBs as they develop actions around LGBT participation and homo/bi/transphobia. This could include working with the SFA on the Football Supporters Charter to tackle issues around spectator behaviour and make football a more welcoming place for everyone.
  • There should be an early and sustained focus from the Government on the issues faced by LGBT young people participating in sport and physical activity, to help reduce the teenage drop off in sports participation by LGBT people. This could include looking at homophobic bullying in sports contexts, the equality agenda in PE teacher training and the the range of sports offered in schools.
  • The Equality and Human Rights Commission and the LGBT sector should encourage and assist local authorities, arm’s length leisure providers, SGBs, and tertiary education sports facility providers, to gather diversity data in line with best practice on LGBT participation. Too often, diversity monitoring only covers some protected characteristics such as gender but not sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Exceptional work to increase LGBT sports participation and tackle homophobia and transphobia in sport should be showcased, by local authorities and SGBs, recognised and encouraged.
  • Local Authorities, which deliver 90% of Scotland’s sports spend, should be encouraged to share and showcase good practice.
  • The Scottish Government, sportscotland, SGBs and local authority partners should work with equality organisations, including LGBT organisations, to make sure sports clubs and community sports hubs are LGBT friendly.
  • Local authorities, local Sports Councils (where appropriate) and SGBs should be encouraged, through consultation and relationships with LGBT sports groups, to identify and remove any barriers to the full and active participation of such groups in club accreditation schemes and in local club sport generally.
  • Sports facility providers should be encouraged to publish or display information about the changing facilities within particular leisure facilities on their websites. This would include whether they have private cubicles or gender specific changing areas. Particular types of changing arrangements can be a barrier to transgender participation as well as to ethnic groups and others.
  • The Commonwealth Games should champion the positive nature and fellowship of sport and should re-iterate that sport is for everyone, regardless of their background. The Organising Committee should ensure that equality issues including the treatment of LGBT participants and spectators are captured within relevant codes of conduct.
  • Policies around the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) including children should be inclusive of the needs of LGBT young people, protecting them from discrimination as well as from abuse but allowing them to play sport in safe environments where they feel comfortable.
  • LGBT people should be risk assessed and dealt with within PVG systems on the same basis as anyone else, that is, on evidence and not on the basis of prejudice and stereotypes.


9. Capacity Building

LGBT sports clubs should be developed and supported to deliver access to sport and sports programmes across Scotland.

  • SGBs should build links with, and provide support for, LGBT friendly teams/clubs and groups within their sport.
  • LGBT national organisations working in partnership with Scottish Student Sport could assist in developing projects and better links between university and college sports clubs /facilities and LGBT societies.
  • LGBT organisations should assist in the establishment and development of new LGBT and LGBT-friendly sports clubs in order to increase the participation of LGBT people within sport, outdoor activity and physical activity across Scotland.
  • LGBT organisations should develop training and networking opportunities for new and established LGBT sports clubs.


10. Employment

SGBs should work with LGBT sector organisations to improve LGBT-friendly employment practices. This work should be supported by sportscotland and could be carried out in a proportional way aligned to the work that SGBs do through the Equality Standard for Sport.

  • SGBs and other stakeholders should work to widen the diversity of SGB Board members.
  • SGBs with significant numbers of staff should be encouraged to set up workplace LGBT networks.
  • SGBs should work with LGBT sector organisations to ensure LGBT-friendly employment practices.

Whilst improving employment practices for staff will not solve the issue of homophobia and transphobia in sport on its own, we believe strongly that diverse workplaces better reflect the needs of LGBT people, and such efforts would benefit the wider agenda of LGBT inclusion.

Printed resources

The following printed resources were mentioned by LGBT people during the course of interviews or in survey responses:







Here you can:

We also have a library of hard copy materials about LGBT and equalities issues. This is not a lending library, but if you would like to come and look through our resources please contact us to arrange a time to pop by.


Support for LGBTI Groups during COVID-19

Since the COVID-19 crisis emerged we’ve been working to continue our capacity building support for LGBTI groups around Scotland.

If you would like more detailed information on what support is available you can join our facebook group for LGBTI groups. Its also a place to share good practice and network with other groups across Scotland. If you run an LGBTI group in Scotland please consider joining, the group can be found here.

We held the first of our new LGBTI Groups Virtual Roundtable’s on Thursday 25th June at 6.30pm. It’s was opportunity for LGBTI groups, inc. pride organisers, staff networks, social and support groups, organisations and sports clubs, to come together to discuss the challenges faced during this crisis and to agree collective steps we can take to support our communities. We were pleased to be joined by Christina McKelvie MSP, Scottish Government Minister for Older People and Equalities who shared what the government is doing to support LGBTI people during COVID-19 and to listen to the views of LGBTI groups.

We’re holding two events, one on the 4th March and one on the 10th March to discuss the resources needs of LGBTI groups. You can find out more information here.

With the support of the Scottish Government COVID Recovery Fund and the Consortium LGBT+ Futures: National Emergencies Trust Fund we have now been able to recruit a Community Development Officer which will increase our capacity to support LGBTI groups and organisations during the pandemic. A huge welcome to Eleanor Sanders White who has taken on this role.


We’re pleased to announce the LGBTI Recovery Fund, £26,000 to support LGBTI groups during their recovery from COVID-19. Small grants of between £50-£500 are available to LGBTI groups and organisations in Scotland until the end of May 2021. More information on the fund can be found here.


We have been working to support LGBTI groups and organisations in Scotland and have already distributed over £140k of direct funding through two funding streams:

Both these funding streams have now closed for applications. We’re pleased to say over £50k in direct funding has now been distributed to LGBTI groups in Scotland through the Supporting LGBTI Communities Fund, and £64,000 went directly to LGBTI groups in Scotland from the LGBTQ+ COVID-19 Fund.

Zoom Pro

To help reduce social isolation we secured funding from the Scottish Government Covid-19 Relief Fund to provide free Zoom Pro accounts, for an initial  period of 4 months, along with training, to a number of LGBTI groups. If your group/sports club/organisation would like a free zoom account please get in touch. This support ended at the end May of 2021, we’re glad so many groups were able to make the most of the benefit.

So far over 80 LGBTI groups and organisations have had access to a zoom pro account. We also continue to hold zoom or phone conversations to assess the individual needs of LGBTI groups and how we can support. Over 100 LGBTI groups have had support from us during the pandemic and we’ve supported 26 applications for funding, delivered one-2-one training for 38 groups and continue to support pride organisers around the country with contingency planning.

Training for LGBTI Groups

We have run a number of training events, including. 

Please visit our Outsavvy page to register or find out more about future events.

If your organisation or group has specific training or capacity needs you would like to discuss, please get in touch.

The variations of sex characteristics and intersex project

The Project

Acknowledge, Impact, Communicate, Engage, Develop

The Equality Network’s Variations of Sex Characteristics (VSC) and Intersex Project is a national project to facilitate intersex people, equality organisations, government policy makers, the NHS and other service providers to engage together to develop a shared understanding of intersex equality, rights and inclusion priorities in Scotland. Intersex equality has not previously been addressed by policy makers in Scotland. We believe that there is an essential need for engagement between intersex people and government policy makers, equality organisations and service providers to improve policies and practices affecting intersex people’s lives.

The project focusses on connecting intersex people with each other and with intersex allies and various stakeholders, in order to support intersex people’s engagement in equality policy and good practice development.


The intersex umbrella

There is a variety of terminology used with reference to variations of sex characteristics and intersex status. Some people prefer to use the term differences of sex development, some prefer ‘disorders of sex development’, and some prefer to simply describe their specific variation. In common with much international human rights activism we use the term intersex, with the knowledge that some prefer other terms when describing themselves.

We use the word intersex as an umbrella term for people who are born with variations of sex characteristics, which do not always fit society’s perception of male and female bodies. Intersex is not the same as gender identity (our sense of self) or sexual orientation (who we are attracted to) but is about the physical body we are born with. This is in common with Organisation Intersex international Europe (Oii Europe*), Ilga Europe and the United Nations:

“Intersex is an umbrella term used to describe a wide range of natural bodily variations. In some cases, intersex traits are visible at birth while in others, they are not apparent until puberty. Some chromosomal intersex variations may not be physically apparent at all.” – The United Nations**

* See here for Oii Europe

** See here for United Nations Intersex Fact sheet

The intersex flag: “The circle is unbroken and unornamented, symbolising wholeness and completeness, and our potentialities. We are still fighting for bodily autonomy and genital integrity, and this symbolises the right to be who and how we want to be.” – Intersex Human Rights Australia, formally known as Oii Australia.


Encourage, Facilitate, Network, Collaborate, Inform, Empower


Our approach

Within this project, representing the diversity of intersex people and people living with variation of sex characteristics is of the highest importance. Raising awareness of diversity, and most importantly, foregrounding lived experience takes precedence. We prioritise the voices of intersex people in discussion, collaboration, consultancy, decision making, and writing of legislation regarding the equality and human rights of intersex people. We endeavor to include intersex people and intersex voices in any conversations, writing, statements, training, engagement and lobbying that we do.

The intersex population and those living with a variety of sex characteristics are an often under-represented and misunderstood community. Like LGBT activists, intersex activists are fighting for bodily autonomy and the rights of people who fall outside of binary sex and gender norms. We recognise and respect that many intersex people do not see themselves as part of the LGBTI community, whilst some intersex individuals do identify as part of the LGBTI community or as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.



Becoming an ally and working in partnership and collaboration with others

One of the most important things for the Equality Network is that we engage with a wide diversity of people who identify as intersex or as living with VSC.

We are actively looking to further our partnerships and to collaborate with all levels of expertise, from those with lived experience to those working in intersex policy, activism, support, advocacy, law, health and research. We do this so that individuals who are living with VSCs or as intersex may feel empowered to participate alongside our other partners in the endeavor to make a difference to the lives of people living in Scotland.

We are very aware that we are not the experts in the remit of lived experience of being intersex. Our expertise is in progressing equality, human rights and social policy improvements in Scotland. Our partners are diverse and invaluable to us, and each have strong potential impact in many areas. These partnerships will allow us to facilitate positive engagement and to contribute constructively to the Scottish Government’s forthcoming consultation on intersex equality in Scotland. We value the expertise of others immensely.


Get involved!

The Scottish Government consultation on the rights of people living with VSCs and intersex people will be opening soon and we want to hear from you. We want as many people involved as can be. Your voice is absolutely vital in making a difference to the human rights of Intersex people and people living with VSCs in Scotland.


We would love to hear from you if you are interested in;


  • Engaging with equality organisations, government policy makers, the NHS and other service providers to develop a shared understanding of intersex equality, rights and inclusion priorities in Scotland.
  • Sharing your voice as an individual who lives with a variation of sex characteristics or identifies as intersex.
  • Promoting the human rights of intersex people
  • Developing the ‘I’ in LGBTI human rights work*


We acknowledge that people may not identify with the LGB or T and this is important to note. This project is not centred on anything other than the diversity of intersex people and their human rights and life experiences.


“The Government has decided that because people with intersex variations face issues that are distinct from those experienced by transgender people, we should consult separately on each set of issues. We will publish a consultation later this year seeking views about how we should address the issues experienced by intersex people/people with variations of sex characteristics.” – The Scottish Government, 2018


The Gender Recognition Act reform consultation opened at the end of 2017 and is now closed. The intersex equality consultation is due to be published soon. The forthcoming consultation is an important step towards government recognition of the specific needs, rights and issues that intersex people and people living with VSCs face in Scotland. This is what we are working towards.


We are currently trying to…

  • Facilitate dialogue with intersex individuals in Scotland. We aim to do this by carrying out forums, events, and training opportunities with intersex individuals in Scotland, who we believe are the most important people to be engaging with when it comes to understanding the life experiences, medical experiences, wants, needs and issues surrounding living with an intersex variation.
  • Develop training programmes with intersex individuals taking the lead in how these training programmes should be delivered. We also wish to enable intersex individuals to deliver workshop facilitation for schools, GP staff, midwives, doctors, employers, public bodies etc. These training programmes and workshops intend to inform regarding best practice, equal opportunities and support for intersex people.
  • Create leaflets and training recommendations as well as information for potential intersex equality allies. These will be used and distributed in workplaces, schools, higher education institutes, informal education institutes, surgeries, hospitals and parliamentary offices. They will include information for NHS nurses and clinicians, police, teachers youth workers, social workers, MSPs, government officials and civil servants. They will contain information as prescribed by intersex individuals on best practice, equal opportunities, key issues, the law and legislation as it stands, changes to be made and how to support a young intersex person.
  • Gather significant qualitative information regarding the experience of intersex people in Scotland and the UK.
  • Ensure that the voices of intersex people and groups are heard and seen in newspaper, TV and radio coverage. We also wish to ensure that an objective and balanced picture of intersex people and their human rights concerns is depicted as per the United Nation’s Intersex Factsheet on Free and Equal United Nations for LGBT Equality


International context:

In 2014 Intersex advocacy and activist groups gathered together in Riga and developed these four objectives for intersex equality work internationally:

  1. “To challenge the definition of sex as consisting of only male and female and promote the knowledge that sex is a continuum, as is gender.”
  2. “To ensure that intersex people are fully protected against discrimination.”
  3. “To ensure that all stakeholders that have a specific role to play in intersex people’s wellbeing such as, but not limited to, health care providers, parents and professionals working in the area of education, as well as society in general, are instructed on intersex issues from a human rights perspective.”
  4. “To work towards making non-consensual medical and psychological treatment unlawful. Medical practitioners or other professionals should not conduct any treatment to the purpose of modifying sex characteristics which can be deferred until the person to be treated can provide informed consent.”

for more info on this meeting see: https://oiieurope.org/statement-of-the-european-intersex-meeting-in-riga-2014/

Some intersex policy and support groups in the UK

  • Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome Support Group – click here
  • DSD Families – click here
  • Hypospadias UK (for men and boys with hypospadias) -click here
  • Intersex UK  – click here  and on Twitter follow them @IntersexUK here
  • Living with CAH – click here
  • Mayer Rokitansky Kuster Hauser website UK (Vaginal Agenesis, Mullerian Aplasia or Absent Vagina) – click here
  • Oii UK – click here
  • Turner Syndrome Support Society UK (for girls and women with Turner Syndrome) – click here
  • UK Intersex Association – click here
  • UK Klinefelters Association – click here 


Helpful sources of information and advice for people living with VSC and those who identify as intersex, as well as for those who wish to be a good intersex ally


“No body is shameful!”


  • Inter/Act – Advocates for Informed Choice – “Promoting the civil rights of children born with variations of sex anatomy”  – click here
  • Interface Project – “No body is shameful!” – “Founded in 2012, The Interface Project communicates the lived experiences of intersex people by recording the voices, transcribing the words, and publishing the stories of people born with a variation of sex anatomy […]”- click here 
  • Ilga Europe – click here 
  • Intersex Issues, a short list – click here
  • ‘How to be a great intersex Ally’ – Ilga Europe – click here

Keep an eye out here for new articles, links and books…



Holyrood manifestos 2021-26 – what the parties are saying on LGBTI equality issues

Image of Scottish Parliament

In advance of the May 6th Scottish Parliament election, the Equality Network and Scottish Trans Alliance worked with our friends at Stonewall Scotland and LGBT Youth Scotland to publish our LGBTI Equality Manifesto for the Parliament for 2021-26.

But how do the political parties’ manifestos measure up to ours? Here we summarise what each of the main parties’ manifestos says on on each of our key calls, by directly quoting from their manifestos. Material is only included if it specifically refers to LGBTI equality, and parties are listed in the order of their manifesto launches.

Ensure Gender Identity Services are fit for purpose

Our headline call: Ensuring NHS gender identity services are fit for purpose – now, and in the future. Take action to substantially reduce the waiting times for first appointments as a matter of urgency, by providing centralised crisis funding and piloting new ways of delivering these services to realise their long-term sustainability.

What the Scottish Green manifesto says: “Introduce an informed consent model of trans healthcare, and in the meantime continue to push for access to Gender Identity Clinics within 18 weeks, in line with NHS standards for other services.”

What the SNP manifesto says: “We are aware of the urgent need to improve access to NHS Gender Identity Services. We will take action by committing to three years of centralised crisis intervention funding to improve care, support and services. We will work with people with lived experience to explore how this is best delivered, including improving community provision.”

What the Scottish Labour manifesto says: “Scottish Labour will bring Gender Identity Clinics (GICs) into line with other NHS services by setting an 18-week referral to first appointment target. We will also guarantee the right to self-refer to GICs under all health boards. We will introduce new guidance to prevent harmful stereotyping, establish an inquiry to explore an “informed consent” model of treatment and will update the Gender Reassignment Protocol to allow for greater flexibility in treatment.”

There is nothing specific to this call in the Scottish LibDem manifesto.

There is nothing specific to this call in the Scottish Conservative manifesto.

Protect and progress LGBTI rights

Our headline call: Protecting and progressing LGBTI rights, including through enshrining LGBTI human rights in Scots law; taking measures to end ‘conversion therapy’; improving trans equality, including through reforming the Gender Recognition Act; and taking action to further I/VSC equality.

What the Scottish Green manifesto says:

“Ensure LGBT+ inclusion in Scottish Government international development policies, and enshrining the Yogyakarta human rights principles into Scots law.”

“Ban so-called ‘conversion therapy’, which refers to unethical and unnecessary interventions that seek to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBT+ people or alter a person’s sex characteristics without their consent.”

“Deliver long overdue reforms to the Gender Recognition Act, including statutory self-declaration, recognising non-binary identities and all genders, and providing access to health care for trans minors with parental or guardian consent.”

What the SNP manifesto says:

“There is no place for conversion therapy in Scotland. Such practices are discriminatory and harmful to the mental health and wellbeing of LGBTI people. The UK Government made a commitment to ban conversion therapy in their LGBT Action Plan, and we fully support this, as we know making a ban fully comprehensive will involve action in reserved areas. However, if the UK Government does not take action, we will bring forward our own legislation insofar as is possible within the powers of the Scottish Parliament.”

“In the next parliament we will work with trans people, women, equality groups, legal and human rights experts to identify the best and most effective way to improve and simplify the process by which a trans person can obtain legal recognition, so that the trauma associated with that process is reduced. We remain committed to making necessary changes to the Gender Recognition Act that arise from this work at the earliest opportunity.”

“We will ensure that these changes do not affect the rights or protections that women currently have under the Equality Act. It is important that concerns about reforms to gender recognition law are addressed through informed and respectful discussion. However we must not allow them to be a cover for transphobia or disinformation.”

What the Scottish LibDem manifesto says:

“End the harmful practice of sexual orientation and gender identity conversion therapy in the next parliamentary session, working with the UK Government where necessary.”

“Improve laws on gender recognition in line with international best practice to allow trans people to change the legal gender on their birth certificate with a simple process based on the principle of self-determination, and without intrusive medical diagnosis requirements and include the recognition of non-binary people. This de-medicalised system to change legal gender will better support trans people to live their lives free from discrimination.”

What the Scottish Conservative manifesto says: “We would work with the UK Government to end conversion therapy in Scotland”

What the Scottish Labour manifesto says:

“We will legislate to end the cruel practice of conversion therapy.”

“We will reform the Gender Recognition Act to demedicalise the process and allow for the recognition of people who identify as neither men nor women.”

“Scottish Labour shares concerns that some parents of children with intersex traits, also know as variations in sex characteristics, are still pressured into unnecessary surgeries. While some may choose to take medical steps later in life, this is a choice that must be made by individuals themselves.”

Support LGBT Mental Health

Our headline call: Tackling LGBT mental health inequalities by taking forward targeted work on mental health improvement and prevention, and ensuring mental health services are equipped to support LGBT people.

What the Scottish Green manifesto says: “We will ensure that health and social care services throughout Scotland, including mental health services, are fully inclusive of LGBT+ people and designed to remove barriers and tackle health inequalities.”

What the Scottish LibDem manifesto says: “Commit to funding mandatory training for mental health professionals, including front line CAMHS staff, on supporting LGBTI people, and ensure mental health and suicide prevention training delivered to NHS staff is inclusive.”

There is nothing specific to this call in the SNP manifesto (but see section below on the parties’ LGBTI mini-manifestos).

There is nothing specific to this call in the Scottish Conservative manifesto.

There is nothing specific to this call in the Scottish Labour manifesto.

Ensure fair treatment in Health and Social Care for LGBTI people

Our headline call: Ensuring that LGBTI people experience fair treatment when accessing all health and social care services, including equal access to reproductive and fertility services, with staff trained to effectively support LGBTI patients and service users.

What the Scottish Green manifesto says: “We will ensure that health and social care services throughout Scotland, including mental health services, are fully inclusive of LGBT+ people and designed to remove barriers and tackle health inequalities.”

What the SNP manifesto says: “Trans people continue to experience stigma and prejudice and suffer poorer health outcomes relative to the wider population. This needs to change.”

What the Scottish LibDem manifesto says:

“Ensure that all NHS healthcare professionals can meet the needs of their LGBTI patients by incorporating training that addresses barriers faced due to both sexual orientation and gender identity.”

“Ensure that LGBTI people can access welcoming and inclusive social care services, by providing targeted training for staff with a focus on those working in residential care settings.”

“Ensure that NHS reproductive health and fertility services recognise, and address, barriers and health inequalities faced by LGBTI people, particularly by lesbian and bisexual women.”

What the Scottish Labour manifesto says: “Blood donations still discriminate against gay and bisexual men and their partners, undermining our public health strategy. Scottish Labour will end this discriminatory and unscientific practice.”

There is nothing specific to this call in the Scottish Conservative manifesto.

Implement LGBTI-inclusive education

Our headline call: The continued implementation of LGBT-inclusive education, ensuring all of the recommendations from the Report to the Scottish Ministers (2018) are fully realised, and that the progress made so far in the implementation pathway is further built upon in the 2021-26 parliamentary term.

What the Scottish Green manifesto says: “Implement the Time for Inclusion Education (TIE) campaign recommendations, including the delayed delivery of promised funding to assist this important work.”

“The Scottish Greens will build on our success in winning key improvements to Personal and Social Education, guaranteeing every pupil a PSE curriculum which covers topics such as consent-based sex education, LGBT+ inclusivity, and mental health”

What the SNP manifesto says: “We remain fully committed to progressing delivery of the world-leading recommendations on LGBT Inclusive Education across the curriculum in order to improve the learning environment for all children and young people.”

“We believe an educational approach to tackling homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic bullying and prejudice in schools is essential. LGBT history, role models and equalities education should be taught in schools to tackle the prejudice which often leads to the bullying and social exclusion of LGBT young people. To achieve this, we have funded Time For Inclusive Education (TIE) to work with decision makers, produce curriculum resources, and deliver services for teachers and pupils to raise awareness, heighten knowledge, and foster good relations. We are committed to that work and will continue to fund it until the prejudice that has blighted too many young lives is eradicated.”

What the Scottish LibDem manifesto says: “Fully implement the recommendations of the LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group, underpinned by new statutory guidance on the conduct of relationships, sexual health and parenthood education for schools.”

What the Scottish Conservative manifesto says: “Schools should emphasise the importance of respect, tolerance and equality in an age appropriate way to prevent bullying, racism, homophobia and misogyny.”

What the Scottish Labour manifesto says: “Scottish Labour supports the aims of the TIE campaign to develop LGBT+ inclusive education in the curriculum.”

Improve Community Safety and Inclusion for LGBTI People

Our headline call: Improving community safety and inclusion for LGBTI people by funding LGBTI services and community groups, and ensuring that work on tackling issues such as hate crime, homelessness, and social isolation includes LGBTI-focused measures.

What the SNP manifesto says: “We remain firmly committed to improving the lives of trans and non-binary people. Trans people continue to experience stigma and prejudice and suffer poorer health outcomes relative to the wider population. This needs to change. We are committed to tackling transphobia head on through inclusive education and action to tackle prejudice and hate crime.”

What the Scottish LibDem manifesto says: “Homophobia and transphobia continue to be real problems for too people.”

What the Scottish Conservative manifesto says: “We would ensure frontline responders are trained to support victims of hate crime. The Scottish Conservatives have strongly opposed the SNP’s Hate Crime Act. To protect free speech, we would introduce a Protection of Free Speech Bill to repeal the Hate Crime Act and prevent other attacks on freedom of expression.”

What the Scottish Labour manifesto says: “It must be a priority for Police Scotland to build strong connections with our diverse minority ethnic communities, LGBT+ people and other underrepresented communities to ensure their voices are heard and respected.”

There is nothing specific to this call in the Scottish Green manifesto.

Support LGBTI rights abroad

Our headline call: Showing leadership in advancing LGBTI equality and the protection of LGBTI rights abroad, including through delivering LGBTI-inclusive and LGBTI-specific international development work.

What the Scottish Green manifesto says: “Ensure LGBT+ inclusion in Scottish Government international development policies, and enshrining the Yogyakarta human rights principles into Scots law.”

What the Scottish Labour manifesto says: “Development assistance should also be targeted to address inequalities, including LGBT+ rights…as well as support for human rights defenders.”

There is nothing specific to this call in the SNP manifesto.

There is nothing specific to this call in the Scottish LibDem manifesto.

There is nothing specific to this call in the Scottish Conservative manifesto.

Other LGBTI issues in the parties’ manifestos

The Scottish Green manifesto also says: “The Scottish Greens stand firmly for inclusive, intersectional feminism which recognises not only that gender inequality runs deep in our society, but also that it is affected by other kinds of inequality like wealth, disability, racial injustice, LGBT+ discrimination and more.”

The SNP manifesto also says: “We will introduce an overarching Scottish Diversity and Inclusion Strategy covering the public sector, our educational institutions, justice system, transport, and workplaces. This strategy will focus on the removal of institutional, cultural and financial barriers which lead to inequalities in relation to gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, disability and social mobility.”

The Scottish LibDem manifesto also says: “Scotland needs to benefit from the diverse talents of everyone to increase wellbeing and productivity. That means there should be opportunity for everyone whatever their background, rich or poor, and regardless of gender, sexuality, race, religion, disability or other aspects of what we look like or where we come from.”

The Scottish Conservative manifesto also says: “We will tackle prejudice and discrimination in all forms to ensure no one is held back from succeeding due to their race, sexuality, gender, religion or disability.”

The Scottish Labour manifesto also says: “We will ensure a zero-tolerance approach to violence, bullying and discrimination based on sexuality and gender in Scottish society.”

“Scottish Labour is the party of equality: we will work to build a society free from all forms of sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ageism, racism, antisemitism and Islamophobia, discrimination against disabled people and bigotry and prejudice in all their forms.”

Links to the parties’ manifestos

The parties’ LGBTI mini-manifestos

Some parties (so far, the SNP and the Greens) have also published LGBTI mini-manifestos.

The Scottish Greens LGBTI mini-manifesto is very comprehensive and contains too many pro-LGBTI equality pledges to list in detail here, covering health and wellbeing, sport, education, law and justice, international inclusion, and pandemic recovery. You can read it here.

In addition to the points already noted above in the main SNP manifesto, the SNP LGBTI mini-manifesto says:

“Mental health problems can affect anyone, but there is substantial evidence that LGBTI people are especially at risk of experiencing poor mental health.” [and there is a range of non-LGBTI-specific pledges on mental health in the manifesto].

“We will continue to demand the full devolution of equality, employment and immigration powers so that the Scottish Parliament has the powers to protect LGBTI equality and make Scotland a fairer and more equal place to live.”