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Blog: Reflections on the Scottish Government NBWG Response

Kaden Stewart, who sits on the Non-Binary Working Group, reflects on the Scottish Government's response to the groups recommendations for making life better for non-binary people.

Person carrying non-binary flag

With the publishing of the Scottish Government response to our recommendations, emotions are high and very mixed. On the one hand, there is a large acceptance of the ambitious - and necessary - calls the group made for non-binary equality within Scotland which offers hope for the future safety, security and joy of the non-binary community across Scotland.

On the other, it seems clear we have been misunderstood or ignored in some calls despite the foreword recognising that we were clear about the barriers and the solutions and, although ambitious, our calls were practical, well-thought out and carefully considered before we made them.  

  • "This kind of work is challenging, at the best of times, and I feel the group have made incredible achievements that will have a real impact on non-binary rights across Scotland."

It’s difficult to see some things promised either to be completed or considered, without any timeframes for these promises. Equally, it’s difficult to see some things denied or pushed away where the Scottish Government believes other guidance covers these despite our recommendations clearly stating the need for specific consideration of non-binary people’s needs that current guidance does not have. 

I want to have faith in our Government, and in the work of the group, but it’s hard to see us continue to be misunderstood despite that work. 

I do believe, however, that as a group, we made strong recommendations and I can see the seeds of change growing in the overall acceptance of these towards a happier community.

I hope we can see clear timeframes laid out as we move forward, and some more discussion where it’s clear to the group that our requests might not have been understood fully. 

More than anything, I am calling for tangible change to support non-binary safety in a country which prides itself on equality as much as Scotland does. I am calling for a safe, happy and healthy non-binary community with equal access in scotland. I am calling for us to continue moving forward, despite the struggles of recent years, to true equity for the members of our community. 

Lastly, I want to extend the warmest wishes and thanks to the members of the group who have worked unbelievably hard to ensure our recommendations were going to achieve clear, tangible change and who still continue to want our work to be beneficial for the community at large across Scotland. 

I’ve been incredibly grateful to be part of a group like this, who have been ambitious, supportive, and have been a key part of my growth over the past year. This kind of work is challenging, at the best of times, and I feel the group have made incredible achievements that will have a real impact on non-binary rights across Scotland. It’s been really genuinely interesting to learn about how policy making and campaigning goes, and I hope the Scottish Government continues to involve community members so our voices can be truly heard. 

You can find LGBT Youth Scotland's response including links to the recommendations and Scottish Governments publication here.

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