YOU have given Stuart Waiton a debating platform in your pages to air his complaint that views like his on transgender issues can get no debating platform (“Why is the state pushing a harmful transgender agenda?”, The Herald, September 29). Yet he brings nothing to the debate except inaccurate and damaging stereotypes.

With no evidence at all, he claims it is “harmful” to allow transgender people to be themselves and he squeezes breezily past the ever-accumulating mountain of evidence that repressing, othering, and outgrouping them harms them up to the point of suicide.

With no evidence at all, he perpetuates the myth that being transgender is a “confusing” ideology imposed on young people from outside. This leaves me wondering whether Mr Waiton actually knows any transgender people. As he could discover at once if he bothered to talk to us, our experience is uniformly that being transgender is just the way we’re made. External influences do not make us transgender. We’re born that way. All society can do is choose whether to treat us fairly or prejudicially.

So what are his positive proposals for the treatment of the young transgender people whose supposed “confusion” so exercises him? For example, what advice would he offer teenage girls who are undergoing the profound and dislocating trauma of gender dysphoria, beyond telling them, as he does, that they’re self-absorbed?

Stuart Waiton seems to think that airing his prejudices against transgender people is an amusing game of bait-the-liberal-elite. Those of us who actually know transgender people, or are transgender ourselves, know the profound damage and distress that falsehoods cause to vulnerable and very far from elite people, every time they are repeated.

Dr Sophie Grace Chappell,

Professor of Philosophy, The Open University,

Visiting Research Fellow, University of St Andrews,

Governor and ethical adviser, The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

IT was with sadness and frustration that I read in the anti-trans opinion piece by Stuart Waiton. He shows a complete lack of knowledge about the realities of being trans in Scotland.

I have known I’m trans since I was very young but I am still yet to start medical transition at 27. Pressure and abuse from people who didn’t want me to transition has been utter hell. Finally being myself is amazingly freeing and I wish I’d done it sooner for the sake of my family and me.

Society is filled with toxic gender stereotypes and discrimination. Like many trans people, I challenge gender stereotypes every day to show my family that this isn’t the reality we have to live with.

I want all possible combinations of femininity, masculinity, gender identity and physical sex characteristics to be equally valued. It is ridiculous to blame or demonize trans people. Only by everyone working together can we make Scotland a safe, inclusive and equal country.

Alex Robin Gardner,

Magdalene Drive, Edinburgh.

STUART Waiton’s opinion piece suggests he has not bothered to listen to trans teenagers. Four years ago, I came out as trans at 15 because I finally had the confidence to say how I’d always experienced myself. Although it’s been scary because of ignorant reactions, ultimately transitioning has been really good for me.

Trans teenagers are not making risky, rushed decisions; we undertake huge amounts of careful thought and in-depth discussion about our past, present and future. We spend years on waiting lists before we get NHS support.

It is good that young trans men like me are now coming out rather than suffering alone. What is bad is that public hostility against trans women is still forcing many young trans women to stay hidden in fear.

Kaden Stewart,

Station Road, Thornton.