THANK you, Mark Smith, for "explaining" the rainbow flag ("A ban on the LGBT rainbow: how did Scotland get here?", The Herald, March 23). But those of us who have been involved in LGBT equality campaigning for decades know that the facts are different.

The flag has always meant LGBT equality, not just LGB equality. And that solidarity is real. UK research by YouGov a few months ago found that two-thirds of lesbians feel very positively about trans people, and a further 16% feel positively, making 84% in total. Only a tiny 3% feel very negatively and 3% negatively (the remaining 10% were neutral). The vast majority of LGB people support trans equality and inclusion, and trans people have always been an integral part of the struggles for LGB equality too.

Here's another fact: change is difficult. It worries people; people have concerns about what it will mean. It has always been like that, and it's the main reason why it was so hard to get an equal age of consent for gay and bi men, repeal of section 28, civil partnership, equal marriage, and, yes, gender recognition for some trans people in 2004. I know how hard it was: I was involved in all those campaigns and more, as were my trans colleagues. Looking back, these may seem obvious and easy changes to make, but all of them were just as contested as the Gender Recognition Reform Bill is now.

It so happens that fully workable gender recognition laws, like many other European countries already have, and like Holyrood passed 15 months ago, are just the latest front on which the struggle for LGBT equality is being waged. There is nothing new about it being a difficult struggle; we've seen it all before.

It will take time; it always does, and along the way there will be rows over the likes of rainbow lanyards. But we will get there, as we did with the previous legal changes, and then people will wonder what all the fuss was about.

Tim Hopkins, Edinburgh.

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Time to move on from GSA

IT is, of course, regrettable that the Art School building is not being replaced (Scotland's '£100m national disgrace'", The Herald, March 25) but is it a disaster? It would be great to keep it and maintain it but it is gone now and we need to move on. It would, if restored, be a building that only a few could see in detail with most viewing the façade in a narrow dark street.

There seems to be a strange reverence paid to inanimate objects.

Take the furore over the Stone of Destiny and the bit that fell off. If my memory serves correctly there is an oft-published black and white picture of the stone being moved being led by a minister in full cassock etc. Graven images and all that ... it's a lump of rock that if it were dropped in a bog would disappear and not be worried about again. Is the king less a king if he didn't sit on a bit of stone?

It is that same with the Art School. It was an unfortunate accident that it was burned down (twice) but it is still a lump of stone. We could build something equally iconic in a more prominent place that could house a Charles Rennie Mackintosh remembrance room (another one).

Let's move on.

Ken Mackay, Glasgow.

The site of shame

YOUR coverage of the Glasgow School of Art scandal omits an important aspect of the story, namely the neglect of an adequate provision of precautionary fire prevention system in the Mackintosh building as a result of a focus on the commissioning of a £50 million neighbouring glass structure by the fashionable "luminist-phenomenologist" American architect Sephen Holl.

The so-called Reid Building replaced the 1960s Foulis Building and Newberry Tower. These were functional, rather than beautiful, though the latter was considered for listing in 2006. Holl's outrageously a-contextual glass palace was paid for by the Scottish Funding Council - a decision which should of course be investigated, but this being Scotland, obviously won't be.

I recall having an interesting chat with GSA alumnus the late John Byrne, shortly after the second fire. His view was that the Mack's footprint should become a memorial garden, with a few stone fragments of his old art school left on display to identify it as "a site of shame".

David J Black, Edinburgh.

The Herald: The Glasgow School of Art after the first fireThe Glasgow School of Art after the first fire (Image: PA)

Bad form, people

THE request for supplementary information on forms, as illustrated by Jim McAdam's letter (March 23) struck a chord.

Last week it was decided that a visit to the local medical centre by myself might be beneficial.

The usual trying difficulties to communicate by telephone were rejected, and I was strongly advised to go online and provide an account as to why I thought I required medical attention.

The online form was fairly long and detailed. The penultimate question however had me furring my brow as to how to reply. The question was: "What else is worrying you?". After a few moments, in order to get some cogent answers I finally wrote: "The state of the world, climate change, and the personal level of taxation to which I am subjected."

I am now in a high state of mental anxiety, which I was not in before I was asked to fill in the pro forma, as to whether I am going to be told to seek another medical centre, possibly with a resident psychiatrist.

Robin Johnston, Newton Mearns.

A plague on both their houses

REGARDING Helen McArdle's article ("Is the dog really man’s best friend, or could it in fact be the cat?", The Herald, March 22): I have an otherwise very pleasant neighbour whose cat does his business in our garden. I frequently face difficulties with entitled dog owners whose untrained and off-the-lead pooches run riot on cycle paths. A group of us even got stopped by two untrained Alsatians on a black downhill run at Fort William.

I’ve had pals bitten on cycle runs. Otherwise-normal adults allow their dogs/children substitutes to sit up on seats and drool over tables in dog-friendly pubs and cafes.

Both are bad for my health and I don’t own one.

Angus MacEachran, Aberdeen.

Subtle difference

ANDREW Robertson's references (Letters, March 25) to "ironic" and "iconic" illustrate the difference a letter can make.

Oscar Wilde wrote that some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.

David Miller, Milngavie.