BGSU students speak on LGBTQ+ Rights around the world

Maddie O’Halloran, Reporter

Britain’s government recently moved to block a Scottish bill making gender change more accessible for their citizens, according to a New York Times article published Jan. 16. At Bowling Green State University, students across campus, as well as many individuals involved in the LGBTQ+ community, are speaking up about what this could mean for the community as a whole.

The bill was approved by the Scottish parliament as a way to make gender transition more accessible but was blocked by London.

Scotland’s reforms included allowing individuals ages 16 and older to be able to file for a new birth certificate with the gender they identify as, without the need of a medical diagnosis.

BGSU Junior and Design and Technical Theater major, Rowan Rozzi, who is currently in the process of a gender transition, discussed how he feels about the block and what he thinks this could mean for the LGBTQ+ community on a global level.

“We keep walking backwards,” said Rozzi. “We take one step forward and three steps back. I feel like the action that the UK parliament took, took us backwards.”

The British government stated their reasoning for the block being that they feel it is unfair that people in Scotland would have access to these new changes, and people in England would not, citing the equalities legislation in effect for 25 years.

“It perpetuates transphobic ideas in society and in government,” said Rozzi. “It’s really aggravating, but it is also not surprising, and the fact that it is not surprising is a part of the problem.”

However, some BGSU students feel as if Scotland should take the focus off transgender individuals in their politics.

Sophomore and Inclusive Early Childhood Education major, Madison Brehm, discussed her opinions regarding the recent block from London.

“I think Scotland should focus on being inclusive to all LGBTQ+ people within its laws, without adding the push for gender change into politics,” said Brehm.

Brehm also added how she feels transgender ideals are being pushed onto society, sometimes in a negative way.

“I do believe the reason people feel the need to change their gender is because of society’s push of gender stereotypes and making people feel uncomfortable if they don’t match everything their gender is ‘supposed to do’,” said Brehm.

But other BGSU students still feel as if this is a recurring problem and keeps happening.

BGSU Junior and Communication Major, Savannah Sheely, gave her opinion on the block from London, saying the parliament’s decision is unfair to the rest of Great Britain.

“I think that the vote to block it is interesting because if they believe it is unfair that the rest of Great Britain does not have it, then they need to work towards getting that,” said Sheely.

According to the New York Time’s article, Scotland’s government and its supporters are likely to take this block from London as another reason to push for Scotland’s independence, something that has come into question a few times since it was last voted on in 2014.

Although BGSU is almost 4,000 miles away from Scotland, many BGSU students still feel as if these are issues the world has not been able to get away from, and many are hoping for it to come to an end.

“My right to exist as a person should not be up for political debate. It should not be up for debate, period. My existence should not be a political issue,” said Rozzi.