Non-binary equality action plan: easy read

The actions we will take to improve equality and bring about real, positive and lasting change to the lives of non-binary people in Scotland.

Non-binary equality action plan - Easy Read

What is non-binary?

A non-binary person is someone who does not see themselves as a man or a woman.

They might see themselves as:

  • between a man or a woman
  • change between the two
  • or have no gender

Gender means if someone sees themselves as male or female or in a different way.

Trans or transgender are people who feel that the body they were born into is not right for them.

This means they may want to change from being a man to a woman, or from a woman to a man.

Equality means treating people fairly and giving people the same choices and chances.

Our vision – what we want to see

We want Scotland to be a place where:

  • everybody is treated well by others and lives happily
  • everyone’s identity is respected

Your identity is how you see yourself.

We know that non-binary people face a lot of difficulties and we want to make this better.

The Non-Binary Equality Action Plan for 2023 to 2028 says what work we will do in the next 5 years to improve equality for non-binary people.


In 2022 the people in the Working Group on Non-Binary Equality gave us their recommendations on how to improve the lives of non-binary people.

A recommendation is what they think should happen.

Improve means to make it better.

The working group included:

  • non-binary people
  • academics – people who teach in universities
  • people from LGBTQI+ equality organisations

LGBTQI+ means people who are:

  • lesbian
  • gay
  • bisexual
  • transgender
  • queer
  • intersex
  • + means people who feel part of the LGBTQI community but are not listed above

This action plan says how we will make these changes.

We are working to improve the lives of non-binary people in other ways including work on:

  • hate crime
  • mental health
  • inclusive education – making sure all pupils can take part in learning, and have the same choices and chances as everyone else

Understanding the action plan

The action plan shows:

Actions: the work we will do to make the recommendations happen

Impact: what we think the results of the action will be

Partners: who we will work with

Timescales: when the work will happen

The action plan has 6 themes covering some of the most important issues for non-binary people.

An issue is a subject or problem that people are thinking and talking about.

Theme 1: Taking part when decisions are made

We will make it easier for people to work with us on things that are important to them.

We will write guidance about:

  • paying people to take part in projects
  • making it better for people taking part

Theme 2: Healthcare

We want to make healthcare services better for non-binary people.

People who work in healthcare should understand the difficulties that trans and non-binary people face.

This covers:

  • gender identity healthcare – this means medical care which helps people who are feeling worried or sad about their gender identity

Gender identity means if someone sees themselves as male, female or in a different way.

  • mental health and healthcare in the community for example at a GP practice
  • fertility preservation – this means storing human eggs, sperm and sometimes embryos so that a person can use them in the future to have a child

An embryo is the very first weeks of a baby developing.

Our Strategic Action Framework will improve the way that people get health care about their gender identity.

A framework is a plan or set of rules for deciding how work will happen.

This is an important part of our work to improve equality for non-binary people.

Theme 3: The law, guidance and getting services

We will write guidance on how to change your name in Scotland.

We will keep writing laws using gender-neutral words.

Gender-neutral words like ‘they’ or ‘person’ do not say if someone is male or female.

They work for everyone.

We must make sure that public services work well for non-binary people.

Public services are services we all use like schools, hospitals and councils.

Theme 4: Data and research

Data is facts, figures and information.

Research means getting data.

We need more information about non-binary people and the difficulties that they face.

This will help us to make better decisions on issues that affect non-binary people.

We will do research to:

  • get more information about non-binary people’s lives
  • understand what affect it will have if the law changes to recognise non-binary as a legal sex
  • understand the difficulties non-binary people face when using public buildings, including sport and leisure centres

Theme 5: Children and young people

School can be difficult for non-binary people.

We will make sure that LGBT inclusive education gives non-binary people what they need.

LGBT inclusive education means including LGBT people and history in what pupils learn at school so that:

  • learners understand that LGBT people are an equal part of our society
  • LGBT young people feel included
  • pupils are encouraged to have respect for everyone

We will make sure that children and young people can discuss our project called Bairns’ Hoose with us.

Bairns’ Hoose brings together justice, health, social work and recovery services in one place, to support children who:

  • are victims of violence and abuse
  • have seen violence or abuse happen to someone else

Theme 6: Sport

We know that taking part in sport as a non-binary person can be difficult.

We will work with people that deliver sport services to make the services more inclusive.

What happens next?

We will make a report every year that shows what work we have done on the actions in the plan.



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