“WE are way behind LGB,” says Jeremy Farmer in our feature on pages eight and nine today, ‘”The T is forgotten about.”

We couldn’t agree more. Swindon’s transgender community highlight a very real issue which demands very real answers.

Following years of campaigning, often in the face of horrific bigotry and hatred, gay people have lately seen some long overdue changes in the law.

Chief among these are in the realms of partnership and marriage, where rights of togetherness and mutual protection previously only allowed to heterosexual couples have been extended to same-sex couples.

Transgender people still enjoy no such privileges. The powers that be continue to insist that a person must officially be classified as belonging to the gender associated with the physical traits they were born with.

This flies in the face of both common sense and well-established evidence that a person’s true gender is the one to which they instinctively belong.

Transgender people also often suffer abuse from the ignorant, and are sometimes the butt of ‘jokes’ the tellers wouldn’t dare make about other groups for fear of being rightly scorned and shunned.

It is to be hoped that with the raising of the profile of transgender people, both in Swindon and elsewhere, progress can be made by society as a whole.

There will always be dolts and hateful people, but society at large is a different matter, especially when it can put real faces and real voices to people it may previously have only thought of as part of some abstract concept.