Emily Brothers, a Labour Parliamentary Candidate, has come out as transgender in an interview this week. She is the first openly trans parliamentary candidate in the UK.
Brothers – who is standing for Parliament in Sutton and Cheam – has revealed the details of her life as a trans woman in an exclusive interview.
Brothers lost her sight to glaucoma as a child and has been key in acquiring the Disability Living Allowance for blind UK citizens.
In an interview with PinkNews, Brothers revealed why she felt the need to open up about her transition. She said, “I recognise that as a politician the key thing is trust. We have a situation in Britain where politicians have been losing trust with people, and if I’m not honest about my life experience people may be critical of me being secretive.”
Brothers also told Pinknews that she understands the importance of her role in parliament, “There is vast under-representation of disabled people and people with transgender experience in public life, and there is of course vast under-representation of women in parliament, and that needs to change. That mean people like me stepping forward, and some people will find that difficult.”
She explained how there are key issues which overlap between the transgender and disabled communities, saying, “Of course there are disabled people who experience hate crime, particularly people with learning disabilities, and there are many people with a transgender experience who experience hate crime, bullying and harassment. […] There are some common issues about institutional discrimination, and issues about attitude, and often its people’s misconceptions, not understanding, and their prejudice about people who are different.”
In the UK, there have previously been openly transgender councillors, along with Nicky Sinclair who represented UKIP at the European Parliament. However, this is believed to be the first time a Parliamentary Candidate has come out as transgender of their own volition, without being outed.
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