Transgender Green candidate: There’s a woeful lack of trans politicians

PinkNews logo on a pink background surrounded by illustrated line drawings of a rainbow, pride flag, unicorn and more.

A transgender parliamentary candidate for the Green party has spoken about the challenges of running for office.

Labour PPC Emily Brothers – who is standing for Parliament in Sutton and Cheam – made history within the Labour party this week when she opened up about being transgender.

However, she will not be the only openly trans candidate in 2015 – with a number standing for minor parties.

Campaigner Charlie Kiss, 49, is one of two trans candidates selected by the Green Party, and is standing in Islington South and Finsbury. A second trans Green candidate, Stella Gardiner, is standing in Bexleyheath and Crayford.

Mr Kiss – who transitioned to male over a decade ago – will have an uphill climb, as the Greens received just 710 votes in the constituency in 2010, losing the party’s deposit.

He told PinkNews in a release: “It seems that I am another first for the Green Party, which is to be the first trans man to stand for the UK parliament.

“However, this and the small number of women in parliament is woefully inadequate and not something for our country to be proud of. I remain committed to the feminist cause.

“[When I ran in local elections] I thought it was better to be upfront about it, so I explained that I had transitioned from female to male on all the election leaflets that were delivered. LGBT struggles are close to my heart and I will always support equality for all.

“The Green Party recognises the importance of being inclusive and consistently strives to improve the gender imbalance in representative politics.

“Our leadership voted in by the membership demonstrates this. Brighton council, a minority Green Party run council has excelled in its work for the local LGBT community and especially with the local trans community, carrying out consultations and making changes.

“For example it has commenced trans swimming sessions and allows people to use different titles on forms which is very helpful especially when transitioning.”

He added: “I recognise that home affordability, homelessness, low pay, discrimination and mental illness are all serious issues affecting many non LGBT people, but LGBT people, and especially trans and gender variant people, suffer these in disproportionate numbers.”

Islington is also home to Osh Gantly, an openly trans Labour councillor.