Eddie Izzard isn’t interested in being ‘first’ anything: ‘I’m following in the footsteps of greats’

Eddie Izzard

Eddie Izzard wants to be judged by what she can “add to the human existence”.

The comedian and actor has launched her bid to become the Labour candidate for Sheffield Central in the next general election.

If she ends up winning the nomination, and the seat, she will become the party’s first trans MP – and she’ll also be the first person elected to parliament as openly trans (Tory MP Jamie Wallis came out as trans while in office).

But Eddie Izzard isn’t interested in firsts – she’s more interested in talking about what she can do for the people of Sheffield.

“If you track back people who are the first, that’s not necessarily the key thing, it’s more that it encourages other people to come forward and other trans MPs [will follow],” Izzard told PinkNews.

She points to Georgina Beyer, the trans New Zealand MP, as an example of somebody who has inspired others.

“I’m following in the footsteps of great people who have already done hard work.”

Eddie Izzard, comedian and political activis

Eddie Izzard, comedian and political activist. (Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

“Again, I mention Obama – he wasn’t there to be an African American president, he was there to be a president that happened to be African American.”

She wants to be judged by what she can “add to the human existence” – not by her gender.

“[There’s been] a lot of fighting down the centuries, down the millennia, to get where we are, but now it’s, how do we push forward? How do we make other people’s lives better?”

Eddie Izzard pays tribute to LGBTQ+ trailblazers

Izzard also pays tribute to queer people from all walks of life who have been fighting since the ’60s to advance LGBTQ+ rights.

“I must say a salute to all the gay and lesbian community and all queer people from the ’60s who pushed hard,” she says.

“Because when I came out in ’85 as trans, I could look mostly to gay and lesbian cousins doing great work and being positive, so I thought, I’ve got to come out, I’ve got to do this, to help bring the ‘T’ in LGBTQ,” she says.

“It’s wonderful to have people to follow.”