Trans politicians standing for election: May 2016 edition

Each April, I compile a list of openly trans politicians standing for election in the UK. This year, elections involve a number of local councils as well as devolved Assembly, London Assembly and Police and Crime Commissioner elections. The returning officers have almost all now declared who is to on the ballot, so it’s time to publish the list.

The current situation is that there are two out, full-time trans people holding publicly elected office at a principal local authority level or higher: I sit on Cambridge City Council for the Liberal Democrats, and Zoë Kirk-Robinson on Bolton City Council for the Conservatives. Having one or two out, elected politicians is something that has been maintained almost continuously for the last 15 years, mostly in Cambridge, with Jennifer Liddle, Jenny Bailey, Sarah Brown and (briefly, after she came out) Nikki Sinclaire as an MEP.

I have no local knowledge in any of the seats up for election, but based on past results most people listed below do not appear to be starting from particularly enviable positions. The exception to this is Anwen Muston, whose East Park Ward seat appears to be a Labour stronghold. Unless something unexpected happens in Wolverhampton, it seems likely that we will reach a new peak of three simultaneously out, elected politicians.

Also on the positive side, we have the first non-binary person standing for election – Anna Crow – that I know of. Courtesy of excessive gatekeeping and paperwork in the UK, name changes have made it easy to decide who to include in a binary or mostly-binary-identified list and helped filter out people who cross-dressed once and it made the paper. (On that basis, I’d have had to include sitting MPs in previous lists) That method doesn’t apply so well for non-binary identified people and the problem of spurious press articles and tenuous claims-to-fame seems less likely so for now at least self-declaration is sufficient for listing.

But there are still problem – everyone listed here is white and in seven of eight cases, a binary-presenting trans woman. Although much progress has been made, there is still a relative lack of diverse political representation within the trans community – a problem that likely stems from a general lack of BAME (in particular) representation in national politics.

Update, 28th April 2016: I have now added a second non-binary person, Maria Munir, who came out when asking a televised question to US President Obama. Maria is also BAME, which means that although we are a long way from properly diverse representation, it is at least a step in the right direction.
Update, 4th May 2016: There are now three non-binary people listed below!

Please do let me know if you know of someone who I have missed, as word-of-mouth is about the only way to find out who is standing – political party HQs are generally busy running elections and do not collect diversity statistics on candidates. But I must be able to verify (Either news articles or public statements by the candidate) that they are publicly out or have been outed to the point of no return, i.e. not just rumours. Every time I do this, at least one person emails me to tell me about one of a councillor who is not out – there are far more trans people in politics than most people realise.

(Binary, or predominantly IDs as such)
Northern Ireland Assembly
Green Party Northern Ireland Ellen Murray
West Belfast party list, sole GPNI candidate [source]
2011 party result: Did not stand. [source]
Scottish Parliament
No known candidates
(But see below under non-binary)
National Assembly for Wales
No known candidates
Police & Crime Commissioner
No known candidates
London Assembly
Labour Emily Brothers
London-wide party list, 9th of 11 [source]
2012 party result: 4 of 11 list members elected [source]
Principal Local Authority
Liberal Democrats Helen Belcher
Wokingham Borough Council, Evendons Ward [source]
2015 party result: 2nd place, 20.4%. (1st place: 50.5%) [source]
Green Party Aimee Challenor
Coventry City Council, St Michael’s Ward [source]
2015 party result: 5th place, 6.4% [source]
Liberal Democrats Jane Fae
North Hertfordshire District Council, Letchworth East Ward [source]
2014 party result: Did not stand. [source]
Conservatives Jennifer Kirk
Bolton City Council, Tonge with the Haulgh Ward [source]
2015 party result: 2nd, 18.3%. (1st place: 42.9%) [source]
Labour Anwen Muston
Wolverhampton, East Park Ward [source]
2015 party result: 1st, 51.9%. (2nd place: 23.7%) [source]
Northern Ireland Assembly
No known candidates
Scottish Parliament
Scottish Greens Anna Crow (IDs as non-binary, see this article)
Glasgow party list, 9th of 9 (Not yet officially confirmed)
2011 party result: 1 of 9 list candidates elected [source]
Police & Crime Commissioner
No known candidates
London Assembly
No known candidates
Principal Local Authority
Liberal Democrats Henry Foulds (IDs as non-binary, see this tweet)
Amber Valley Borough Council, Alfreton Ward [source]
2015 party result: 4th place, 3.4% [source]
Liberal Democrats Maria Munir (IDs as non-binary, see this article)
Watford Borough Council, Vicarage Ward [source]
2015 party result: 3rd place, 14.7% [source]

1 comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.