Transgender Politicians

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On the front lines of LGBTQ activism when it comes to transgender rights and recognition, transgender politicians are important members of the community. Often these individuals have been the first LGBTQ elected candidates in their country.

It is notable that transgender politicians are located in many countries around the world. What is particularly notable is their presence in many smaller and less-developed countries. Often, these countries are hostile to LGBTQ rights (usually based on religious belief) yet they have elected or appointed transgender individuals to public political office. It is equally interesting to note the large number of transgender politicians active in politics at the local community level - an indication of the greater acceptance based on their contribution to local issues.

Each of the transgender politicians we have identified is (or has been) an active leader within their local LGBTQ community. They have been involved as an activist, lawyer, business person, in education, or the advancement of minority rights.

Visibility of the transgender community has greatly increased over the past few years. There has also been a corresponding increase in the participation of transgender individuals in politics. A study at the University of North Carolina in 2015 found that transgender and gender variant candidates from 30 countries had run in just over 200 races since 1977. Forty-eight candidates were elected, and with re-elections they won 72 times. In 2015, there were twenty transgender individuals in elected office.

The challenge for a transgender candidate is the amount of violence and abuse aimed at the community. It takes a truly brave and forceful individual to accept this situation and publicly run for elected office.

The payoff for the community, however, is material. Having a transgender individual in elected office gives that individual a tremendous opportunity to reflect the capability and competency of the community to hold office.

We have been able to identify transgender politicians from France, Italy, Chile, Peru, India, the Philippines, Germany, Malaysia, Belgium, New Zealand, Canada, Thailand, the United States, Venezuela, Poland, Uruguay, Japan, Sri Lanka, Japan, Cuba, and Great Britain. Simply click on their names to read their fascinating biographies:

Belgium

Canada

Chile

Cuba

France

Germany

Great Britain

India

Italy

Japan

Malaysia

New Zealand

Peru

Philippines

Poland

Spain

Sri Lanka

Thailand

United States

Uruguay

Venezuela

See Also

Further Reading/Research


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