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Transgender Labour candidate Emily Brothers reveals past suicide attempt

Nick Duffy January 3, 2015

Labour candidate Emily Brothers has revealed that she once attempted to take her own life because of her gender.

Ms Brothers – who was a key figure in securing Disability Living Allowance for blind people – came out as transgender in an interview with PinkNews last month.

In a historic first for the Labour party, she will run to become an MP in Sutton and Cheam.

Speaking to the Guardian this week, she opened up about a time in 2006, after she had begun to transition to female, that she tried to drown herself.

She said: “I thought: don’t be ridiculous, no one will ever think you’re a woman, you can’t pass as a woman. I didn’t want to become some sort of point of ridicule for people to poke fun at.

“And one night in December 2006 I was walking home along the sea front in the early hours of the morning, wearing men’s clothes. There was nobody around, and I walked down to the beach and walked into the sea.

“If it had been a rough sea that night, a rough tide … I don’t think I had the physical strength to have fought it.

“I was fully dressed in the sea, up to my neck, but I didn’t quite have the courage to let go. And I stood there for ages.

“It was freezing, but I didn’t feel cold. And then something brought me back. I think it was probably my children. Thinking of my children.”

“And I remember thinking that it was just a shambles, but if I couldn’t take my own life, I had to face up to it. I went back up the cliff top, back to the house. And it was sort of – I can’t live like this.

“I was upset, I was angry, I hated it. I took the clothes off – I hated them. It’s a symbol of something I don’t want to be.

“This isn’t me. I threw them in the bin. I just threw the clothes away. And after that, I was increasingly living as Emily.”

Last week, transgender teen Leelah Alcorn’s suicide sparked outrage, after an online note emerged in which she criticized her parents for not accepting her gender.

More: candidate, Ed Miliband, Emily Brothers, Gay, Labour, lesbian, Politics, suicide, Trans, Transgender

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