Labour’s first trans candidate to undergo heart surgery
The first transgender candidate to stand for the Labour party has been admitted to hospital for heart surgery, less than a fortnight after she lost out on her seat.
Former Labour candidate Emily Brothers – who is blind and was a key figure in securing Disability Living Allowance for blind people – came out as transgender in an interview with PinkNews last year.
The ground-breaking candidate failed in her bid to be elected this month, receiving 11% of the vote in Sutton and Cheam, as the formerly Lib Dem seat fell to the Conservatives.
Despite not winning the seat, she increased the party’s support by 4.3% in the constituency compared to 2010.
Ms Brothers has today been admitted to St George’s Hospital, London for triple heart bypass surgery, after being diagnosed with Coronary Heart Disease.
She said: “I had been finding things increasingly difficult, but put that down to hard work and a loss of fitness.
“It was a routine health check that picked up a potential problem, leading to further investigations.
“That’s why it is so important for people to monitor their health and get checked out from time to time.
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“I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life, so don’t fit the typical profile of somebody with a serious heart condition.”
She added: “Just weeks after ‘coming out’ I found out about the seriousness of my condition. I felt a great sense of responsibility not to fail at the first hurdle.
“I did contemplate withdrawing from the election campaign – perhaps for a moment.
“My focus and drive isn’t very susceptible to diversion, so I pushed on with my sense of ambition and stuck at the task of representing the interests of hardworking and aspiring people.”
Ms Brothers continued: “My political opponents in Sutton need to understand that I’ll be back fitter than ever and ready to fight for a better future. I still have much to do in advancing the causes for which I feel passionate about, both locally and nationally.
“Whatever happens from here, I hope my political journey will prove a footprint for those who may follow.”