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First out trans candidate stands for election in all Ireland

Morenike Adebayo January 14, 2016
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Activist Ellen Murray has officially announced her candidacy for the Green Party elections in Belfast in May this year, making history as the first openly transgender candidate to stand in all Ireland.

Ellen Murray, 22, will stand for the Green Party in West Belfast in May’s Stormont Assembly poll.

She has already said she hopes to give a voice to women, young people and the LGBT community.

Murray said: “I am standing for election because I believe that our political system, which impinges on every aspect of our lives, should be accessible to everyone.”

In doing so, Murray becomes the first out trans candidate to stand for election in either Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland.

Ms Murray added: “Almost two decades after the Good Friday Agreement, West Belfast is still one of the most deprived and disadvantaged areas in Western Europe, in part due to the wasteful zero sum politics at Stormont by the Executive parties.

“The Fresh Start agreement has exacerbated this by cutting welfare and benefits while gifting tax cuts to corporations, something which, as a social justice campaigner, I strongly oppose.”

An activist, she has spent years working with young people.

“I will support campaigns to introduce abortion law reform, and provide LGBTQ people with equal rights and respect under the law.

“I will work to ensure that the health service is given the support it needs, especially in mental healthcare. I will also press to develop a kinder and more compassionate welfare state to ensure a comfortable and dignified life for everyone.

“I aim to address the transport poverty experienced by many within the constituency, and enable people to travel safely and cheaply throughout Belfast via public transport, walking and cycling.”

Currently held by Sinn Fein, West Belfast has a history of candidates campaigning on a number of issues.

Murray also added that she wanted to “ensure a comfortable and dignified life for everyone” with her policies focussing on mental health, equal rights and, transportation within the constituency of West Belfast.

Northern Ireland Green Party leader Steven Agnew noted Ms Murray’s campaign for candidacy as “fantastic”, and also stated that he is “…proud to be part of a party that is open and welcoming to all, culminating in Ellen’s selection by the grassroots membership in west Belfast.”

Other notable openly transgender political candidates include Anna Grodzka in Poland and Vladimir Luxuria in Italy, who both were successfully elected as MPs in their respective countries.

Last year Emily Brothers – who was a key figure in securing Disability Living Allowance for blind people – came out as transgender in an interview with PinkNews, but she failed to be elected in May’s general election.

Related topics: Europe, Ireland

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