First Transgender Woman Running for Thai Prime Minister

Pauline Ngarmpring, via Facebook

Pauline Ngarmpring, a 49 year-old transgender woman, is running for Thai prime minister, three years after she transitioned.

Ngarmpring is not expected to be a front runner in the race, according to Openly News, but the LGBT community is hoping her run will help focus attention on the challenges they go through. Ngarmpring hopes her campaign will inspire young women and LGBT people.

"Her candidacy is significant because she is challenging the traditional norms of gender and sexuality," Anjana Suvarnanda of the Anjaree Group, an LGBT+ rights organization told Reuters. "While we have had LGBT people in Thai politics before, no one has asserted their LGBT identity in such a public manner, and there has been no public discussion with such a positive approach."

There are 20 other LGBT candidates running in the Thai elections.