Disabled Trans Candidate On Brink Of Making History
By: Emily Brothers
Blind and hard of hearing, having gone through gender transition over a decade ago, Emily Brothers said:
"I would not be the person I am today but for my roots in Liverpool. It's about hospitals, picket lines, disability, gender transition, equalities and taking on the Murdoch press.
"I lived on Kremlin Drive, Stoneycroft in early childhood, educated for ten years at St Vincent's School on Yew Tree Lane and was a very regular patient at Alder Hey Children's Hospital due to sight loss. I moved to study, work, bring up a family and campaign in London. After a fulfilling career championing equality and human rights, it is now time to come home to West Derby.
"I know how tough life is for families under Tory austerity. As a disabled person living on benefits, I struggle financially like so many people in West Derby. With a deprivation rate of 48.9% across West Derby (rising to 71.4% in Tuebrook & Stoneycroft and 85.7% in Norris Green) proactive action is needed to transform our economy. That's why I want to make a difference through effective casework and advocating for policy change based on fairness.
"The impact of discrimination is familiar to me as a disabled woman who has gone through gender transition. I stood up to The Sun when it ridiculed me for being blind and transgender. I took action to win a landmark ruling forcing an apology. Support from the public and wider media was overwhelming, not least from Liverpudlians. With this experience, I lobby for independent press regulation to stop prejudice and intrusion."
The 55 year old parent of two adult children came out as Labour's first ever trans parliamentary candidate whilst she contested Sutton and Cheam at the 2015 General Election. Whilst Labour's vote increased by 4.2%, it was not considered winnable. Liverpool West Derby is widely considered a safe Labour seat, so her prospects of making history by being the first trans MP are much greater here.
Emily Brothers has spoken and written widely about feeling isolated over her gender identity whilst growing up in West Derby. In a return visit to St Vincent's School this week after 38 years, Ms Brothers acknowledge the culture and accessibility to information and support for young people has transformed. She is more hopeful that a young trans person would be able to express their feeling more freely today.