Palinee “Pauline” Ngarmpring announced on Friday (8 February) that she has been nominated as one of the Mahachon Party’s three candidates for Prime Minister, marking the first time in Thai history that a transgender person has run for the prime ministerial office.
On Saturday (9 February), Pauline posted a status on her Facebook page:
“Whoever you are, if you are a Thai citizen with equal rights, you have the right to vote and to run for office, and to be criticized. Yes, I am transgender—people call me “kathoei” behind my back—but I would like to exercise my rights as a Thai citizen to use my experience, knowledge, ability, and outside-the-box thinking to help release Thailand from the trap of egoism and to move towards maximum equality for all.
“The road is long, but if we don’t start today, our children who may be transgender, who may be gay, who may be male or female, who may be people who don’t know themselves and don’t know their rights…
“If we don’t start today, how will the next generation have equality?.
“Call me names. Mock me. But don’t forget that we are all equal.”
Of the 69 candidates for Prime Minister, 61 are men and 7 are women. Pauline is the only transgender candidate. If she is elected, Pauline will also become the world’s first transgender Prime Minister.