North’s first transgender election candidate bids for Assembly seat

Green Party candidate in west Belfast Ellen Murray (22) will campaign on equality issues

 Ellen Murray:   “As a young, queer, trans woman, I hope that standing for election as an MLA will offer choice and hope for those who need it most.”

Ellen Murray: “As a young, queer, trans woman, I hope that standing for election as an MLA will offer choice and hope for those who need it most.”

 

Belfast woman Ellen Murray has made history by becoming the first transgender person to stand for election in Northern Ireland.

The 22-year-old confirmed yesterday she is standing for the Green Party in west Belfast in the North’s Assembly election in May.

The Sail NI director, Gender Jam chairwoman and LGBTQ activist is understood to be the first openly transgender person to stand for election on the island of Ireland.

“I am delighted and excited to put my name forward as a Green Party candidate in the upcoming Assembly election,” Ms Murray said.

“Having spent a number of years working with marginalised young people, I believe the time is right for change in Northern Ireland, to bring about equality for all.

“There is clear under-representation of many groups within the Assembly, including women, young people and the LGBTQ community. I will give a voice to those who need it most.”

Ms Murray explained she was standing for election because she believed the political system in the North impinged on every aspect of our lives and “should be accessible to everyone”.

“As a young, queer, trans woman, I hope that standing for election as an MLA will offer choice and hope for those who need it most.

“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.”

Ms Murray said she would be “a champion for those who feel marginalised within west Belfast, including young people, people on low incomes, women and the LGBTQ community”.

Northern Ireland Green Party leader Steven Agnew MLA said: “I am 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.”