“I’m confident that my experience and ability will be useful in the development of Nan,” Yonlada “Kirkkong” Suanyos, 30, said yesterday.
This is the first time a transgender has run for a political post at the provincial level. Although she is a new face in politics, she is famous as president of the Trans Female Association of Thailand.
For many years, she has campaigned for the rights of trans-females. The PhD candidate owns a jewellery business and runs a satellite television station.
Last year, she was named by a media organisation as one of the most influential women in Thai society.
“I believe transgenders and homosexuals will support me,” she said.
After undergoing a sex-change operation at the age of 16, she is physically a woman but her official documents give her title as “Mr”.
Some entertainment personalities have encouraged Yonlada’s campaign for the Nan councillor post.
Pongthorn Chalearn, a project coordinator for the M Plus Foundation, said Yonlada’s presence in the Nan poll would enhance political diversity.
“Men have long dominated the country’s politics,” he said.
She would have a good chance of winning because she has solid support in the northern province, he said. Her mother used to be the head of the Ban Suan Tan community.
Yonlada is contesting as candidate “No 1″ in Constituency 1 in Tambon Nai Wiang. Her rivals are Pawat Sattayawong and Suchart Jitbanjong – both men.
Candidacy applications, which opened on Monday, will close on Friday.