Thailand's first transgender PM candidate reveals decades long struggle ahead of country's controversial elections
Thailand's first transgender candidate for Prime Minister has revealed her decades-long inner struggle ahead of the country’s elections - in which she hopes to topple the military dictatorship.
Pauline Ngarmpring, 52, was born a man and had two children but spent years in emotional turmoil as she hid her true identity.
The millionaire sports businessman finally plucked up the courage to have a sex change three years in the United States before returning home and entering politics – fueled by national anger against the army rulers and determined to improve LGBT rights.
Pauline is now going head-to-head with the ruthless military junta lead by General Prayut Chan-o-cha when the country votes on Sunday (March 24) for the first time in almost a decade.
The politician – who has already helped to raise awareness for her country’s seven million LGBT people – said her manifesto is based on gender equality.
She said: ''I was always asked to join the politics since I was a man but at that time I was still not clear in my mind who I was.
And how could you make a change to the country when you didn’t even know yourself?''
Born and raised as a boy, named Pinit Ngarmpring, she was always interested in politics and sports.
She enjoyed playing football and boxing since childhood.
Pinit founded the influential football fan association and lead a successful campaign to depose the corrupt president of Football Association of Thailand.