22 year old Ellen Murray has made history in Ireland, becoming the first openly transgender person to run for election in the country, and will be standing for the Green Party in West Belfast in May’s Stormont Assembly poll.
She has said that she hopes to give a voice to women, young people and the LGBT+ community.
‘I am standing for election because I believe that our political system, which impinges on every aspect of our lives, should be accessible to everyone.’ She said. ‘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 has spent years working with marginalised young people, and has listed better access to transgender health care, new abortion laws and gay rights amongst her causes.
‘I will support campaigns to introduce abortion law reform, and provide LGBTQ people with equal rights and respect under the law. I will work to ensure the health service is given the support it needs, especially in mental health care. I will also press to develop a kinder and more compassionate welfare state to ensure a comfortable and dignified life for everyone.
‘I aim to address the transport poverty experienced by many within the constituency, and enable people to travel safely and cheaply throughout Belfast via public transport, walking and cycling.’
The leader of The Green Party in Ireland, Steven Agnew noted Ms Murray’s campaign for candidacy as ‘fantastic’, stating that he is ‘proud to be part of a party that is open and welcoming to all, culminating in Ellen’s selection by grassroots membership in west Belfast.’