Thailand: The politics of change

It is less than a week until the much-anticipated general election. For the first time in the history of Thailand, we are seeing a huge turnout of LGBTI candidates from different professions and backgrounds, jumping on the political bandwagon and representing sexual diversity. Out and proud, many of them are standing as candidates or are working with political parties in order to make their voices heard.

Ahead of election day, talks to four hopeful politicians, who are aiming to bring greater diversity to Thai politics. They share their stories and hopes for the future of the country

Pauline Ngarmpring, Mahachon Party

When the news came that Pauline had announced her candidacy for the prime minister's chair, we were all shocked. There is now a possibility that a transgender woman could be the country's next PM.

"We're working for people across the spectrum. We're not here to protect the rights of transgender or LGBTI people alone. We want to push for equality in every area, especially economic equality," she told the Bangkok Post. Before heading down the road of politics, Pauline (then known by the name Pinit) was pursuing a very different career. She worked at the Bangkok Post as a business reporter for seven years before moving on to careers in advertising and real estate. Later, she became well-known among the football community for her role in founding the Cheerthai Power group.

In 2017, news broke of Pauline's transition. She returned to Thailand from the US and became quite a celebrity, and an icon within the LGBTI community. Last November, she was recruited by the Mahachon Party, helping them to draft strategies. It was a task she gladly accepted.

"I am ready for political work. There is no past to hide or stories to uncover. Some politicians may have something to hide, but I have none. All I have is knowledge and expertise that I intend to put to good use," she said. Read more via Bangkok Post