Thailand votes first-ever genderqueer candidate into parliament

Editor’s Note: We asked Tanwarin Sukkhapisit to tell us which pronoun was most suitable for usage in this situation — in response to which, Tanwarin specified a preference for “they.”

Let’s take a break from all the collective stress and the political drama that came out of this weekend’s elections — the kingdom’s first since the 2014 military coup — to touch upon a silver lining: Tanwarin Sukkhapisit’s win.

Yesterday afternoon, when the kingdom’s Election Commision (EC) finally released a breakdown of MP seats won by each party, filmmaker Tanwarin “Golf” Sukkhapisit was revealed to be one them — marking the first time in Thai political history that a queer-gendered candidate has been elected into the House of Representatives.

“I’m so excited,” said the 45-year-old Future Forward party member about the history-making election results. “But I’m still waiting for them [the Election Commision] to officially announce it in May, because things still may change,” Tanwarin told Coconuts Bangkok during a phone interview today.

As the newly elected candidate has started to gain media attention, Tanwarin has been described as both as “transgender” and “bi-gender” by various media publications. However, Tanwarin explained to us this afternoon that neither of those labels accurately capture their sexuality — instead, Tanwarin identifies as genderqueer, or non-binary.

Much like the new and progressive Future Forward party, which supports equality-centric causes such as LGBTQ+ rights, the #MeToo movement, and the rights of people with disabilities, Tanwarin believes that there’s room for establishing new laws that reflect the changing norms in society. Read more via Coconuts Bangkok