Yollada “Nok” Suanyot, a transgender model, actress, singer and activist in Thailand, has been elected as the top financial officer in Thailand’s Nan province. This makes her the highest-ranked trans politician in the nation.
Suanyot won the election Sunday against a candidate from the ruling Pheu Thai party. She’s the founder of a trans activism organization as well as a former beauty pageant winner and entertainer.
“We barely have any rights at all at this point,” she told a Global Post interviewer shortly before the election. “Our genitalia is not recognized as female (even after surgery) so, if we’re jailed, we’re put in prison with the men. We can’t get proper health insurance. We can’t get married. We have problems traveling outside the country and trouble dealing with banks and government offices.”
Her gender identity, however, did not figure prominently in the campaign, she said. “As far as I can see, the people of Nan are believers in human rights,” she told the Global Post. “They examine my ability to develop the province more than my gender.”
Way to go! Awesome awesome awesome.