OutPower

First transgender candidate runs for Punjab State Assembly

For the first time in history, a transgender candidate, Mumtaz Bholi is running for the Punjab State Assembly. Mumtaz, who is also dalit, has been endorsed by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). She will be the only transgender candidate among 1,145 candidates contesting in the Punjab assembly elections.
Per the 2011 census, Punjab has 10,243 transgender people, of which only 293, or just about 3 percent, are currently registered as voters. Mumtaz is making history in Punjab. “I joined politics because I want to serve and help people better,” Mumtaz  said. “I will give them back twice the amount of support they give me.”
Born in a dalit family, she says, “being a Dalit is harder than being a transgender. As a Dalit, I may not be welcome in certain houses, but as a dancing ‘khusra’, I at least have a traditional occupation.” On winning, she’ll be one of the few transgender elected officials around the world, others including Tamara Adrián from Venezuela and Victory Institute trainee, Councilwoman Luisa Revilla from Peru.
Victory Institute works with partner organizations in several countries outside of the U.S to increase the number of out LGBTIQ elected officials around the world. You can find out about our efforts with our partner organization in India, Solidarity Foundation, to train LGBTIQ activists and advocates to run for office by clicking here.
Photo: SoutLive Networks

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