On Sunday, keeps Thailand its first elections since the military took over power in 2014. Pauline is one of three premiärministerkandidater for the party, Mahachon, one of Thailand's oldest, but not the largest parties.
the 52-year-old Pauline makes no illusions that she will become prime minister. But she hopes to be a role model for others who are struggling with their sexual identity.
" I'm doing this for the future generation. All probably have someone in their family or circle of acquaintances who are lgbt. I can show that it is not something strange.
of Thailand is an open country that accepts different sexual orientations. The sightseeing which has no doubt come across the so-called lady boys, men who identify as women and are often seen in the entertainment industry.Pauline Ngarmring, which was formerly man, want as a candidate for the party Mahacon see a more equitable thai society: economically, socially and politically. Here in Mahacons premises in Bangkok. Photo: Jonas Gratzer
But, Pauline notes that it is not so easy. Lgbtq people are surrounded by a social stigma. They have it harder in the workplace and is vulnerable in the school.
– When it comes to laws, rules and understanding of lgbtq, we are after countries in the west. There is still discrimination and bullying in most parts of the country. I want to change.
to the united states to start his sex change. As the ceo of a marketing company in the sports world and famous in Thailand, she felt not convenient to do the transformation at home. She was married to a woman, had two children and was successful. She wanted to change gender in the peace and quiet, without anyone noticed it. The plan was to live as a ”normal woman” in the united states, she says. In addition, anyone wishing to change sex more support in the US than in Thailand, according to Pauline.Pauline Ngarmring is preparing for a tv debate ahead of the elections in Thailand on Sunday. She is the first transgender to run for the post of prime minister in Thailand. Photo: Jonas Gratzer
But during the hormonal treatment in the united states, where she had planned a career as a chef, she was discovered by the thai media. Then she chose to go home to become the face of lgbtq people.
– Many people stay in the closet and feel bad, some even take the lives of themselves that they dare not tell. I can show that I am over 50 years of age survived, that it is possible.
time to take the plunge, " she says when we meet at her local restaurant over a rice dish with vegetables, strong chili and eggs. Pauline, wearing a white jacket and grey cardigan gets emotional when she talks about the difficult decision to leave his wife and go to the united states and initiating a hormone replacement therapy. In the two years she prepared the escape. She bought a restaurant in the south of Thailand to the wife, who was a housewife, so that she could survive. Saw to it that she learned to cook.
Then I said: I go to the US, otherwise I die.Pauline Ngarmring hones tactics with the assistant Nada Chaiyajt intör a tv debate in the evening. Photo: Jonas Gratzer
the Process to get out, she describes as a pressure cooker, which is ultimately not going to stop. She struggled long to be a man. As a young man, she held on with thai-boxing, his career, she was tough in business. Still, it was something that chafed. Often she just wants to hide. She today lives thank she the decision to finally become a woman.
" I worked for 35 years as a man and did everything that a good man should do. At the age of 45, I was president and was nominated to the thai football association's board of directors. But I was not happy. Then I understood, this will not disappear.
she was several times asked to engage politically. She said no.
" I didn't think that I clearly knew who I was and what I wanted. Now, I have reached my goal and become myself. It makes me happy. I no longer need fancy cars or clothes. The only thing I need is food, medicine and shelter. I think that makes me a good politician. Unlike many others, I have nothing to hide.Pauline Ngarmring is out there and is campaigning in Don Yai, a poor suburb of Bangkok, where the majority of inhabitants are muslims. She hopes as the first transgender candidate to be the face for LGBT people. Photo: Jonas Gratzer
Therefore, accepted her when Mahachon called after she had come back to Thailand. The party advocates more equality in all areas, between the sexes, socially and economically. On the agenda is to decriminalize sexwork and give lgbt people more rights.
the Days before the election, is busy with television appearances and kampanjande. We follow Pauline through the small alleys when she is handing out leaflets in Don Yai, a poor suburb of Bangkok where the majority of inhabitants are muslims. On the way we pass the cages with the snakes, buffaloes and roosters crowing. Most curiously against Pauline. In part she puts down and talk. A few older women ask how they look at her, really, she is a man or a woman. Pauline responds become accustomed, and with a twinkle in his eye.
" I was, but I changed, I want to be like you.Pauline Ngarmring shows off his skills in thai boxing when she is out and is campaigning in a poor suburb of Bangkok. As she competed in the sport. Photo: Jonas Gratzer
and Pauline. Sweat runs into his forehead when she is approaching the end of today's kampanjande. She is happy.
– in the Past, I was afraid of muslims. But they are very respectful and accept me. Many are tired of the old politicians and get excited when they see a new face.
in Order to get into the parliament needs to be Pauline 350 000 votes. She hopes that the elections are free and fair, but notes in the next second it already is biased, because the military appoints all of the 250 in the house of lords.
"a Lot speaks for the fact that they stay in power," she says matter of fact.