Veteran’s bid to be a transgender politician


Former Army captain Bridget Clinch is launching a bid to become Australia’s first transgender federal politician.

Marking her first-foray into politics, she will stand as an Australian Defence Veterans Party (ADVP) candidate for the inner city seat of Brisbane in this year’s federal election.

The electorate is now up for grabs after Liberal minister Teresa Gambaro announced her retirement last week.

Ms Clinch, a decorated veteran, gained recognition in 2010 when Defence Force chiefs agreed to pay for her gender-reassignment surgery.

The announcement drew significant criticism, with many opposing the tax-funded procedure.

The ADVP confirmed their endorsement of Ms Clinch on Tuesday, with the official announcement to be made in Canberra Wednesday morning.

Fellow ADVP Queensland candidate Jeremy Davey says Ms Clinch and the ADVP decided to reveal her identity early so as to avoid her being labelled or prematurely judged.

‘When we introduce her (on Wednesday), it will not be as a transgender candidate, it will simply be ‘this is our candidate for the seat of (inner city Brisbane)’,’ he told News Corp.

ADVP leader David Penman mirrored the sentiment, adding that Ms Clinch was the right woman for the job.

‘We are committed to ensuring that our candidates come from diverse backgrounds and bring with them the loyal and honest desire to represent all Australians; our candidate has convinced the Veterans Party she possesses all these attributes,’ he told News Corp.

Ms Clinch is not the only transgender person in the running to become a federal politician in 2016, with Tasmanian activist Martine Delaney last year announcing she would be contesting the seat of Franklin for the Greens.

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