A Labour parliamentary candidate who came out as the country's first openly transgender person to run for parliament said she contemplated "very serious action" including taking her own life before making the change.

Sutton and Cheam hopeful Emily Brothers talked about her shock revelation today, because she wanted to be 'open and honest' about as she heads towards the 2015 election.

Her decision was given the proud backing of party leader Ed Miliband who took to Twitter in support of his Labour colleague, posting: "So proud to have Emily Brothers as a @UKLabour candidate.

"She is an important voice in our movement."


Speaking to the Sutton Guardian Miss Brothers, 50, said: "There were times when I contemplated very serious action which included taking my own life.

"It's very personal.

"It seems a huge challenge to overcome, particularly for the other people around me.

"My two children, William and Victoria, have been amazing, they found it difficult and the early stages but they all love me for who I am now.

"My ex-wife was also my best friend and when I transitioned the marriage came to an end. "It was very difficult, as is any relationship break up.

"We are now friends."

Miss Brothers started her transition to become a woman in 2007 and was officially recognised as female in 2009.

"It took a few years," she said.

"It's very difficult, it's very challenging and like many people I got very depressed.

"There's prejudice out there.

"I transitioned in Sutton and Cheam, I never had any difficulty with people here, they accepted me for who I am and that's a great credit to this community."

Miss Brothers suffered glaucoma and lost her sight when she was a child, which hampered getting access to information on how she was feeling.

She said: "It took me a long time to realise that I wasn't the only person like this."

She said she decided to be open about her past as "there was the fear that others may use the information" and that they would use it "for negative purposes".

Emily's decision has also been backed by Labour MP Gloria De Piero who tweeted "Too few Trans, disabled and women's voices in politics. Labour's Emily Brothers is stepping forward to change this"

This was retweeted by her party leader Ed Miliband who, in addition to tweeting how proud of Emily he was, posted: "Emily Brothers has long been a courageous campaigner on disability rights & now on trans issues too."

Miss Brothers finished: "There needs to be honesty in politics.

"In an ideal world, I if was not a politician, I wouldn't be talking about this publicly.

"But I do have a public profile particularly within Sutton and Cheam and in order to build trust and be honest with local people I have to say 'this is my background'.

"This is why I'm running for parliament; to represent disabled people, for transgender people, for women and other groups.

"This isn't just more spin, this is my own example, of taking away fears, of overcoming fears.

"I aim to make a difference."