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Jennifer McCreath Could Be The First Trans Person To Be On A Federal Ballot In Canada

"I’m hoping there are voters who can relate to the struggles that I’ve faced."

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She's running in the Avalon riding as a candidate with Strength in Democracy, a party founded last year by two Quebec MPs who had defected from the Bloc Québécois and the NDP.

McCreath's said her key issues include tackling urban sprawl, supporting rural towns, and making sure all three levels of government are working together.

While a number of gay, lesbian and bisexual people have been elected across all three levels of government, an out trans person has never sat in the House of Commons. McCreath hopes to change that.

Courtesy of Jennifer McCreath

The daughter of a former cabinet minister, she's no stranger to the public service and has worked in government departments in both Ontario and Newfoundland.

After moving to St. John's in 2007, McCreath started working as a senior policy analyst with the Newfoundland and Labrador government, but amid her transition she lost the contract.

"Part of my story is that shortly after I came out as a transgender person, that so-called safe and secure job disappeared," she told BuzzFeed Canada.

McCreath said she was never given a clear-cut reason for losing the position, but said she'd heard her superiors discussing the potential impact of her transition on clients. She spoke with the province's human rights commission, but ultimately decided not to fight it.

"People from an individual perspective are quite accepting and open minded," she said. "Attitudes are changing but policies are not being amended to be up to date."

"Even if I don’t mention the word trans as I travel around this riding and go to little towns, I’m sure people will say 'you’re the first transgender person I’ve ever met.'"

Courtesy of Jennifer McCreath

As she meets her prospective constituents, McCreath is hoping to show a side of trans people not often seen in media.

"People need to see the stories of someone who's floated between low and middle class and has struggled for acceptance," she said.

"I’m hoping there are voters who can relate to the struggles that I've faced."

In 2007, Micheline Montreuil was the first trans person to receive a nomination in a federal battle under the NDP, but was later turfed by the party.

The Avalon riding is currently held by Scott Andrews, who was ousted from the Liberal party earlier this year over allegations of sexual harassment. He now sits as an independent and intends to run again.

Lauren Strapagiel is Managing Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada.

Contact Lauren Strapagiel at lauren.strapagiel@buzzfeed.com.

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