Pauline Ngarmpring thought she would take it slow as she began her new life as a transgender woman after transitioning at the age of 49. Instead, three years on, she is a candidate for Thai prime minister – the country’s first transgender candidate for the post – and her days and nights are filled with campaigning, strategy meetings and media interviews. It is an unexpected turn of events for the former news reporter turned sports promoter, who has quickly embraced her role as an ambassador for LGBT+ rights and gender equality in a country with few openly gay or female political leaders. “Politics was my interest for a long time, and as a man, I was often invited to join a political party. But I was not in the right frame of mind until after I transitioned,” she said.