It is easy to think that because health is a devolved matter in Wales a general election will have little consequence to our NHS services in Caerphilly
But that is far from the truth. Like many other patients in Caerphilly and Wales I require specialist treatment that is only offered in England, and yet NHS England is facing an unprecedented winter crisis that’s just one in a long line of crises under this Tory Government
As any person who has ever put themselves forward as a candidate in a Westminster election knows, such decisions are not made lightly. Being a candidate in a General Election campaign is an incredibly exciting and rewarding experience, but it also takes a lot of commitment and emotional investment if you truly believe that you aren't just the best candidate to represent the people of your constituency, but that you are also wholly committed to serving the constituency and its best interests
This is much more so for any trans person who runs as a candidate in a General Election. At no time has the decision to stand as an out trans person in an election ever been an easy decision to make, especially given the very public nature of the role and the risk of abuse and harm that comes with it but right now, with the levels of vitriolic transphobic abuse rising across social media and an ever-increasing tide of articles hostile to trans people appearing in print, that decision is especially hard
This is my first time being a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate and choosing to stand as an openly out trans woman was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made. I know what likely awaits me during this campaign, and I am not blind to the abuse and hate I may face, because in truth I face both the prospect and the reality of that hate and abuse in my daily life
So why did I make the decision to stand, knowing just how hostile the climate has become for all trans people?
We are faced with the greatest crises of our age. We are faced with a climate catastrophe that for decades has been warned about but all too often ignored by politicians, or paid mere lip service as the globe continues to heat up, and there is no longer any time for us to debate or dither about what to do. We know what to do. We must now find the political will to do it and I have that will. That drive. That passion but, far more importantly, the basic common sense to understand that there is no turning back if we make our own planet uninhabitable for us