Tributes to ‘inspiring’ Charlie, the first trans man to stand for the Commons

Pioneer had been the Green Party candidate for Islington South and Finsbury in 2015

Friday, 17th June — By Anna Lamche

Charlie Kiss

Charlie Kiss

LONDON has been left “bereft” as it says goodbye to a “kind” and “inspiring” campaigner, trade unionist and trans pioneer.

Charlie Kiss, the first trans man to stand in a general election, died last week, aged 56.

He had been the Green Party candidate for Islington South and Finsbury constituency in 2015, where he won a record 8 per cent of the vote.

Mr Kiss had been a female peace campaigner and joined Greenham Common, the women’s anti-nuclear protest camp, aged just 17.

He served two jail terms for his activism, landing in Holloway Prison in 1982 and 1983.

Later, Mr Kiss, who had been a long-standing Islington resident, started a career in the printing industry, which he found had poor conditions for workers and a culture of significant sexism and racism.

Mr Kiss with Green councillor and London Assembly member Caroline Russell

In 2017, Mr Kiss released his memoir, A New Man, detailing his extraordinary life. In the book, he said he initially identified as a lesbian.

It was only later, in 2002, that he realised he needed to medically transition.

He lived the rest of his life as a man, always considering himself a feminist, and campaigning for justice in the workplace.

“It was a real honour and a real privilege to call Charlie a colleague and a friend,” said Highbury councillor Benali Hamdache.

“He was someone who inspired me on a regular basis.”

“What has been really striking is how many people have shared their heartwarming, positive recollections of Charlie. He left the world a better place,” Cllr Hamdache added.

“He would give hours to causes that mattered to him; he was kind and considerate to volunteers, and he had a great laugh.

“I think London as a whole is bereft. He is someone who has an amazing story.

“I hope everyone will go and buy his book – it tells you the story of his life.”

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