Bridget Clinch former army Captain running for the seat of Brisbane
ARMY EXPERIENCE SERVES CLINCH WELL IN BATTLE FOR BRISBANE SEAT
skate through at the end and claim the gold medal in the seat of Brisbane at Saturday’s federal election.
Clinch, a former Army captain with 11 years of service and combat, was the first person to transition in the army and not be medically discharged.
Born as Matthew, her protracted legal battle paved the way for other transgenders who serve in the army today.
As it transpired, Clinch was discharged in 2013 due to her anxiety and depression – conditions that she claims were a direct result of her treatment.
Representing the Veterans Party, Clinch is cautiously optimistic about her chances of beating openly gay opponents Trevor Evans (LNP) and Pat O’Neill (ALP).
Clinch’s battle with the ADF for equality and diversity
“The fight that I had with ADF, to bring them up to date with equality and diversity, that’s what really got me directly interested in politics as a thing I’d like to do down the track,” she told The Feed on SBS.
“The people I’ve talked to manage to get past that (being transgender) because they talk to me about policies, and what I’m going to do, and they like my rationale – they like that I engage.”
Clinch’s endorsement has not come without its share of controversy with a “significant number” of members deserting the Veterans Party.
Senate candidate Jeremy Davey said Clinch had received a mixed response from party members.
“The impact of endorsing a transgender candidate resulted in a significant number of members leaving the party, mainly older members, and I think that reflects now on the Defence Force’s cultural change,” he said.
“She served our nation proudly, whether that be as a female or a male.
“We’ve been accused of sticking Bridget as a trophy candidate. But we don’t refer to Bridget as our transgender candidate, we refer to Bridget as our female candidate for the seat of Brisbane.”
Davey admitted he also had been nervous when Clinch first approached the Veterans Party.
“It was really the first conversation I’d had with someone who is transgender,” he said.
“There’s always that stigma around it in the community, and that still exists – especially here in Queensland. It was a barrier that I’d never had to break before, but I’m glad I did.”