Sarah Brown (politician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Sarah Brown
Sarah Brown (politician).jpg
Cambridge City Councillor, Petersfield Ward
In office
6 May 2010 – 23 May 2014
Personal details
Political partyLiberal Democrats
Spouse(s)Sylvia Knight[1][2]
Domestic partnerZoe O'Connell[2]
Alma materTrinity Hall, Cambridge

Sarah Brown is a transgender activist and Liberal Democrat politician. She was the Cambridge City Councillor for Petersfield ward between 2010 and 2014,[3] serving as Executive Councillor for Community Wellbeing since 2013[4] and currently also serves as a member of the LGBT+ Liberal Democrats executive.[5] She is a trans woman and, for several years, was the only openly transgender elected politician in the UK. In 2011, she appeared on the Independent on Sunday "Pink List" as the 28th most influential LGBT person in the UK,[6] dropping to 34th in the 2012 list,[7] but rising again to 27th in the 2013 list.[8]

Brown is an advocate for equal marriage, and has several times discussed marriage laws as they affected her; her 2001 marriage to her wife Sylvia Knight was annulled upon gaining a Gender Recognition Certificate in 2009, and she described her subsequent civil partnership to Knight as a "kick in the teeth".[9][10] Her case was cited during the report stage of the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill, when her MP Julian Huppert moved a series of amendments, which included a set intended to allow couples who dissolved their marriages under the Gender Recognition Act to retroactively restore their marriage.[11]

Brown also advocates for improved provisions for transgender people under the National Health Service, and created the "#transdocfail" hashtag on Twitter and collated several thousand tweets talking about abuse of transgender patients that she alleges exposed "institutional transphobia" in the medical profession that "would be on the national news" if it "was happening to any other minority".[10]

Brown is currently in a polyamorous relationship with Knight and fellow Liberal Democrat and transgender activist Zoe O'Connell, although none of them describe themselves as "poly evangelists".[2] All three partners contributed to a Guardian column discussing polyamory in the context of transition and Brown's previous marriage, which was later cited by Huppert during the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill debate.[2]

She is currently a trustee of Cambridgeshire LGBT charity the Kite Trust and a member of Stonewall's Trans Advisory Group.[12]

Political career[edit]

Brown has contested local and Parliament elections in Cambridge. She was an elected Councillor for Petersfield from 2010 to 2014.

Elections contested by Sarah Brown
Date Election Seat Result
6 May 2010 Cambridge City Council election, 2010 Petersfield 1,571 - Elected
22 May 2014 Cambridge City Council election, 2014 Petersfield 720 - Seat lost
3 May 2018 Cambridge City Council election, 2018 Petersfield 432 - Not Elected
13 September 2018 Petersfield ward by-election, Cambridge[13] Petersfield


  1. ^ Orson, Charlotte (29 October 2011). "Cambridge councillor talks of being UK's "most influential" trans person". Cambridge First. Archived from the original on 1 November 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d Barkham, Patrick (20 April 2013). "'Why three in a bed isn't a crowd' – the polyamorous trio". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 27 September 2016.
  3. ^ "Councillor Sarah Brown". Cambridge City Council. Archived from the original on 30 December 2012.
  4. ^ Buchan, Lizzy (13 May 2013). "New line-up for city council Liberal Democrats". Cambridge News. Archived from the original on 16 October 2013.
  5. ^ Brown, Sarah (23 October 2011). "City Councillor Named in Top 101 "Pink List"". Archived from the original on 23 April 2013.
  6. ^ "The IoS Pink List 2011". The Independent. 23 October 2011. Archived from the original on 4 April 2012.
  7. ^ "The IoS Pink List 2012". The Independent. 4 November 2012. Archived from the original on 24 December 2012.
  8. ^ "The Independent on Sunday's Pink List 2013". The Independent. 13 October 2013. Archived from the original on 14 October 2013.
  9. ^ Brown, Sarah (19 May 2012). "Comment: Trans people need equality to get our marriages, confiscated by the state back". Pink News. Archived from the original on 30 March 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  10. ^ a b Barkham, Patrick (22 January 2013). "Voices from the trans community: 'There will always be prejudice'". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  11. ^ "21 May 2013" (PDF). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). 563. (Julian Huppert). United Kingdom: House of Commons. 21 May 2013. Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 March 2016.
  12. ^ "Trustees". Kite Trust.
  13. ^ Jackson, Antoinette (16 August 2018). "Cambridge City Council Election of a Councillor for the Petersfield Ward STATEMENT OF PERSONS NOMINATED" (PDF). Cambridge City Council. Retrieved 29 August 2018.