Parliamentary candidate Zoe O’Connell, 37, is bidding to be Britain’s first polyamorous MP – which means she lives in a three-way lesbian relationship with her two canvassers Sarah Brown, 41, and Sylvia Knight, 39.
And if that seems to be as far fetched as a Tory manifesto, then consider this: Zoe and Sarah used to be MEN. And Sarah and Sylvia were once a straight married couple before her sex change.
But of course.
The complex personal life and happiness of her and her lovers is at the forefront of her campaign.
Because this is what matters to constituents.
She says: “We’re content together and that is what matters to us. I’m running for office to change things. Twenty years ago this would never have happened.
“I’m standing up because I don’t think anyone should be treated differently because of gender or sexuality or the way they choose to live their private lives. We live together.
“We’re in a relationship and we’re not ashamed of that.”
So running for office is simply a way to publicise your relationship? And why would you want to do that?
But they’ve all been on a long and difficult journey to reach their unorthodox domestic bliss.
Okay, but as the following paragraphs show, the difficulty mainly lay within their own heads over who they were and what they wanted to be. Nowhere is it suggested they were prevented from doing as they pleased, as they might have been a generation or two ago. So what are they publicising it for?
Zoe is more concerned that increased attention will be levelled at [her chidren] on a national scale if she becomes an MP.
Then maybe don’t do it?
She says it is “inevitable” that she will become a flagbearer for gay and transgender issues if elected, and will fight to have them included in any equalities legislation that is passed during the next parliament.
What legislation? You have a woman and two trans-men living together in a polyamorous relationship, one of whom is running for elected national office. Isn’t this proof of how open and tolerant Britain is, why do we need single-issue lunatics campaigning for more legislation? Do they want to make it compulsory?
But while Zoe likes to think the best of everybody, Sarah says she fears national politics will expose her partner to abuse from bigots online.
“There are people who will go for you if you’re transgender and you stick your head above the parapet,” says Sarah. “They’re not very nice people.
Then why’s she running for office? She doesn’t seem interested in representing her constituents, only in being a “flagbearer” for gay and transgender issues.
But Zoe, who is contesting her family home constituency of Maldon, Essex, against sitting Tory MP John Whittingdale – certainly isn’t frightened of how people react to their relationship.
I expect what terrifies her most is that people will roll their eyes and largely ignore it. This whole thing looks to me like an exercise in attention-seeking which, as it happens, is a useful description of most polyamorous relationships.