A trans woman in France was elected to her local commune to become the country’s first openly transgender mayor.
The council of Tilloy-lez-Marchiennes, in the northeast of France, chose Marie Cau as new mayor on Saturday.
The 55-year-old ran on a platform for ecological sustainability and building the local economy.
Speaking to the AFP news agency, Cau said she was “not militant” and wanted to focus on municipal politics.
“People didn’t elect me because I was transgender or not, they elected a program,” said Cau. “That’s what’s interesting: when things get normal, you don’t stand out. “
The French Minister for Gender Equality Marlène Schiappa tweeted her support on Sunday.
“Trans visibility and the fight against transphobia also depend on the exercise of political and public responsibilities. Congratulations Marie Cau! “
Residents of Tilloy-lez-Marchiennes – a town with fewer than 600 residents on the Belgian border – voted in the municipal elections in March.
They elected all of the councilors from the “Decide Together” list, including Ms. Cau. On Saturday, these councilors voted almost unanimously to make her the new mayor of the city.
Stéphanie Nicot, co-founder of the French National Association of Transgender People, said that the election showed that “our fellow citizens are increasingly progressive”, voting on “the value of individuals, regardless of their gender identity “