France elects its first transgender mayor who has promised to “wake up” his small village

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The first transgender mayor of France has promised to wake up her village in the north of France after taking office this weekend in a stage hailed by activists as a breakthrough.

Marie Cau has promised to develop social and environmental policies in the village of Tilloy-lez-Marchiennes after receiving her position of honor.

Cau won a decisive victory in the first round in the French local elections on March 15, his manifesto “Deciding together” having won the majority of votes in the village of 550 inhabitants, located near the Belgian border.

Marie Cau, first transgender woman elected mayor of France poses on May 24 in Tilloy-lez-Marchiennes, one day after being elected by the town hall

Marie Cau, first transgender woman elected mayor of France poses on May 24 in Tilloy-lez-Marchiennes, one day after being elected by the town hall

The 50-year-old woman’s inauguration took place more than two months after the election – instead of the normal five days – following the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m not at all surprised by the result,” said Cau, who has a steady blue look.

An engineer, she describes herself as working above all as a business owner, passionate about agriculture and the environment.

The new mayor says residents of the city voted for it because they identify with his desire to develop sustainable agriculture and the local economy, as well as to preserve the environment.

“The villagers did not vote for or against me because I am transgender. They voted for a program and values. Social ties are gone, people want change, ”said Cau.

Engineer, she describes herself as working above all as a business manager, passionate about agriculture and the environment

Engineer, she describes herself as working above all as a business manager, passionate about agriculture and the environment

“My dream is to build an exemplary village, to demonstrate that normal citizens can do things that the government cannot,” she said.

“Congratulations, we wish you good luck!” Said a 50-year-old villager in front of the small brick town hall.

The newly elected mayor will take office in these difficult times due to the pandemic.

But she will have a dream team by her side, she said, who has a great diversity of age, background and gender.

Cau’s gender is of no importance to villager Hervé Fontanel. “She has lived here for 20 years, we know how she works. If she manages to create links, all the better for Tilloy!

Her neighbor, Marie-Josée Godefroy, agreed. “The village will be revived and speak more,” she said.

Marie Cau is known by her third name. In the 15 years since her transition, she says she has never been discriminated against. ‘It’s rare. People are considerate, despite a few blunders, ”she said.

The new mayor says that the residents of the city voted for it because they identify with his desire to develop sustainable agriculture and the local economy, as well as to preserve the environment. Above photo answering questions from journalists on Sunday

The new mayor says residents of the city voted for it because they identify with his desire to develop sustainable agriculture and the local economy, as well as to preserve the environment. Above photo answering questions from journalists on Sunday

“She had no taboos, she spoke to people who asked her questions to end the conversation there,” said her partner and city councilor Nathalie Leconte.

“I am surprised by the enormous media attention given to his election,” added Leconte.

Cau said “it is surprising that it is surprising”.

“This should be normal since people are voting for a team and a project,” said the mayor, adding that she is looking forward to the day when the election of a transgender person is a non-event.

But Cau recognizes the importance of his election. “It shows that transgender people can have normal social and political lives,” she said.

French Minister for Gender Equality Marlene Schiappa congratulated the newly appointed mayor.

“The visibility of trans people and the fight against transphobia also requires the exercise of public and political responsibilities. Congratulations to Marie Cau! ‘Schiappa tweeted on Sunday.

SOS Homophobia co-chair Véronique Godet said that the election of Cau is a milestone in the history of trans people and French politics.

“We can see today that many trans people are emancipating and starting to occupy public spaces from which they were previously excluded,” added Giovanna Rincon, head of the Transgender Rights Group Acceptess-T.

Rincon hopes that this type of event will increase in frequency, “until the election of a transgender mayor of a big city like Paris”.

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