France Elects First Transgender Mayor: Marie Cau Makes History

Marie Cau, an expert in sustainability and agriculture, says she is not an activist and wants to focus on municipal politics.

Marie Cau
Marie Cau has become the first transgender to be elected as Mayor in France. Twitter

Marie Cau has been elected the Mayor of Tilloy-lez-Marchiennes in a nearly unanimous vote. She has created history by becoming the first-ever transgender to be elected to the post of mayor in France.

Cau's main agenda was to develop environmental and social policies and called her manifesto "Deciding Together." She told the media that people did not vote for or against her considering her sexual transition but they voted for her agenda and the values she upholds.

Reacting to the news of her election, she told AFP, what's surprising is that this is surprising. She was referring to the fact that people are considering her win as surprising. When things become normal, one does not get singled out, she said.

Expert in Sustainability and Agriculture

Cau is a business manager and an expert in sustainability and agriculture. For 20 years now she has resided near the Belgian border that houses 550 people.

Cau, 55, started her transition process 15 years ago. Speaking to AFP, she said that she did not face any discrimination because of her decision. She said she wants to be considered normal and her appearance or whatever she achieves as a non-event.

BFM TV posted a video of Cau after she was elected mayor. According to Cau, an almost non-existent budget, reopening of schools under safe circumstances and coronavirus-related challenges are the areas needing immediate attention.

Cau has been receiving plaudits from netizens all over the world. Jena Selle, employee at SOS Homophobie, a French LGBTQ advocacy organization, congratulated Cau on Twitter: "Congratulations to Marie Cau, first trans woman elected mayor in France. Strength and courage to all trans people who open the way for us."

Data on Homophobic, Transphobic Attacks

While Cau is being congratulated by the entire nation, recent data shows that homophobic and transphobic attacks are still a matter of concern in France. As per statistics released on May 16, just a day before International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, there is considerable increase in homophobic and transphobic attacks including insults. The numbers have gone up by 36 per cent in 2019 when compared to the cases in 2018. The data claimed that in 2019 there were 1,870 victims of transphobic and homophobic attacks, whereas in 2018 the number of victims was 1,380.