A tiny French village made history over the weekend by electing the country’s first openly transgender mayor.
Marie Cau, who won the election Saturday in Tilloy-lez-Marchiennes, in
northern France, said her gender wasn’t an issue during the campaign and
that voters chose her for her social programs.
“What’s surprising is that this is surprising,” Cau, 55, told Agence
France-Presse. “They didn’t vote for me or against me because I’m
transgender; they voted for a program and for values.”
Residents of the 600-person village, located near the Belgian border,
elected Cau and her fellow “Deciding Together” candidates to the local
council on March 15.
Then on Saturday, the newly elected council members made Cau the mayor in a nearly unanimous decision, according to the BBC.
Since she began her transition about 15 years ago, Cau said she hasn’t
experienced discrimination and that “people are kind, despite some
She said she looks forward to the day when her gender will be a
“nonissue” — but acknowledged that her election shows “that transgender
people can have normal social and political lives.”
France’s minister of state for gender equality, Marlène Schiappa, congratulated Cau on her historic victory.
“Trans visibility, and therefore the fight against transphobia, also
requires the exercise of political or public responsibilities,” she