A tiny village made history at the weekend by electing Marie Cau the first-ever trans mayor in France.
On Saturday morning, Cau was elected mayor of a small village in northeastern France – the country’s first out trans mayor.
Cau, 55, was elected almost unanimously by the council in Tilloy-lez-Marchiennes, with 14 votes in favour and one null vote.
The municipal elections were held in March 15, with the village’s 550 citizens voting for councillors solely from the “Deciding Together” list, among them Cau.
She ran on a platform of environmental sustainability and building the local economy, according to the BBC.
Cau said she’s “not an activist” and would be focusing on municipal politics.
“People did not elect me because I was or was not transgender, they elected a programme,” she said.
“That’s what’s interesting: when things become normal, you don’t get singled out.”
Stéphanie Nicot, co-founder of the National Transgender Association (ANT), said that Cau was, to her knowledge, the first trans person elected mayor in France.
However, she cautioned that “people have been able to pass under the radars” before.
The election of Cau showed that “our fellow citizens are more and more progressive”, she added, suggesting that Cau’s win showed people voting on “the value of individuals, regardless of their gender identity”.
Marlène Schiappa, France’s minister for gender equality, tweeted her congratulations to Cau.
“Trans visibility, and therefore the fight against transphobia, also requires the exercise of political or public responsibilities,” she said.
“Congratulations to Marie Cau!”
Cau has lived in Tilloy-lez-Marchiennes for 20 years, and has three children.
She told Le Parisien that her plan for the village in her role as mayor is “a model based on sustainable development, the local economy and short circuits, social and better living together”.
A qualified engineer, she will combine her mayoral duties with her business of IT consultancy.