Germany will welcome its first-ever trans MPs to the Bundestag after a federal election that saw the centre-left SDP narrowly beat the centre-right CDU.
According to preliminary results on Monday morning (27 September), the SPD and its chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz won 25.7 per cent of the vote.
Germany’s Green Party had its best-ever result in a national poll, 14.8 per cent, and Scholz believes he has a mandate to for a coalition with the Greens and liberal politicians, which would bring to an end 16 years of centre-right rule.
In another historic first, two transgender Green MPs were elected to the Bundestag – Tessa Ganserer and Nyke Slawik.
Ganserer, 44, who has been a member of parliament for Nuremberg North since 2013, came out as a trans woman in 2019. She became the the first out transgender person to sit in a regional or national parliament in Germany, and this is the first election she has run since coming out.
When she came out, Ganserer used her own experience of transition to declare the need for Germany to update the 1980 Transsexual Act, which provides a convoluted process for trans people to change their legal name and gender.
She said at the time: “Gender identity is a human right… in future it should be possible for a person to apply to change their gender recorded at birth.”
On Monday, she wrote on Twitter: “I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the trust shown by the voters.
“I’m still overwhelmed, but I’m really looking forward to my new job in Berlin!
“My congratulations too Nyke Slawik. #QueerRepresentationMatters.”
For Nyke Slawik, who is just 27 years old, this will be her first term as an MP for the Leverkusen, Cologne IV constituency.
She unsuccessfully ran for parliament in 2017, and for the European parliament in 2019.
According to Queer.de, Slawik ran in this year’s election with the hope of giving young people a voice in the Bundestag, and is determined to use her position to fight the climate crisis and increase diversity in Germany’s parliament as a trans lawmaker.
In a speech at the Green Party congress in April, she said: “Every time has its fighters. Those of the climate protectors. Those of the Greens. And those of the colorful. This is our time!”