Tessa Ganserer and Nyke Slawik from the Greens part have made history in Germany as the first transgender women to win parliamentary seats in the recent national election.
The Greens party came third in the election, increasing its share of the vote to 14.8 percent from 8.9 percent in 2017, and will be playing a crucial role in the development of a new three-way coalition government.
“It is a historic victory for the Greens, but also for the trans-emancipatory movement and for the entire queer community,” Ganserer, who was elected to Bavaria’s regional parliament in 2013, proudly told Reuters. She believes that the results represent the growing openness and tolerance of German society.
One of Ganserer’s top priorities will be to make the procedure for changing gender identity on official documents far simpler and more accessible. Another priority for Ganserer, who has two sons, is to permit lesbian mothers to adopt children.
Slawik, who secured a seat in parliament through the Greens list of candidates in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, is still in disbelief over the optimistic news.
“Madness! I still can’t quite believe it,” she published on Instagram, “but with this historic election result I will definitely be a member of the next Bundestag.”
Slawik is calling for Germany to develop a plan against homophobia and transphobia, a self-determination law, and improvements to the federal anti-discrimination law.
Germany decriminalized homosexuality in 1969 and same-sex marriage was made legal in 2017. That said, hate crimes against LGBTQ+ individuals increased by 36 percent last year, which means that representation of LGBTQ+ people in positions of power is incredibly empowering for a community that still undergoes discrimination.