A woman in Germany has become the first openly known transgender regional or national member of Parliament in the country.
Tessa Ganserer, 41, came out publicly on social media a few weeks ago. When Bundestag met for the first time on Monday (14 January) after a three-month break, Ganserer made her first appearance since coming out.
Ganserer won her regional parliament seat in Bavaria in October. Bavaria’s Parliament is the Landtag of Bavaria, a unicameral legislature meeting in Munich.
Months later, at the start of this year, a new German law came into effect recognizing a third gender. This law gives legal recognition to intersex and gender-nonconforming people.
‘I will finally live like this’
In Ganserer’s social media posts, she expressed her true identity and intention to live as such.
In her Facebook post, Ganserer wrote she is a ‘woman with every fiber of my body’.
Her tweet, meanwhile, read: ‘Life as Markus Ganserer was not bad. But I am Tessa Ganserer and I will finally live like this.’
Many of the replies to both social media posts were positive and affirming, with people telling Ganserer that they support her.
According to The Local, the president of the regional parliament, Ilse Aigner of the Christian Social Union (CSU), also supports Ganserer’s decision to come out.
‘Mrs. Ganserer has taken a very brave and highly personal decision,’ she said. ‘Our male colleague is becoming a female colleague, that should not be a problem in this house. A person’s personality is always more important than their gender.’
She did acknowledge, however, that many other MPs ‘definitely still have to get used to it’.
Bavaria is a federal state of Germany, which boasts a Catholic majority and conservative traditions.