In a historic first, a transsexual woman and an openly gay man took seats in Poland’s newly elected parliament on Tuesday.
Anna Grodzka — born a man and living his life as a woman — took her seat in Poland’s parliament Tuesday after she was elected on October 9.
Grodzka, 57, who underwent a sex change last year, was warmly-received by her parliament peers, who applauded as she made her way through the Warsaw assembly hall; one male lawmaker even kissed her on the cheek.
“It is a symbolic moment, but we owe this symbolism not to me but to the people of Poland because they made their choice,” Grodzka — who was born as Krzysztof Bęgowski — told the AP. “They wanted a modern Poland, a Poland open to variety, a Poland where all people would feel good regardless of their differences … I cannot fail them in their expectations.”
Grodzka sat next to Robert Biedron, an activist who is the first openly gay person elected to Poland’s parliament. Both belong to Palikot’s Movement, a new progressive party that’s the third-largest party in the traditionally Roman Catholic country.