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Transsexual Polish Politician Takes Place In Parliament

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Nov. 8 2011, Published 10:00 a.m. ET

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By Radar Staff

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.

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"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.

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