October 28, 2020

Transsexual makes debut in new Polish parliament

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WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A transsexual woman and an openly gay man took seats in Poland’s newly elected parliament Tuesday, historic firsts that reflect profound social change in this traditionally Roman Catholic country.

Anna Grodzka, who was born a man but underwent a sex change operation, entered the assembly hall wearing a burgundy skirt and jacket. Several men and women shook her hand, while one male lawmaker kissed her on the cheek.

Grodzka then took a seat next to Robert Biedron, a leading gay rights activist who is the first openly gay person to be elected to parliament. Both belong to Palikot’s Movement, a new progressive party that became the third-largest party in parliament in Oct. 9 elections.

Grodzka said she felt overwhelmed by emotion, particularly when the session opened with the playing of the national anthem and when she later took her oath of office.

“It is a symbolic moment, but we owe this symbolism not to me but to the people of Poland because they made their choice in the elections,” Grodzka told The Associated Press.

“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.”

 

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