The French town Tilloy-lez-Marchiennes
has elected the nation's first openly transgender mayor.
Voters elected Marie Cau, 55, on March
15 to the town's council. The council on Saturday almost unanimously
chose Cau as the town's new mayor.
Cau told French media that her gender
identity was not a factor in the election, adding that she's “not
“What's surprising is that this is
surprising,” she told Agence France-Presse (AFP), NBC
News reported. “They didn't vote for me or against me because
I'm transgender; they voted for a program and for values.”
According to the BBC, Cau campaigned on
the environment and boosting the local economy.
Cau, who transitioned 15 years ago, has
lived in Tilloy-lez-Marchiennes for nearly 20 years and said that she
has not experienced discrimination based on her gender identity.
She said she hopes her election shows
“that transgender people can have normal social and political
Schiappa, France's minister of state for gender equality,
congratulated Cau's victory.
“Trans visibility, and therefore the
fight against transphobia, also requires the exercise of political or
public responsibilities,” she wrote on Twitter in French.