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January 10, 2015

Progress in India: First Transgender Mayor Elected. {Video}

YouTube screenshot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Po2G93czU5o

Last April, India’s Supreme Court ruled that transgender people are allowed to identify as a third gender.

Now in January of 2015, the city of Raigarh in central India has elected the country’s first transgender mayor: 35-year-old Madhu Kinnar!

In fact, Kinnar beat her opponent by over 4,500 votes!

“Television images showed a sari-clad Kinnar, with a large red bindi on her forehead, greeting supporters who placed marigold garlands around her neck.” ~ Al Jazeera America article

On one hand this is progress and a victory for the LGBT community in India.

“People have shown faith in me. I consider this win as love and blessings of people for me. I’ll put in my best efforts to accomplish their dreams.”  ~ Madhu Kinnar

However this is also a bittersweet victory, as just last month India’s Supreme Court also ruled to re-criminalize homosexuality.

Another article from Al Jazeera America reports:

“Now there’s a strange tension between the two Supreme Court rulings: On one hand, transgender people have legal recognition; on the other, they may still be arrested for engaging in gay sex.”

The struggle continues.

Yet, although each small step forward appears to be counteracted with two steps backwards, at the very least, people are making their voices heard.

Electing a transgender mayor in an Indian city is notable progress for the LGBT community.

Here’s hoping that this momentum will continue, so that people who identify as LGBT no longer have to live in fear of persecution.

 

Relephant Read: 

It’s not Easy Being Trans

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Author: Yoli Ramazzina

Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo: YouTube Screenshot

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