The first-ever transgender MPs have been elected to Germany’s Bundestag during a historic election this year.
Preliminary results gave Germany’s centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) the win over Angela Merkel’s centre-right bloc, CDU/CSU.
It brings an end to Merkel’s 16 years in power, with the SPD’s leader, Olaf Scholz, claiming it is time for a new coalition with the Greens and liberals.
According to figures released by election officials on 27 September, the SPD narrowly beat out the CDU/CDU with 25.9% to 24.1% of the vote, respectively.
The Greens won the third-largest proportion of the vote with 14.6%, followed by the FDP at 11.5%.
Tessa Ganserer and Nyke Slawik, both members of the Greens, made history as the first transgender women to win parliamentary seats in a national election.
“It is a historic victory for the Greens, but also for the trans-emancipatory movement and for the entire queer community,” Ganserer told Reuters, adding that the results signify Germany becoming a more accepting country.
The 44-year-old said making it easier to ratify a sex change on identity documents will be a top priority for her.
Ganserer, who has two children, is also seeking to allow lesbian mothers to adopt children in the country.
Wahnsinn! Ich kann es noch gar nicht so recht fassen, aber ich werde mit diesem historischen Wahlergebnis definitiv dem nächsten Bundestag angehören.
Danke, danke, danke an alle, die mich unterstützt haben und die heute GRÜN gewählt haben. 💚 pic.twitter.com/5XkNS0FAR3
— Nyke Slawik🏳️⚧️💚 (@nyke_slawik) September 26, 2021
“I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the trust shown by the voters,” she wrote on Twitter. “I’m still overwhelmed, but I’m really looking forward to my new job in Berlin! My congratulations too @nyke_slawik !”
Slawik will aim to create a nationwide action plan to tackle homophobia and transphobia, as well as a self-determination law and to update and improve Germany’s anti-discrimination law.
“Insanity! I still can’t quite believe it, but with this historic election result I will definitely be a member of the next Bundestag,” the 27-year-old wrote on Twitter.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who supported me and who voted GREEN today.”
Same-sex marriage was first legalised in 2017 after being decriminalised decades earlier in 1969.
Ich bedanke mich von ganzem Herzen für das Vertrauen der Wähler*innen. Ich bin noch ganz überwältigt, freue mich aber riesig auf meine neue Aufgabe in Berlin! Meinen Glückwunsch auch an @nyke_slawik!#QueereRepräsentanzMatters pic.twitter.com/1HOb2x3Nt4
— Tessa Ganserer (@GansGruen) September 27, 2021