The photo above is of Petra De Sutter, the newly appointed Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium. She’s also Minister for Public Enterprises. Oh, and she’s transgender.
As the Brussels Time notes, that bit “went almost unremarked upon by Belgian media… [other than] when remarking on the diverse make up of the new government – which consists of 50% women, includes several ministers with a migration background, and is relatively young.”
Meanwhile in Scotland:
The First Minister stepped in to defend one Holyrood hopeful – Rhiannon Spear – after she was targeted with horrified misogynistic abuse from trolls having previously defended transgender rights.
I’ve written about Spear before; she’s a dedicated and impressive young politician who’s been the subject of an ongoing hate campaign simply because she believes in human rights for trans people. And she is not alone. In the UK, women who defend trans rights are subjected to sustained, vicious, misogynistic abuse that’s much more serious than a celebrity being called a bigot on Twitter; any trans person considering political office will receive even worse. So it’s hardly surprising that while Belgium has a trans Deputy Prime Minister, the UK has no openly trans MPs, MSPs or MEPs at all.
I am proud that in 🇧🇪 and in most of 🇪🇺 your gender identity does not define you as a person and is a non-issue. I hope that my appointment as Minister and deputy PM can trigger the debate in countries where this is not yet the case. #fighttransphobia