By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com January 11 2012 4:00 AM ET
Before Grodzka became the first transgender person elected to the Sejm, the lower house of Poland's Parliament, she campaigned on a platform that included the legalization of marijuana and same-sex marriage. Some commentators view Grodzka's victory as voters' rejection of the Roman Catholic Church's long stranglehold on governance. Poland is the not quite the new Holland, though; the Polish media continues to refer to Grodzka as "he." Robert Biedron
The election of Biedron, a gay man, to the Sejm was another first for Poland. Like Grodzka, Biedron is a member of the burgeoning anticlerical Palikot's Movement, now the third largest political party in terms of seats in the nation's Parliament. Biedron isn't just a gay politician; he's also an LGBT activist. Aside from founding the Campaign Against Homophobia, Biedron is a consultant to several global human rights groups. Ruth Davidson
The Scottish Davidson, 33, became active in the Conservative Party of the U.K. after leaving her job as a BBC journalist, eventually getting elected to the Scottish Parliament. In November she was chosen by her fellow party members as the first out person to lead the Scottish Conservative Party. She soon had a cordial meeting with British prime minister David Cameron to discuss Scottish independence. Elio Di Rupo
This floppy-haired bow-tie fan took over as Belgium's prime minister in December, making him the first openly gay man to head a nation on a full-time basis (Per-Kristian Foss, a gay man, briefly served as Norway's interim prime minister in 2002). Di Rupo is the first French-speaking politician to lead Belgium in 30 years — the majority speaks Dutch — and the first Socialist leader since 1974. When reporters asked Di Rupo in 1996 if he was gay, he responded, "Yes. So what?"