Two trans women have been elected to Germany’s parliament — a first for the country. Tessa Ganserer and Nyke Slawik ran for the Green party, which came in third in the country’s national election on Sunday.
The Greens won 14.8 percent of the vote, up from the party’s 2017 performance at 8.9 percent. The party will play a significant role in the country’s new coalition government, according to Reuters.
“It is a historic victory for the Greens, but also for the trans-emancipatory movement and for the entire queer community,” Ganserer, 44, told the news wire. She added that the vote was a symbol of German society's openness and tolerance.
The lawmaker previously served as a member of Bavaria’s regional parliament. She came out in 2019.
Ganserer said that she’d work to make it easier for Germans to change their gender on legal documents. In 1981, Germany passed its “Transsexuality Law” that requires people to receive a costly medical certificate in order to legally change their gender in their documents. She also said she wants changes to allow lesbian mothers to adopt.
“I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the trust shown by the voters,” Ganserer wrote on Twitter while also congratulating Slawik on her win. “I'm still overwhelmed, but I'm really looking forward to my new job in Berlin!”
In an Instagram post, Slawik, 27, wrote, “I still can’t believe it, but with this historic election result I will definitely be a member of the next Bundestag [the German Parliament].”
Slawik has called for Germany to do more against climate change as well as create a national action plan against anti-LGBTQ+ violence and discrimination, according to Reuters.
Germany legalized same-sex marriage in 2017 but hate crimes against LGBTQ+ have increased 36 percent since last year.