Photo: Melanie Wenger
By Richard Hack
After several months of political gridlock, Belgium named Dr. Petra De Sutter, a gynecologist and LGBTQ+ activist, as the first transgender woman to ever serve as Deputy Prime Minister.
De Sutter represented the Flemish Green party in European Parliament since last year. She officially took the position last Thursday. At 57, she is the first transgender woman to ever hold a seat in Belgium’s national legislature, and will serve along with six other deputies in the European Parliament.
De Sutter becomes the highest-ranking transgender politician in Europe, as well as the most powerful transgender leader in history.
Amazingly, the media announcement of her victory made no mention of your sexual orientation, instead pointing to her “impressive professional track record that, combined with her advocacy, have defined her career and earned her the respect of her peers.”
Her arrival is especially timely given the impact that the COVID-19 virus has taken on the country. Belgium has had 128,000 cases and over 10,000 deaths–an incredibly high number considering that the population of the small European nation is only 11 million.
In addition to being a gynecologist, Dr. De Sutter is a professor at the University of Ghent, lecturing in reproductive health and fertility.