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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Cambridge, England, Welcomes First Transgender Mayor

Mayor Jenny Bailey
Photo: Cambridge City Council


On first glance, Jenny Bailey, 45, and her partner Jennifer Liddle, 49, don’t look like history makers. That’s just what they became late last month, though, when they were installed as mayor (Bailey) and mayoress (an honorary titled bestowed upon Liddle) of the Cambridge City Council.

Both Bailey and Liddle were born male and had gender-reassignment surgery in their 30s, according to an Associated Press report, which makes Bailey the first transgender person to ever serve as a mayor in England.

The Council, and the rest of the university city, have taken the newsworthy event in stride. “It is the council’s firm view that someone’s gender and sexual orientation has no bearing on their suitability to hold public office,” Rob Hammond, the Cambridge Council’s chief executive, told the Associated Press.

Bailey, has two sons with an ex-wife, and Liddle have done the same. “People can take me as a role model if they want,” Bailey was quoted as saying in the Times newspaper.

“But for transgender people, all we want is to disappear and become normal, so I don’t want to let it define me. When you go through transgender experience and come through the other side, you are just happy to get on with normal life, normal problems, so this is a wonderful opportunity.”

© 2007; All Rights Reserved.


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