This is the first time in France. The mayor of Estevel (Pas de Calais), who was elected by a man and made a gender transition, on Wednesday secured the “support” of his municipal council, which she asked to continue her mandate as a woman.
“For over 22 years I have been serving my municipality (…). Because of the transparency today, I feel the need to express the difference I bring on a personal level,” she wrote in a press release signed by Estelle Szabo, née Alain.
VIDEO. Mayor Estevel’s first revelations
Meeting on Wednesday, the city council “restored confidence in me,” the elected official rejoices, even if that council vote was not required by law. Of the 18 voters, 14 voted “for” and four abstained. Thus, at 63, a city councilor (no label) in this city of 2,000 becomes, in her words, the “first” transgender mayor to formalize the transition during her term of office.
“Continuity in my life path”
“This is continuity in my life course, in my political course. On Thursday morning I will present things to the employees of the municipality and communicate with the population, and from Friday I will look the way I want and will serve as the mayor of Estevelles, ”she responded to the results of the vote.
“For some time I was forced to resign,” in particular, to “accelerate events” or “protect” my personal life, the mayor explained. But “I’m a fighting man” and “proud of the investment I was able to make in this small town, I didn’t want to give it up. I realized that communication was the best solution,” she added.
The procedure for changing civil status, which she started a few weeks ago, is still ongoing. After contacting the prefecture, the state informed her that there was “no problem” and that it was “legally possible” to continue practicing as a woman, she assured her. “Then I decided to gain the trust of my peers,” specifically to establish “my legitimacy.”
“You can be a person with honors”
“This difference, shared by hundreds of thousands of people in France, (…) lies in the transience and psychological suffering from the absence of Good kind,” she continued. “It took me many, many years to understand and accept who I really am,” thanks in part to psychotherapeutic support and the support of “my loved ones and my wife.”
“I want to convey only one message,” emphasizes Estelle Szabo: “It is that one can be a person of distinction, not necessarily always accepted today, and perform a political function.”