Just nine months after a court in India ruled that transgender individuals could be recognized as a legal third gender, a city in central India has elected the country’s first transgender mayor.
Independent candidate Madhu Kinnar won the mayoral election in Raigarh in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh, reports NDTV.
“People have shown faith in me. I consider this win as love and blessings of people for me. I’ll put in my best efforts to accomplish their dreams,” Madhu said after winning the election.
Kinnar, 35, a member of the Dalit community, dropped out of school after eighth grade and used to sing and dance on trains for money.
Last April, India’s Supreme Court recognized transgender as a legal third gender and called on the government to ensure their equal treatment.
The landmark ruling was widely praised by human rights activists, but said it contradicts the court’s reinstatement of a gay sex ban that has resulted in an increase in the persecution of LGBT people, forcing many to conceal their sexual identity.