On October 10th, we have learned that Anna Grodzka, president of TGEU member organization Trans-Fuzja, has become the first openly transgender woman to be elected into Polish parliament.
Grodzka, who has been working for transgender and intersex issues for more than 4 years now, was a candidate of the Palikot Movement, a new political party which has come forward with progressive ideas especially on LGBTQI matters during elections.
"This is an incredible step forward for Poland," says Wiktor Dynarski, TGEU CEE Working Group coordinator. "We were aware of the fact that Anna's decision to actually become a candidate would bring a lot more discussion on transgender issues into Polish politics, but we have never even dreamt of achieving such an incredible success!"
TGEU salutes Poland and hopes that a public transgender figure will increase visibility of transgender and intersex individuals in Poland and the issues they face. Currently, many trans and intersex individuals in the country feel unsafe and unheard. An important improvement would be a law regulating the recognition of change of name and gender. Currently, this is only ruled by case law. No law or official decree exists leaving transgender individuals in state of legal uncertainty.
Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg identified Poland amongst those countries not providing for "quick, transparent and accessible" mechanisms as recommended by the Committee of Ministers. Hammarberg demands from member states to fulfill their positive obligation to provide for legal gender recognition, as established repeatedly by the European Court for Human Rights and European Court of Justice.
"Poland has ignored the rights of its transgender citizens for long. It is high time to finally discuss introduction of a gender recognition law. We are optimistic that Grodzka's success will motivate more countries in the Central-Eastern European region to take notice of the existence of transgender and intersex persons and their rights," hopes TGEU Co-chair, Richard KĂ¶hler.