Tony Briffa has become the world's first openly intersex mayor.
As Care2.com is reporting, Briffa won the position in the City of Hobsons Bay, which is situated just outside of Melbourne, Australia.
"I am excited about the future of our community and look forward to serving the city with enthusiasm and pride," he said.
As his website, Briffa.org, notes, Briffa is a "genuine independent councillor (i.e. not a member of a political party)" and his focus is on "representing our diverse community, community groups and local businesses, protecting our environment, and working to ensure future generations of local residents can enjoy our unique character and amenity."
According to GayNewsNetwork.com.au, Briffa was born with both male and female physical attributes as a result of Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS). Doctors agreed to assign him a female gender even though his genetic makeup is male and he was not told about being intersex until years later.
Today Tony says he considers himself neither male nor female, though he uses male pronouns.
He writes on his website:
"I feel very comfortable having accepted my true nature. I am not male or female, but both. I am grateful for the years I lived as a woman and the insight and experiences it gave me. I am still 'Antoinette' and have now also incorporated and accepted my male ('Anthony' or 'Tony') side. I feel whole. I'll continue to live as Tony but I feel I am now at a point in my life where I can celebrate being different."
LGBTI Health Alliance Board Member Gina Wilson says, "Tony is an inspiration and a role model for a whole generation of intersex people, both those who have suffered early interventions and those who have come to their differences later in life."
She adds, "We share Tony's hope that his election will break down taboos associated with intersex differences. Tony is a wonderful example of how intersex people can overcome the devastating and unnecessary medical treatment meted out to so many intersex children, and go on to become champions of human rights and cultural diversity for everyone."
Image via Tony Briffa's Facebook fanpage.
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